Travel to France just got easier with the cessation of pre-departure Covid tests, but proof of full vaccination is required for entry.
Less easy are the requirements post-Brexit around buying antiques and vintage in France. Nicolas Martin, CEO of the website fleamarketfinders.com, sent us a lengthy report – the first paragraph is condensed here.
“Since January 1, 2021, antiques imported into the UK from EU states are subject to VAT at 5%. This rate applies whether the items are imported privately or are for reselling via a VAT-registered business. Documentary evidence is needed to show if items are more than 100 years old. Vintage items are subject to the standard VAT rate of 20%.”
(The website gov.uk/topic/ business-tax/import-export sets it all out.)
Here are a few French antiques events to try in March.
The biannual Foire de Chatou held on the outskirts of Paris is a long-haul event for the 450-plus predominately French dealers who show here.
They will be hoping for the return of buyers from China, Japan, Korea, Russia and Lebanon who have been strong buyers in the past.
The fair is held for a busy 10 days with the upcoming event running from Friday, March 11 (trade day March 10), to Sunday, March 20.
France’s largest brocante, this offers a strong mix of antiques, fine art, modern design, vintage furniture and is big on French ceramics and desirable kitchenalia. The gastro alleys are memorable.
Flooding in for flea
Once a year huge crowds descend on the small village of Le Plessis-Brion in the Oise department of northern France with just 1000 inhabitants when hundreds of fleamarket stalls line the small streets from vendors across France.
Le Grande Brocante de Le Plessis-Brion has been held annually since the 1990s and this year’s event runs on Sunday, March 13, starting at 6am.
Down by the river
Altogether quieter is the monthly fleamarket held in Monsoreau on the banks of the River Loire (pictured above, top) in the Loire Valley, near Saumur in western France.
Based in what is listed as one of France’s most beautiful villages and with the perfect backdrop of a 15th century castle, this event offers a leisurely way to check out the antiques, glass, particularly candelabra, art and all the other staples of a French fleamarket.
The fleas here are on the second Sunday of the month – upcoming are March 13 and April 10.