• Accueil
  • French horse transportation rules

French horse transportation rules

Transportation rules in France are based on EU regulations and the French transport and rural codes which combine, on one hand, rules pertaining to horse well-being during transport and, on the other hand, professional transportation rules.

EU and French law provide different rules for distinct categories of transporters which depend on the capacity in which horses are transported and the amount of distance transported.

Firstly, the professional transporters hold transportation licences and are registered with the local transportation authority. The professional transport of horses is subject to two different additional authorisations depending on the distance travelled (more or less than 65km) and transport duration (more or less than 8 hours).

Only professional transporters are authorised to advertise and provide paying transportation services to the public. This monopoly is protected by criminal fines and prison sentences.

However, as an exception to the above rule, equestrian professionals are allowed to provide and invoice transportation services as long these services are provided within the limits of their individual professional activity.

For example, a professional riding coach who takes his pupils to a competition in his lorry is authorised to invoice transportation services to his pupils. If one of his pupils buys a horse, he would also be allowed to invoice transport to pick the horse up from its place of sale. However, he would not be allowed to provide paying transportation services when moving a person with whom he has no professional or commercial connection from one yard to another.

This would be a violation of the professional transport monopoly.

In any event, professional equestrians wishing therefore to provide transportation services to their clients must hold the different authorisations depending on the type of transportation provided (65 km/8 hours).

Finally, any private person may transport horses not belonging to them as well as their own. However, private persons are not allowed to make a profit from these services, they are limited to a simply sharing transportation costs between participants (including themselves). Any private person providing regular transportation services to third parties, and making a profit, runs the risk of infringing the professional transport monopoly.

As far as liability is concerned, it is of course generally recommended to use professional transporters as they are subject to a far stronger liability. Indeed, the professional transporter is subject to a performance obligation meaning that his liability is automatically engaged in the event of an accident, unless he can prove lack of fault or act of god. Professional transporters also have insurance policies which provide better protection when transporting high-value horses.

Equestrian professionals providing transport services within the limits of their professional activity are also subject to a performance obligation meaning that their liability is easily engaged; however, insurance policy levels may be lower than those provided by professional transporters.

Individual private persons are subject to a lower level of liability as the owner of the damaged horse must prove fault when engaging contractual liability. In addition, private persons can also make participants sign liability waivers when transporting third party horses to further limit liability in the event of an accident.

Vous aimerez aussi


Stallion ownership and distribution in French and EU equestrian sport law