are a tax and safety administration, in charge of several tasks. This entity is tasked with regulating the circulation of goods coming into and leaving a country, as well as with ensuring the population’s safety. They support the country’s economic activity, and collect any taxes and duties pertaining to the circulation of goods.
have greatly evolved over the years, to meet new and contemporary challenges. Nowadays, the French General Directorate for and Indirect Taxation (DGDDI) is attached to the Ministry for Public Action and Accounts. Its activity is governed by the French national Code. This being said, are also subject to international decrees, such as those enacted by the and free-trade agreements. In France, they receive 13% of the State’s budget every year, and contribute to financing the Community budget. Their three main goals are good fluidity, safety and quality in all trade operations.
are mainly entrusted with three major tasks: a tax-related task, an economic task and a task consisting of fighting against fraud and illegal trade on an international level. They are involved in the following fields:
Fighting against drug trafficking;
Fighting against tobacco trafficking;
Fighting against arms trafficking;
Fighting against counterfeiting and other unfair business practices;
Protecting populations against sanitary risks, terrorism and criminal activities;
Protecting the environment and the country’s cultural and natural heritage.
protect business by encouraging competitiveness amongst companies, within a legal framework. They strive to improve inter-State business transactions in various ways.
Their priority is to ensure compliance with the business and agricultural policy rules instated by the .
They encourage international trade by ensuring smoother flows and transactions.
They create and publish statistics concerning external trade.
They give advice to companies through their economic action .
They enforce anti-dumping laws, to discourage unfair business practices.
agents are certified to inspect any person on the national customs’ territory - both on land and out at sea. This includes:
Borders and their nearby areas known as the radius;
Airports, railway stations and ports;
Public roads: markets, fairs, outdoor café or restaurant areas, etc.
A inspection is always signaled beforehand by a board. officers wear a uniform or “Customs” sleeve, and must declare the following to civilians: “This is a inspection.” They are entitled to ask for a vehicle to stop, to ask for an ID and to conduct security pat-downs. officers are authorized to search luggage, vehicle trunks and civilians’ personal effects. They can also read private letters, in compliance with applicable provisions regarding correspondence secrecy.
If the office seriously suspects the presence of drugs hidden by a civilian, they can order a medical screening test to be carried out. If the transgressor refuses, they will be exposed to a one-year prison sentence and a fine amounting to 3,750 euros.
In 2018, French represented:
84 billion euros collected;
1,363 firearms seized;
49.2 million euros of criminal assets either seized or identified;
97.4 tons of drugs seized in France;
5.4 million counterfeit items seized.
code: consolidated version dated 20 September 2019
Law for the fight against counterfeiting dated 29 October 2007