Online purchases during the 2024 Olympic Games

You want to buy the full supporter’s kit online before coming to France for the 2024 Olympic or Paralympic Games? During your stay in France, you order souvenirs? This article provides all the information you need on online purchases.

  • If you reside in France at the time of your order and you purchase an item from a French company’s website, French consumer law applies.

Please note: Check that the trader is actually based in France. Just because the website’s domain name ends in “.fr” does not necessarily mean that the trader is French. Always read the legal notices and the terms and conditions of sale. You can also check the official trade and companies register.

  • If you live in another European Union (EU) Member State and the trader is in the same country, your domestic law applies. If you have any questions, contact a consumer protection organisation in your country.
  • If you live in France and the trader is in another country (EU or non-EU), French law may apply. This depends on wether or not the trader direct his business activity to France (i.e. the website has a French version, it indicates a French telephone number, foresees deliveries on a regular basis to France, customer service is available in France or in French, etc.).

Tip: The terms and conditions of sale may stipulate the legislation of the trader’s country. But this does not mean that you cannot rely on the rules in force in your country of residence if they provide more protection.

Please note that if the trader does not direct his business activity to France, the legislation of the trader’s country governs your contract.

Before purchasing items online, check:

  • whether the seller’s full contact details (name, postal address, telephone number, email address, VAT number, etc.) appear in the legal notices. You can also find them in the terms and conditions of sale.
  • whether the postal address is reliable. Enter the address given on the seller’s website into a search engine. Then click on the map to see photos of the street. Try to determine whether the address is actually that of a company.
  • the telephone number. If there is a given number, call it and ask any questions you may have.
  • the name or address of the website (URL). It is not a good sign if the website has a name or URL that bears no relation to the products being sold on the website.
  • quality of spelling on the website. Steer clear if you see content in poor French (spelling mistakes, convoluted turns of phrase, etc.).
  • the means of payment available on the website.
  • online reviews. Although they may not all be genuine, they provide you with an overall impression of the trader.

Beware of recommendations made by influencers!

Yes. Traders are entitled to decide on their delivery areas or lay down restrictions in their terms and conditions of sale.

Unjustified geo-blocking is forbiddenwithin the EU. But there is no requirement to offer goods and services with cross-border shipping at the same price for all countries.

You can browse all the languages on the seller’s interfaces to see the prices set in the different countries. However, if you want to be charged the prices offered in a specific country, you must have your product delivered in that country and arrange the cross-border shipping to your home yourself.

Each country sets its own VAT rates. So the price of your order may vary depending on the rate applying to your purchase.

Within the EU, consumers pay a price inclusive of taxes(including VAT). It is up to the trader to decide which VAT arrangements apply. It depends on the amount of distance sales made within the EU. If it is less than €10,000, the VAT in the seller’s country applies. When it is more than €10,000, the VAT in the country where the products are delivered applies.

Tip: Dropshippers can apply for application of French VAT if their company is based in France.

Yes. If you purchase goods from a website based in a non-EU country such as the United Kingdom, for delivery in France, you will have to pay import VAT and potentially customs duties. The carrier usually requests payment of these expenses upon delivery. It will bill you for the administrative charges for carrying out these customs procedures.

Tip: Import VAT and customs duties are not owed if:

  • the value of your package is €150 or less. The price  must be exclusive of VAT, without cost of carriage and insurance if these are billed separately).
  • the seller based in a non-EU country has registered for the new VAT payment system called “IOSS” (Import One-Stop-Shop). And he has paid the VAT using this system.

In principle, all purchases made in France are invoiced inclusive of tax (with VAT).

But you can buy duty free (without VAT), even online, if :

  • you live permanently outside the EU,
  • you are visiting France for less than 6 months,
  • you are over 16 years old,
  • you buy goods for your personal needs,
  • for a value of more than 100 €,
  • over a period of 3 days maximum from the same seller.

Please note! The merchant must have a European VAT number and accept to sell tax-free.

The seller will certainly ask you for a copy of your passport and a proof of your usual residence. Once you have paid for your purchases, he should give you an export sales note.

Here is some advice if you use a mobile application for your tax-free purchases. Check the terms and conditions and the required documents (e.g. invoice with name).  Be aware that you will never be reimbursed 100% of the VAT because a commission will be charged.

To know the customs formalities to fill before your departure from France, contact the customs.

Dropshipping is the online sale of products by a seller who has no inventory. The sellerreceives payment, forwarding the order to the manufacturer which delivers it directly to the consumer.It is difficult to identify dropshipping websites. The practice is legal in France and is booming due, in particular, to social media influencers. However, there are sometimes unwelcome surprises such as very long delivery times and customs duties.


  • the online seller’s address in the website’s legal notices or in the terms and conditions of sale. If it locates to a building in central Paris, it is unlikely that the seller manages the inventory himself.
  • the seller’s registration as a trader on an official trade register (quick search on the e-justice website).
  • the terms and conditions of sale to find out to which country the products should be returned. Return is possible in the event of adefect or when exercising a right of withdrawal. This will give you a clue as to the product’s country of origin.
  • the governing law set out in the terms and conditions of sale. This stipulation often indicates the country in which the seller is based.
  • the delivery lead-time in the terms and conditions of sale. A long lead-time may suggest that you are on a dropshipper’s website.

You should receive your package on the date or within the time stated by the seller. The exception is if you have jointly agreed to another date. If you have no information on the delivery time, it should be delivered within 30 days at the latest.

The increased number of visitors in Paris during the Olympics and Paralympics may impact the delivery of your order. The French government has issued recommendations to consumers who will purchase online during the Games. If you arrive earlier or stay longer in Paris, you should set your delivery date before 24 July, after 8 September or between 12 and 27 August 2024.

  • Write to the seller. Use a registered letter or email with acknowledgement of receipt of which you should keep a copy. And demand delivery within a reasonable additional time (8-10 days for example).
  • If you still have not received your order, cancel it. Then, ask for a refund of the payment by registered letter or email with acknowledgement of receipt. You should always keep a copy of your requests. The seller is obliged to give you a refund as soon as reasonably possible.

Tip: If you have advised the seller in writing that you need to receive your order by a specific date (i.e. imperative delivery prior to the end of the Olympic and Paralympic Games), you can request immediatetermination of the contract by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt in the event the order is not delivered by the agreed date.

The seller. He should either arrange another delivery at his own expense or give you a refund. The seller can then take action against the carrier.

Be careful if you chose a different carrier to the one suggested by the seller or arranged the transportation yourself. You are then liable for any incidents affecting your parcel. In this case, you should contact your chosen carrier.

Further information in the event of delivery issues in Europe.

Within the EU, you have a right of withdrawal concerning the majority of products purchased online. You have 14 days during which to change your mind.

Outside the EU, some countries allow you to change your mind within a period of up to 30 days. Other countries do not have such arrangements.

Please note that the following, among others, are not covered by the right of withdrawal:  accommodation services (seasonal rentals), carriage of goods, car rental, restaurants or leisure activities which must be provided by a given date or period (i.e. travel, tickets for the Olympic Games, airline and concert tickets, etc.). Further information on products or services not covered by a right of withdrawal.

Return your order within 14 days to theaddress indicated by the trader or use the return label provided. In all cases, the items should be securely packaged. Taking photographs of the item and the package before sealing and shipping is recommended.

The seller is obliged to refund all the amounts you paid, including the initial standard shipping costs.  This must be done within 14 days of your withdrawal. The exception is if you chose a more expensive delivery method such as express delivery). If you only return part of the order, you will be refunded the price of the returned goods.

Tip: The seller cannot give you a partial refund if you have only tried the item to check the size or that it works properly.

Consumers may bear the cost of returns in the event of withdrawal. If you can't send large goods by post, the seller must advise you. He must inforrm you of the approximate cost of reshipping before concluding the contract. If you didn't received the information, the trader bears these costs.

In the EU, you have a legal guarantee of conformity of at least two years for all purchases in store or online from a professional seller. This means that you can ask the seller to repair or exchange the goods or, if this is not possible, to refund the amounts paid. Since 1 January 2022, this guarantee also covers connected devices and digital content and services.

However, the term of the guarantee and the conditions for exercising it may differ from one country to the other. Further information on guarantees.

Non-EU countries may also have protective arrangements.

Example: The right to reject in the United Kingdom enables consumers, during the 30 days following delivery, to reject, for refund, a product which is not of a satisfactory standard, is unfit for purpose or non-compliant with the description.

During the Olympic and Paralympic Games, be careful of counterfeiting! Many tourists fall into the trap of buying a product branded as official Paris 2024 merchandising without realising it is actually a counterfeit product. Even if a toy or a piece of clothing displays the Paris Olympics mascot on it, it doesn’t automatically qualify as an official licensed product.

The goods most affected by counterfeiting are games, toys and sports equipment, food and drink, personal care products, clothing and accessories. But also beware of falsified medicines on the Internet!

Possession of counterfeit products is strictly illegal in France. Follow our advice before buying:

  • Check with the brand whether the product is one of official Paris 2024 licensed products and report any unofficial seller
  • Compare the prices applied with those of the brand’s official store. Be wary of prices that are too good to be true or offers of substantial reductions.
  • Compare the brand’s logo with the one appearing on the relevant website.
  • Carefully read the offers and terms and conditions on the website. If they display poor French, the website may be fake.
  • Check whether the website has legal notices showing the seller’s full contact details and the terms and conditions of sale.
  • If you enter the name of a well-known brand into a search engine, be wary of websites listed at the bottom of the page or not listed on the first page.

Find more pointers in our article on counterfeit products.

If you have not received your order and the seller has not given you a refund, contact your bank as soon as possible to find out about a possible chargeback. Credit and debit card companies such as Visa and Mastercard offer these services to banks to protect their customers. Under certain conditions, banks can request a refund on behalf of their customers.

  • Check the description of the second-hand product on offer. Do not hesitate to contact the seller.
  • Look at the photos, and ask the seller for more if necessary. Compare them with other photos used on the Internet.
  • Check the sale price: is it set or subject to auction? Compare the prices on different e-commerce platforms and websites for the same type of product. Factor in taxes and customs duties for purchases outside the EU.
  • Read the terms and conditions of sale to understand the role of the second-hand sales platform: is it just an intermediary between the buyer and seller? What support or protection services are on offer? What are the conditions for access to these services?
  • Check the online platform’s administrative charges or commission.
  • Pay with your bank card on a secure website (https + closed padlock icon), use secure payment services or protected systems which have now been introduced by certain classified ads websites.
  • Ask the seller whether the package can be sent with tracked delivery and whether it is possible to take out insurance, especially if you are buying a valuable product.

Please note that if the seller is an individual, you have no right of withdrawal and potentially no legal guarantee. Further information on online purchases of second-hand goods.

  • First, contact the online seller in writing. Retain proof of your correspondence.
  • If this effort proves unsuccessful, proceed as follows:

- If you live in France, you can receive assistance from a consumer’s association, whose contact information is available on the DGCCRF’s website. You can also report your problem with the trader on the SignalConso website.

- If you live in another EU Member State, Iceland or Norway, the European Consumer Centre for your country can help you. Visit the ECC Network website for its contact information.

- If you live in anon-EU country, contact your country’s embassy or consulate in France or report the dispute on the website via the complaint form or contact the members of

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Innovation Council and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Executive Agency (EISMEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.