What are limits for cash payments in France - and why this may change

The current laws enable ‘black market’ activities to proliferate, a senator claims

The current legislation does not go far enough on cash transactions, a French senator says

The limit for cash payments in France could be set to change, as a senator claims that the current legislation is enabling ‘a parallel market’.

Senator Christian Bilhac has presented a bill that aims to reduce the maximum authorised limit for all transactions. He has said that this will reduce the exchange of ‘dirty money’ and black market activities.

As well as being a senator, Mr Bilhac is also vice-chairman of the Finance Committee and member of the Rassemblement Démocratique et Social Européen (RDSE) group. The bill is supported by the RDSE.

What are the current cash limits in France?

Since January 1, 2024, the European Union has fixed the limit for cash transactions to €10,000. 

However, it allows individual member states to go further, and France chose to bring the limit down to just €1,000.

However, private transactions between individuals are legally allowed to go above this amount (without exceeding €10,000). 

For amounts of €1,500 or more, the parties involved must set out the purpose of the transaction in writing before exchanging money.

Transaction ‘can escape legislation’

Mr Bilhac has said that these limits are not restrictive enough, and still enable and encourage the proliferation of black market cash exchange. He said that “the sums exchanged during transactions are very often much smaller and can escape the provisions of the [current] legislation”. 

Reducing the limit to €1,000 for everyone - no matter if the transaction is professional or between private individuals - would help to stop these situations, he said.

However, no change has yet been discussed or announced, as the dissolution of the Assemblée national by President Macron has put the bill’s debate on hold for now.