France - Commercial Guide
Foreign Exchange Controls

Includes how foreign exchange is managed and implications for U.S. business.

Last published date: 2019-10-13
As part of the international effort to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism, France's banking regulations have undergone several changes as recommended by the Financial Action Task Force  ( ) that affect the handling of checks. New policy steps aim to reduce anonymity in financial transactions and reinforce the oversight mechanisms required of the financial community.  In addition to implementing EU Common Positions regarding terrorists or arms proliferators, France can use its powers under national law to execute asset freeze orders against terrorists.  In general, all inward and outward payments must be made through approved banking intermediaries by bank transfers.
Repatriation of Capital and Earnings
There is no restriction on repatriation of capital provided that the investment is authorized and is carried out through an approved bank.  Similarly, there is no restriction on transfers of profits, interest, royalties, or service fees, provided the investment is authorized and made through approved banks.
Foreign-controlled French businesses are required to have a resident French bank account and are subject to the same regulations as other French legal entities.  The use of foreign bank accounts by residents is permitted.
France has few controls on the use of foreign exchange.  For exchange control purposes, foreigners are residents from the time they arrive in France. French and foreign citizens are subject to the same rules.  Residents are entitled to an account in a foreign currency with a bank established in France. They are also able to establish accounts abroad.