(a) If non-performance of a party is
due to an impediment which is beyond the reasonable control of that party and
could not have reasonably been foreseen by that party at the time of conclusion of the contract, and
neither the impediment nor its consequences could have been avoided or overcome by the non-performing party ("Acts of God", "Force Majeure", "höhere Gewalt"), and
the non-performing party did not assume, explicitly or implicitly, the risk of the occurrence of the impediment
that party's non-performance is excused.
(b) If non-performance is temporary, performance of the contract is suspended during that time and that party is not liable for damages to the other party. If the period of non-performance becomes unreasonable and amounts to a fundamental non-performance, the other party may claim damages and terminate the contract.
(c) Unless otherwise agreed by the parties expressly or impliedly, Force Majeure events under subsection (a) above are impediments such as
war, whether declared or not, civil war or any other armed conflict, military or non-military interference by any third party state or states, acts of terrorism or serious threats of terrorist attacks, sabotage or piracy, strike or boycott, acts of governments or any other acts of authority whether lawful or unlawful, blockade, siege or sanctions, or
accidents, fires, explosions, plagues, or
natural disasters such as but not limited to storm, cyclone, hurricane, earthquake, landslide, flood, drought etc., or
any event of a similar nature.
(d) The party who fails to perform must give notice to the other party of the impediment and its effect on its ability to perform. If such notice is not received by the other party within a reasonable time after the party who fails to perform knew or ought to have known of the impediment, it is liable for damages resulting from such non-receipt.
(e) Where the obligee has been prevented by a Force Majeure event as defined in (a) above from causing a limitation period to cease to run, the limitation period is suspended so as not to expire before one year after the relevant impediment has ceased to exist.
Arbitral AwardsAd Hoc-Award of September 9, 1983, YCA 1987, at 63 et seq.ICC Award No. 10527, Clunet 2004, at 1263 et seq.ICC Award No. 2142, YCA 1976, at 132 et seq. (also published in: Clunet 1974, at 892 et seq.)ICC Award No. 2478 IN 1974, YCA 1978, at 222 et seq. (also published in: Clunet 1975, at 925 et seq.).ICC Award No. 3880, YCA 1985, at 44 et seq. (also published in: Clunet 1983, at 897 et seq.)ICC Award No. 4462, YCA 1991, at 54 et seq. (also published in: ILM 1990, at 567 et seq.)ICC Award No. 5864, Clunet 1997, at 1073 et seq.ICC Award No. 7539, Clunet 1996, at 1030 et seq.ICC Award No. 7575, Clunet 2010, at 1378 et seq.ICC Award No. 8790, YCA 2004, at 13 et seq.ICC Award No.1782, Clunet 1975, at 923 et seq.ICC Award No.2216, Clunet 1975, at 917 et seq.ICC Award Nos. 3099 and 3100, YCA 1982, at 87 et seq. (also published in: Clunet 1980, at 951 et seq.).Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal, Gould Marketing, Inc. v. Ministry of National Defence, 3 IRAN-U.S. C.T.R., at 147 et seq.Iran-US Claims Tribunal, Anaconda Iran Ltd. v. Iran, 13 IRAN-U.S. C.T.R. 1986, at 199 et seq.Iran-US Claims Tribunal, Lockheed Corp. v. Iran, 18 IRAN-U.S. C.T.R., at 292 et seq.Iran-US Claims Tribunal, Mobil Oil Iran, Inc. et al. v. Iran , 16 IRAN-U.S. C.T.R., at 3 et seq.Iran-US Claims Tribunal, Questech Inc. v. Iran, 9 IRAN-U.S. C.T.R. 9, at 107 et seq.Iran-US Claims Tribunal, Touche Ross v. Iran, 9 IRAN-U.S. C.T.R., at 284 et seq.Society of Maritime Arbitrators, Inc., New York, Award No. 2972, Nordic American Shipping A/S v. Bayoil Inc., YCA 1995, at 126 et seq.
Arbitration RulesUNCITRAL Legal Guide on Drawing Up International Contracts for the Construction of Industrial Works, Exemption Clauses No. 1, 12
Court DecisionsBHGZ 100, 185Brauer & Co (Great Britain) Ltd v James Clark (Brush Materials) Ltd,  2 Lloyd's Rep. 147Fyffes Group Ltd v Reefer Express Lines Pty Ltd,  2 Lloyd's Rep. 171J. Lauritzen A.S. v. Wijsmüller B.V.,  1 Lloyd‘s L.Rep. 1Taylor v. Caldwell, 122 E.R. 309.Thames Valley Power Ltd v Total Gas & Power Ltd,  1 Lloyd's Rep. 441
DoctrineBerger/Erdely, 'Force Majeure in International Contract Law - A Comment on National Oil Corporation v Sun Oil', in: Wautelet/Kruger/Coppens (eds.), The Practice of Arbitration - Essays in Honour of Hans van Houtte, 2012, p. 61 et seq.Bishop, R. Doak, International Arbitration of Petroleum Disputes: The Development of a Lex Petrolea, YCA 1998, at 1131 et seq.Brunetti, Maurizio, The Lex Mercatoria in Practice: The Experience of the Iran- United States Claims Tribunal, in: (2002) 18 Arb. Int., 355 et seq.Brunner, Christoph, Force Majeure and Hardship under General Contract Principles - Exemption for Non-Performance in International Arbitration, 2009Cheng, Bin, General Principles Of Law as Applied by International Courts and Tribunals, reprinted, Cambridge 1987Craig, W. Laurence/ Park, William W./ Paulsson, Jan, International Chamber of Commerce Arbitration, 3rd ed., Dobbs Ferry 2000Crook, John R., Applicable Law In International Commercial Arbitration: The Iran-US-Claims Tribunal Experience, 83 AJIL 1989, at 278 et seq.Delaume, Georges, Law And Practice of Transnational Contracts, New York, London, Rome 1988Derains, Yves, note to ICC Award No. 3093/3100, Clunet 1980, at 955 et seq.Derains, Yves, note to ICC Award No. 5864, Clunet 1997, at 1077.Derains, Yves, note to ICC Award No. 7539, Clunet 1996, at 1034 et seq.Diamond, Aubrey L., Force Majeure and Frustration under International Sales Contracts, in: McKendrick (ed.), Force Majeure and Frustration of Contracts, London 1991, at 165 et seq.Domingo, Ortega, Rodriguez-Antolin, Zambrana, Principios de Derecho Global, Navarra, 2006Fontaine, Marcel, Les Clauses de Force Majeure dans les Contrats Internationaux, DPCI 1979, at 469 et seq.Fouchard Gaillard Goldman on International Commercial Arbitration (edited by Emmanuel Gaillard and John Savage) The Hague 1999Fouchard, Philippe, L'Arbitrage Commercial International, Paris 1965Hartkamp, Arthur, The UNIDROIT Principles For International Commercial Contracts and the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, in: Boele-Woelki/ Grosheide/ Hondius/ Steenhoff (eds.), Comparability and Evaluation, Dordrecht, Boston, London 1994, at 85 et seq.Horn, Norbert, Changes in Circumstances and the Revision of Contracts in Some European Laws and in International Law, in: Horn (ed.), Adaptation and Renegotiation of Contracts in International Trade and Finance, Antwerp, Boston, London, Frankfurt a.M. 1985, at 15 et seq.Jolivet, Emmanuel, Note to ICC Award No. 10527, Clunet 2004, at 1268 et seq.Kahn, Philippe, « Lex mercatoria » et Pratique des Contrats Internationaux, in: Le Contrat Economique International, Bruxelles, Paris 1975, page 200 et suiv.Kersley, R.H., M.A., LL.M./ Broom, Herbert, LL.D., A Selection of Legal Maxims, 10th ed. London, 1939Lowenfeld, Andreas F., Lex Mercatoria: An Arbitrator's View, Arb.Int’l 1990, at 133 et seq.Marrella, Fabrizio, La nuova lex mercatoria, Principi Unidroit ed usi di contratti des comercio internazionale, CEDAM, Tratto di dritto commerciale e di dritto publico dell‘economia, Volume 30, Padova 2003Maskow, Dietrich, Hardship and Force Majeure, 40 Am.J.Comp.L. 1992, at 657 et seq.Melis, Werner, Force Majeure and Hardship Clauses in International Commercial Contracts in View of the Practices of the ICC Court of Arbitration, 1 J.Int'l Arb. 1984, at 213 et seq.Michaelis de Vasconcellos, Harald, Garantieklauseln und Risikoverteilung im internationalen Anlagenvertrag, 1st ed., Heidelberg 1988Nolting, Ekkehard, Eingriffe als Force Majeure bei internationalen Wirtschaftsverträgen mit Staatsunternehmen?, RIW 1988, at 511 et seq.Note to ICC No.2478, Clunet 1975, at 916 et seq.Note, General Principles of Law in International Commercial Arbitration, 101 Harv.L.Rev. 1987/88, at 1816 et seq.Osman, Filali, Les Principes Généraux de la Lex Mercatoria, Paris 1992Paulsson, Jan, La Lex Mercatoria dans l‘Arbitrage C.C.I, Rev.d.Arb. 1990. at 55 et seq.Peters,Frank, Commentary on § 206 BGB, in: J. v. Staudinger, BGB, Buch 1: Allgemeiner Teil (§§ 164-240), Berlin 2004.Puelinckx, A.H., Frustration, Hardship, Force Majeure, Imprévision, Wegfall der Geschäftsgrundlage, Unmöglichkeit, Changed Circumstances, 3 J.Int'l Arb. 1986, No. 2, at 47 et seq.Reithman, Christoph/ Martiny, Dieter, Internationales Vertragsrecht, 4th ed., Cologne 1988Ripert, Georges, Les Règles du Droit Civil Applicables aux Rapports Internationaux (Contribution à l'Etude des Principes Généraux du Droit Visés au Statut de la Cour Permanente de Justice Internationale), 44 Rec.Cours 1933-II, at 569 et seq.Rivkin, David R., Lex Mercatoria and Force majeure, in: Gaillard (ed.), Transnational Rules in International Commercial Arbitration (ICC Publ Nr. 480,4), Paris 1993, at 161 et seq.Schlechtriem, Peter (ed.), English Commentary on the UN Convention on the International Sale of Goods (CISG), Comment on Art. 79 by Hans Stoll, Oxford 1998Schmitz, Stephan, Allgemeine Rechtsgrundsätze in der Rechtsprechung des Iran-United States Claims Tribunal, Frankfurt a.M., Berlin, Bern 1992Seidl-Hohenveldern, Ignaz, Corporations in and under International Law, Cambridge 1987Triebel, Volker, Pitfalls of Englisch as a Contract Language, in: Frances Olsen et al (eds), Translation Issues in Language and Law (2009), at 147 et seq.Verdross, Alfred/ Simma, Bruno, Universelles Völkerrecht, 3rd ed., Berlin 1984Wühler, Norbert, Application of General Principles of Law, in van den Berg (ed.), Planning efficient Arbitration Proceedings - The Law Applicable in International Arbitration, p. 553 et seq.Westberg, John A., Contract Excuse in International Business Transactions: Awards of the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal, 4 ICSID Rev.-FILR 1989, at 215 et seq.Ylts, The 'Y2K Problem' and Arbitration: The Answer to the Myth, Arb.Int. 2000, at 79Zeller, Damages under the Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, 2nd ed. 2009
International LegislationArt. 9 Directive 97/5/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 January 1997 on cross-border credit transfers, Official Journal L 043, 14/02/1997 at 25 et seq, available at www.eur-lex.euCouncil Directive 90/134/EEC on package travel, package holidays and package tours, 13. June 1990United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG)
MiscellaneousCISG Advisory Council Opinion No. 7: Exemption of Liability for Damages Under Article 79 of the CISGDecision taken by the Governing Council of the United Nations Compensation Commission, S/AC.26/1992/9, 06 March 1992
Miscellaneous LegislationUnited Nations, Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts, 2001.
Model LawsA Contract Code: Drawn up on Behalf of the English Law CommissionDraft Common Frame of Reference (EU) - DCFR (2008)OHADA Uniform Act Relating to General Commercial Law (Translation)Uniform Law on the International Sale of Goods
Model TermsFIDIC 1999 Conditions of Contract for Construction (Red, Yellow, Silver)UNECE-General Conditions for the Supply of Plant and Machinery for Export.Standard Contracts for the UK Offshore Oil & Gas Industry, General Conditions of Contract (including Guidance Notes) for Marine Construction, 2nd Ed., Aberdeen 2004, at 1 et seq. (available at: http://www.logic-oil.com/contracts.cfm)Standard Contracts for the UK Offshore & Gas Industry, General Conditions of Contract (inlcuding Guidance Notes) for Marine Construction, 2nd Ed., Aberdeen 2003, at 1 et seq.Joint Operating Agreement For UKCS Licence No. P. [ ... ] Block [ ... ] (see: http://www.oilandgas.org.uk/issues/stdagreements/worddocs/joint_operating_agreement.doc)ICC (ed.), Force Majeure and Hardship, Paris 1985 (ICC Publ No. 421).ICC Force Majeure Clause 2003, ICC Hardship Clause 2003, ICC Publication No. 650UNIDO Model Form of Semi-Turnkey Contract for the Construction of a Fertilizer Plant including Guidelines and technical AnnexuresNorth American Export Grain Association, Inc. - Free on Board Export Contract U.S.A./Canada (No. 2)
National LegislationBürgerliches Gesetzbuch - German Civil CodeCivil Code QuébecContract Law of the People's Republic of ChinaEthiopian Civil CodeFrench Code CivilGIW GDRUAE Law of Commercial Procedure 1994
Principles / RestatementsPrinciples of European Contract Law - PECLThe Most Recent Legal Principles Adopted by the Arbitral Tribunals under the Auspices of the Cairo Centre, CRCICA-Newsletter, Jan. 1997, page 2 et seq.UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts