Pursuant to article L.441-7 of the French Commercial Code as modified by Law n° 2014-344 dated March 17, 2014 (the "Hamon Law"), any supplier which applies General Terms and Conditions of Sales ("GTCs") must provide them to his distributor(s) no later than three months before the cut-off date of March 1st of each year - deadline to conclude the "Single Commercial Agreement" - i.e. before December 1st, 2015.
Even though the drafting of GTS by the supplier is not compulsory, it is however highly recommended. Indeed, the GTCs constitute the "sole basis of commercial negotiation" (Art. L.441-6 of the French Commercial Code) and are intended to "promote the implementation of a genuine negotiation between the parties and the balance of economic relations" (see French administration "DGCCRF" Memorandum of October 2014).
Pursuant to article L.441-6 of the French Commercial Code, the GTCs must include the following:
- Terms of sales;
- Price lists;
- Price reductions ;
- Payment terms and conditions.
Please note that the DGCCRF has now the power to impose administrative fines to economic operators and focuses on the "balance of economic relations". In 2014, the DGCCRF agents have conducted 10,293 investigations within 3,810 companies to ensure, in particular, the respect of the balance of economic relations between suppliers and distributors.
The Competition / Distribution Team from Baker & McKenzie is at your disposal to assist you in your commercial negotiations for the year 2016.