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LIVING IN FRANCE

Food, fuel and transport: Which prices will rise in France in 2023?

Retail bosses have warned of a 'tsunami' of rising prices in France in 2023 as inflation is set to spiral when government price protections end - here's what we know about the items that will increase in price from January.

Food, fuel and transport: Which prices will rise in France in 2023?
Food prices are predicted to rise sharply in 2023. Photo by Christophe SIMON / AFP

Electricity and gas bills

French households have so far been extremely fortunate compared to their European neighbours, and have seen minimal or no rises to their utility bills. This is because the government imposed a price freeze on gas prices and a maximum four percent rise on electricity prices, but both of these measures expire at the end of this year.

From January, gas bills can rise by a maximum of 15 percent and from February electricity bills can rise by a maximum of 15 percent. For the average household, this will represent an extra €20 a month. 

EXPLAINED What your French energy bills will look like in 2023

Petrol prices

The government is also currently helping out motorists with fuel prices using the fuel rebate – which is applied at the pump and results in lower costs to motorists filling up their cars. In mid November this fell from 35 cents per litre to 10 cents a litre, and will disappear entirely at the end of the year.

Instead, there will be targeted help to low-income households and people who use their car for work, although full details of how this will work have not yet been revealed.

This will result in an extra €5 for the average driver to fill their car compared to the December price, and an extra €17.50 compared to the early November price. 

OPINION An inflation ‘tsunami’ is about to hit France

Food prices

The price of food has already risen significantly since 2020, but supermarket boss Michel-Edouard Leclerc (head of the E.Leclerc chain) has warned of a “tsunami” of price rises in 2023.

This is largely due to suppliers increasing prices, he said, after trying not to pass on price rises to customers in 2022, so is likely to affect all supermarket chains.

Leclerc himself listed some of the predicted rises with preserved fruit and vegetables rising by around 20 percent, animal products by 15 percent and coffee by 10 percent.

Rising prices from food suppliers will also have a likely knock-on effect on the prices at restaurants and cafés.

Train tickets 

Train tickets are also set to rise in 2023, to cover rising utility costs for the company, although the transport minister requested that the state-owned SNCF apply a ‘price shield’ to rises. 

The average price rise will be five percent, applied on TGV services and regional trains. The price rises will come into effect “in 2023” with no exact start date given. 

Public transport users in Paris are also likely to see price rises, with the monthly Navigo pass set to rise to either €80 or €90 – negotiations are still ongoing. Individual tickets were also expected to rise from €1.90 to €2.30. As for the 10-ticket carnet, the price could rise from to €20.30. This package is currently available at €16.90 for paper tickets, and €14.90 when purchased with Navigo easy or on a mobile phone.

The final price increases, to be applied starting in 2023, will be decided in the region’s budget, which will be voted on on December 7th.

READ MORE: Paris public transport ticket prices set to rise in 2023

Clothes 

The price of clothing around Europe has already risen and is projected to rise by between five and 20 percent during the final months of 2022 and start of 2023, according to the Union des industries textiles (textile industry union).

This is related to the rising price of oil since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – oil is needed to make certain fabrics like polyester while rising fuel prices also have an effect, since 96 percent of clothes on sale in France are made abroad. 

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LIVING IN FRANCE

How and when to send Christmas presents from France

If you want to send Christmas presents to friends and family overseas you need to know the deadline dates and how to avoid being hit with extra charges - here's what you need to know.

How and when to send Christmas presents from France

Deadlines

First things first, you need to make sure your parcel arrives in time for Christmas, which means sending it before the deadline.

The French postal service La Poste has the following deadlines;

In Europe

If you’re sending a parcel within France, the deadline to have it delivered by Christmas is December 23rd. 

If you’re sending to the UK or Bulgaria, Cyprus, Spanish islands (eg Tenerife), Croatia, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Malta, Norway, Portuguese islands (eg Madeira) or Romania you have until December 16th.

If you’re sending to Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden or Switzerland you have until December 17th.

If you’re sending to Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands or Portugal you have until December 19th.

Outside Europe

If you’re sending to the USA, Canada, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand or Hong Kong you have until December 10th. Likewise if you’re sending to most French overseas territories, the deadline is December 10th.

For most other countries the deadline is December 3rd, but you can find the full list here

Private couriers like Fed-Ex and DPD have their own deadlines, although they are broadly in line with La Poste, and if you’re buying online each company has its own deadline on when it can guarantee a Christmas delivery.

Fees and customs declarations

If you’re sending parcels to another EU country then it’s pretty straightforward – just pay the delivery cost (you can check how much it will be to send via La Poste here) and make sure you send it before the deadline.

If, however, you are sending to a country outside the EU (which of course now includes the UK) then you will need to fill out a customs declaration form explaining what is in your parcel and whether it is a gift or not.

In addition to standard postal charges, you may also need to pay customs duties, depending on the value or your parcel and whether it is a gift or not. 

Find full details on customs duty rules HERE.

Banned items

And there are some items that are banned from the post – if you’re sending parcels to the US be aware that you cannot send alcohol through the mail as a private individual, so don’t try a ship some nice French wine or a bottle of your local liqueur. 

Most countries ban firearms and fireworks, not unreasonably, although be aware that this includes items like sparklers.

Sending food and plants is also often restricted with countries including Canada and Australia having strict rules and most other countries imposing restrictions on what you can send.

This also applies the other way and France bans any foodstuffs containing animal products (eg chocolate) sent from outside the EU. 

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