Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Getting Things Done The French Way

I was sent this You Tube link by a friend of mine the other day and it sums up dealing with French bureaucratise (although it is a Spanish link)

Bureaucratic Nightmare

I am trying to import a vehicle from the UK (which I believe is part of Europe) since last October and it's been an absolute nightmare.  Although the vehicle has been registered, from new, in the UK since 2007 the French need proof it meets European standards.  Now to get a CT (MOT) and insured it has to be on the European database.  Both these things I managed without any problem.  But getting it registered has been a completely different 'kettle of fish' - suddenly the vehicle is not on the European database. Now being a bit of a cynic or maybe a realist and I see pound notes - unfortunately floating away from me into the French pocket.

Having completed all the required paperwork and having it checked by the Sous Prefecture ( minor jobs worth) who said everything was in order and they sent it all off, with the necessary payment to the Prefecture (major jobs worth) -  the department concerned with vehicle registration - then it all came back saying I needed a copy of the Certificate of Conformity (in other words to show the vehicle meets European Standards).

So I was then relieved of €135.00 for the privilege of Toyota to supply me with this Certificate of Conformity - which it did, having taken 3 weeks to deal with it. I then sent this off with all the previous paperwork, now with an increased payment.  The vehicle in the mean time had changed to a different payment class!

Two weeks later all the paperwork came back saying the Certificate of Conformity was not an original. Now I need either an original Certificate of Conformity (apparently the one sent from Toyota was a copy - which was asked for) or a couple of other things.  Plus the Prefecture had another query on the original paperwork I sent in, which rather proves to me that they didn't even look at it the first time!

I have faxed Toyota but still haven't heard back from them yet - now 4 weeks.  I went to my local dealer but they couldn't understand why the Prefecture has a problem with the paperwork.  So in between everything else I have to do, I have to run round getting unnecessary paperwork for unnecessary French petty bureaucrats!  It is a frustrating time.

And now I am starting a business and need to register it.  A simple task in the UK, whilst here it is also turning into a Bureaucratic Nightmare.  I can understand them wanting proof of experience which help stops people setting up businesses in a field they are not trained in (but it still doesn't stop poor workmanship and standards). Plus from talking to some people they don't always accept that you have the experience. Also if you do one type of work it is dealt through one department and other lines of work goes to a completely different department.  For example if you sell computer products you have to sign up with one government agency and if you do computers repairs you sign up to another.

I don't know what percentage of the population of France is employed in government jobs but I know it's very high. And it does seem the more bureaucratic a country is the worse financial state it is in - Spain, Greece, France (it hides it well but it is).

So if you see a man walking round Normandy with chunks out of his hair - it could be me.  There again looking at the state of the haircuts here it may not be me!

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