France ensures further control over foreign investment into new technologies including 3D printing

A wide range of areas of activity are considered sensitive by the French government because they allow for the exercise of public authority or are qualified as potential danger to the national interest with respect to public order and security or to national defence.

These sectors enable the development of emerging technologies and increasingly attract foreign investment into the country. Following the decree of 29 November 2018, the French government has therefore decided to extend its control over foreign investment into these ‘sensitive’ industries.

The decree came into effect on 1 January 2019 and includes this list of activities:

  • Technological devices “able” to intercept correspondence, communication or electronic data;
  • IT security systems’ products and services;
  • R&D in relation to cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, robotics, additive manufacturing/3D printing, and semiconductors;
  • Equipment, products or services, which are essential to guarantee the integrity, security, and continuity of aerospace operations;
  • Equipment, products or services, which are essential to guarantee the integrity, security, and continuity of the specific IT and electronic systems needed by the national police, the military police, the civil security services or for the public security work of customs officials;
  • Data hosting services of data where its compromise or disclosure is likely to affect public order, public security or national defence; and
  • R&D in relation to dual-use goods and technologies.

According to the national law review, “foreign investment in such sectors needs prior approval from the Minister for the Economy, who may also require any such transaction to be subject to certain conditions. Until now, these conditions could only relate to criteria such as “preservation by the investor of the durability of activities, industrial capacities, research and development capabilities or associated know-how”. However, the recent decree, adds “protection of data” as well as protection of “technologies” to these criteria.


For further information, follow us on our social media and subscribe to our newsletter! Source: National Law Review – Featured Image via Sécurité et nouvelles technologies

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