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Forestry expert

Latest update: 2020-04-15 17:20:49

1°. Defining the activity

The forest expert is a professional who carries out expert forest missions on the property of others, furniture and buildings, as well as the property and property rights related to these properties.

Its missions include:

  • forest management and forestry,
  • mastery of works: woodwork, infrastructure...
  • Advice, expertise or assessment of forest assets in the event of purchase, sale, estate or dispute;
  • environmental and landscape impact studies;
  • health diagnostics of trees and ornaments;
  • Environmental auditing
  • the management of hunts and ponds;
  • assessing environmental damage and putting in place compensation measures (ERC);
  • management of forest groups.

To go further Article L. 171-1 of the Rural Code and Marine Fisheries.

2°. Professional qualifications

a. National requirements

National legislation

The professional must be included on the list of forest experts drawn up by the committee of the National Council of Agricultural and Forestry Land Expertise (Cnefaf).

To do so, the person must meet the following conditions:

  • justify a professional practice in a personal capacity or under the responsibility of a trainee:- at least seven years,
    • at least three years if the professional holds a title or diploma sanctioning at least four years of post-secondary education in the agricultural, agronomic, environmental, forestry, legal or economic disciplines or in the areas of land use, landscapes or urban planning;
  • not having been convicted for facts contrary to honour, probity or morals in the past five years;
  • not disciplinary or administrative sanction for dismissal, delisting, or withdrawal of accreditation or authorization;
  • have not been hit with personal bankruptcy.

To go further Article R. 171-10 of the Rural Code and Marine Fisheries.


Several courses offering titles and diplomas such as engineering degree or master's degree specialized in agronomy (B.A. 5), allow to follow a course in view of becoming a forest expert.

For example, the individual may be trained to obtain (non-exhaustive list):

  • a degree in forestry engineering from the Institute of Life and Environmental Sciences and Industries Agroparistech  ;
  • an agricultural engineering degree with a forestry specialization;
  • a diploma in Bridge, Water and Frêts Engineering (IPEF);
  • an agricultural engineering degree with knowledge of the forest environment;
  • a specialized master's degree in forest or life and environmental science and technology;

To go further It is advisable to get closer to the establishments offering these courses for more information.

Costs associated with qualification

Training leading to the profession of forest expert is paid for and the cost varies depending on the institution chosen. For more information, it is advisable to check with the institutions concerned.

b. EU nationals: for temporary and occasional exercise (Freedom to provide services)

The national of a State of the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA) may make use of his professional title in France, on a temporary and casual basis, without being on the list of forest experts, subject to:

  • to be legally established in one of these states to practise as a forest expert;
  • where neither the profession nor training is regulated in that state, having practised as a forest expert in that state for at least one year in the last ten years;
  • to be insured against the pecuniary consequences of his professional civil liability.

In order to do so, the national will have to apply for it, prior to his first benefit by declaration addressed to the Cnefaf (see infra "5°. a. Pre-declaration of activity for THE EU or EEA national for an LPS").

To go further Article L. 171-2 of the Rural Code and Marine Fisheries.

c. EU nationals: for a permanent exercise (Freedom of establishment)

Any national of a Member State of the European Union or another State party to the agreement on the European Economic Area who wishes to settle in France to practise as a forest expert will have to apply for inclusion on the national list. experts to the Cnefaf committee (see infra "5°. b. Request inclusion on the list of forest experts for the EU or EEA national for a permanent exercise (LE)).

The Cnefaf committee will make a comparison between, on the one hand, the training required in France to be included on the list and, on the other hand, that received by the applicant, as well as the knowledge, skills and skills he acquired during his work experience or lifelong learning that has been validated by a competent body.

When this examination shows a substantial difference in training in terms of the qualifications required for access to the profession and its practice in France, than the knowledge acquired by the applicant during his professional experience are not likely to fill, in whole or in part, the committee will subject the applicant to a compensation measure (adjustment course or aptitude test).

To go further Articles L. 171-3, R. 171-12-1, R. 2045 and R. 171-12-2 of the Rural code and marine fisheries.

3°. Conditions of honorability, ethical rules, ethics

Professional rules and duties

The forestry expert is bound by the rules and duties of his profession during the exercise of his activity.

As such, the forest expert is committed to:

  • Respect the independence necessary to carry out one's profession;
  • make an impartial statement;
  • Respect professional secrecy
  • refrain from any unfair practice towards his colleagues.

To go further Articles L. 171-1, R. 172-1 and following of the Rural Code and Marine Fisheries.


The practice of the profession of forest expert is incompatible with:

  • a public and ministerial officer office;
  • any function that could impair its independence, particularly those of acquiring personal or real estate in a customary manner for resale.

To go further Article L. 171-1 paragraph 2 of the Rural Code and Marine Fisheries.

4°. Insurance and penalties


The liberal forest expert must take out personal liability insurance.

On the other hand, if he practises as an employee, this insurance is only optional. In this case, it is up to the employer to take out such insurance for its employees for the acts carried out during their professional activity.

To go further Article L. 171-1 paragraph 8 of the Rural Code and Marine Fisheries.

Disciplinary sanctions

Any breach of professional rules on the part of the forest expert may be subject to disciplinary proceedings before the Cnefaf committee and a disciplinary sanction which may be:

  • Blame
  • A warning
  • a temporary suspension from three months to three years;
  • a disbarment in the event of serious professional misconduct or conviction for acts contrary to honour, probity and good morals.

To go further Article L. 171-1 paragraph 7 of the Rural Code and Marine Fisheries.

Criminal sanctions

Anyone faces a one-year prison sentence and a fine of 15,000 euros for usurping the title if they use:

  • the title of forest expert without being included on the list drawn up by the Cnefaf committee;
  • a name that may be confusing with the title of forest expert.

To go further Article L. 171-1 paragraph 9 of the Rural Code and Marine Fisheries; Article 433-17 of the Penal Code.

5°. Qualification recognition procedures and formalities

a. Pre-declaration of activity for EU or EEA nationals for an LPS

Competent authority

The professional must make a prior declaration with the Cnefaf.

Supporting documents

His application must include the following documents:

  • proof of nationality
  • A certificate certifying that it is legally established in an EU or EEA state;
  • proof that the national has been working forestry expertise for at least one year or part-time for an equivalent period of time in the last ten years when the activity or training is not regulated in his Member State Originally
  • information on the underwriting of insurance policies detailing the name and address of the insurance company, the references and the period of validity of the contract, the extent and amount of the guarantees.

These documents are attached, as needed, to their translation into the French language.

To go further Articles R. 171-17- to R. 171-17-3 of the Rural Code and Marine Fisheries.

b. Request inclusion on the list of forest experts for the EU or EEA national for a permanent exercise (LE)

Competent authority

The Cnefaf committee is responsible for deciding on the application for inclusion on the list of forest experts.

Supporting documents

The application must contain the following, if any, accompanied by their translation into French:

  • All the evidence justifying the applicant's marital status;
  • A copy of his titles or diplomas
  • proof of work experience
  • A resume detailing the professional's previous professional activities (date and place of practice);
  • a proof or, failing that, a commitment to underwrrite professional liability insurance;
  • a criminal record extract no. 3 less than three months old or any equivalent document issued by the competent authority of the EU State or the EEA of less than three months;
  • a statement of honour or any other evidence that the person is meeting the conditions of honour;
  • if necessary, a declaration of the activity envisaged in company form.


Upon receipt of the file, the committee has three months to inform the national of his decision to list it.

However, in the event of substantial differences between the national's professional training and experience and those required in France, the committee may subject the national to the compensation measure of his choice: an accommodation course, be an aptitude test.

The silence kept for a period of three months is worth accepting the decision.

The renewal of the application is subject to the production of the certificate of professional liability insurance.

To go further Articles R. 171-10 to R. 171-13 of the Rural and Marine Fisheries Code.

c. Remedies

French assistance centre

The ENIC-NARIC Centre is the French centre for information on academic and professional recognition of diplomas.


SOLVIT is a service provided by the National Administration of each EU member state or party to the EEA agreement. Its aim is to find a solution to a dispute between an EU national and the administration of another of these states. SOLVIT intervenes in particular in the recognition of professional qualifications.


The person concerned can only use SOLVIT if he establishes:

  • that the public administration of one EU state has not respected its rights under EU law as a citizen or business of another EU state;
  • that it has not already initiated legal action (administrative action is not considered as such).


The national must complete an online complaint form. Once his file has been submitted, SOLVIT contacts him within a week to request, if necessary, additional information and to verify that the problem is within his competence.

Supporting documents

To enter SOLVIT, the national must communicate:

  • Full contact details
  • Detailed description of his problem
  • all the evidence in the file (for example, correspondence and decisions received from the relevant administrative authority).


SOLVIT is committed to finding a solution within ten weeks of the day the case was taken over by the SOLVIT centre in the country in which the problem occurred.



Outcome of the procedure

At the end of the 10-week period, SOLVIT presents a solution:

  • If this solution resolves the dispute over the application of European law, the solution is accepted and the case is closed;
  • if there is no solution, the case is closed as unresolved and referred to the European Commission.

More information

SOLVIT in France: General Secretariat for European Affairs, 68 rue de Bellechasse, 75700 Paris ( official website ).