France: Transposition of the CSRD in French law

neub9
By neub9
6 Min Read

In Brief

France is the first European Union country to enact the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD).

The CSRD replaces the prior Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD) and expands the scope of companies required to implement sustainability reporting and their transparency obligations.


Contents

  1. An increase in the number of companies directly concerned by sustainability reporting
  2. Gradual implementation
  3. Sustainability report
  4. Sustainability information audit

Non-financial reporting obligations previously only applied to large companies with over 500 employees and other specific balance sheet and revenue thresholds. With the transposition of the CSRD, these thresholds will be lowered to include companies with more than 250 employees and specific balance sheet and revenue thresholds.

The transposition of the CSRD into French law incorporates new definitions, although the decree defining the thresholds has not yet been published, leaving the personal scope of this reporting undefined. These definitions harmonize and align ESG obligations within the French Commercial Code.

Additionally, the transposition extends the scope of sustainability reporting to include limited liability companies (sociétés à responsabilité limitée or SARL) and simplified joint stock companies (sociétés par action simplifiée or SASs), which were previously excluded.

Under the CSRD, sustainability reporting obligations also apply to large European groups and foreign groups with a significant presence in the European Union.

The transposition order indicates that sustainable reporting obligations will gradually come into force in accordance with the CSRD. Entities subject to these obligations will be required to publish their first report by specific reference years.

Company category Reference year First reporting
Large companies already subject to the DPEF FY 2024 2025
Other large companies FY 2025 2026
SMEs listed on a European regulated market, excluding micro-undertakings FY 2026 2027
Foreign groups FY 2028 2029

The sustainability report must be published in a separate section of the management report. Companies are required to publish their extra-financial data in accordance with the principle of double materiality and European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS) which will harmonize reports and facilitate their analysis. A forthcoming decree will specify the elements, information, and presentation standards of the report.

Once the sustainability report has been drawn up, companies must have the information contained in their sustainability report certified by an “auditor” specialized in sustainability issues. Failure to have the information certified may result in criminal penalties. Auditors must adhere to professional secrecy but are under an obligation to report any criminal acts of which they become aware.

The transposition of the CSRD modifies the statutory auditors’ practice regime to include the audit of sustainability information and creates specific provisions for “sustainability information auditors”.

For full details in French, click here


1 Order no. 2023-1142 of 6 December 2023, published in the Journal Officiel de la République Française on 7 December 2023, text 19.

2 Directive (EU) 2022/2464 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 December 2022.

3 Directive (EU) 2014/95 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014.

4 Articles L.225-102-1 and L.22-10-36 of the French Commercial Code.

5 For listed companies: with balance sheet or sales in excess of 20 million euros (article R.22-10-29 of the French Commercial Code); For unlisted companies: with balance sheet or sales in excess of 100 million euros (article R.225-104 of the French Commercial Code).

6 Article 7 of Ordinance no. 2023-1142 of 6 December 2023 creating the new article L.230-1 of the French Commercial Code.

7 Article 3 of Ordinance no. 2023-1142 of 6 December 2023 amending article L.223-26 of the French Commercial Code.

8 Article 8 of Ordinance no. 2023-1142 of 6 December 2023 creating the new article L.232-6-3 of the French Commercial Code.

9 Article 29a of the CSRD and Article 9 of Ordinance no. 2023-1142 of 6 December 2023 creating the new article L.233-28-4 of the French Commercial Code.

10 Article 40a of the CSRD and Article 9 of Ordinance no. 2023-1142 of 6 December 2023 creating the new article L. 233-28-5 of the French Commercial Code.

11 Article 8 of Ordinance no. 2023-1142 of 6 December 2023 creating new articles L.232-6-3 and L.233-28-4 of the French Commercial Code.

12 Article 19 of Ordinance no. 2023-1142 of 6 December 2023 creating the new article L.822-16 of the French Commercial Code.

13 Article 19 of Ordinance no. 2023-1142 of 6 December 2023 creating the new article L.822-40 of the French Commercial Code.

14 Article 19 of Ordinance no. 2023-1142 of 6 December 2023 creating the new article L.822-2 of the French Commercial Code.

15 Article 19 of Ordinance no. 2023-1142 of 6 December 2023 creating the new article L.822-43 of the French Commercial Code.

16 Article 19 of Ordinance no. 2023-1142 of 6 December 2023 creating new articles L.822-1 et seq. of the French Commercial Code.

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