The French VAT legislation requires taxable persons that have the obligation to register for VAT but are neither established nor have a fixed establishment in the European Union to appoint a fiscal representative.
However, countries that have concluded mutual assistance agreements aimed at recovering tax claims with France are included on a “white list” meaning that taxable persons established in these countries are not required to appoint a fiscal representative should they be required to register for VAT in France.
An update to the white list has taken place, with the following countries included on it:
Australia, Azerbaijan, Albania, Aruba, Curaçao, Faroe Islands, French Polynesia, Georgia, Ghana, Greenland, Iceland, India, Japan, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, New Zealand, Norway, Korea (Rep.) and St. Barthélemy, St. Martin, St. Maarten, South Africa, Tunisia and Ukraine.
Argentina has been taken off the white list.
Given that acting as a fiscal representative implies being held jointly liable with the non-EU taxable person for all VAT liabilities and potential fines, appointing a fiscal representative is generally a more complex and expensive process compared to a direct VAT registration. Therefore, determining whether a representative is required is an important test to undertake when trading in France