Glossary : Letter O

Order n°2018-95 of 14 February 2018

Order relating to the geographical extension of the "Eckert" Act to overseas collectivities (in New Caledonia, French Polynesia, and Wallis and Futuna islands) to implement various banking and financial provisions. Read the legislative text

See "Eckert Act of 13 June 2014".

Overseas collectivities (COM)

The overseas collectivities (COM) are the territorial collectivities of the French Republic governed, since the constitutional reform of 28 March 2003, by Article 74 of the French Constitution (namely, the application of the principle of legislative exception vested in a competent local institution).

They comprise the former overseas territories (TOM), as well as other territorial collectivities with special status. Affairs of state (defence, police, justice, treasury) are administered by the French government.

There are currently five overseas collectivities. These territories vary quite widely in status and internal organisation; some of these details were stipulated in the Organic Law of 21 February 2007:

  • Saint-Pierre and Miquelon (Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Canada) which was an overseas department (DOM) from 1976 to 1985.
  • Wallis and Futuna (Pacific Ocean), an archipelago subdivided not into communes, but into three territorial districts, each of which corresponds to a kingdom of customary law which has jurisdiction in some matters (management of traditional public domain, etc.).
  • French Polynesia (Pacific Ocean to the east of Australia), group of five French archipelagos corresponding to five administrative subdivisions (Marquesas Islands, Windward Islands, Tuamotu-Gambier Islands, Austral Islands and Leeward Islands). It has broad political autonomy.
  • Saint Barthélemy, an island in the Lesser Antilles (Caribbean), 
  • Saint Martin, the northern portion of the island of the same name in the Lesser Antilles.

The creation of these two collectivities took effect on 15 July 2007. Prior to that, Saint Martin and Saint Barthélemy were two communes integrated in the Guadeloupe overseas department (DOM).

Order no. 2018-95 of 14 February 2018: an extension of the "Eckert" Act to the overseas collectivities for implementation in 2020, only to the territories of French Polynesia, New Caledonia, and Wallis and Futuna, with the need to identify the funds and products originating in these three overseas collectivities so the unclaimed sums after the thirty-year forfeiture period can be paid to the territories