A Code especially designed for overseas businesses

The code de l'entreprise en outre-mer (or the Overseas Business Code) will be presented in Paris on February 18th.

For several years, the Overseas Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ACCIOM) - which includes the Saint-Martin CCI, has been working to create this Code. This has now been completed, and the document will be presented in Paris on Thursday 18th by the ACCIOM.

The Overseas Business Code gathers the principal legal and regulatory measures as they apply to business and, more broadly, to the overseas economic life. The scope of this first edition covers overseas departments and regions (excluding Mayotte), as well as Saint Barthélemy, Saint-Martin and Saint Pierre and Miquelon.

‘In these collectivities, governed by the principle of legislative identity, laws and regulations can be subject to amendments relating to their particular characteristics and constraints. Most codes and many legal and regulatory texts therefore contain measures specific to overseas territories. The complex legislative corpus resulting from this neither meets requirements for an accessible, intelligible legal system nor the expectations of economic operators. To remedy this, the Overseas Business Code uses an editorial codification approach that, without the force of law, must facilitate easier access, with unique, organized support, and with all the standards requirements which are specific to overseas businesses,’ explained a spokesperson for the Association.

‘This unique work also reflects the extreme complexity of the legal system as it applies to the overseas territories. The document, therefore, makes explicit the measures presented, recording their origin or specifying their scope,' stated the creators.

Throughout the creation of the Overseas Business Code, the ACCIOM has grappled with the complex topic of adapting common law to the constraints and specific requirements of overseas economic activity. It is believed that these clarifications will be useful not only to legal specialists in these matters, but also (and especially) to business operators in French Overseas Territories.


This work was completed by a multi-disciplinary team consisting of academics, lawyers or legal specialists and administration practitioners, under the management of two specialists in overseas law: Olivier Magnaval, ENA graduate, Partner (‘Claisse et associés’ law practice), Ferdinand Mélin-Soucramanien, Professor of Public Law at the University of Bordeaux, CERRCLE Director.



‘The ACCIOM wanted to give business leaders and professionals advice along with a tool which assembles the complete texts and classifies them, making them easily identifiable. This is the objective of the Overseas Business Code, the first stage of a move toward allowing coherent rewriting of texts and displaying a genuine statute for overseas business,' said Jean Arnell, president of the CCISM.

Estelle Gasnet