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1. Defining the activity
The wine and spirits broker, known as a "campaign broker", is a professional intermediary whose activity is to connect the different players in wine and wine production.
In particular, it is responsible for finding and connecting producers and traders and ensuring that the transaction is carried out properly.
As soon as the latter is concluded, the professional receives a brokerage remuneration.
To go further Articles 1 and 5 of Act 49-1652 of December 31, 1949 regulating the profession of wine broker known as a "campaign broker."
Two degrees. Professional qualifications
a. National requirements
To be a wine and spirits broker, the professional must:
- enjoying his civil rights;
- Be a French national or a regular on French territory;
- hold a business card.
To go further Article 2 of the aforementioned Act of 31 December 1949.
Good to know
Ordinance No. 2015-1682 of December 17, 2015 simplifying certain pre-authorization and reporting regimes for businesses and professionals, which came into effect on January 1, 2016, provided for the replacement of the business card with registration in the National Register of Wine Brokers. However, the implementing texts relating to the implementation of this declaration have not yet been adopted and are still under discussion.
To go further Article 3 of Ordinance No. 2015-1682 of December 17, 2015 simplifying certain pre-authorization and reporting regimes for companies and professionals; Article 3 of the aforementioned Act of 31 December 1949.
No professional qualifications are required to work as a wine and spirits broker, however training in the trade and/or wine and wine sector is recommended.
Internship with a wine broker
In order to obtain his professional card, the person concerned must do an internship with a wine broker.
This internship is accessible through an employment contract or as part of continuous or initial training.
It lasts six months and covers:
- Aspects of the practice of the profession of wine and spirits broker;
- general notions of the wine and wine industry, as well as the inter-professional agreements in force in the region in which the professional is doing his internship.
To go further Article 2 of Decree No. 2007-222 of February 19, 2007 relating to the practice of the profession of wine and spirits broker.
To obtain a business card, the wine and spirits broker must:
- request (see infra "5 degrees). a. Request for the business card");
- submit to a panel of judges presided over by a consular judge and composed of:- an winemaker,
- a representative of the wine and spirits broker profession,
- president of the territorial Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI).
The purpose of this review is to assess the candidate's knowledge and professional experience in order to practice as a wine and spirits broker, and focuses on:
- assessing his oenological knowledge
- his ability to taste;
- his knowledge of commercial law and brokerage contracts.
When the applicant has passed this examination, the ICC President issues his professional card within one month of the review board's decision.
To go further Article 2 of Decree 51-372 of March 27, 1951 regulating public administration for the application of Law 49-1652 of December 31, 1949 regulating the profession of wine broker known as a "campaign broker."
b. EU nationals: for temporary and occasional exercise (Free Service Delivery)
There is no provision for the national of a Member State of the European Union (EU) or a State party to the European Economic Area (EEA) agreement for a temporary and occasional exercise in France.
As such, the national is subject to the same requirements as the French national (see infra "5o. a. Qualification process and formalities").
c. EU nationals: for a permanent exercise (Free Establishment)
Any EU or EEA national, legally established and engaged in the activity of wine and spirits broker, may carry out the same activity in France on a permanent basis.
In order to do so, the person concerned must:
- meet the following conditions:- not be prohibited from practising a commercial or industrial profession,
- not engage in any activity incompatible with the practice of the wine and spirits broker,
- Be legally established within the Member State
- justify either:- have been in business for two years in a row,
- Have a certificate of competency or a training certificate issued by the Member State that regulates access or practice to the profession,
- Where the state does not regulate the activity, hold a certificate of competency or a training document justifying that it has been prepared for the exercise of this activity,
- be a diploma, a title or a certificate to carry out the activity of wine and spirits broker and issued by a third state and recognised by a Member State, and have carried out this activity for at least three years in that Member State.
Once the national fulfils these conditions, he must apply for the issuance of a business card (see infra "5o. a. Request for the business card").
To go further Article 2-2 of Decree 51-372 of 27 March 1951 regulating public administration for the application of Law 49-1652 of 31 December 1949 regulating the profession of wine brokers known as "campaign brokers".
Three degrees. Conditions of honorability
To practice, the professional does not have to:
- prohibited from practising a commercial or industrial profession or directing, administering, managing or controlling a commercial or industrial enterprise;
- purchase or sell wines and spirits on his own account, except for family or wine needs from his property;
- have a licence as a wholesale or retail wine and spirits dealer.
To go further Article 2 of Act 49-1652 of December 31, 1949 regulating the profession of wine broker known as a "campaign broker."
No wine and spirits brokering can:
- officials and agents of the state or local authorities;
- employees of social security funds and family allowances;
- board members, directors, managers and employees of cooperative winery or cooperative winery unions or groups of cooperative winemaking cellars;
- members of the boards of directors of agricultural credit unions;
- employees of wine merchants;
- winemakers or winemaker chemists;
- forwarders, stockers or acconiers;
- beverages, restaurateurs and hoteliers;
- directors, employees or employees of newspapers relating to viticulture and the wine and spirits trade.
To go further Article 1 of Decree 51-372 of March 27, 1951 regulating public administration for the application of Law 49-1652 of December 31, 1949 regulating the profession of wine broker known as a "campaign broker."
It's a four-degree one. Sanctions
As soon as he ceases to meet the conditions of honorability required to practice, the professional is obliged, at the request of the President of the ICC, to justify within one month that he always fulfils these conditions.
In the absence of any justification after this deadline, the ICC President may either:
- pronounce the withdrawal of the card and order its return;
- remove the professional from the list of wine and spirits brokers.
To go further Article 3 of the decree of 27 March 1951.
Five degrees. Qualification recognition procedures and formalities
a. Request for business card
The professional must submit his request to the President of the ICC of the region in which he wishes to practice.
His application must include:
- if it is registered in the Register of Trade and Companies (RCS) or if it is mentioned as an officer or partner of a company, a registration extract dating back less than three months or, failing that, a document attesting to the honour that it is not the subject of no ban on practising a commercial profession;
- a certificate justifying that he has completed an internship with a professional broker (see supra "2.0). Internship with a wine broker"). This document is not required for the EU national;
- for the EU national, a document justifying that he has been a wine and spirits broker for two consecutive years;
- Failing that, a certificate of competence or a training certificate issued by a Member State justifying its preparation for the practice of the profession;
- A copy of his ID card
- two recent identity photographs.
Time and procedure
Once the aptitude exam has been validated, the ICC President issues his professional card. The professional is then placed on the list of wine and spirits brokers established by the CCI network.
If the applicant is an EU national, his card is issued by the ICC President within two months of receiving his full application.
This card signed by the President of the ICC mentions:
- The identity of the professional, his date and place of birth, his address;
- if applicable, its registration number to the RCS and in the case of registration as a legal person, its name and the address of the company's headquarters;
- The identification of the ICC that issued its card;
- Order number and date of issue.
To go further Decree No. 2007-222 of February 19, 2007 relating to the practice of the profession of wine and spirits broker; Order of 19 February 2007 relating to the practice of the profession of wine and spirits broker; Articles 1 and 2 of the Order of 19 February 2007 relating to the practice of the profession of wine and spirits broker.
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.
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.
SOLVIT in France: General Secretariat for European Affairs, 68 rue de Bellechasse, 75700 Paris ( official website ).