Force Majeure Certificates

Author - Jack Simpson

Date published:

Business is always done in good faith; however, actions or events can frustrate and block even the best business intentions, making it impossible to continue trading with a partner. In these circumstances, you may be able to enact Force Majeure.

Force Majeure comes into effect when certain circumstances beyond the control of agreed parties threaten to default activity. It is a contractual, rather than a legal, concept, so is therefore open to interpretation, and must be considered in the framework of the agreed contract. It may allow for time extension, suspend certain obligation or contractual termination

The Chamber can issue Force Majeure Certificates, which attest to the conditions for which it is being triggered. To do so, businesses will have to complete the below process:

· Email a letter confirming details of the force majeure circumstances and the scope of non-fulfilment of contractual obligations due to these circumstances, signed by the company director, to [email protected].

· This will need to be backed up by documents by the competent authorities or verifiable sources attesting to the existence of the force majeure circumstances.

· We will produce a draft letter and email it to you for approval.

The Chamber can only certify factual details that can be evidenced. We cannot comment as to whether or not Force Majeure applies or argue such claims on behalf of the applicant. It is the responsibility of the applicant to claim Force Majeure and the Chamber’s role is to provide a certificate in support of such claim

If Force Majeure is not in your contract, you can explore the UK law Doctrine of Frustration. This requires a higher threshold of frustration but allows parties to immediately terminate contracts if proven. A change in the law the law that makes it illegal for one of the parties to fulfil its agreement could utilise this doctrine since no party is at fault.

If the Force Majeure is challenged by the customer, it can be escalated up to the International Chambers of Commerce. As the governing body of Force Majeure in international trade, they will then arbitrate on the matter. If would like to discuss Force Majeure, please contact [email protected].

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