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China trade body offers force majeure certificates for virus-hit firms

COMPANIES in China can now request for force majeure certificates if their businesses with overseas partners have been affected by the Wuhan virus outbreak. 

The China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), accredited with Beijing’s Commerce Ministry, announced the move late on Thursday, Fastmarkets MB reported.

Force majeure certificates can excuse parties from not performing their contractual obligations due to extraordinary circumstances beyond their control.

Businesses that have failed to perform on contracts on time or failed to fulfil any international trade contracts can apply for the certificates, the trade agency stated on its website in Mandarin.

The move is meant to safeguard the rights and interests of companies based in China, and to help them reduce losses.

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"Some Chinese companies have suffered severe impacts on goods and logistics and may not be able to fulfil their contracts amid the coronavirus," CCPIT said.

Applicants must submit proof of delays or cancellations in sea, air or land transportation as well as export cargo sales contracts or agreements, according Fastmarkets MB, which publishes prices and news on global metals markets.

The certification is recognised and accepted overseas, CCPIT said.

On Thursday, the World Heath Organization declared a global emergency over the deadly coronavirus spreading from China, after the country reported its biggest single-day jump in the death toll.

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