General Terms and Conditions of Sale, and Invoices: New Mandatory Provisions
Pursuant to Section L.441-6 of the French Commercial Code, general terms and conditions of sale, and invoices must bear specific information as to the conditions and interest rate applicable to financial penalties due in case of late payment as from the day following the due date.
Starting on January 1st, 2013, in addition to that specific information, general terms and conditions of sale as well as invoices must state that a special lump sum will be automatically owed to the creditor, as collection costs damages in case of late payment. That lump sum for collection costs has been set at €40 per Decree. However, the creditor will still be able to claim additional damages if it brings evidence of higher actual collection costs.
This automatic indemnity for collection costs will apply only between professionals (companies or individuals acting in the course of their professional activity), but not to consumers.
Caution: Failure to include a reference to such automatic indemnity is sanctioned by:
– a fine in an amount of €15,000, if that reference is missing from general terms and conditions of sale;
– a fine up to EUR 75,000 or 50% of the due amount, if that reference is missing from an invoice.