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In this page: Customs Procedures | Industrial and Manufacturing Profile | Identifying a Supplier | Controlling the Quality of the Products | Organizing Goods Transport To and From France


Customs Procedures

Export Clearance
The export procedure foresees, in principle, two stages:

First the exporter/declarant presents the goods, his export declaration and, when necessary, his export authorization or license at the customs office responsible for the place where he is established or where the goods are packed or loaded for export (Article 161 (5) CC). The export declaration must be submitted by electronic means, through the Export Control System (ECS).

Subsequently, the goods are presented at the customs office of exit which examines the goods presented based on the information received from the customs office of export and makes sure that they correspond to those declared and supervises their physical departure (Article 332 UCC IA).

In the case of goods exported by rail, post, air or sea, the customs office of exit may be the office competent for the place where the goods are taken over under a single transport contract for transport to a third country (e.g. port, airport, railway station).

Necessary Declaration

The Customs declaration must contain the commercial invoice, which is a record or evidence of the transaction between the exporter and the importer. The commercial invoice contains the basic information on the transaction:

  • code, number, name, quantity and price of the product;
  • destination of the goods and the address of the person or place of reception;
  • name and registration number of the transport company;
  • place of warehousing.
It is only prohibited to export cultural artifacts, specimens of flora and fauna which are threatened with extinction and war material, arms, munitions and such.
Export Taxes

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Industrial and Manufacturing Profile

In France, the sector of industry represents 17.1% of the GDP and 19.9% of total employment (World Bank). The pharmaceutical, aeronautical, and new information and communication technology (NICT) industries have an important place in the French industrial scene.

Sector-specific professional associations

163 professional associations listed for France.

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Type of Manufacturers

Original Equipment Manufacturers
OEMs in France are generally manufacturers of spare parts for the automobile, aeronautical, IT and electronic industries. Among the French OEMs , there are large groups such as, for example, Valeo (automobile) or Atos (IT).
Original Design Manufacturers
A large number of subcontractors have had to adapt to the requirements of their industrial clients and take a bigger part in the industrial production process. They have gone from the simple task of making parts to that of helping with decision making or marketing. In France, it is often subcontractors of IT or electronic components who have become designer subcontractors.
Subcontracting in France is extensive and dynamic. It is particularly well-developed in the fields of the iron and steel industry, the plastics industry, foundry work, spinning and weaving for the automobile, aeronautical, rail, electronic and textile industries.
French subcontractors provide high-quality services or products as their workforce is highly qualified. Some subcontractors are also chosen for their renown. They are appreciated for their ability to innovate which, nevertheless, would deserve investment in Research and Development which they cannot always carry out because of the need to reduce production costs.
Useful Resources
Industrial subcontracting trade fair

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Identifying a Supplier

French multisector Business directories - France - Directory of companies in France

Annuaire des Entreprises de France - Directory of French companies

Le French Tech - French startup directory

The professional pages - B2B directory

The Yellow Pages - Business directory in France

French Marketplaces

Sample of marketplaces incorporated in France (A to Z)


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Upcoming Trade shows in France

December 4th, 2023
Hygiene, perfumes, cosmetics - Textiles, ready-to-wear: unspecified - Textile, fur, accessories - Fashion, ready to wear - Shoe - Paramedic - Hydrotherapy, thalassotherapy - Products and services for weddings - Amusement parks, fairgrounds - Gardens, parks - Tourism, travel, hotels, restaurants: non-specialist - Hotels, accommodation - Restaurants, home deliveries - Cafes, bars, nightclubs - Travel, exhibitions, incentives - Monuments, tourist attractions - Camping, resorts - Products and services for seniors
December 5th, 2023
Audio-visual, Multimedia - Audio-visual, sound, video - Radio, television - Press, journalism - Specialised information, business alerts
December 5th, 2023
Administration - International organisations - Ministry, consulate, embassy - Territorial administration - Horticulture, forestry, forest - Horticulture - Forestry, forest - Dance - Construction, real estate, architecture and urban planning - Architecture - Land planning, urban planning - Construction, public works - Masonry, carpentry, pipework - Waterproofing, roofing, plumbing, carpentry - Painting, door and window frames, wall and floor coverings - Electrical installations - Heating, air conditioning, ventilation - Sanitary equipment, kitchen, swimming pool - Real estate - Furnishings - Household equipment - Fruits and vegetables - Paramedic - Hydrotherapy, thalassotherapy - Home and garden services - Home services - Sports and recreation - Water sports, mountain - Team sports - Outdoor sports - Equestrian sports - Motorsports - Individual sports - Amusement parks, fairgrounds - Gardens, parks - Monuments, tourist attractions - Camping, resorts - Products and services for seniors
December 5th, 2023
Viticulture - Food industry - Food industry: unspecified - Alcoholic drinks - Non-alcoholic drinks - Bakery, pastry, confectionery - Cereals, spices, tobacco - Fruits and vegetables - Dry groceries, packaged goods - Dairy products - Fish and seafood - Meat and poultry - Wines, spirits - Packaging, packing, conditioning
December 6th, 2023
Natural resource management, ecology - Energy - Oil - Gas - Electric energy - Renewable energy - Hydrogen
December 6th, 2023
Equipment - Networks - Telecommunications - Internet, cybersecurity - Embedded systems
December 6th, 2023
Aeronautics, aero spatial - Aerospace - Space - Automobile subcontracting, lorries - Naval construction, boating - Precision, measures, optics, watches - Industry service - Service Industry: unspecified - Outsourcing, hardware equipping - Maintenance - Engineering - Air transport, airports - Maritime transport, river transport, cruises - Recycling
December 11th, 2023
Multimedia - Communication - Marketing - Advertising - Sponsorship - Incentive - Jewellery - Hygiene, perfumes, cosmetics - Precision, measures, optics, watches - Textiles, ready-to-wear - Textiles, ready-to-wear: unspecified - Textile, fur, accessories - Fashion, ready to wear - Shoe - Hosiery, lingerie, underwear - Commercial property, patents, trademarks - Internet, cybersecurity - Digital solutions, Mobile applications - e-commerce
December 12th, 2023
Insurance, mutual funds, pension funds - Banks - Investment funds, other financial institutions - Stock Exchange, investments - Financing, aid - Import/export, international trade - Food industry - Food industry: unspecified - Alcoholic drinks - Non-alcoholic drinks - Bakery, pastry, confectionery - Cereals, spices, tobacco - Fruits and vegetables - Dry groceries, packaged goods - Dairy products - Fish and seafood - Meat and poultry - Hygiene, perfumes, cosmetics - Pharmacies, analysis laboratories - Research, innovation - Technique and technology - Natural sciences - Accounting, taxation - Management - Engineering - Translation - Legal - Rental companies - Cleaning, surveillance, protection - Recruitment, temporary employment, outplacement - Financial information, financing, recovery
December 12th, 2023
Naval construction, boating - Transportation, logistics, handling - Air transport, airports - Maritime transport, river transport, cruises - Road transport - Rail transport - Logistics, handling - Freight

To see 2.046 more, check out our Trade shows database

Other Useful Resources

Trade Agencies and Their Representations Abroad
Invest in France
Business France
CCI France International

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Controlling the Quality of the Products

Quality Control Organizations
Bureau Veritas

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Organizing Goods Transport To and From France

Main Useful Means of Transport
The transport (national and international) of goods in France is dominated by road transport, with more than 2 billion goods transported every year. Road transport of goods is above all practical. Due to the size of the country and its location in the middle of Europe, but also due to its importance as a country with large manufacturing industries, French roads continue to be among the most important for European-wide international road freight transport: 18.3 % of all tonne-kilometres performed in international road freight transport took place in France, according to latest data by Eurostat. Plans for putting trucks on trains and reviving the use of waterways could advance the development of a form of transport other than roads, but their potential remains limited.

International goods transport for its part is dominated by sea transport. This means of transport is economical, and France is easy to access because of its extensive sea coast. Five of the fifteen biggest European ports are located in France; they are linked with each other and serve the other large European centres of consumption in the North and in the South thanks to an extensive network of shipping lines. The ports represent 85% in volume and 66% in value of French foreign trade. However, according to Eurostat, France recorded a decline (-7.8%) in the tonnes of goods handled in its main ports in the fourth quarter of 2019, compared to the same quarter of the previous year. The gross weight of goods in France was 71.1 million tonnes in 2019, an overall annual change of -2.7%.

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By Rail

Transport Professionals
Government Transport Organisations
Ministry of Ecological Transition

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Latest Update: November 2023