Analysis
14 July 2022

Lobbying: Declaration obligations of interest representatives in France

Highlight on the disclosure obligations imposed on interest representatives in France, as provided for by Law 2013-907 of October 11, 2013, as amended by Law 2016-1691 of December 9, 2016, on transparency, the fight against corruption and the modernization of economic life, as well as the possible penalties for failure to comply with these obligations.

 

I. 2013-907 of October 11, 2013, defines what constitutes an interest representative in France

 The law of October 11, 2013, amended by law n°2016-1691 of December 9, 2016, defines the status of interest representative and grants legal recognition to his activity.

Are considered as interest representatives, the private legal entities, the public establishments or public groups exercising an industrial and commercial activity, the chambers of commerce and industry, the chambers of trades and crafts and the chambers of agriculture of which a director, an employee or a member has, as a principal or regular activity, to influence the public decision.[1]

The influence on the public decision can be exercised in particular on the content of a law or a regulatory act and through contact with several persons listed by the law, such as members of the government, deputies or senators or the President of the Republic’s staff.[2]

 

II. Law no. 2013-907 of October 11, 2013 and Decree no. 2017-867 of May 9, 2017 specify the obligations applicable to interest representatives as well as the penalties for failure to comply

Interest representatives must register and declare their activities in a public register available online on the HATVP website[3]. This public register allows any person to obtain the list of interest representatives free of charge.[4]

This registration must be made within two months of the date on which they meet the conditions to be considered as interest representatives.[5] Interest representatives must provide much information about their activity, such as their identity, or the actions carried out in the framework of their activities.[6]

In addition, any change in this information must be communicated to the HATVP within one month.[7]

Moreover, the text specifies that any person who acts as an interest representative on behalf of a third party must also communicate his or her activity to the HATVP.[8]

Finally, interest representatives must also send the HATVP, within three months of the end of their fiscal year, details of the actions they carry out, the expenses related to their activity or the number of people they employ in the exercise of their activities.[9]

To encourage interest representatives to declare themselves to the HATVP, the law provides that failure to comply with the declaration obligations exposes the representative to a criminal penalty.[10]

The HATVP is the competent authority to establish breaches of the rules governing the declaration of interest representatives.[11] It may thus choose to send a formal notice to the interest representatives concerned, which it may make public, to comply with their obligations in this area.[12]

 

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