LEGAL PRACTICE: DISTRIBUTION - FINES - AGRICULTURAL SECTOR - COMMERCIAL RELATIONSHIPS - SAPIN II LAW

The “Sapin 2” Law: What it changes for commercial relationships

French Law No. 2016-1691 of 9 December 2016 on Transparency, Fight Against Corruption And Modernization Of Economic Life, known as the Sapin 2 Law, provides for significant changes in commercial law. This law was adopted in a context of agricultural crises and persistent unbalanced relationships between suppliers and distributors especially in the retail sector in France. On top of measures specifically applicable to some economic sectors or players, such as small and medium sized enterprises or the agricultural sector, the Sapin 2 Law also includes various measures with a broader scope of application. Its entry into force introduces more flexibility in the legal framework applicable to business relationships between suppliers, distributors and wholesalers but also drastically increases the fines incurred for infringing the rules on payment terms and practices that restrict competition pursuant to Article L. 442-6 of the French Commercial Code. This contribution discusses the main commercial law provisions of the Sapin 2 Law.

1. French law No. 2016-1691 of 9 December 2016 on Transparency, Fight against Corruption and on the Modernization of Economic Life (hereafter the “Sapin 2 Law”) [1] entered into force on 11 December 2016. 2. Without completely overturning the regime created in 2008 by the law No. 2008-3 of 3 January 2008 (the so-called “Chatel Law”) and the law No. 2008-776 of 4 August 2008 on the Modernization of the Economy (the so-called “LME”), as amended by the law No. 2014-344 of 17 March 2014 on Consumer Protection (hereafter the “Hamon Law”) and by the law No. 2015-990 of 6 August 2015 on Economic Growth and Activity (hereafter the “Macron Law"), the Sapin 2 Law includes a number of disparate provisions impacting the commercial relationships between suppliers and distributors. In a recent Opinion,

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Dan Roskis, Clémence De Gastines, The “Sapin 2” Law: What it changes for commercial relationships, September 2017, Concurrences Review N° 3-2017, Art. N° 84419, www.concurrences.com

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