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French députés voted the U-turn on October 18, reducing import VAT from 7% to 5.5% - closer to the rate currently charged in the UK (5%). The government had previously proposed raising the import tax rate from 7% to 10% with the rise due in January 2014.

A report published by Guillaume Cerutti, chief executive of Sotheby's Paris, the Paris dealer Franck Prazan and Georges-Philippe Vallois, the president of the French galleries association, had concluded the tax rise would have had "disastrous consequences for the French art market".

To offset the reduction in import VAT, députés voted to increase capital gains tax on art (the so-calledtaxe forfaitaire applied to the total resale price) from 5% to 6.5%.