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12-12-2015 8:22 pm  #21


Re: Countries info: SWE ITA FIN LV, NL, DE, LUX, NO, CH, PL, GR

France

As requested, some infos about France. I didn't want to write this as I expect you'll know it even better than I do, but here's my take on it. 

French cigarettes used to be dirt cheap. Not anymore - the French government effected a number of substantial price hikes (one of which had the nation's tobacconists go on strike!). As a result, a pack of Marlboro costs 7.50 Euros. 

Of note, that price is in a TABAC shop - ie a licensed tobacconist. Whilst tobacco can be had in other shops / bars / pubs, they will have to buy from a TABAC and resell at a profit, often pushing the price up by as much as another euro (or two in really touristy areas). Technically it isn't strictly legal for them to sell these as they don't have a tobacco license, but the French authorities turn a blind eye as long as the tobacco that's being sold is French Duty Paid. Run out of fags in Paris in the middle of the night and you can get another pack anywhere, but it'll cost you.

Wine is cheap and abundant. I think the cheapest I saw in 2015 was around 2.50 euro for a bottle of something that pretended to be wine, and 3.50-5.00 euro range will have many decent, definitely drinkable wines. Premium spirits such as Single Malt Whiskey and Cognac are much cheaper than at home, but possibly very slightly dearer than in Germany. Mainstream brands (Bells, Cap'n Morgan, Smirnoff and the likes) are about the same price, or perhaps a little cheaper than in the UK. Cheaper vodka can be had at a better price than its UK alternatives.. 

Calais has the well known Cite Europe in Coquelles, which is a mega shopping mall with a mastodontic Carrefour. There is also an equally as mastodontic Auchan not too far, in a somewhat smaller shopping centre. As far as supermarkets go, speaking of France in general, I found that a chain called "E. LeClerc" had the best prices for a food shop, and the best quality of meat (not to mention, an impressive selection of foreign meats). There is a big one just outside Dunkirk, I hear. 

Les Douanes / Flics

https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/F804 You are allowed to bring in the MILs (same as in the UK), and if you have over that, you should be able to prove that they are for your own use. 

UNLIKE in the UK, when they seize the goods, you should be given a choice: whether you wish to pay a fine, plus French duty, and retain the goods, or whether you wish to pay only the fine and surrender the goods. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think UKBF actually wants to destroy the cake, and eat it. "Pour cela, elle examinera aussi :
[list=a]
[*]votre activité professionnelle et les raisons pour lesquelles vous détenez du tabac,
[*]le lieu où se trouvent les tabacs et éventuellement le transport que vous avez utilisé,
[*]tout document concernant les tabacs que vous transportez."
[/list]
This translates to:

To determine whether you are bringing in excise goods for personal use, customs will keep into account:

Your profession, and the reasons for which you are in possession of tobacco.
The place where the tobacco is kept, and the type of transport you have utilised.
Every document concerning the tobacco that you transport.

Emphasis added by me on Every. Essentially, it seems to my understanding that if you hand them an SOT, they cannot ignore it. 

Flics and Douanes tend to be fairly arsy when they stop you, especially if you don't speak French fluently. I would suggest recording as one does with the English ones. If they are being particularly unreasonable, it is your right to request an interpreter. If you don't buckle in front of an UKBF officer, there's no need to buckle in front of the Flics. 

Whether filming the police be legal or not, is an object of controversy in France - a few recent articles are talking about it. 


http://copwatch.fr/agir/connaitre-ses-droits/article/filmer-la-police

and 

http://www.slate.fr/story/2997/t-le-droit-de-filmer-un-policier (older). Essentially, from what I understand, filming a police officer in the course of his/her duties is legal, with some exceptions of particular police forces (antiterrorism, SWAT teams), though what you do with the film may leave you open to lawsuits as they remain the holders of their image / likeness' copyright. Take this with a pinch of salt, I am not a French jurist. It seems, however, that no one suggests that audio recording is an issue at all. 

(Incidentally, the issue of filming the police is being discussed in Belgium too: 

http://www.policebelge.com/forums/topic/2027-peut-on-filmer-un-policier-en-service/ 

and 

http://www.levif.be/actualite/belgique/interdire-de-filmer-des-policiers-le-retour-de-la-censure-sous-le-masque-de-la-securite/article-opinion-413443.html

 

Last edited by Darkpassenger (13-12-2015 1:31 pm)


When cross-border shopping, take your Statement of Truth and supporting evidence. ALWAYS record FROM THE MOMENT YOU GET OFF THE BOAT / PLANE and NEVER EVER sign their notebook!

Do not divulge any information which could identify you as Border Force may take your posts here and attempt to quote parts of them out of context in court in order to try to discredit you.
 

12-12-2015 10:43 pm  #22


Re: Countries info: SWE ITA FIN LV, NL, DE, LUX, NO, CH, PL, GR

some excellent info being posted,thanks Darkpassenger, really usefull.


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Better to live one day as a lion than a thousand days as a sheep'

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13-12-2015 10:46 am  #23


Re: Countries info: SWE ITA FIN LV, NL, DE, LUX, NO, CH, PL, GR

The Leclerc at Loon-Plage is not a supermarket. It is a Leclerc ''Drive'' which is a collection point for online orders. You have to go into Dunkirk and there's a big one by the marina and a smaller one in town.

Don't ignore Carrefour also. Last year I bought 3 bottles of Sobieski vodka for a fiver a bottle. Bells, Captain Morgan and the well known branded spirits tend to be the same price as the UK and sometimes dearer. It is only the unbranded spirits which are cheaper. Having said that you can buy a 1ltr Poliakov vodka in Auchan for about £10-50. Poliakov is the second best selling vodka in France after Eristoff.

It pays to remember that the Gendarmerie is a military organisation and as such make up their own rules. There was a ruling passed about 12 months ago by government that they had to treat people with respect and on an equal footing. There was a big outcry as the Gendarmerie stated that their authoritarian, bullying attitude is what got them respect from the public. I don't know if it went further. They are also responsible for dealing with everything from benefit fraud to bonfires being lit out of season.

Municipalities with more than 5000 residents are entitled to have their own police forces and there are also Municipal police who are little more than traffic wardens. I've had 1 or 2 dealings with Douanes but not found them too bad.

There was a spell a while back where the Douanes were stopping everyone on the A16 heading towards Calais. I think mostly Brits were warned about what they were carrying than penalised. If you use the A16 up to Adinkerke, keep an eye on the opposite carriageway, they are usually on motorbikes. You can always circumvent them by using the canal road back to Dunkirk and then rejoin the m/way.

Incidentally as nadger reported, Customs have ''permanent'' roadblocks both ways on the A16 near the border. According to traffic news which I have been monitoring all week, this is causing 5 mile tailbacks and 40 minute delays on the way out of France.


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Please ensure you do not divulge any information which could identify you as Border Force will use your posts here as evidence against you in court.

 
 

13-12-2015 11:24 am  #24


Re: Countries info: SWE ITA FIN LV, NL, DE, LUX, NO, CH, PL, GR

Thanks. I corrected the Leclerc location. The best savings I've had in France were on single malt whiskeys, Cardhu, Talisker, Lagavulin, that sort of stuff. 1L Cardhu bottle for 31 Euro not long ago. 

Last edited by Darkpassenger (13-12-2015 1:33 pm)


When cross-border shopping, take your Statement of Truth and supporting evidence. ALWAYS record FROM THE MOMENT YOU GET OFF THE BOAT / PLANE and NEVER EVER sign their notebook!

Do not divulge any information which could identify you as Border Force may take your posts here and attempt to quote parts of them out of context in court in order to try to discredit you.
     Thread Starter
 

13-12-2015 12:00 pm  #25


Re: Countries info: SWE ITA FIN LV, NL, DE, LUX, NO, CH, PL, GR

Singapore: Just Don't Go There. 

Cigarettes are horribly expensive. Chewing gum is illegal. To top it all off, you CANNOT bring ANY duty free tobacco to Singapore. From what I hear, anything over whatever's left in the packet you're travelling with, they will attempt to tax you for. Cigarettes are even more expensive than in the UK, about 9 to 11 quid per 20 is the price range last I checked. 

This is a country that is so arsy that they won't let their own citizens drive out of it and into Malaysia unless their petrol tank is 3/4 full, lest they defraud their government of tax by filling up their tank in Malaysia. They'll fine you for it and won't let you leave the country. I'm not even going to begin to recall my trip to Singapore otherwise my blood will boil in fury. Suffice it to say, it was the *only* country that I left after two days because I simply had enough of them.

Just about anything you can do in Singapore will attract fines. I'm sure Singaporeans might come out and say that theirs is a fantastic country with Law, Order, and Low Crime Rate. I say: avoid this authoritarian nightmare of a hellhole at all costs. Just Don't Go There, and if you do, don't say I didn't warn you. 
 

Last edited by Darkpassenger (13-12-2015 1:33 pm)


When cross-border shopping, take your Statement of Truth and supporting evidence. ALWAYS record FROM THE MOMENT YOU GET OFF THE BOAT / PLANE and NEVER EVER sign their notebook!

Do not divulge any information which could identify you as Border Force may take your posts here and attempt to quote parts of them out of context in court in order to try to discredit you.
     Thread Starter
 

13-12-2015 1:11 pm  #26


Re: Countries info: SWE ITA FIN LV, NL, DE, LUX, NO, CH, PL, GR

Darkpassenger wrote:

Thanks. I corrected the Leclerc location. The best savings I've had in France were on single malt whiskeys, Cardhu, Talisker, Lavagulin, that sort of stuff. 1L Cardhu bottle for 31 Euro not long ago. 

I have to admit I don't buy the premium spirits so I'm sure you are right in that respect.
 


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Please ensure you do not divulge any information which could identify you as Border Force will use your posts here as evidence against you in court.

 
 

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