Overview about Corona measures in France

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Special Measures for Companies

Financial help (loans etc…)

Fast track procedures of credit appraisals for companies with tight cash flow situations (5 days)

Postponement of up to 6 months of credit repayments for companies.

No penalties for the postponements and extensions.

State Guarantee measures taken by Bpifrance .

  • Suspension of loan due date

Relief to accompany a slowdown or absence in business activity

State Guarantee measures taken by Bpifrance.

90% guarantee for liquidity loans granted by French private banks to affected companies.

  • For loans from 3 to 7 years
    • For overdrafts of periods from 12 to 18 months by the company’s bank
    • Guarantees extended to mid-cap companies

Restructuring of medium and long term for customers of Bpifrance loans depending on context.

Redundancy fund measures:

  • Creditors’ representatives are exempt from having to obtain the insolvency judge’s signature before sending a request for advance payments

Partial Unemployment Employees under the scheme are payed an allowance of up to 84% of their net hourly wage or 100% of the minimum wage.

Those are only compensated within the legal limit of 35h weeks.

Compensation is not subject to Social security but only to CSG and CRDS at a 6.7% rate.

The employer is compensated by an allowance from the Services and Payments Agency (ASP) covering 70% of the gross hourly wage and thus in theory 100% of the employee compensation limited to 4.5 times the SMIC (€4,849.17).

Tax Measures

Direct business taxes can be deferred for 3 months without penalty (income tax, CFE, CVAE, property tax, taxes on salaries).

Companies under monthly CFE and property tax can suspend it for the time being without penalty, the outstanding balance will have to be paid along with the other monthly payments before the end of the year.

The Direction générale des Finances publiques has instructed all regions to accelerate due tax credit reimbursements. This includes:

  • VAT reimbursements
  • Crédit d’Impôt Recherche and Crédit d’Impôt Innovation (Start ups in particular)
  • Invoices awaiting payment from the state, public bodies and local authorities can also be reported to the EIS in order to try and speed up payment

Companies struggling to make payments regarding taxes or debs of “sécurité sociale” are encouraged to contact the Commissions des chefs de services financiers.

  • The competent administrations involved should set up a payment plan over several months with specific conditions
  • In order to benefit from this settlement, the debtor should be up to date in all tax filings and social security declarations
  • The request to the CCSF can be made by the debtor for debt requests below 500k € and by an ad hoc representative for any sum above that
Specific Insolvency measures

Temporary changes have been made to the insolvency laws during the health emergency state:

A suspension of insolvency filing obligation binding on companies and their managers.

Preserving the availability of pre-insolvency proceedings even if the company becomes insolvent.

Safeguard plans implemented during the health emergency can be extended by the court between 3 months and 1 year at the request of the public prosecutor’s office.

Conciliation procedures extended to 3 months after the end of the state of health emergency (so consequences of the health crisis can be taken into account during decisions between companies and creditors).

The following deadlines are extended to 1 month after the end of the state of health emergency:

  • Observation period deadlines
  • Safeguard plan implementation deadlines
  • Recovery plan deadlines
  • Pending judicial liquidation proceedings operation continuity deadlines
  • Asset sale plans approved following the exit of safeguard or judicial recovery proceedings
  • Simplified liquidation proceedings deadlines

Béatrice Dunogué Gaffié is president of the European Insolvency Practitioners Association

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