LEGAL PRACTICE: INVOICING RULES - FRENCH LAW NO. 2008-776 AUGUST 4, 2008 - AMENDED ARTICLE L. 441-7 COMMERCIAL CODE - NOTION OF “DISTINCT SERVICES” - "DUTREIL LAW" AUGUST 2, 2005 - TAX CODE - VAT DIRECTIVE - LATE PAYMENT INTEREST - ARTICLE L. 441.3

Invoicing rules under the French Modernisation of Economy Law

Law no. 2008-776 dated August 4, 2008 on the modernization of the economy (“LME”) amended article L. 441-7 of the Commercial Code, inter alia by eliminating the notion of “distinct services” that had been introduced by the Dutreil law dated August 2, 2005. Certain consequences ensue from this amendment in terms of invoicing rules as well issues as regards its compatibility with the principles governing invoicing rules such as laid down by the Commercial Code, the General Tax Code and the VAT Directive. The LME has also increased the minimum late payment interest to three times the legal interest rate and introduced the obligation for debtors to pay their invoices within a maximum period computed from the date the invoice was issued. These new provisions, while not amending the letter of article L. 441.3 of the Commercial Code laying down invoicing rules, do have consequences on invoicing rules and some of them substantially modify the invoicing rules laid down by article L. 441-3 of the Commercial Code, thus raising questions about the validity of the new rules introduced by the LME.

*This article is an automatic translation of the original article, provided here for your convenience. Read the original article. I. Invoicing of services falling under the category of "separate ex-services". 1. The amendments made by Article L. 441-7 C. Com. 1. The Dutreil Act of 2 August 2005 supplemented the previous system resulting in particular from the Galland Act of 1 July 1996 and the NRE Act of 15 May 2001 by adding a new category of services that may be provided by the distributor to its supplier, referred to as "distinct services". This category was defined by default and covered any service that was not covered by the purchase and sale obligations and did not meet the definition of commercial cooperation. The legislator had an unexpected success, since the category of

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Nathalie Pétrignet, Invoicing rules under the French Modernisation of Economy Law, September 2009, Concurrences N° 3-2009, Art. N° 26514, pp. 163-167

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