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广东星辰前海律师事务所 | 疫情熱點丨疫情之下合同不能依約履行,出口企業如何在法律層面進行自救?
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疫情熱點丨疫情之下合同不能依約履行,出口企業如何在法律層面進行自救?

13 2月 疫情熱點丨疫情之下合同不能依約履行,出口企業如何在法律層面進行自救?

新型冠状病毒肺炎疫情對生產、物流的嚴重影響可能導致出口企業的貿易合同、承包合同不能依約履行。The severe impact of 2019-nCoV epidemic on production and logistics may lead to the breach of trade or work contracts by export enterprises.出口企業在法律層面如何自救,盡可能避免或減少損失?

How can export enterprises save themselves at the legal level and avoid or reduce losses as possible?

答案來了 ⬇ ⬇ ⬇ ⬇ ⬇

特別提示:以下意見均基於合同選擇的適用法律為中國法的前提。如合同選擇適用他國法律,或未選擇適用法律,或未訂立合同,需另行個案分析。您可按文末的聯繫方式進行諮詢。Note: The following opinions are based on the premise that the governing law selected in the concerned contract shall be P. R. C. laws. If it chooses other countries’ laws as the governing law, or does not choose any governing law, or has not made any contract, it shall be separately analyzed on a case-by-case basis. You can make enquiries following the contact information at the end of this article.

                                                                                    提问 解答

                                                                           Qustions Answers
問題1:新型冠狀病毒肺炎疫情是否屬於“不可抗力”?Q1:  Whether 2019-nCoV epidemic shall be deemed as “force majeure”?答:是。“不可抗力”是指不能預見、不能避免且不能克服的客觀情況。此次新型冠狀病毒感染的肺炎所引起的疫情,屬於一種突發的異常事件,醫學界尚無絕對有效的方法可以阻止病毒傳播;同時,國務院及地方政府均已發佈遲延復工的強行性通知。這些都符合上述“不可抗力”的特徵,屬於“不可抗力”事件。

A: Yes. “Force majeure” means the objective circumstances which are unforeseeable, unavoidable and insurmountable. The epidemic outbreak caused by 2019-nCoV is a sudden and abnormal event. There is no absolutely effective method to prevent the spread of the virus. At the same time, both the state council and the local governments have issued compulsory notices to delay the resumption of work. These are in accordance with the above “force majeure” characteristics, which makes it fall on the “force majeure” events.

問題2:合同不能履行可否因為疫情免責?Q2: Can 2019-nCoV epidemic be the exemption of breach of contracts?答:應當視合同不能履行是否由疫情造成而定。如合同不能履行是由於政府採取疫情防控措施,造成工廠停工、交通封鎖等而導致,則可因疫情免責。如合同不能履行與疫情並無關係,例如合同訂立於疫情以後或違約發生於疫情以前,則不能因疫情免責。

A: It shall depend on whether the breach of contracts is caused by the 2019-nCoV epidemic. If the breach of contracts is caused by the epidemic prevention and control measures taken by the government, which result in factory shutdown, traffic blockade, etc., the epidemic may be an exemption. If the breach of contracts has nothing to do with the 2019-nCoV epidemic, for example, the contract was concluded after the epidemic outbreak or the breach of contract occurred before the epidemic outbreak, the epidemic shall not be an exemption.

問題3:合同因疫情不能履行如何處理?Q3: What to do in case of breach of contracts caused by the 2019-nCoV epidemic?答:有約定依約定,無約定依法定。如合同有關於不能履行如何處理的約定,應依該約定處理。如合同無相關約定,則應依據《合同法》的規定,區分“合同全部不能履行”、“合同不能依約履行”兩種情形,分別處理。

1)合同全部不能履行的,不能履行一方應及時以書面方式通知對方解除合同,並提供解除合同的事由(即疫情)的證據。合同自通知到達對方時解除,或由當事人協商一致解除。對方如有異議,應在收到解除合同通知之日起三個月內向法院起訴。

2)合同不能依約履行(即部分履行或遲延履行)的,不能依約履行一方也應按前述方式通知對方及提供證據,當事人可協商變更合同或解除合同。

A: Relevant clauses in contracts shall stand, or the Contract Law shall apply in case of no relevant clause in contracts. If there are clauses in contracts relating to failure of contract performance, the parties shall proceed according to such clauses. If there is no relevant clause in the contract, it is necessary to distinguish the two cases of “non-performance” and “partial non-performance”, and differently proceed according to the Contract Law. 

1) In case of “non-performance” , the party failing to perform shall promptly notify the other party in writing to terminate the contract, and shall provide evidence on the cause of termination (i.e., the epidemic). The contract shall be terminated upon receipt of the notice to the other party or by mutual agreement of the parties. If the other party has any objection, they shall file a lawsuit with the court within three months after receiving the notice of termination of the contract. 

2) In case of “partial non-performance”(that is, partial performance or delayed performance), the party of partial non-performance shall also notify the other party and provide evidence in the aforementioned manner, and the parties may modify or terminate the contract through negotiation.

問題4:如何證明國際貿易或承包合同履行中出現了新型冠狀病毒肺炎疫情這一“不可抗力”?Q4: How to prove the 2019-nCoV epidemic as “force majeure” in the performance of international trade contracts or work contracts?答:可向貿促會申請出具不可抗力證明。根據《中國國際貿易促進委員會章程》,該會可以出具不可抗力證明。目前,各地貿促會已陸續發佈相關公告明確表示,受新型冠狀病毒感染的肺炎疫情的影響,導致無法如期履行或不能履行國際貿易合同的,企業可向該會申請辦理與不可抗力相關的事實性證明。

A: You may apply with CCPIT for a certificate as proof of force majeure. According to the Articles of Association of CCPIT, the Council may issue such certificate. Recently, many CCPIT local branches have published relevant announcements, making it clear that, in case of breach of international trade contracts caused by the 2019-nCoV epidemic, the concerning enterprises may apply with CCPIT for a certificate as proof of force majeure.

問題5: 申請出具不可抗力證明應如何操作?Q5: How to apply for the certificate of force majeure?答:可線上申請辦理。企業可在中國貿促會商事認證中心的線上認證平臺:

http://www.rzccpit.com/

申請辦理新型冠狀病毒感染的肺炎疫情不可抗力事實性證明。

中國貿促會商事認證中心諮詢、聯繫電話:

010-82217027/7035/7010

A: Online application is available. Enterprises can use the online certification platform of CCPIT Commercial Certification Center http://www.rzccpit.com/ to apply for the factual certificate on force majeure of the 2019-nCoV epidemic. The hot lines of the CCPIT Commercial Certification Center are 010-82217027/7035/7010.

問題6: 申請出具不可抗力證明應提交哪些佐證材料?Q6: What supporting documents shall be provided, to apply for the certificate of force majeure? 

答:1)企業所在地政府、機構出具的證明/公告(有關延期復工、交通停運等);2)海陸空相關延運、延飛、取消等通知/證明;3)出口貨物買賣合同、貨物訂艙協定、貨運代理協定、報關單等;4)其他所能提供的材料。

A: 1) Certificates/announcements issued by local governments or organizations where the enterprises locate (relating to delayed resumption of work, transportation suspension, etc.); 2) Notices/certificates relating to the delay or cancellation of sea, land or air transportation; 3) sales contracts for export goods, cargo booking agreements, shipping agency agreements, customs declarations, etc.; 4) other materials available.

問題7:合同中未約定不可抗力條款或者約定將不可抗力排除在免責事由之外的怎麼辦?Q7: What if there is no clause of force majeure in contracts, or it excludes force majeure events from the exemption causes? 

答:這不影響主張不可抗力免責。由於“不可抗力”屬於法定免責事由,當事人即使未在合同中約定不可抗力條款或者約定將不可抗力排除在免責事由之外,在符合法定條件的情況下,均不影響直接援引法律規定,主張不可抗力免責。

A: This does not affect the claim of force majeure exemption. Since “force majeure” is a statutory exemption cause, even if the parties fail to agree on the force majeure clause in contracts or exclude force majeure events from the exemption causes, if all legal conditions are met, it does not affect the claim of force majeure exemption by directly invoking legal provisions. 

 

本文作者:黃全來律師

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