France – Enforcement of arbitration awards against foreign States – The «Sapin 2» Law is now in force

April 2017

The law concerning transparency, anti-corruption and the modernization of the economy (also known as Sapin 2) was published in the French Journal Officiel on December 10, 2016 and is now in force.

This law will have a strong impact on enforcement of arbitration awards against foreign States, since it creates the requirement for claimants to obtain a judge’s authorization before seeking any attachment or enforcement measure against assets owned by a foreign State. The new provisions also define the conditions under which such authorization can be granted.

Further, the Sapin 2 law introduces a new provision concerning assets reserved for diplomatic missions, which cannot be subject to conservatory or enforcement measures unless the debtor State has waived its immunity both expressly and specifically.