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  #21  
Old 15.10.2017, 01:35
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Re: French Customs

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But you could have financial documents in a form other than paper.
So that would be their "justification".
Well, I only talk for Switzerland .... and maybe the countries around us.
So I googled and I'm quite pleased to find it almost exactly as I posted intuitively:
Sorry, German scroll to "So sieht es in der Schweiz aus"
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  #22  
Old 15.10.2017, 07:14
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Re: French Customs

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The rule is that a body search has to be done by a person of the same sex, that´s it.
I bet it will become "of the same or similar" in a decade or so
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  #23  
Old 15.10.2017, 08:36
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Re: French Customs

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On Wednesday I got stopped at the French Customs above Nyon on my way back to the UK. The stopped me for over half an hour, searched the car for contraband and of course didn't find any. Then they started rifling through some documents I had including my UBS bank statement. Eventually they took copies of my bank statement and my passport.
They would not offer any explanation of what they were looking for and I am rather unhappy that the searched through my private papers and photocopied some.
I didn't make too much of a fuss because I was rather intimidated by the king size box of latex gloves they had on the table of their office.
Does anyone know what they were up to and whether it is acceptable?
I haven't had paper bank statements for 5 years now, let alone taking them to the UK and back with me with my "private papers". Why would one??
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  #24  
Old 15.10.2017, 11:28
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Re: French Customs

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Why do you keep UBS bank statements in your car?

And yes, they can do that
I had my bank statement in the car because I had had a meeting with the bank.
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Old 15.10.2017, 11:29
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Re: French Customs

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That sounds very odd indeed. I think you should contact them & see what they say.
Edit ... was it the French or Swiss bunch?
It was the French customs.
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Old 15.10.2017, 11:32
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Re: French Customs

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What a story! I can imagine how unpleasant this must have been, however they are allowed to search you car. Who knows if you were matching one profile they are looking for or something. Maybe change car for your next trip ;-)

One good thing to know is that a male agent is not allowed to look through a female bag...
Thanks for your sympathetic reply Tycoone.
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  #27  
Old 15.10.2017, 11:42
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Re: French Customs

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I haven't had paper bank statements for 5 years now, let alone taking them to the UK and back with me with my "private papers". Why would one??
Well I live in the UK now so the bank sends me statements in the UK but I was carrying them because I had had a meeting with the bank and wanted to refer to them. They are fairly unremarkable so I didn't think to destroy them before I returned. However having the Douanier pour over them for half an hour seemed pretty intrusive.
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  #28  
Old 15.10.2017, 11:46
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Re: French Customs

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I doubt that. Custom's control is mainly about carrying goods (or money).

To check information on a handy I believe they'd need a tangible suspicion.
To act on that immediately it would take "Gefahr in Verzug" (exigent circumstances). Otherwise they'd need an adjudication. But for the latter - if there is tangible suspision - they could keep you at the border until they get that adjudication.
Nope. (Don't forget were talking about French douanes here, not Swiss.)
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  #29  
Old 15.10.2017, 12:03
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Re: French Customs

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Well I live in the UK now so the bank sends me statements in the UK but I was carrying them because I had had a meeting with the bank and wanted to refer to them. They are fairly unremarkable so I didn't think to destroy them before I returned. However having the Douanier pour over them for half an hour seemed pretty intrusive.
The thick plottens.

So you live in the UK not Lausanne? Was this a UK registered car? I reckon the Frenchies thought they had landed an EU citizen trying to avoid tax...

Anyway, you were very unfortunate.
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  #30  
Old 15.10.2017, 12:12
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Re: French Customs

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Nope. (Don't forget were talking about French douanes here, not Swiss.)
You're saying EU law is more like US/Canadian law than to Swiss law?
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  #31  
Old 15.10.2017, 13:39
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Re: French Customs

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You're saying EU law is more like US/Canadian law than to Swiss law?
Err, no. I don't think there's anything in my post to suggest that. If that's your conclusion then so be it, but I certainly didn't say so.

Just that you were clearly referring to Swiss requirements, which (correct or not, I have no idea) are not relevant to the French.
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  #32  
Old 15.10.2017, 15:14
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Re: French Customs

Wow, that does sound a bit extreme, but it also does seem to be within their rights to check everything you are taking into their country.

For the bank statement, they probably found it strange you would have such a thing with you while travelling so wanted to keep a record, just in case.
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  #33  
Old 15.10.2017, 15:19
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Re: French Customs

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Err, no. I don't think there's anything in my post to suggest that. If that's your conclusion then so be it, but I certainly didn't say so.

Just that you were clearly referring to Swiss requirements, which (correct or not, I have no idea) are not relevant to the French.
You are right, France seems very different from Switzerland (so one has to make sure in which direction one passes the one border, LOL).
This is from 2013 but I guess, it didn't get looser (sorry German). Based on article 60 of the French customs law they can check all electronic devices (laptop, handies ....). It is also mentioned there that the French laws are in violation of European Convention on Human Rights.
But that doesn't seem to matter

Well, interesting. An other thing learnt.
So OP: Yep, the French are officially allowed to do that according to their own laws. And for the bank papers they don't even need a password. So to take such information accross the border, best fax it before you travel.
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  #34  
Old 15.10.2017, 15:24
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Re: French Customs

USB stick, dropbox, no need for paperwork
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  #35  
Old 15.10.2017, 17:37
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Re: French Customs

Thanks to all for your thoughts and inputs.

I guess taking a paper copy of a bank statements seems rather old fashioned but that's me

As I say I have nothing to hide so I didn't even think of doing anything to digitise my bank statement.

It was as much the manner of one of the Douaniers that bothered me. Still I have learned a lesson.
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Old 15.10.2017, 18:45
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Re: French Customs

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It was as much the manner of one of the Douaniers that bothered me. Still I have learned a lesson.
It's a deliberate ploy they offen use, a bit of a "good cop, bad cop" sort of thing, to really try and make you nervous in case you're hiding something. Nothing personal, I'm sure, nor necessarily a sign that they were particularly suspicious, just a normal part of their job.
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