International Road Transport Operations in France

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Operational Activities

UK hauliers may carry goods to, through or from the country, goods can also be carried from France to a third country and vice versa if permitted by the terms of any agreement between the three countries. Cabotage is permitted.

Dangerous Goods
France is a party to ADR, however, there are restrictions on the movement of Dangerous Goods on bridges and in tunnels.

Restrictions are applicable in the following areas, fines for any contravention are heavy:

Abnormal Loads
Special authorisations are required for all abnormal load movements which exceed French vehicle dimensions (including weight). Applications for authorisations must be made to the 'Directorate of Equipment' of the prefecture of entry into France and every prefecture where the load is to move through en route to its destination.

Abnormal loads cannot move if the weather conditions include snow, ice and fog or when visibility is below 150 metres.

TIR carnets are accepted for vehicles crossing France. ATA Carnets are accepted for certain temporary imports. CMR documents should be used at all times.

Movement Restrictions
There is a general ban which applies all year long, to the entire national road network. The ban affects all vehicles with a maximum authorised weight exceeding 7.5 tonnes. Restrictions apply as follows:

Public Holidays
2013 2014
  • January 1
  • April 1
  • May 1, 8, 9, 19 and 20
  • July 14
  • August 15
  • November 1 & 11
  • December 25
  • January 1
  • April 21
  • May 1, 8 & 29
  • June 8 and 9
  • July 14
  • August 15
  • November 1 & 11
  • December 25
Remember there are also regional holidays in France, therefore please check the region you are travelling to.

Vehicle/Load Exemptions
Transport operations that are exempt from requiring special authorisation include goods carried that fall under the categories listed below;

Regional Movement Prohibitions
There are numerous additional movement prohibitions which exist for vehicles 7.5 tonnes and above. These restrictions are regional and apply to specific roads. The link to the pdf file below has comprehensive details of these restrictions, indicating the regions and roads that are affected.

2013 Movement Restrictions (France) - Bison Fute

Road, Tunnel & Bridge Tolls

Road Tolls
TIS-PL Cards (France) - Online Purchase French Motorway companies have (from January 2007) introduced the electronic device TIS-PL, which has replaced the previously used Caplis card. The TIS-PL electronic device is issued against the trucks registration number, which allows the vehicle to cross France without stopping to pay road, tunnel or bridge tolls.

The term TIS-PL refers to the French electronic toll system for class 3 and 4 HGVs. Modelled on the 'Liber-t' system designed for light vehicles in France, the TIS-PL system is a badge which is fitted to the windscreen which simplifies toll payments (motorways, tunnels, bridges etc).
This system heralds the use of electronic toll facilities throughout Europe. Initially available for use in France, TIS-PL will gradually be accepted on motorways across different countries throughout Europe. Although the TIS-PL system is the preferred method of many operators, for those companies who operate infrequently in France, cash, credit cards and most fuel cards are still accepted as payment.

Road Tolls or Peage booths, operate on some but not all motorways. To determine whether tolls are applicable on a French motorway, look out for the Peage sign on direction boards. Alternatively you can visit the website which will enable you to plan and cost your route across the French road network as well as keeping abreast of traffic information.

Bridge and Tunnel Tolls
There are a number of road tunnels and bridges in France. The most formidable barrier to negotiate however are the Alps which are home of the two most famous tunnels in Europe, being that of the Frejus and Mont Blanc Tunnels.



Vehicle Requirements

Green Card required, plus original vehicle registration docs. A GB plate must be fitted to rear of vehicle/trailer.

Maximum Weights & Dimensions
Height There is no fixed height. However, we suggest that operators conform to 4 metres, or plan there vehicles routes accordingly
Width 2.55 metres (Fridges 2.6 metres)
Length Artic 16.5 metres
Road Train 18.75 metres
There are also other maximum lengths on vehicles and trailers according to the number of axles.
Weight Artic 40 tonnes (ISO containers (40ft) - 44 tonnes)
Road Train 44 tonnes
There are also various maximum permitted weights on vehicles, trailers and road trains which are applicable according to the number of axles.

Safety Equipment
In the best interest of road safety the following compulsory safety equipment or requirements and advise should be adhered to:-

Driver Requirements

Legal Documents
Full passport required but no visa required. Full UK driving Licence. Letter from employer giving driver permission to drive vehicle - Attestation letter and form.

Speed Limits

Vehicles Concerned Built-Up Areas (kms) Outside Built-Up Areas (kms) Expressways / Dual Carraigeways (kms) Motorways (kms)
Max 80 kms in left lane
All Trucks 3.5 tonnes to 12 tonnes 50 80 90 90
Rigid Truck over 12 tonnes 50 80 80 90
Artics/Road Trains over 12 tonnes 50 60 80 90
Dangerous Goods Transport 3.5 tonnes to 12 tonnes 50 80 90 90
Dangerous Goods Transport over 12 tonnes 50 60 70 (Only if ABS fitted) 80
Indivisible Loads (Cat 1) 50 60 60 80
Indivisible Loads (Cat 2) 40 60 60 80
Indivisible Loads (Cat 3) 30 50 50 60

Country Contact Info

British Embassy
35, rue du Faubourg St Honore, 75363 Paris Cedex 08 Paris. Tel: +33 (1) 44 51 31 00 Website:
Transport Organisation
Association Francais du Routier International (AFTRI), 48 rue de la Bienfaisance, 75008 Paris
Tel: +33 (1) 53 53 02 40 Website:

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