As of 1 January 2022, a mandatory reverse charge of import VAT has come into effect in France. To this end, every importer, regardless of the country of establishment, must have a French VAT number. The downside is that without a French VAT number, it is no longer possible to import goods into France at all (from outside the EU). At the moment, the French tax authorities are dealing with a huge number of applications for a French VAT number, which means that the lead time is at least two months.
That is why there is now a temporary regime: imports can still be made without a VAT number (with payment of import VAT, which can be reclaimed later) provided a request for registration is submitted before 1 March 2022.