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May 17 2017
By Mel Holley

Mel is the Editor at routeONE magazine. He has more than 30 years’ experience in road and rail transport journalism.

French to slap 40-euro fee on drivers and couriers

The French government’s decision to charge a €40 fee for every worker operating in France on a temporary basis - including coach drivers and couriers - when employed by a foreign company is a restrictive practice that will severely curtail the ability of UK operators, says the Freight Transport Association (FTA)

French authorities intend to charge €40 per worker for companies providing services on the French soil which are established outside France, a move set to come into force from 1 January 2018 at the latest. 

It will apply to all workers, irrespective of their sector, who are temporarily working in France.

The fee will be used to maintain a database to handle all documents required by French authorities. It is not known how often the fee will be charged per worker.

“The fee of €40 per person is excessive and, simply put, is a protectionist measure designed to close the French transport market to any operator established outside of France,” says FTA Head of European Policy Pauline Bastidon.

“It is nothing more than a protectionist tax benefitting the domestic French market, and we wholeheartedly oppose.”

The FTA is calling on the European Commission (EC) to “react strongly” and speed up its ongoing legal case against France, to ensure that trade can continue to flow across borders in a seamless manner and to protect the integrity of the single market.

Mr Macron’s new French government, due to be appointed yesterday (16 May), will have the power to reverse this decision, which was made by its predecessors.

The new policy is the latest in a wave of protectionist legislation sweeping across France, Austria and Germany.

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