Legal & Currency

Privacy and Data Protection

Privacy and Data Protection The Law on Privacy Protection in relation to the Processing of Personal Data was issued in France in 1978 (Act 78-17 of 6 January 1978 on Data Processing, Data Files and Individual Liberties). The European Directive on this subject was only published three years later, on 24 October 1995, and France transposed it into national legislation by the Law issued on 6 August 2004. The French regulations, with regard to the use of “cookies” and other similar techniques, are included in the Law on Privacy Protection and have received further interpretation by the French Privacy Commission (the CNIL).

Consumer Protection The consumer protection in the context of ecommerce under French law is mainly regulated by the Law issued on 22 June 2004 for the Trust in Digital Economy. It contains matters such as rules on advertising, labelling, price indication, e-contracting and other information to be provided to the consumer, as well as on the publication of online content. The European rules on distance selling and distant selling of financial products have been transposed separately and included into the French Consumer Code. The rules on unsolicited communications have been incorporated into the Postal and Electronic Communications Code.

Digital Signatures and Authentication In 2000, several provisions of the French civil code have been modified in order to make electronic documents and signatures legally acceptable. In 2004, the Law in the Trust in Digital Economy has regulated the liability of certification service providers issuing qualified digital certificates.

Custom and Duties If goods are imported from outside the EU, import duties may become due based on the tariff classification, customs value and origin of the goods. VAT shall become due upon importation from non-EU countries when the goods are to be declared for use within this country. The customs/VAT warehousing procedure allows the storage of goods without such goods being subject to import duties (neither VAT nor customs duties are due). A non-EU taxable person who imports goods into France in his own name must register for VAT purposes and appoint a fiscal representative. A taxable person established outside this country, but within an EU Member State, can either register directly for VAT, or register through the appointment of a tax representative.

More in-depth information (including sources) about ecommerce law, privacy and data protection, consumer protection, digital signature, custom and duties, electronic contracting, computer crime and intellectual property can be found in the Cross-border Ecommerce Report - France [1]

FX Policies

France is one of nineteen countries (known collectively as the Eurozone) that use the euro currency. Exchange rate policy for the euro is handled by the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Germany. After spending most of 2013 and the first half of 2014 in the range of USD 1.30 to USD 1.40, the euro began to fall against the dollar in mid-2014, reaching a low USD 1.05 in March 2015. During 2015 and first quarter 2016, the euro vacillated between USD 1.05 and USD 1.15. France’s investment remittance policies are stable and transparent. All inward and outward payments must be made through approved banking intermediaries by bank transfers. There is no restriction on the repatriation of capital. Similarly, there are no restrictions on transfers of profits, interest, royalties, or service fees. Foreign-controlled French businesses are required to have a resident French bank account and are subject to the same regulations as other French legal entities. The use of foreign bank accounts by residents is permitted.[2]


$2,465 billion

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