A major reform for the craft industry: a new Code comes into force in July

Adopted on the basis of article 8 of the law of February 14, 2022 in favor of independent professional activity, theordinance of March 28, 2023 recodifies the legislative provisions applicable to the craft industry in order to reorganize them and reinforce their coherence. The new Code de l'Artisanat will make life easier for professionals. This major reform will come into force in July.

Facing a lack of clarity

At the Council of Ministers meeting on January 28, Bruno Le Maire, Minister of the Economy and Finance, and Olivia Grégoire, Minister Delegate in charge of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Craft Trades, presented an ordinance designed to " harmonize all legislative provisions applicable " to craft businesses in the Code de l'Artisanat.

Indeed, the legal framework applicable to this sector suffers from a " lack of legibility ", according to the Élysée, with provisions " scattered " between the Code de l'artisanat and non-codified legislative and regulatory texts. It has to be said that the Code stems from a decree of July 16, 1952, containing many repealed articles and unsuitable provisions.

By means of an ordinance, the executive is therefore committed to " redrafting the legislative provisions of the Crafts Code ". The project will be supervised by the Direction Générale des Entreprises (DGE), in conjunction with professional organizations representing the craft industry.

A new Crafts Code divided into 5 books

Amendments to the Code de l'artisanat (Crafts Code) should help to improve access to and understanding of the law for all. The text will be " clarified and organized into five books, distinguishing respectively the activities, persons and institutions involved in the crafts sector ". This will make it easier for players to identify the texts applicable to their activity.

More specifically, the new Code de l'artisanat will comprise the following five books:

  • Book I covers the conditions governing the exercise of craft activities (registration in the national register of companies, professional qualifications required for the exercise of certain professions);
  • Book II groups together the provisions relating to artisan status and its derivatives;
  • Book III concerns craft institutions (chambers of craft trades, regional craft trades, CMA France);
  • Book IV will be supplemented at a later date by provisions relating to Alsace-Moselle local law;
  • Book V groups together the provisions concerning the adaptations necessary for overseas France.

The new Code de l'artisanat is due to come into force on July 1, 2023, for both its legislative and regulatory parts. The government has announced the forthcoming publication of an application decree to allow time for the players concerned to adapt. This will enable them to better understand the texts governing their activity and its control.