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La lutte antivectorielle en France

 | 
Didier Fontenille
, 
Christophe Lagneau
, 
Sylvie Lecollinet
, 
et al.

From legal framework to governance

Legislative and regulatory framework for vector control1

Texte intégral

  • 1 In this chapter, references to the CD-ROM concerning question 2: “What is the legislative and regu (...)

1This review aims to shed light on the respective responsibilities and competences of the country’s different institutional levels by examining the statutory texts: international health regulations; European directives; Community decisions; the French Public Health Code, General Code for Local Authorities, Rural Code, Environmental Code, Construction and Housing Code, Insurance Code, département-level health regulations, ministry circulars, and case law.

VECTOR CONTROL AGAINST HUMAN HEALTH RISKS

International law

2The principal provisions stem from the International Health Regulations (IHR, 2005), whose objective is to limit international propagation of diseases. It constitutes a constraining instrument of law with binding power, in particular for all World Health Organization (WHO) member States. Currently 194 States, France included, are parties concerned by these regulations. Vector-borne diseases are in this framework mainly dealt with by measures geared to limiting the spread of potentially infected vectors, whether in means of transport and goods, at entry points, or alongside the health control certificate delivery procedure (for further details on each of these aspects, see CD-ROM).

3An alert prompts the issue by WHO of temporary or permanent recommendations (heading III, IHR). The organization also regularly publishes the list of areas from which any means of transport must undergo disinsection procedures, and which defines the methods to apply (IHR, Appendix 5, point 1).

Specific prevention and warning measures
The order of 9 September 1987 fixes the regulations applicable to border health controls:
■ any person more than one year of age coming from a yellow-fever infected area or having travelled there without fulfilling the conditions provided for by the International Health Regulations (IHR), is obliged to produce a yellow fever vaccination certificate on his or her arrival in the départements of Guadeloupe, Martinique and Reunion Island;
■ any person more than one year of age, whatever his or her place of departure, is obliged on arrival in the département of [French] Guiana to have a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate.

4The IHR provisions are as a matter of course implemented in the framework of the national regulations: health checks at the borders of French territory, in terms of article R. 3115-8 of the Public Health Code (CSP), and border controls of international vaccination certificates, as is the case, for example, for yellow fever in some overseas départements (see Box).

5The 2001 Stockholm Convention gives details on the production and utilization of chemical substances, in its Appendix B. The International Charter for Major Disasters (20 October 2000) is also pertinent. This was signed by many agencies and organisations from over the world, including the Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES) in France. If a disaster occurs, it can pro-vide access to satellite images of the areas affected and thus contribute to the effectiveness of the ways and means to be deployed.

European Community law

6European Commission decision 2007/875/EC (18 December 2007), which amended decisions 2119/98/EC of the European Parliament and Council and 2000/96/EC, emphasizes the prominent role mosquitoes play in the transmission of certain diseases. It added vector-borne diseases to the list of transmissible disease categories inscribed in decision 2119/98 EC. Also applicable to vector-borne diseases is the Commission’s decision 2000/57/EC (22 December 1999), which relates to early warning and quick-response systems for transmissible disease prevention and control (European Parliament and Council decision 2119/98/EC).

7However, the core reference text within Community law is the Biocidal Product provision (European Parliament and Council directive 98/8 EC). This community biocide regulation delimits the use of insecticides, repellents and baits in the context of vector control. Its mainstay is Directive 98/8/EC, due for revision from 2009, which concerns the marketing of biocides and is transcribed into the French Environmental Code (articles L. 522-1 to L. 522-19). Its objective is to subordinate marketing authorization (MA) of such a product to an acceptable level of human and environmental risk and to the absence of unacceptable effects (resistance development, suffering of target organisms and so on) and a sufficient level of efficacy.

8The assessment is made in two stages: a Community evaluation of the active substance contained in the product which, if favourable, leads to its inscription on the Community “positive” list of authorized active substances, and a national one conducted in view of the delivery of an MA. This procedure distinguishes existing active substances, in other words present on the Community market on 14 May 2000, from new ones, introduced since that date. Among the existing substances, two biocide product types (PT) from the list of 23 inscribed concern vector control: PT 18 (insecticides, acaricides, other anti-arthropod products) and PT 19 (repellents, baits).

9The first MAs will be delivered in 2009 or in 2010. Once the Community assessment has finished, incorporation of existing active substances (see Box) on the European list of authorized active substances will be valid for ten years. At national level, the MA will be delivered by the Ministry for Ecology if these substances are intended for vector control. In the meantime (a transition period before the new MA system has completely brought its benefits), the old MA delivery system can continue to be applied by waiver, provided that the substance in question is genuinely one that already exists.

10For products containing a new active substance, a provisional selling authorization for a maximum of three years can be granted, with possible extension for one year, awaiting its inscription on the Authorized Substances list. In any case it must have undergone assessment by the competent national authority.

11A special procedure also exists: application for essential usage. Member-States can call on this when they consider a substance to be essential in their case for reasons of health, safety or protection of cultural heritage, or indeed if the substance is indispensable for the good running of the company. France drew on this in order to extend authorization of temephos in the overseas départements (DOM) until 14 May 2009.

Status of active biocidal substances
Biocide substance status is decided according to the following categories:
non identified as an existing active substance already on the Community market on 14/5/2000: marketing of this active substance and the biocidal products containing it became unauthorized on 14 December 2003. It does not appear in Annex I of EC regulation n° 1451/2007;
identified but not notified: the substance and the biocidal products containing it had to be withdrawn from the market on 1st December 2006. It appears in Annex III of EC regulation n° 1451/2007;
identified and for which the Intention to Support has not been followed up by the filing of a dossier: the substance and the biocidal products containing it can in the long term no longer be placed on the market or used as insecticides. These provisions came into force in 2008;
identified, notified and for which a dossier has been filed: the substance and the biocidal products it contains remain authorized as far as the Community assessment has not been completed and until the products have been assessed at national level.

National law

12Vector control is an integral part of public health policy.

What vectors are considered?

13The general legislative framework for vector control is given by article L. 3114-5 CSP, amended by law 2004-809 of 13 August 2004. Among other provisions, the text states: “An order from the Ministry of Health establishes and keeps updated the list of départements where conditions occur carrying a risk of development of human diseases transmitted by public-health threatening insects. In these départements, identification of the control measures necessary falls within the jurisdiction of the State”. This provision therefore concerns all the insect vectors of disease, including mosquitoes. In parallel, law 64-1246 of 16 December 1964, amended notably by laws 2004-809 and 2004-1343, deals solely with control of mosquitoes.

14Two questions are raised. First, would it not be more reasonable to have a single piece of legislation embracing control measures against all insects, even if it means integrating specific provisions for mosquitoes control? Secondly, shouldn’t the law go beyond dealing only with insects in the zoological sense of the term and include the haematophage arthropods? The latest edition of the Académie française dictionary gives a clear reminder that “in common usage, the word ‘insect’ is sometimes used, improperly, to designate animals belonging to other classes (such as arachnids, myriapods)”. Ticks, for example, are highly significant vectors. Yet they are not insects but acarians, an order of arachnids and therefore arthropods. Legal doubt on this question could seriously jeopardize the efficacy of vector control.

Article L. 3114-5 CSP and its grey areas

15Four observations arise from reading this Article:

  • the text concerns all insects. It therefore has a much wider scope of application than the law of 1964 on its own;
  • it is the Minister of Health who must draw up the list of départements at risk;
  • the départements concerned are only those where there are situations creating a risk of insect-borne human diseases and therefore a threat to people;
  • in these départements, definition of appropriate control measures falls within the jurisdiction of the State.

16Two sets of questions stem from this. One applies to the third observation: what are the conditions that lead to risk and what are the governing criteria? From what point does a threat emerge? What margin for judgment should be left to the State?

17The other bears on the fourth observation: what is the appropriate level of government for implementing the chosen control measures? Logically, as soon as the legislature has stipulated that solely the definition of control measures was under the jurisdiction of the State, it implies that the implementation role falls to another body. But which? It must be said that the CSP does not offer any solution. Indeed, article R. 3114-9 CSP provides for the prefect to take certain steps. On one hand, he can launch information and health education actions for the general public, or surveillance measures in order to reduce the proliferation of insect vectors. On the other, when the insects involved are mosquitoes, he can order (in the areas delimited in accordance with 1° of article 1 of the amended law n° 64-1246 of 16 December 1964) measures involving prospecting, treatment, works and control in the sense of the last paragraph of this article.

18Article R. 3114-9 CSP thus well distinguishes insects in general from the particular case of mosquitoes, but it gives no indication as to who is competent to implement the State-defined measures to combat insects other than mosquitoes (the law of 1964, for its part, does lay down a division of competences regarding mosquitoes). Logically then, seeing that such competence has not been attributed explicitly to a designated level of government, two public authorities could intervene if necessary: the State, under the principle of its competence in matters of public health protection, and the municipal council, because according to article L. 2212-2 of the General Code for Local Authorities (CGCT), the municipal police have the duty to ensure good public health conditions. The mayor can therefore order any measures that can stop, “by suitable precautions”, “epidemic or contagious diseases”. If things had to be done in a different way, that should be stipulated by the legislature.

The law of 1964 and mosquito control policy

19This law, intended at first only for mosquitoes as nuisance insects, is now applicable to mosquitoes in general, whether categorized as just nuisances or true vectors. For the purposes of mosquito control, the amended law of 1964 provides for the situation where municipal councils are located in one of the three categories of département defined by its article 1 (see Box). The amended 1964 text therefore groups together notions of control against mosquitoes transmitting human diseases (category 1) and those with just nuisance status (category 3). Category 2 appears to concern a more uncertain threat situation. The difference between départements in the first and second categories needs clarifying. Once again, at what point does a “threat” begin to arise?

Three categories of département
1. “Départements where conditions are observed, under the terms defined in article L. 3114-5 (CSP), leading to the development of human diseases transmitted by insects the list of which is fixed by order of the Minister of Health.”
2. “Départements where mosquitoes are a threat to public health the list of which is fixed by joint order of the Minister of Health and the Minister for the Environment.”
3. “Where necessary, départements whose Councils make a claim for it.”

20For département category 1, at present there is a Minister of Health order taken in the framework of control against potential insect vectors (under the terms of article L. 3114-5 CSP): order of 23 April 1987 concerning Corsica (Haute-Corse, Corse-du-Sud), Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique and Reunion Island.

21Concerning the second département category, only the Var is on the list fixed by the order of 26 August 2008 establishing the list of départements where mosquitoes are a threat to the health of the public.

Division of competences

22Article L. 3114-5 CSP, which relates to the control of insects including mosquitoes, states indirectly that only the definition of control measures comes within the State’s jurisdiction, as soon as a Minister of Health order is issued declaring the necessity for control of insect-borne diseases in the département. In the opposite case, the State remains competent for the whole of the operations, in view of its competence in public health protection.

23There are some ambiguities, however. Article 1 of the law of 1964 seems not to make any distinction between the three categories of département having mosquito control areas. The département services can intervene as a matter of course in all three categories. They therefore have the jurisdiction to implement a range of measures (surveys, treatment, works, inspections). But only the first category of départements enters into the framework of article L. 3114-5 CSP (list fixed by order of the Minister of Health). The other two categories do not come into the scope defined by article L. 3114-5 CSP. Only the prefectoral orders provided for by the 1964 law embrace mosquito control in such cases. In substance no competence is assigned to the State concerning entomologicalarthropod surveillance or specifically for insect surveillance. Under points 2° and 3° of article 1 of the law of 1964, it is the public authority’s task to identify the objectives to achieve. Is the competence of the State – as defined in article L. 3114-5 CSP – applicable here? Certainly. But the limitations of the wording of provisions currently laid down for mosquito control (law of 1964) show up clearly here, the département prefect being responsible for defining the organization and ways of implementing control measures (areas concerned, operations necessary, schedule). Similarly, it transpires from article R. 3114-9 CSP that the prefect decides and assesses the strategy for control against insect-borne diseases (article R. 3114-9 CSP). Furthermore, in the départements “where conditions are observed leading to the development of human diseases transmitted by mosquitoes constituting a threat to public health”, prefects have the power to order the necessary measures (article 7-1 of the law of 1964).

24The State is therefore going to define the départements at risk, the measures that must be taken there and the areas of intervention in which the prefect can decide on the operations to conduct and the schedule. The départements concerned will carry out the operations within these areas: surveys, location, surveillance, treatment, conducting necessary work, and inspections. This is the way competences in mosquito control are divided, since the law of 13 August 2004.

25This real transfer of competences in judicial terms (law of 13 August 2004) implies reorganization and career restructuring for agents involved in vector control, on the one hand, and financial compensation (for the département) in the sense of article 72-2 of the Constitution, on the other. The question then arises of knowing if the share of financial costs between the département and the municipal councils concerned (article 65 of the law on finances 1975, already referred to) is still appropriate.

26At municipal council level, some measures of the CGCT stipulate responsibilities of the mayor. The latter has power to order measures against “epidemic or contagious diseases” or against mosquitoes “in virtue of his police powers regarding hygiene”.

27The mayor is also charged with the task of applying the Departmental Health Regulations (RSD), the reference text for matters of hygiene and health (for activities not relating to the field of application of the law of 19 July 1976). These regulations are still relevant and valid in many circumstances (involving rainwater collection tanks, ponds, watering places and so on).

28Concerning hygiene and cleanliness, the Council of State decrees in line with article L. 1311-1 of the CSP should be mentioned. These fix the general rules of hygiene and other measures suitable for preserving human health (salubrity of housing, built-up areas and so on). These measures can be complemented by prefectoral or municipal orders (article L. 1311-2 CSP).

29On top of the legal grey area of the division of competences as just briefly described (see CD-ROM), specific provisions could further confound the issue. This has been the case with circulars referring to the ways and means of implementing the chikungunya and dengue anti-propagation plan in metropolitan France (see CD-ROM).

Division of competences in overseas local authorities [other than overseas Départements (DOM)]
Vector control in overseas local authorities is regulated by order 2003-462 of 21 May 2003 which led to article R. 3114-9 CSP, except for Mayotte.
■ Mayotte: the département council is not the decision-making power for vector-borne disease control (see particularly article LO 6161-CGCT of 21 February 2007), which is the sole responsibility of the State (article 3811-7 CSP). The Order of 12 January 1988 defining the competences of the regional or departmental health and social services has not been cancelled in Mayotte. There is nothing to prevent the municipal councils from taking initiatives in mosquito control, which must figure among the mandatory costs (L. 2572-52 CGCT).
■ Saint-Barthélemy and Saint-Martin: both have been attributed the same competences as the overseas département of Guadeloupe (articles LO 6214-1 and LO 6314-1 CGCT).
■ Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon: competence regarding vector control is exclusively a matter for the State (article LO 6414-1 CGCT, created by law 2007-223 of 21 February 2007 and article LO 6461-11 CGCT).
■ Wallis-and-Futuna Island: the State is responsible for hygiene and public health (article 7 of law 61-814 of 29 July 1961).

30The question of division of competences now comes within the General Public Policy Revision (RGPP). The most recent developments have introduced some new elements:

  • the “hospital, patients, health, territorial divisions” bill presented to the Council of Ministers on 22 October 2008;
  • implementation of the territorial reorganization of the State brought before the Council of Ministers on 17 December 2008, supplemented by a Prime minister’s circular of 31 December 2008;
  • DGS/DSC circulars of 7 and 12 January 2009 relating to organization for defence and safety in the health field.

31One of the most important points to consider lies in the setting-up of Regional Health Agencies (ARS), which should come into operation from the beginning of 2010 (recruitment drives for the first director generals have already been launched). The director general of each of these agencies will have the competence for defining and organizing the vector control strategy. His or her action should be extended to departmental level by a delegation positioned “alongside the département prefect”. The Prime minister’s circular of 31 December 2008 clearly stipulates that in a confirmed risk period, the prefect takes charge again and draws on the human and mate-rial means “made available” by the ARS director general.

Standardization framework for vector-favourable environments

32There are few specific provisions concerning treatment of environments favourable for insect vector propagation, even if a certain number of arrangements for general insalubrity control are of course applicable. The bulk of them are inscribed in amended law 64-1246 of 16 December 1964 and in order 2005-1763 of 30 December 2005 which deals only with mosquitoes.

33For matters concerning the agents involved (surveillance professionals, treatment personnel), the law of 16 December 1964 gives details on their rights, roles and responsibilities, including coercive measures (drawing up reports in the event of infringement, for example). As for owners, tenants, business operators and so on it is essentially the order of 1 December 1965 that gives clarity to their obligations, especially where breeding sites are present in mosquito control areas, all parties involved (occupants or operators) being obliged to get rid of these breeding sites (see CD-ROM). Examination of some foreign examples, even a brief one, is informative on this question (see Box).

34Non-compliance with requirements concerning either built-up or nondeveloped sites in urbanized areas, or regarding disposal sites and depots located outside, or even within, irrigated crop areas, is covered by quite a well-developed system of enforcement which bears heavily on infringing parties. The approach appears strongly inspired from the provisions laid down by the order of 3 April 1944 on malaria control, which has never been rescinded. Order 2005-1763 of 30 December 2005 stipulates the applicable fines (4th and 5th category contraventions, 750 Euros and 1,500 Euros respectively). Reoffending is punished more severely still. The standardization framework of inspection and treatment operations is also well developed, and so is the system of penalties applicable to agents guilty of negligence. A shortfall in the number of agents nevertheless remains a problem.

35However, there is no truly systematic measure, intervening for example in property transactions, such as the one applied for termites. It may be possible and useful to introduce a report stating the levels of vector risk and of conditions favourable for their occupation of a site.

Summary of legislation in certain foreign States
■ Cayman Islands: under the terms of the Mosquito (research and control) Law (19 June 2007), the agents in charge of inspections have access at any time to all premises, including household and trade waste disposal sites, to inspect or watch over them; the owners and occupiers of housing or commercial premises must allow easy access, for inspection purposes, to reservoirs, drums, tanks and other storage receptacles for water and other liquids.
■ Comoros Islands: articles 70 and 71 of the Comorian Public Health Code (law 95-O13/A/F) bear upon the standards governing the importation, distribution, use and certification of pesticides employed for vector control. According to article 109 “any individual having observed the presence […] of insects in his or her home must call for their complete destruction by contacting the Public Health and Sanitation Services and the vector-borne disease control services”. Article 137 lays down that “all steps must be taken to prevent vector breeding sites […]”.
■ Sri Lanka: prevention measures against mosquitoes are governed by a law, Prevention of mosquito breeding Act, n° 11 (2007). As in the Cayman Islands, this imposes a range of obligations on owners or occupiers of premises, including: closing up and covering of all types of water reserve installation, inspection and monitoring of air conditioning equipment, reduction of shrub growth, scrub and other types of vegetation.

VECTOR CONTROL AGAINST ANIMAL HEALTH RISKS

36The regulatory framework functions along four main lines: the regulations issued by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), by the World Trade Organization (WTO), European Community and national regulations. Yet none of them is exclusively aimed at vector control for animal health.

The OIE – World Organization for Animal Health

37This organization (formerly the International Office of Epizooties) draws up Standards which include references to vectors concerning three fields of action:

  • determination of the health status of countries and regions: depending on the diseases concerned, this can be based on vector surveillance programmes;
  • determination of the conditions in which animals are transferred between countries: depending on the health status of the country, this can
  • be geared to the periods of vector activity or inactivity ascertained by entomological watch programmes;
  • protection of animals against vectors: this can be managed either by quarantine protocols, or at time of loading and transport of the animals.

38The provisions OIE has defined are taken up in book II of the Rural Code (heading III, chapter 6, article L. 236-4): “When they originate or are departing from non European Community States, live animals […] undergo […] a qualitative, zootechnical veterinary, or animal protection related inspection, depending on the case, systematic or otherwise.”

WTO

39This organization resulted from a number of agreements, including some concerning specific provisions relating to health and plant health issues, regarding the risks presented by trade in animals (and derived products). The OIE standards, guiding principles and recommendations are considered as international references in the field of animal diseases and zoonoses. However, in this context neither the introduction of a pathogen by a vector, nor of an exotic species of vector are taken into consideration.

Community regulations

40The Community regulatory system determines the list of diseases that must be reported to the Commission in directive 894-EC of 21 December 1982. Vector-borne diseases figure among these. On this aspect, regulation 2007/1266/EC (26 October 2007), for example, bears on the ways and means of applying Council directive 2000/75/EC concerning bluetongue virus control in sheep, follow-up action, surveillance and applicable restrictions on the movement of certain animals of susceptible species.

41In the case of bluetongue, European directive 2000/75, transposed into national law by ministerial order of 24 August 2001 (replaced by that of 1 April 2008), imposes that the animals be confined and undergo insecticide treatment if an outbreak is suspected or confirmed. European regulation 2007/1266/EC defines the possible waivers for authorization and export if the animals are “protected from attacks by the Culicoid vector” during transport. This is rather vague wording which France has interpreted in the form of epidermal treatment of animals with insecticide (service note DGAL/SDSPA/N2007-8276).

National regulations

42The regulations are largely founded on article R. 3114-9 CSP. One of their stipulations is that the prefect, in départements where the provisions of article L. 3114-5 CSP apply, can take surveillance measures “on animals vulnerable to contamination by pathogens transmitted by insect vectors, according to the ways and means fixed by order issued by the Minister of Agriculture”.

43The list of reputedly contagious diseases includes vector-borne diseases. It also determines the diseases which must be covered by health policing measures. The list of diseases subject to compulsory declaration stipulates those for which notification to veterinary services is compulsory (Rural Code book II regarding public veterinary health, article L. 2114-1). In a more general way, article L. 214-1 of the Rural Code lays down that “any animal is a sensitive creature and must be placed by its owner in conditions compatible with the biological requirements for its species”. In consideration of which the references to vector control concern the measures to apply and also requirements governing animal trade and movements (see Box).

Vector control provisions to be implemented
Measures to apply in the event of outbreaks (or suspicious signs of outbreaks), on two essential levels:
■ control of and protection against vectors: disinsection of animals, buildings and surrounding areas depending on the circumstances; confinement of animals… (articles L. 223-8 and L 224 of the Rural Code);
■ epidemiological surveys aiming to determine the presence and distribution of vectors, breeding sites and so on;
Trade and movements, the references to vectors regarding these aspects concern three types of situation:
■ anti-vector protection for animals at time of loading and transport operations (disinsection of both animals and means of transport);
■ anti-vector protection for animals as part of protocols designed to provide guarantee of their health status;
■ the drawing-up of vector surveillance programmes to determine their periods of activity or inactivity (periods possibly decisive for management of the appropriate timing and conditions for animal trade operations).

44The regulatory requirements relating to vector control appear to boil down to just an insistence on disinsection. There is therefore no overall animal-health oriented anti-vector policy, in the sense of a definite operational organization governed by a statutory framework.

45The veterinary services competent for dealing with animal health are organized into centralized services (Direction Générale de l’Alimentation, DGAL, the national food agency) and devolved regional and departmental services. The central services are essentially responsible for the preparation, follow-up, monitoring and assessment of the legislation and regulations. The tasks of the devolved services consist of organization and control of the execution of the measures DGAL prescribes. The governing documents drawn up at central level are destined for nationwide application (except in some special cases) with communication links effected by service orders sent to the devolved services.

INSURANCE LAW AND VECTOR-BORNE DISEASES

46Two areas are to be considered concerning the insurance.

Vector-borne diseases and animal deaths

47Farmers can take out “livestock death” insurance, but this type of insurance is not compulsory. Can losses of livestock owing to a vector-borne disease be considered as a natural disaster or an agricultural calamity?

48According to article 1 of law 82-600 of 13 July 1982, a natural disaster is characterized by an abnormally high level of activity of a natural agent when the usual measures for preventing such damage either have not checked their development or have not been taken. In the agricultural sphere, the term “natural disaster” includes livestock housed inside buildings. Can an extension be envisaged to take in vector-borne diseases affecting such animals? Up to now, the legislature has in many situations confirmed its adherence to the notion of natural disaster being restricted to events linked to climatic or earth-movement related phenomena.

49The notion of natural disaster comes out of the Rural Code. Article L. 361-2 states: “The types of damage considered as agricultural disaster in the sense of this chapter are exceptionally high levels of uninsurable destruction caused by anomalous variations in intensity of a natural agent, when the use of technical methods of preventive or curative control normally employed in agriculture has not been possible or proves to be inadequate or inoperative” (article L. 361-2). This definition is very close to that for natural disaster. Indeed it embraces livestock kept outside buildings. The causal elements of a natural calamity have the same character as those that provoke a natural disaster. However, the French calamity fund Fonds national de garantie des calamités intervenes for all types of damage covered by article L. 361-2 (like drought, floods, frost but also exceptional proliferation of parasites or viruses). But, given the complexity of this compensation procedure, it is highly likely that decisions vary with the circumstances.

Vector-borne diseases and commercial losses

50Certain geographical areas can see their economic potential severely jeopardized by the occurrence of a vector-borne disease (fall in tourism, for example). Could such losses be eligible for insurance (in the knowledge that the State, for its part, always holds the possibility of creating a special compensation structure)?

51After a disaster, the reconstitution of means of production of companies, craftsmen and so on can typically take months, even years. This severely burdens the financial flow of the concerns involved during such a period. However, whatever the event covered, the commercial loss policy applies only if that event is the subject of a material damage guarantee. Now an epidemic or endemic situation does not in itself lead to material damage to the property insured (for instance hotel facilities, shop premises). The commercial loss itself constitutes the damage. Consequently, a commercial loss guarantee, as provided for and applied at present, appears difficult to conceive in the case of a commercial loss resulting from a vector-borne disease. It remains that any product that does not contravene the Insurance Code can be invented, in the same way as some insurance companies launch products providing guarantees against climatic variations (cases of excessively cool summers, abnormally warm winters and so on).

Notes

1 In this chapter, references to the CD-ROM concerning question 2: “What is the legislative and regulatory framework?”.

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