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CCPIT Commercial Certification Center Provides Force Majeure Certificates of Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia Service

02/21/2020 17:41

Since the country’s first  force majeure certificate of novel coronavirus pneumonia was provided on  February 2, CCPIT Commercial Certification Center has made a  deployment, and local trade promotion agencies also made generous  response. They have issued force majeure certificates to shield  companies from legal damages arising from the epidemic outbreak, which  has attracted wide attention from all walks of life at home and abroad.

Recently, whether the epidemic constitutes a force majeure slips in contract, and whether the enterprises can be exempted from contractual liability have become hot topics in all walks of life.

Commission of Legislative Affairs of  the National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee Spokesperson  Zang Tiewei met the press and expressed, “at present, China is fighting  against the novel coronavirus pneumonia. To protect public health, the  government has adopted corresponding epidemic prevention and control  measures. For the parties who are unable to perform the contract, the  epidemic is unforeseeable, unavoidable and insurmountable force majeure.  According to the Contract Law, if the contract cannot be performed due  to force majeure, the responsibility shall be  exempted from liability in part or in whole in light of the impact of  the event of force majeure, except otherwise provided by law.”

It can be seen that CCPIT and local  trade promotion agencies have legal support to accept and issue force  majeure certificate. But at the same time, the factual proof of force  majeure is the proof of objective facts, not the "trump card" of the  enterprise contract exemption.

The certificate issued by CCPIT  exonerates companies from not performing or partially performing  contractual duties by proving they are suffering from circumstances  beyond their control, which can prove that there were objective facts  such as delayed resumption of work, traffic control, and restricted  dispatch of labor personnel.

According to this, the enterprise can  claim to another party of the contract for delay in performance or  termination of the contract. But whether the contract can be exempted in  whole or in part requires them to offer prove. According to the  applicable law, the specific agreement of the contract and the specific  objective situation, they can decide whether there is a causal  relationship between the "epidemic and its prevention and control  measures" and "the enterprise cannot perform the contract".

If a dispute arises between the  parties, it can usually be settled through mediation, litigation or  arbitration. Therefore, even if another party of the contract refuses  the force majeure certificate, it is not the final conclusion. The  coronavirus-hit enterprises can still maintain their rights and  interests in accordance with the law through continuous negotiation,  mediation, litigation or arbitration.

With the recovery of enterprises all  over the country, the impact of the epidemic on the production and  operation of enterprises and the performance of contracts will be  differentiated and complex.

To carry out work in a more  professional and compliant manner, to provide more timely, accurate and  targeted services for enterprises, and to protect the legitimate rights  and interests of enterprises, CCPIT Commercial Certification  Center integrates the forces of the national trade promotion system and  all sectors of society, and establishes a team of legal experts to  study and standardize testimonies and the audit points, reviews the  certification process, and guide the enterprise to use the force  majeure. It also provides legal opinions on the force majeure involving  major events to ensure the legality and compliance of each certificate  to help enterprises reduce losses.

CCPIT Commercial Certification Center  will accept the supervision and suggestions from all walks of life and  perform the responsibilities of CCPIT, contributing to the fight against  epidemic.

Starting from February 6, enterprises  from all over the country can log in to the CCPIT online certification  platform, http://www.rzccpit.com/, and apply for the force majeure certificates of the novel coronavirus pneumonia. To learn more, please subscribe the WeChat public official account of “CCPIT Commercial Certification(中国贸促商事认证)”.


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