Booksellers and record shops
The purpose of this FAQ is to help bookstores and record stores benefit from the State’s payment of shipping costs during the period from 5 November 2020 to 31 December 2020.
The system is included in the Decree no. 2020-1569 of 11 December 2020 on exceptional aid for deliveries of new books and phonographic materials.
1. Cover the cost of shipping books
Bookshops eligible for aid are legal persons governed by private law, meeting in particular the following criteria:
1/ Be an enterprise-wide SME
- a bookstore that sells mainly (more than 50% of sales) and to any public new retail books in a store that can no longer accommodate the public in application of decree no. 2020-1310 of 29 October 2020 prescribing the general measures necessary to cope with the Covid-19 epidemic in the context of a health emergency;
- a subsidiary of a group (a) whose main activity is the sale of new books and (b) which owns at least one physical bookstore which sells mainly (more than 50% of turnover) new retail books that can no longer accommodate the public pursuant to Decree No. 2020-1310 of 29 October 2020 prescribing the general measures necessary to cope with the Covid-19 epidemic in the context of the state of health emergency; this subsidiary musteven make more than 50% of its turnover by selling printed books.
If the bookshop is incorporated as an association, it may apply for assistance if it is subject to commercial taxes or if it has at least one employee and fulfils the other conditions.
All bookstores will need to be up to date with their social and tax obligations to apply for assistance.
The details of the eligibility criteria are set out in Article 2 of the Decree of 11 December 2020.
Booksellers are not affected by the measure because they do not sell new books at the retail level on a primary basis.
The publishers are not affected by the measure because they do not sell new books in a retail business as their main business.
If the publisher is also a bookseller, he will only be able to benefit from the aid if he shows that his bookseller activity is a majority (more than 50%) in terms of turnover.
The aid will take the form of a refund of the shipping costs incurred by the bookseller: bookshops must therefore assume an advance of costs and then ask for a refund of these costs in respect of supporting documents.
The goods concerned are new books and phonographic materials intended for private individuals. If the bookshop has shipped goods other than new books and phonographic materials, a reduction will be applied: the calculation of this reduction will take into account the diversification of the bookshop’s activity.
Shipping costs related to orders accepted as of November 5, 2020 may be refunded once all conditions are met.
The period was due to end when the bookstores reopened. However, the sanitary constraints of reopening stores on 28 November led the Government to decide to extend the period until 31 December 2020: Shipping charges for packages shipped after this date will not be eligible for a refund request.
All carriers are involved.
Shipping costs will be refunded at their actual purchase cost.
Charges for shipments weighing less than 50 grams will not be refundable.
Bookstores shall declare the total purchase cost of delivery services eligible for reimbursement.
As a reminder, La Poste Group has implemented, as of November 9, 2020, a Proxi Courses Bookshops offer.
This is a complete collection and home delivery service: the letter carrier on his tour picks up the book(s) at the address of your bookstore to give to the recipient(s) the next day or the day after, in strict respect of the barrier gestures, for deliveries of books within the same agglomeration.
The service, usually available at a price of 4.50 euros, is offered at 2 euros for any order of less than 5 kg during the entire lockdown period: this reduces the advance fee for the bookseller, It should be noted that bookshops will be able to claim a refund under the same conditions as other carriers.
The law prohibits the practice of free shipping to the customer for sales of new books.
The objective of the measure is to enable booksellers to achieve more turnover through shipments of new books: they can charge their customers for residual shipping costs since they will be able to obtain a refund of their shipping costs.
The support is limited to shipments in metropolitan France and, for the ultra-marine territories concerned by the measure, shipments within that territory.
Bookstores must keep all their supporting documents even if their application for aid is made on a declarative basis as regards the calculation of the amount. Checks of the supporting documents may be carried out even after reimbursement.
Booksellers are strongly encouraged to keep records of their costs of sending new books and, where appropriate, phonographic materials, and information on the weight of packages in order to facilitate the filing and processing of their application. They are encouraged to open a business account with their carrier.
Bookshops will send their request for reimbursement to the Agency for Services and Payment (ASP), via an ad hoc online portal, the address of which will be published shortly.
Bookstores will submit one application per month at most. They will be able to apply for the entire eligibility period (5 November 2020 to 31 December 2020).
At this stage, it is expected that they will be able to start submitting their applications by the end of December 2020, via the ad hoc online portal.
2. Cover the cost of shipping discs
Eligible for aid are legal persons governed by private law, meeting the following criteria:
- Sell majority (more than 50% of sales) of new or used physical recording media (CDs, vinyls, cassettes) at retail in a physical store that could not accommodate audiences between October 30 and November 27 (pursuant to Decree No. 2020-1310 of 29 October 2020 prescribing the general measures necessary to cope with the COVID-19 epidemic in the context of a health emergency);
- Meet the characteristics of TPE (or “micro-enterprises” within the meaning of Decree no. 2008-1354 of 18 December 2008)
The condition of not being able to receive customers between October 20 and November 27 does not take into account the remote sales operations recovered in stores.
If the record dealer is incorporated in an associative form, he may apply for aid if he is liable to commercial taxes or if he has at least one employee and fulfils the other conditions.
All record stores will need to be up to date on their social and tax obligations to apply for assistance.
Undertakings in receivership are not eligible for aid.
The aid will take the form of a refund of the shipping costs incurred by the record shop: the record stores must therefore assume an advance of costs, then request a refund of these costs in respect of supporting documents (invoices or company account extract certified by the carrier).
The goods concerned are CDs, vinyls and cassettes intended for individuals. Only shipments containing these media will be eligible for a refund.
Eligible expenses are those incurred from 5 November to 31 December 2020, provided that all the conditions are met.
All carriers are involved. They have to do mail and mail, or courier or express cargo.
Shipping costs will be refunded at their actual cost of purchase, starting from the 50 gram shipment threshold.
If the parcels or letters contain objects other than CDs, vinyls or cassettes, the cost of postage will be refunded to the extent of the share of these objects in the total turnover of distance sales.
The stores will have no shipping costs to charge customers.
The handling concerns shipments to France.
For companies established in the metropolitan area, only expenditure corresponding to consignments within that territory is eligible.
For companies established within an overseas authority concerned by the containment measures, only expenditure corresponding to shipments within that territory is eligible.
Record stores must keep all of their mail vouchers (invoices or company account extract certified by the carrier). Checks of the supporting documents may be carried out even after reimbursement.
The diskettes will send their request for reimbursement to the Agency for Services and Payment (ASP), via an ad hoc form, which will be posted soon.
Applications can begin to be sent in January 2021, via the form provided for this purpose. Applicants will be able to submit one claim per month to the PSSA.