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Foreign Trade in Figures | Trade Compliance | Standards

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 2011, France registered a record trade deficit, imports rising more quickly than the fast decreasing exports.

France's main trade partners are the European Union, the United States and China.

 
Foreign Trade Indicators 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Imports of Goods (million USD) 630,862 715,509 560,081 605,849 714,734
Exports of Goods (million USD) 559,612 615,870 484,574 520,524 597,058
Imports of Services (million USD) 128,256 140,324 126,000 131,421 140,700
Exports of Services (million USD) 148,194 165,351 141,974 144,415 160,948
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 5.5 0.9 -10.8 8.8 -
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 2.3 -0.3 -12.4 9.7 -
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 28.4 29.1 25.2 27.8 -
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 26.9 26.9 23.3 25.5 -
Trade Balance (million USD) -56,808 -87,277 -59,942 -71,210 -
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) -35,427 -65,145 - - -
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 55.3 56.0 48.5 53.3 -

Source: WTO - World Trade Organization ; World Bank , Last Available Data

 

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2011
Germany 16.5%
Italy 8.2%
Spain 7.3%
Belgium 7.2%
United Kingdom 6.6%
See More Countries 54.2%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2011
Germany 16.9%
China 8.0%
Belgium 7.8%
Italy 7.2%
Spain 6.0%
See More Countries 54.1%

Source: Comtrade, Last Available Data

 

Main Products

Main Exports
(% of Exports)
2011
Powered aircraft "e.g. helicopters and aeroplanes... Powered aircraft "e.g. helicopters and aeroplanes"; spacecraft, incl. satellites, and suborbital and spacecraft launch vehicles 7.5%
Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed... Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses "incl. those in the form of transdermal administration" or in forms or packings for retail sale (excl. goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006) 4.5%
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally... Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 4.0%
Parts and accessories for tractors, motor vehicles... Parts and accessories for tractors, motor vehicles for the transport of ten or more persons, motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, motor vehicles for the transport of goods and special purpose motor vehicles of heading 8701 to 8705, n.e.s. 3.2%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous... Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing > = 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 2.9%
See More Products 77.9%
Main Imports
(% of Imports)
2011
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous... Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 7.4%
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally... Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 5.1%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous... Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing > = 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 4.7%
Petroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons Petroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons 3.4%
Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed... Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses "incl. those in the form of transdermal administration" or in forms or packings for retail sale (excl. goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006) 2.8%
See More Products 76.6%

Source: Comtrade, Last Available Data

 
 

To go further, check out our service Import export flows .

 

Exchange Rate System

Local Currency
Euro (EUR)
Exchange Rate Regime
Floating exchange rate system
Level of Currency Instability
Exchange risks limited since the euro is a major currency.
Exchange Rate on :

 
 
 

Find out all the exchange rates daily on our service Currency converter .

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Trade Compliance

International Conventions
Member of World Trade Organisation
Member of OECD
Party to the Kyoto Protocol
Party to the Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
Party to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal
Party to the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer
Party to the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls For Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies
Party of the International Coffee Agreement 2001
Main International Economic Cooperation
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.
Party of the ATA Convention on Temporary Admissions and Use of the Carnets
Yes

As a Reminder, the ATA is a System Allowing the Free Movement of Goods Across Frontiers and Their Temporary Admission Into a Customs Territory With Relief From Duties and Taxes. The Goods Are Covered By a Single Document Known as the ATA Carnet That is Secured By an International Guarantee System.
Look Up the Other Member Countries And Read the Web Pages of the World Customs Organization Devoted to the ATA Carnet.
Party of the TIR Convention
Yes

As a Reminder, the TIR Convention and its Transit Regime Contribute to the Facilitation of International Transport, Especially International Road Transport, Not Only in Europe and the Middle East, But Also in Other Parts of the World, Such as Africa and Latin America.
The UNCTAD Website Allows You to Read the TIR Convention , See the List of Member Countries And to Find Further Information.
Accompanying Documents For Imports
Within the European Union, goods originating in the E.U community can move freely, and are exempt from customs formalities.

The documents which have to accompany the goods when they are delivered inside the E.U community are the following:
-Bill of lading or airway bill
-Certificate of origin
- Commercial invoice
- Declaration of an antique

For a transaction outside the E.U community, you have to add:
- Import licenses
- Certifications
- Single Administrative Document (SAD)
- Health certificate

To go further, check out our service Shipping documents .

Free Zones
Free zone of Verdon
Free zone of Guiana
For Further Information
French Customs website
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of the Economy, Finance and Industry
Non Tariff Barriers
At the European level, agricultural products are protected within the Common Agricultural Policy and textile products from China, Belarus, North Korea, Montenegro, Kosovo and Uzbekistan are subject to particular formalities and import licenses or control procedures (export document, monitoring document).
At the national level, trade in plants and seeds, aircraft, and others has to be declared; they have to be certified respectively by the GNIS(the national interprofessional organization for seeds and plants) , the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Agriculture .
Sectors or Products For Which Commercial Disagreements Have Been Registered With the WTO
Agricultural products: cereals, bananas, poultry, appellations of geographical origin, garlic, salmon, sardines, sugar, wine, corn, coffee, melted cheese, rice.
Computer material, films and television programs, merchant vessels, civil aircraft, steel and cotton.
Assessment of Commercial Policy
The WTO pages devoted to France
Barriers to exchanges , inventoried by the United States

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Learn more about How to Export to France on Globaltrade.net, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.
 
 

Standards

National Standards Organizations
AFNOR , the French standardization association.
UTE , Electricity technical union.
ETSI , European Telecommunications Standards Institute.
Integration in the International Standards Network
At the European level:
- CEN, European Committee for Standardization
- CENELEC, European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization

At the international level:
- International Standards organization (ISO)
- International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)
Obligation to Use Standards
Products are subject to the European Union's legislation (General product safety Directive, technical legislation) as well as to the national French legislation.

Conformity to standards is compulsory for products such as machines, tools, electrical appliances, sports equipment, toys etc., and this list continues to grow. Goods which have complex technology or are potentially dangerous must submit to rigorous testing and approval procedures before they can be marketed in France.

Classification of Standards
NF is the national certification mark.
CE is the European certification mark. It is compulsory for a country to be able to sell on the market.
Assessment of the System of Standardization
French people are receptive to standards being observed; the NF mark or the ISO 9000 certification are well known to consumers and firms and they are appreciated for their guarantee of the quality and safety of products and services.
Online Consultation of Standards
The AFNOR on-line shop
The on-line catalog of European standards
The ISO catalog
The most important standardization programs
Certification Organizations
See the list of independent organizations which issue the NF mark with AFNOR accreditation.
Associations of Standards Users
ACANOR, French association for the knowledge and application of standards

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Last Updates: July 2012

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