Trade Policy and Regulations in France
Foreign Trade in Figures
France is one of the 10 leading exporters in the world, exports accounting for more than 50% of the country's GDP.
However, the country registers a strong trade deficit. Imports are developing quickly, as the French population buys a lot of imported goods which are sold relatively cheaply on the local market in comparison to products "Made in France". In addition to this, despite the government's efforts to favor innovation, French exports have relatively low added value.
In 2009, under the effects of the economic recession, both exports and imports devreased. Exports, however, rebounded in 2010 with the resumption of Asian trade, and imports have risen dramatically in response to the upturn in activity.
France's main trade partners are the European Union, the United States and China.
|Foreign Trade Indicators||2005||2006||2007||2008||2009|
|Imports of Goods (million USD)||504,124||541,919||630,863||715,510||559,817|
|Exports of Goods (million USD)||463,428||495,868||559,624||615,913||484,725|
|Imports of Services (million USD)||105,981||112,364||128,628||140,956||126,425|
|Exports of Services (million USD)||121,363||128,051||148,539||166,429||142,487|
|Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change)||6||6||6||1||-11|
|Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change)||3||5||3||-||-|
|Trade Balance (million USD)||-27,841||-38,123||-56,808||-87,260||-61,965|
|Current Account (million USD)||-10,260||-12,988||-26,610||-54,795||-51,857|
|Foreign Trade (in % of GDP)||53||55||55||56||48|
|Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP)||27||28||28||29||25|
|Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP)||26||27||27||27||23|
Source: WTO - World Trade Organization ; World Bank
Main Partner Countries
(% of Exports)
|United Arab Emirates||1.0%|
|Other partnersClose extended list||53.8%|
(% of Imports)
|France This flow is explained by the way local Customs Authorities report trade with overseas or special territories (e.g. Hong Kong or Taiwan in the case of China, French West Indies in the case of France, etc) as well as the treatment of re-imported (or re-exported) products, which get out (or enter) of the country for a limited time, with the intention of being re-imported (or re-exported) without significant transformation overseas.||1.0%|
|Other partnersClose extended list||53.9%|
- Main International Economic Cooperation
- Member of
World Trade Organisation
Member of the European Union
Member of the European Economic Area which has guaranteed, since 1 January 1993, the free movement of most goods between European countries.
Multilateral agreements and bilateral agreements with many countries.
- Assessment of Commercial Policy
The WTO pages devoted to France
Barriers to exchanges
- Average Customs Duty (Excluding Agricultural Products)
Operations carried out within the
EEA are free of duty.
The Common Customs Tariff of the European Union applies to goods originating outside Europe. Generally the duty is relatively low, especially for industrial products (4.2% on average).
- Useful Resources
French Customs website
- National Organization of Intellectual Property
The national institute of industrial property (INPI) for patents, trademarks, models and industrial designs.
The Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers of Music (SACEM), The National Union of Authors and Composers of music (SNAC), The Society of Stage Authors and Composers (SACD), The Society of Men of Letters (SGDL), The Civil Society of Multimedia Authors (SCAM), etc., for royalties.
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Although the European Union is a customs union with a Community Customs Code and a harmonized tariff system for product classification, customs administration is a Member State activity.
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