General Information

1) Dear FBCCI,


I am an English artist and I am hoping to move to France next year.  In France, I am hoping to continue working as a professional artist.  Would you possibly be able to provide me with some information on the following:



-work contract

-any other information



English speaking artists who are established professionally and resident in France  are considered  to be self-employed workers unless they have a binding  contract of employment.

In order to be able to trade within the law, they are required to register their activity at the Chambre des Métiers in the “département” in which they live. Shortly after registering their professional  activity at the Centre des Formalités des Entreprises (CFE), l’INSEE (the National Institute of Statistics) issue a SIREN company registration number and an APE code which qualifies the type of activity. These identification  numbers enable professsionals to obtain official certificates which proves their commercial registration.( called D1 or Kbis) .

From a tax point of view, artists’ income is subject to income tax in the category of non-commercial profits (BNC) which apply to other self-employed workers and the ensuing tax provisions apply.

From a social welfare point of view, artists who embark on a creative career, producing graphic or plastic arts works do not have to register with URSSAF, the organism which collects some social contributions. They register by declaring the start of their activity to the “Maison des Artistes” (professional artists’ association)  the first time they invoice a client for a work of art, or obtain a contract to sell one of their works.


La Maison des Artistes ( manages the graphic and plastic arts branch of activity.


The Franco-British Chamber of Commerce & Industry can also assist British artists setting up in France and help them with their administrative formalities, providing them with a network of qualified experts. You can contact the Chamber by e-mail at [email protected] or visit its web site;




2) Importing Food and Drink


What are the import regulations?

Import regulations

As the European Union (EU) is a Customs Union, you can buy most goods from other member countries without restrictions - although VAT and excise duty can still apply. See our guide on acquiring goods within the EU.

If importing from outside the EU, you may have to comply with import licensing requirements and common customs tariffs applicable across the EU. See our guide on importing your goods from outside the EU.

Many products in the food and drink sector, imported from outside the EU, require a Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) licence.css. See our guide on agriculture, horticulture and fisheries.

The import of_food_and_drink_from_third_countries__outside_the_EU.css) is highly regulated to ensure that health rules in place within the EU are met by imports. Areas include:

  • live animals and animal products
  • plants
  • fruit and vegetables
  • organic produce

Other controls apply to the import of food and drink. See the page in this guide on import regulations for health and consumer protection.

Imported consignments transported in wooden packaging may also need a phytosanitary certificate.

As well as the specific requirements that apply to some products, all food imported into the UK must be safe to eat and conform to food-law requirements. Find information about food industries on the Food Standards Agency website - Opens in a new window or contact your Local Authority Environmental Health Department.

You can also find out how to comply with all the regulations and licence.css.

Customs import licence.csss

Import restrictions can be product-specific or trade-specific. Goods subject to product-specific standards need to be supported by applicable certificates, product licence.csss and documentation.

Quantitative restrictions or limitations and anti-dumping duties may also apply. See our guide on anti-dumping and countervailing duties.

For help identifying whether you require an import licence.css; see our guide: do you need an export or import licence.css?

Use the Tariff to classify goods and check which licence.csss, duties and measures apply. See our guide for an introduction to the Tariff.

Trading some goods may be prohibited without a specific licence.css from the competent authority, eg the Rural Payments Agency and Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. It's important to know of any licensing required for goods you're importing - it's your responsibility to comply with all licensing regulations.


3) Convention de stage




I have recently graduated from a University in France and I have been offered an internship in London.  The company has asked me to provide them with a ‘convention de stage’ or an English equivalent.  Considering that I am no longer a student, I don’t know where I can obtain this kind of document from. Are there any other documents I could use instead of a ‘convention de stage’?


Dear Florent


One cannot draw a direct comparison between employment law in England and Wales and that of France.  Employment law in England and Wales is very different from French employment law and the best thing to do is for you to seek advice from an employment solicitor who can familiarise himself with the particular facts of your situation.


Under English law therefore there is no equivalent to a "convention de stage" and no specific type of contract which is entered into for the purposes of work experience, so it is not quite clear what the company is offering you.


However, assuming this is paid work experience, one way that a company could deal with your situation is to offer you a fixed term contract with a probationary period.  The time which you are being offered as work experience (for example, 3 to 6 months and in any event less than a year) could form the probationary period.  After the probationary period, the company could then terminate the contract or could keep you on under the terms of the fixed term contract.  The company may not be prepared to do this, however, as this would entitle you to the statutory rights of an employee.

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