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Chamber of Commerce declarations about the existence of force majeure

COVID-19 emergency in Italy

30/03/2020

By Circular (“Circolare”) No. 0088612, dated 25 March 2020, the Ministry of Economic Development (“MISE”) authorized the Chambers of Commerce to issue certificates, in English, about the existence of “force majeure” caused by Covid-19 emergency.

MISE intervention is moved by the fact that many supply contracts with foreign countries contain clauses which require the production of such certifications in order to invoke “force majeure” and, consequently, to deal with the breach of contractual obligations.

The invocation of the so-called “cause of force majeure” for COVID-19, together with the evidence of the effects on compliance with contractual obligations, are not easy tasks and companies are strongly exposed to the risk of penalties, with consequent impacts on the business relations and, more generally, of their own activity.

It is a document designed to support the international trade through which the Chambers of Commerce, within the powers granted by law, can issue statements, in English, about the problems in Italy connected with the COVID-19 emergency and the consequent restrictions imposed by law for the containment of the epidemic.

By means of the above-mentioned declarations the Chambers of Commerce will be able to certify the receipt, by the company requesting the document, of a declaration in which - referring to the restrictions imposed by the Government Authorities and to the state of emergency in place - the company itself certify that it has not been able to meet its contractual obligations within the agreed time frame for unforeseeable reasons beyond the company's control.

 The filing authority (“Unioncamere”) will circulate to the Chambers of Commerce a declaration scheme, drafted in English, to be used for the above-mentioned purpose.

Authors

Picture of Pietro Cavasola
Pietro Cavasola
Managing Partner
Rome
Federica Turetta
Federica Turetta
Associate
Rome