flag France France: Buying

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

Type of Production
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.
Professional Associations by Sector
161 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
Directory of subcontracting (in French)
Industrial subcontracting trade fair

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Identifying a Supplier

Business Directories

Multi-sector Directories
All.biz - France - Directory of companies in France
Annuaire des Entreprises de France - Directory of French companies
France Directory - Business directory in France
French Commercial Chamber - Directory of millions of French companies
French Polynesia Directory - Yellow page in Polynesia
Le French Tech - French startup directory
The professional pages - B2B directory
The Yellow Pages - Business directory in France

To search directories by industry in France, check out our service Business Directories.


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Marketplaces incorporated in the country
Aero Bay
Artisans de France
Marketplaces present on the continent

To go further, check out our service Online Marketplaces.

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Fairs and Trade Shows

Trade Shows Database
Our database contains 1.8 significant fairs and trade shows taking place in France. To go further, check out our database.
Upcoming Trade Shows
February 6th, 2023
Automobiles, lorries - Automobile subcontracting, lorries - Textiles, ready-to-wear - Textiles, ready-to-wear: unspecified - Textile, fur, accessories - Fashion, ready to wear - Shoe - Leather, leather goods - Hosiery, lingerie, underwear - Industry service - Service Industry: unspecified - Outsourcing, hardware equipping - Recycling - Household linen
February 7th, 2023
Textiles, ready-to-wear - Textiles, ready-to-wear: unspecified - Fashion, ready to wear - Shoe - Hosiery, lingerie, underwear
February 8th, 2023
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 - Environment, ecology, water - Natural resource management, ecology - Urban and industrial waste - Industrial cooling, thermal processes - Energy - Oil - Renewable energy - Raw materials, materials, metals - Materials - Research, innovation
February 9th, 2023
Audio-visual, sound, video - Cinema - Multimedia - Radio, television - Databases - Software - Services - Internet, cybersecurity - Digital solutions, Mobile applications - Services and business consulting - Accounting, taxation - Management - Translation - Legal
February 11th, 2023
Higher Education - Learning - Vocational training
February 13th, 2023
Territorial administration - Institutions, other communities - Viticulture - Land planning, urban planning - Water treatment - Alcoholic drinks - Wines, spirits - Products and services for weddings - Sports and recreation - Outdoor sports - Amusement parks, fairgrounds - Gardens, parks - Hotels, accommodation - Restaurants, home deliveries - Cafes, bars, nightclubs - Travel, exhibitions, incentives - Monuments, tourist attractions - Camping, resorts
March 1st, 2023
Food industry - 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
March 1st, 2023
Education, training - Primary and secondary education - Higher Education - Learning - Technical education, vocational education - Vocational training - Social science - Social studies - Job training, unemployment
March 1st, 2023
Communication - Marketing - Advertising - Sponsorship - Incentive - Commercial property, patents, trademarks - Internet, cybersecurity
March 1st, 2023
Marketing - Incentive - Commercial property, patents, trademarks - Databases - Computers, telecommunications - Equipment - Software - Networks - Telecommunications - Internet, cybersecurity - Services and business consulting - Accounting, taxation - Management - Translation - Legal

Other Useful Resources

Trade Agencies and Their Representations Abroad
Portal of the Chambers of Commerce and Industry
Invest in France
Business France
CCI France International
Contact the French Chamber of Commerce in the United Arab Emirates.
Contact Your Commercial Representations in France
Contact the UAE Chambers.
Contact Dubai Chamber.
Contact Abu Dhabi Chamber.
Contact the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in France.

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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
The SNCF freight website
Government Transport Organisations
Ministry of Ecological Transition

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Latest Update: January 2023