Thursday, October 5, a Belgian retiree is fined by customs officials from the flat-country at the wheel of her van. Amount of the fine: 414 euros. His fault? Having bought 70 packs of water – or 420 bottles – in an Auchan supermarket in Maubeuge, on the other side of the border, in France. The unfortunate retiree says it was family consumption for her, her sons and her sister. Belgian officials, for their part, considered that it was thus fueling a black market, as the story goes. The new Gazette, a French-speaking Belgian daily.
Gray area on authorized quantities
In France, the majority of products purchased by a consumer in another EU state – the sale of which is legal – are not subject to restrictions. These goods simply need to be for “personal use”.
However, this notion is particularly vague. If the unfortunate retiree was penalized by Belgian customs officers, it is because, according to them, she would have gone beyond this framework. “Personal use does not include redistribution to his family or relatives,” explains the headquarters of French Customs. “Purchases must remain acceptable and reasonable. “. However, each situation is assessed on a case-by-case basis. “At times, common sense prevails. If this retiree had been checked by French colleagues, they would certainly have asked her questions, ”say Customs.
So no limitations… but be careful with the quantities anyway.