Force majeure confirmation
The Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry is authorized to confirm the circumstances beyond control in the contractual relations between the Belarusian contracting parties in accordance with the terms of the international contracts of the Republic of Belarus.
All civil law systems, including the legislation of the Republic of Belarus, consider the debtor’s guilt as the precondition for the contractual responsibility. The debtor can be free from the responsibility for the failure in obligation fulfillment only in the case of the impossibility of its fulfillment due to the circumstances beyond control (force majeure).
International law and foreign national legislation, as well as the Belarusian legislation, do not give clear legal definition of the term 'force majeure' and only give the description of the characteristic features.
In the absence of the clear definition, the 'force majeure' is defined as the circumstances impeding the fulfillment of the contract obligations by one party, which are beyond the party’s control and are perceived as inevitable and unforeseen.
All these circumstances can be for convenience divided into: the force majeure itself (natural disasters and social phenomena (earthquakes, floods, epidemics) and the so called legal force majeure (the resolutions of the governments, exchange restrictions, strikes, wars, revolutions, etc.).
The Belarusian and foreign national laws don’t contain any obligatory and limited specification for the force majeure.
For this reason, the question of rating the circumstance as force majeure can become a source of disputes between the parties to the civil law relations. The disputes in this case can be settled by the issuance by the independent party (organization) of the proper certificate.
The legislation of many countries empowers the Chambers of Commerce and Industry to inspect the circumstances beyond control. Consequently, according to the Law of the Republic of Belarus 'On the Chamber of Commerce and Industry', the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has the prerogative right to inspect the force majeure.
As the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry performs its function of force majeure inspection under the civil law relations, this function is neither legal, nor state-powered in a general sense and can’t be considered an administrative procedure. It is an initially established by the customs type of the legal expertise of documents, which is a part of the Chamber’s routine practice identifying the conditions of legal relations, the process of the obligations fulfillment by the parties and the reasons of the improper performance of these obligations.
The Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry bases its conclusions on received demands for the force majeure confirmation only on the documents filed to the BelCCI unilaterally by the applicants and defined by them as appropriate and trustworthy.
The applicants, being the parties which failed to perform their obligations properly, are fully responsible for the correctness and trustworthiness of the documents (data) they provide, as well as for the consequences of possible contestation (appeal) against the conclusions made by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry from the side of the parties to legal relations and other persons.
The Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry performs the confirmation of the force majeure on the basis of the written application of the interested party to the foreign trade agreement, signed by its senior executive or by the authorized party.
The documents to be attached to the application include: the certified copy of the agreement, the copies of the specifications, the certificate of the amount of fulfilled obligations, etc. The documents shall prove the presence of contractual relations between the parties and the ensuing of force majeur.
The Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry charges its clients the fee for its services in accordance with the schedule rate.
The Certificates are issued within the time limits and in the manner provided by the office routine rules of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
11, Kommunisticheskaya St.