The French economic sanctions regime is governed by Articles 451 et seq. (Litigation Concerning Financial Relations with Foreign Countries) of the French Customs Code.

In particular, under Article 459(1) and (1 bis), it is a criminal offense to violate or attempt to violate, as perpetrator or accomplice:

(i) autonomous French regulations on financial relations with foreign countries;

(ii) restrictive measures adopted by the European Union; and 

(iii) restrictive measures provided for by international treaties and conventions that have been duly approved and ratified by France (including, notably and where applicable, the sanctions adopted by the United Nations Security Council).

Failure to comply with the terms of any of the EU, UN or otherwise applicable international regulations on economic sanctions is therefore a criminal offense under French law.

For the sake of clarity, US or other foreign sanctions do not fall within he latter category of international sanctions that are applicable in France.

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