What changes in France in July

Speed limits fall on 400,000km of secondary roads; the cost of gas and cigarettes will rise; energy tax credit for home improvements; better information for holidaymakers

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Each new month brings a raft of changes in France. These are the changes taking place in July.

Speed limits
From July 1, the speed limit on secondary routes in France will drop from 90kph to 80kph. The new maximum speeds will apply on two-way secondary roads that do not have a central separator - nearly half of the French road network.

The scheme, announced on January 9 as part of a wider government plan to reduce the number of road deaths, has generated criticism from motorists and biker associations, but Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has said he is prepared to accept the unpopularity of the law in order to save up to 400 lives a year.

Gas prices

Following a 2% price rise in June, the average regulated price of gas could rise 6.5% in July, if the government follows the recommendations of the commission de régulation de l’énergie (CRE).

Regulated tariffs are set to disappear over the coming years following a Conseil d'Etat ruling in July 2017 that stated they were contrary to European law. The government is planning to phase them out completely by 2023.

The cost of the cheapest cigarettes on the market will increase between €0.20 and €0.30 a packet on July 1, bringing them closer to the average price of €7.90 for a pack of 20. Prices currently range from €7.60 to €9.30 depending on the brand. Nearly half the brands on sale in France now cost €8 or more for 20.

By the end of 2020, the price of a pack is set to rise to €10 per pack. Planned increases of €0.50 are already timetabled for April and November 2019, and April 2020, followed by a €0.40 rise in November 2020.

Tax credit
Time is effectively over for anyone planning to replace single-glazing windows of THPE boilers and benefit from energy transition tax credit CITE. From July 1, these improvements will no longer be eligible for energy transition tax credits - unless an estimate from a craftsman or construction company with EGR accreditation - has been accepted and an advance payment made before June 30.

Operators selling package tours will, from July 1, be obliged to provide greater information on a range of issues, including conditions applicable to passports and visas, the likely time it will take to apply for any necessary visas, more accurately describe what is included in accommodation terms.

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