France – GVT Foreign Investments Rules

France – GVT Foreign Investments Rules

On 2 January 2020, FR GVT issued release on foreign investments in France.

  • FR GVT draws attention to publication of two decrees re foreign investments in France.
  • Follows FR GVT published decree of procedures for investments in France.


  • Decree 2019-1590 that implements PACTE law and decree of 31 December 2019 re to foreign investments in France (IEF) were both published on 1 January 2020.
  • The texts make numerous modifications to legal framework for investment control.
  • Participation threshold triggering control of IEF is lowered to 25%, new sectors enter control field, investor must make known its links with States or foreign public bodies.
  • These links may influence refusal to grant investment authorization, the authorization procedure becomes simpler, clearer and faster.

Relevant Aspects

  • First response in 30 days, procedure guarantees attractive legal framework for international investors, French firms can question administration on sensitivity of their activities, controlled participation threshold lowered to 25% compared to prior 33%.
  • New sectors protected, in line with EU standards i.e. written, digital press, food security, critical technologies, energy storage, quantum technologies fall within control.
  • Investors must report their ties to a foreign government or bodies, and minister of economy can impose penalties of max 50.000 € per day for certain cases.
  • Procedure to take place earlier as part of merger-acquisition procedure, responsibilities will be clarified.

Decree 31 December 2019

  • It focuses on procedural rules re authorization i.e. application of CMF book I, title V, chapter I, details documents and information the authorization request must include.
  • Also includes more requirements re application processing, its rules apply on 1 April 2020.


  • Measures for implementation of PACTE law come into force immediately, whereas measures applicable to authorization requests will come into force on 1 April 2020.