Sending Currency, “Coins And Precious Metals” By
Mail June 08, 2013
France has prohibited the
sending of currency, “coins and precious metals”
In new legislation which was enacted May
23rd, the French government decreed that it is forbidden
to send all forms of currency - coins and cash and all forms
of precious metals – coins, bars and jewellery by
The legislation was published on Legifrance,
the French government entity responsible for publishing
legal texts online and can be seen here.
It was not announced by the government and
not covered in the media. There were no communications and
nobody in the government justified or explained this decision.
The legislation says that “the insertion
of banknotes, coins and precious metals is prohibited in
mailings, including the insured items, registered items
and items subject to formalities certifying deposition and
Some have suggested that the decree is to
limit what is known in France as “the anonymous market”,
the market in which no taxes are paid and people are free
to trade without the supervision of banks and government.
However, euro coins and notes and gold bullion
coins and bars attract no tax in France and therefore this
is more likely to be an attempt to discourage the ownership
of gold bullion and cash outside of the banking system and
is a form of capital control.
It may also be an attempt to restrict the
growing private market in France of people buying bullion
online through Ebay which is increasingly popular.
The freedom of people to trade amongst themselves
is a form of civil liberty as is the right to privacy.
The selling and the buying of precious metals
in France are already subject to strict regulations.
Until September 2011, citizens could easily
buy and sell gold coins and bars with cash but this was
forbidden then when French citizens were forbidden to buy
with cash in person and had to buy precious metals by trade
mail, crossed cheque and by wire transfer or be “punished
by a fine of fifth grade” which is a fine of some
The government decree does not specify that
other independent companies cannot send gold and or silver
coins or bars by mail. Indeed, it is only the French public
company or national post company, La Poste that is forbidden
in the decree.