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Conseil des ventes volontaires de meubles aux enchères publiques

The French Auction Market Authority, that is to say the Conseil des ventes volontaires de meubles aux enchères publiques to give it its full French title, or more simply the Conseil des ventes volontaires, is the French regulatory authority for the public auction market. It was established by Law 2000-642 of 10 July 2000 governing commercial sales of movable assets by public auction, and amended by Law 2011-850 of 20 July 2011 pertaining to the liberalisation of commercial sales of movable assets by public auction. 

The Conseil des ventes volontaires - The French auction market authority has the status of a public utility institution (établissement d’utilité publique) with a legal personality. It is composed of eleven members appointed for four-year terms respectively by the Ministers of Justice, Economy and Culture. Its president is appointed by the Minister of Justice. 

Law 2022-267 of 28 February 2022 modernises the regulation of the art market, modified the name, missions and composition of the Conseil des ventes volontaires - The French auction market authority. 




Conseil des ventes is responsible for:

  • registering the declarations of Commercial Auction Operator (opérateurs de ventes volontaires, OVV) for sales of movable assets by public auction.
  • registering the declarations of nationals of Member States of the European Union or of States that are party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area who occasionally carry out commercial auctions in France.
  • intervening in the event of non-compliance by market operators with their legal, regulatory or professional obligations. Several levels of intervention coexist without being mutually exclusive. The President of the Conseil has the power to suspend the activity of commercial auctions or the management of sales on an emergency basis. This is a temporary measure (lasting one month at most) however it may be extended by the Conseil for a period not exceeding three months. At the request of its Government Commissioner, a magistrate from the public prosecutor’s office, the Conseil may also impose disciplinary sanctions, by holding a disciplinary hearing. The Conseil’s decisions may be appealed before the Paris Court of Appeal. They are not exclusive of judicial, civil or criminal sanctions.
  • identifying best practices and promoting high standards for auctioneering services.
  • monitoring the economic activity of the auctioneering sector.
  • elaborating an ethical charter for auctioneering professionals.
  • Finally, Conseil des ventes oversees, jointly with the Chambre nationale des commissaires-priseurs judiciaires and the Conseil national des courtiers assermentés, the organisation of the professional training of future auctioneers. After an entrance examination, the training includes theoretical and practical courses leading to a certificate of aptitude authorizing graduates to conduct auctions. 

The Conseil des ventes volontaires - The French auction market authority operates with a budget of less than €2m (outside of training activities), and it is funded by mandatory professional dues paid by auctioneering companies, based on the gross amount of fees they earn. The Conseil des ventes volontaires - The French auction market authority accounts are supervised by a chartered accountant and its financial and accounting management is subject to the oversight of the Court of Auditors (Cour des comptes).

Members of the Conseil des ventes (2020)

Alternate members

Geneviève BAUME, Bernard CHAUVET,
Dominique CHELLE, Cyrille COHEN, Sophie CRAS,

Photo Drout Tour de salle
The latest trends in the art market (2022)
Photo Drout Tour de salle2
Consolidation of the auction market in France (2022)