People living in France face a number of new rules and regulations introduced at the beginning of 2017 and in the coming months.

A number will affect expats with children and some changes apply to Paris which is setting up new rules to make the city more eco-friendly.

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One of the biggest is that children under the age of 18 leaving the country, for example to travel to stay with family in the UK during the holidays, and not travelling with a parent or legal guardian will need an authorisation to do so.

There is a specific authorisation to leave form that can be downloaded from the internet that needs to be filled in and carried with the child along with their passport. This official form available on the French Government’s website is the only one that is permissible and a photocopy is not valid.

They must also have a photocopy of a valid identity document of the parent or legal guardian who provided his or her signature for the authorisation to travel form. This applies to all youngsters leaving France regardless of whether they are a French citizen or not.

From March 2017 all children aged under 12 must wear a helmet if they are riding a bicycle or are a passenger on a cycle under a new law aimed at reducing the number of facial and head injuries in this age group. Parents of children not wearing a helmet could face a fine of up to €135.

Organ donation has changed and everyone is now considered a donor unless they have registered to opt out. If they do not wish their organs to be used they can register online with the National Register of Refusals and it is also recommended that they leave a letter with a relative confirming their stance.

Tinted side windows at the front of all cars will be banned. All windows for front passengers and drivers must be at least 70% transparent, but the new rule does not affect rear windows.

From next week Paris becomes the first low traffic area (ZCR) in France and all vehicles must have an air quality certificate from the Ministry of Ecology and Sustainable Development. This takes the form of a sticker that indicates the level of pollution for a particular vehicle.

More Parisians are being encouraged to get a Paris Citizen Card which will offer even more activities from February 2017, allowing access to municipal swimming pool and tennis courts and for young people activities during the summer holidays. But there is a limit on numbers so it a first come first served basis.

Carrier bags are already banned in shops and supermarkets and now the packing bags used for fruits and vegetables in markets in are also banned. Traders will be fined if they use any kind of plastic bags so market shoppers will need to make sure they have enough when out and about.