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Recap: Baby gifts, taxi fees, meat labels… 10 recent changes in France

There has also been an increase in motorway tolls and the launch of a new online ‘health space’ for residents

10 new changes to be introduced in March Pic: Artie Medvedev /Shutterstock

1: Origin must be shown for meat

All meat served in restaurants, as well as school, work and residential home canteens, must now show information about its country of origin. This has been in place for many years for beef but is now in force for pork, chicken and lamb. It only concerns meat that was bought in raw and not bought-in ready-made dishes.

French meat producers have welcomed the move, saying it will help people identify their meat, which they say is often produced with higher standards than many imported meats.

Read more: France’s first mobile abattoir means ‘less stress for animals’

2: Tolls returning in Spain

Free trips along Spanish motorways are coming to an end for people who travel from France into the country.

The Spanish government says it will soon start re-establishing toll booths after a period in which the roads have been free of charge. 

However, it is considering making the charge minimal, around a centime per kilometre –about one euro for Girona to Barcelona, for example. The firm managing the network is pressing for up to nine centimes instead.

3: Prices up on French autoroutes

Motorway péage increases have been put in place across France (they are reviewed every February). They include a 1.89% increase on the Cofiroute network (north west), 2.19% on ASF (south and west), 1.91% on Sanef (north and east), 2.05% on APRR (centre east) or 2.05% at Escota (south east).

The largest operating group, Vinci Autoroutes, which manages several of these, said tariffs would not rise on a certain number of short trips along their motorways this year to help mitigate the overall rise. The average 2% rise is up, compared to a 0.44% increase last year.

Read more: 2022 changes for drivers in France: Higher taxes and speed limiters

4: Gun register website now open

A new website is open for gun owners to register firearms: sia.detenteurs.interieur.gouv.fr.

Hunters were the first to be able to use it and it is now opening for clay-pigeon shooters and biathletes. All owners will have to register by July 1, 2023, including those who inherited a gun or have guns as collector’s pieces.

Read more: Is there a way to check if a hunt is taking place near me in France?

5: Culling male chicks banned

Some 50 million male chicks a year will be spared from culling as a generalised ban on the practice has come in for the egg industry.

In practice, firms have until the end of this year to fully comply.

Farmers will use machines that check the sex of embryos in the egg so male chicks are not born.

Read more: 50 million male chicks saved as France bans egg industry from culling

6: Health space rolled out

Everyone in the French health system should have access to online medical records space Mon espace santé this month.

If you have not received an activation code, visit monespacesante.fr and click générer un nouveau code provisoire. You will need your French social security number and carte Vitale serial number for this.

Read more: Seven questions and answers about France’s new online health space
Read more: New online health space: What it changes for residents in France

6: Choice of tax regimes

Self-employed people (and this includes people who let out furnished accommodation), who have the right to the simplified micro-Bic regime and who are considering opting for the alternative réel ‘real’ expenses regime have longer to decide.

They can now do this (for 2022’s income) when they declare their 2021 income in April-June 2022, as opposed to by February 1, 2022. Firms under the réel but who passed into micro income brackets last year also have longer to decide whether to stay on the réel with regard to 2021's income: until income declaration time as opposed to February 1, 2022.

Read more: Reader experiences: What it is like to be your own boss in France

7: Electricity promise maintained

As promised, electricity tariffs for 23 million households on EDF’s regulated tariffs have been limited by the government to a rise of 4% this winter, despite steep hikes across Europe.

Read more: Regulated prices keep France’s electricity cheaper than EU neighbours

8: Taxi rates fixed for the year

The minimum charge for taxis has been frozen this year (at €7.30), as have rates for trips related to the Paris and Nice airports and Paris reservation supplements. Other rates have been set at €4.18 for a pick-up, €1.12 per kilometre travelled, and €37.46/hour for waiting time (if booked by the customer) or slow progress.

Read more: Can taxis from Paris airports charge more for extra passengers?

9: New parents given baby boxes

New parents are now being given ‘baby boxes’ of essential items to help the child in his or her first few years of life. This includes a baby sleeping bag, a scrapbook, soap and moisturiser.

10: Price rise for some cigarettes

Prices of some tobacco products have risen. Austin pouches have risen 20-30 centimes. Fortuna Cool and JPS Cool cigarettes cost 10 centimes more, at €9.80. Gauloises bleues and rouges are now €10, rather than €9.90.

Related stories:

Tax, homes, cars: 19 changes in France for residents in January 2022

Recap: 14 changes and updates for residents in France in February

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