The spread of coronavirus in some cases can be recognized as force majeure, the consequences of which did not allow fulfillment of obligations under economic contracts, President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Ukraine (CCI) Hennadiy Chyzhykov has said. “The CCI of Ukraine receives a large number of requests regarding the recognition of the spread of coronavirus as force majeure. The CCI very carefully approaches this issue and relies on international practice and the legal framework,” he told Interfax-Ukraine.
At the same time, Chyzhykov said that in general “coronavirus, like flu, is not a basis for evidence of force majeure.”
According to him, the basis for evidence of force majeure is the presence of one or more circumstances stipulated by law. Among them are such circumstances, including an epidemic.
In addition, force majeure circumstances may be determined by the parties in the text of the contracts.
“The presence of force majeure circumstances in the contracts such as an epidemic, an emergency situation in the healthcare sector or restrictive actions of the authorities, strengthens the position on the recognition of facts that do not allow the fulfillment of relevant obligations. But it is always necessary to provide evidence that it is coronavirus or measures to combat its spread that are circumstances that could cause the inability to fulfill obligations,” Chyzhykov said.
He also said that a party that refers to force majeure circumstances should contact the competent authority (the chamber of commerce and industry) of the country where these circumstances arose, and obtain the appropriate document (certificate), so that it can be presented to the counterparty according to terms of the contract.