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Approval of the procedure for witnessing force majeure circumstances by the bodies of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Approval of the procedure for witnessing force majeure circumstances by the bodies of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry

LEGAL DIGEST, NEWS \ 30.08.2021

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation has issued a Resolution approving the procedure for confirming force majeure circumstances under contracts concluded between Russian companies.

According to the text of the document, force majeure circumstances are understood as emergency, unforeseen and unavoidable circumstances that arose as a result of the performance of contractual obligations that the parties to the contract could not foresee and, accordingly, prevent. Such circumstances include:

  • natural disasters (earthquakes, floods, hurricane, etc.);
  • fire;
  • mass diseases (epidemics);
  • strikes;
  • military actions;
  • terrorist acts and other.

Events that constitute business risks cannot be classified as force majeure, for example:

  • violation of obligations on the part of the debtor’s contractors;
  • lack of the necessary goods on the market for the performance of obligations;
  • lack of the necessary funds to perform the obligations under the contract;
  • changes in the exchange rate, devaluation of the national currency, and so on.

If Russian companies are unable to perform their contractual obligations owing to force majeure circumstances, they can witness this event in the bodies of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Russia (CCI of the Russian Federation). To do this, companies need to submit an application in the prescribed form to the bodies of the CCI of the Russian Federation and attach a set of supporting documents to it:

  • copies of the contract with its appendices;
  • information about the scope of performed obligations under the contract at the time of the company’s request;
  • copies of documents (certificates, letters, acts of executive bodies or state authorities) confirming the events as a force majeure circumstance;
  • a copy of the company’s Charter;
  • an extract from the Unified State Register of Legal Entities / the Unified State Register of Individual Entrepreneurs;
  • a document confirming the appointment (election) of the sole executive body of the applicant – a legal entity.

The deadline for consideration of the application and making the relevant decision by the bodies of the CCI of the Russian Federation is 10 working days from the date of registration of the application. The procedure for considering an application consists of the following stages:

  1. Acceptance of the application.
  2. Assessment of the application and the documents attached to it.
  3. Conducting an expert examination.
  4. Drawing up of the opinion and its further issuance to the organization.

The authorized CCI of the Russian Federation issue opinions on the relevant circumstances based on the results of determining the set of the following signs:

  • presence of obligations under the contract and the term of their performance;
  • the nature and duration of the violation of contractual obligations;
  • presence of circumstances that could not have been reasonably foreseen by the applicant as a party to the contract and are of an emergency and unavoidable nature;
  • presence of documentary confirmation of an event that can be classified as force majeure circumstances;
  • presence of a connection between the circumstances that have occurred and the impossibility to fully or partially perform the obligation under the contract;
  • the applicant’s non-involvement in the creation of force majeure circumstances.

If force majeure circumstances arise under to non-contractual relationships or under a contract, one of the parties to which is an individual (who does not have the status of an individual entrepreneur), then the authorized CCI of the Russian Federation will not witness to such events. Please note that the activities on witnessing the force majeure is carried out by the bodies of the CCI of the Russian Federation for a fee.

In the matters of the participation of companies in the procedure of witnessing force majeure circumstances, please contact the specialists of Acsour Legal Department.