新冠病毒疫情下, 在欧中企法律须知

1. 欧洲普遍因新冠病毒疫情进入紧急状态

General state of emergency in Europe due to  the novel coronavirus epidemic (Covid-19)

目前,欧洲民众的生活因新冠病毒疫情受到了严格的限制。欧盟内部已开始实施普遍的旅行禁令(禁止非欧盟公民入境),欧盟边境也已经关闭。一些国家实行了全国范围的宵禁。几乎所有欧洲国家的商店和学校都已关闭。

这些限制严重影响了各个规模的公司的业务。许多公司的供应链存在困难,导致流动性也出现问题。为了缓解这种影响,欧洲各政府已经宣布采取多种措施。

比如,德国已经采取了以下措施来帮助公司:

(1) 雇主可以申请短时工作津贴。该津贴由政府出资,允许缩短工作时间,从而帮助避免裁员及公司破产。

(2) 雇主可申请条件宽松的延缓纳税,帮助改善公司的流动性。

(3) 暂停履行法律规定的限期申报破产的义务(《德国破产法》第15a条规定,应在资不抵债或丧失清偿能力发生后三周内申报破产),有效期至2020年9月30日。

旨在帮助公司(尤其是自由职业者和小公司)的进一步措施,如直接的金融援助(扩大现有的信贷项目及新增特殊项目),目前仍在讨论阶段,并将在近几天开始实行。

欧盟宣布将启动370亿欧元的应对新冠病毒疫情的投资计划,欧洲中央银行也将采取一系列措施,为各个银行和欧洲投资银行的金融工具注入流动性,为受新冠病毒疫情影响的公司提供帮助。


Public life in Europe is currently heavily restricted due to the coronavirus epidemic. There are extensive travel restrictions within the European Union (entry bans for non-EU citizens) and the Union’s external borders are closed. Some countries have imposed nationwide curfews. Shops and schools are closed in almost all European countries. 

These restrictions have a significant impact on the business of companies of all sizes. Many companies are experiencing difficulties in  their supply chain which also results in  liquidity problems. In order to soften this impact,  the European governments have already announced and adopted extensive measures. 

For example, in Germany, the following  measures for companies have already been put  into place:

  (1) Employers may apply for short-time  allowance. This allowance is publicly  funded, allows the reduction of worked hours and helps to avoid dismissals of employees and insolvencies of companies.

  (2) Employers can ask for generous tax deferrals which supports their company’s  liquidity. 

(3) The obligation to file for insolvency within the time limit set by the law (three weeks after the commencement of insolvency or overindebtedness, cf. Sec. 15a of the German Insolvency Statute) will  be suspended until 30 September 2020. 

Further measures such as direct financial  support (expansion of existing credit programs and additional special programs) for companies, especially for self-employed persons and small companies, is currently discussed and will be put in place within the  next days. 

The European Union announced a Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative with a volume of EUR 37 billion, ECB measures to provide liquidity to banks and EIB  instruments to help companies affected by the  coronavirus outbreak.

形势每天都在变化,上文是对目前情况的概述。为尽可能保证与欧洲贸易公司的业务顺利进行,我们向中国出口商提出以下建议:

(1) 审阅所有销售合同的所有权(和其他担保物)保留条款以及不可抗力条款。

(2) 密切关注截止日期。请不要等待,应立即通知信用保险商或律师,采取适当的法律行动。

(3) 核实买方的财务情况,并与其沟通。如得知其有关资信可靠性或合同履行能力可能存在任何问题,应进行法律咨询,了解货物的交付是否可以中止,或是否可以获得充足的担保物,或合同是否可以宣告无效。

签订新的供货合同时:仔细起草合同,确保减小风险。尤其要约定担保权(如保留所有权的权利),以保证如发生对方不付款的情形,贵公司不会因此承担损失。我们还强烈建议,应聘请国际商法律师针对贵司的需求起草合同。


The foregoing serves as a general overview of the current situation which evolves daily. In order to keep the business with European trade companies as smooth as possible we have the following recommendations for Chinese exporters:

(1) Review all sales contracts with regards to Retention of Title (and other collaterals) and  Force Majeure clauses. 

(2) Observe due dates closely. Please do not wait and inform your credit insurer or your lawyer immediately in order to take the appropriate legal measures.  

(3) Check financial situation of Buyers and enter into communication. In case of negative information regarding creditworthiness or ability to perform the contract, take legal advice to check if the performance of the delivery can be suspended or if adequate collaterals can be obtained or if the contract can be declared avoided. 

(4) In case of conclusion of new delivery  contracts: make sure that risks are mitigated by careful contract drafting. It is especially important to agree to security rights – such as Retention of Title rights – so that your company will be protected against nonpayment. We also highly recommend to ask a specialized lawyer in international commercial law to help you draft the contract which corresponds exactly  to your needs.


2. 受新冠病毒疫情影响,中国供应商的主要法律义务

Principal legal obligations for Chinese  suppliers due to Covid-19 outbreak

如因新冠病毒疫情的相关原因(如员工受出行限制的影响),货物无法按时生产和运输,卖方应立刻通知买方。如未履行合同的一方知道或应知道出现相关困难,但另一方未在合理时间内收到通知,该方应对另一方未收到通知所造成的损害负责(见《联合国国际货物销售合同公约》第4章第79条)。

除以书面形式通知买方,并且与合同伙伴讨论协商之外,我们还强烈建议收集有关发生不可抗力事件、采取的减缓措施以及自身发生的损失的任何证据。


The seller must immediately notify the buyer if  the goods cannot be produced and shipped in  time due to reasons related to Covid-19 (such as travel restrictions for employees etc.). If the  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, he is liable for damages resulting  from such non-receipt, cf. Art. 79 sec. 4 CISG.  Besides notifying the buyers (also in written form), discussing and negotiating with the contractual partners, we strongly advise to collect any evidence on the occurrence of the Force Majeure event, adopted mitigation measures and incurred own losses.


3. 新冠病毒:是不可抗力吗?

New EU rules for consumer protection (B2C)


根据《联合国国际货物销售合同公约》第1章第79条规定,新冠病毒此类疫情可能被认定为不可抗力,但是,必须注意到许多下销售合同中的不可抗力条款,对“不可抗力”的法律理解和该公约是不同的。

但是,不论合同中对“不可抗力”的法律理解与公约的规定是否一致,对于卖方是否可以以不可抗力为由豁免合同的履行,都必须具体情况具体分析。因此,对于标题中所提出的问题,并没有放之四海而皆准的答。

贸促委(中国国际贸易促进委员会)出具的证书可以被视为不可抗力事件的情况证据。但是,法庭有根据具体情况自行评估的自由(此“不可抗力”是否适用于这一特定的案件?),不受到外国机构出具的此类证书的约束。

证书中应明确说明导致出口商无法履行承诺的具体情况以及准确的时间线。

对于中国出口商来说,最关键的是要保留一切相关情况的证明文件,如行政决定或命令、国内运输限制令、开工禁令、隔离令等,包括对应的时间线。


It can be possible to qualify an epidemic such as  Covid-19 as a case of Force Majeure according to Art. 79 sec. 1 CISG. However, it is important  to note that many sales contracts contain a  Force Majeure clause which may modify the  legal conception. 

In both cases, however, it has to be determined on a case by case basis if the seller is exempt from performance due to Force Majeure. Therefore, there is no general answer to the question raised in the headline. 

Certificates issued by CCPIT (China Council for  the Promotion of International Trade) can be  recognized as circumstantial evidence for a case of Force Majeure. However, the courts are free  in their case-by-case assessment (is "force  majeure" applicable to the specific case?) and not bound to such certificate issued by foreign agencies. 

The certificate should precisely state the specific circumstances and exact timeline leading to the exporter’s impossibility to perform the contract. 

It is of utmost importance that Chinese exporters have a proper documentation on all circumstances such as administrative decisions or orders, domestic transportation restrictions, work prohibitions, quarantine orders etc. including the corresponding timeline.


4. 《联合国国际货物销售合同公约》(CISG):以国内法院的解释为准

United Nations Convention on Contracts for  the International Sale of Goods (CISG):  Subject to the interpretation by national  courts

该公约含有相关性很高的法律规定,它几乎适用于中国卖家与欧洲(或其他)买家签订的所有销售合同。几乎所有国家都批准了该公约(欧洲主要是英国和葡萄牙除外),并立即自动适用于国际销售合同。

例如,违约索赔权(《销售公约》第74条)不需要另一方存在过错。但受损方必须采取一切合理措施减轻损害。德国最近的一项判决中进一步澄清了,如果损害完全是因买方为减轻损害而采取的不合理措施所致,可以完全排除卖方的责任(参见OLG Naumurg, NJW2020,476)。

因此,如果买方索赔,强烈建议向精通《销售公约》的律师确认法律事实。


This Convention contains very relevant legal dispositions which apply to almost all sales contracts between Chinese sellers and European (or other) buyers. Almost all countries have ratified this Convention  (exceptions in Europe are notably the United  Kingdom and Portugal) which applies  automatically to an international sales contract  without further ado. 

For example, the right to claim damages for  breach of contract (Art. 74 CISG) does not require a fault of the other party. However, the injured party has to take all reasonable measures to mitigate the damage. In a recent  judgment in Germany, it has been further clarified that the liability of the seller can be completely excluded if the damage was only due to unreasonable measures of the buyer in order to mitigate the damages (cf. OLG  Naumburg, NJW 2020, 476). 

If the buyer alleges damages, it is therefore highly recommended to verify the legal situation with a lawyer well-versed in CISG.

5. 供应商可能因交付缺陷产品而对客户的破产承担责任

Supplier can be responsible for the  insolvency of a customer due to the shipment of defective goods

法国最高法院在2019年11月27日的判决中,判令一名供应商(卖方)承担其一家客户(买方)破产的经济后果。

卖方向该客户提供了存在瑕疵的胶黏剂,造成数千件产品被召回以及几乎全部的销售损失。

该客户要求供应商赔偿损失,而供应商始终拒绝承认瑕疵,并由此拒绝任何赔偿。该客户由于违约造成的经济和财务困难而被迫申请破产。法院发现瑕疵产品和破产间存在直接因果关系,因此,判令卖方承担破产造成的经济后果。

因此,在瑕疵导致的索赔中,最好选择友好解决,尤其是在损害严重到可能导致破产的情况下。


In a judgment of 27 November 2019, the Cour  de Cassation (highest French court) ordered a supplier (seller) to bear the financial  consequences of the insolvency of one of its  customers (buyer). 

The seller had supplied the customer with defective adhesive, which led to the recall of thousands of products and the almost complete loss of sales. The customer claimed damages from the supplier, who had always rejected the defectiveness and thus refused any compensation. In view of the economic and financial difficulties that this breach of contract had caused, the customer was forced to file for insolvency. The Court found a direct causality between the defective goods and the bankruptcy and therefore ordered the seller to  bear the financial consequences of the insolvency. 

In the case of damage claims due to defects, it may therefore be preferable to negotiate an amicable settlement, especially if the damages are so severe that they could be a cause for insolvency.

6. 中欧全面投资协定(CAI):正在进行谈判

Comprehensive Agreement on Investment  (CAI) between China and the EU: Ongoing  negotiations

自2013年以来,欧盟和中国一直在就关于相互投资的贸易协定进行谈判,以之取代目前关于鼓励和相互保护投资的双边协定(例如,中德双边协定始于2003年)。

有关CAI的谈判计划于2020年结束。我们将密切关注这方面的一切进展。

Since 2013, the EU and China are negotiating  about a trade agreement in regards to mutual  investments which shall replace the current  bilateral agreements on the encouragement and reciprocal protection of investments (for example, the bilateral Agreement between  China and Germany dates from 2003). 

It is intended that negotiations on the CAI will be terminated in the course of 2020. We will closely monitor any developments hereto.

7. 欧洲最近的反倾销措施

Recent European Anti-Dumping Measures

(1)欧盟委员会对进口自中国的铝型材发起反倾销调查。受调查的产品为铝制棒材、型材(无论是否空心)、管材,是否准备好用于结构(例如定尺,钻孔,弯曲,倒角,螺纹);以及由铝制成,无论是否合金化,含铝最高不超过99.3%。

(2)欧盟委员会对产自中国的进口钢制车轮征收最终反倾销税。最终反倾销税税率为缴税前在联盟边界交货净价的50.3%至66.4%。已经征收的临时反倾销税最终将被征收。

(3)欧盟委员会已决定对源自中国的进口味精(MSG)进行反规避调查,并要求执行进口登记。

(4)欧盟委员会收到要求维持对源自中国的进口柠檬酸的(即将到期的)现行反倾销措施的请求。

(5)欧盟委员会通知其无意对源自中国的某些聚乙烯醇采取临时措施。但仍在继续调查。

(6)欧盟委员会通知,如果没有人及时提出维持这些措施的要求,目前针对以下产品的反倾销措施:

a. 针对源自中国的线材的措施,将于2020年10月16日到期,

b. 针对某些晶粒取向扁形电硅钢的产品的措施,将于2020年10月31日到期,

c. 源自中国的乙酰磺胺酸钾的措施,将于2020年11月1日到期,

d. 对源自中国的无缝钢管的措施,将于2020年12月9日到期。


(1) The European Commission initiated anti-dumping proceedings concerning imports of aluminium extrusions originating in the P.R.C. The product subject to this investigation is bars, rods, profiles (whether or not hollow), tubes, pipes; unassembled; whether or not prepared for use in structures(e.g. cut-to-length, drilled, bent, chamfered, threaded); made from aluminium, whether or not alloyed, containing not more than 99,3  % of aluminium. 

(2) The European Commission imposed  definitive anti-dumping duty on imports of  steel road wheels originating in the P.R.C. The rates of the definitive anti-dumping duty  applicable to the net, free-at-Union-frontier  price, before duty, of the product are between 50.3 and 66.4%. The amounts already collected by way of the provisional anti-dumping duty shall be definitively  collected.

(3) The European Commission has decided to investigate the possible circumvention of the anti-dumping measures imposed on  imports of Monosodium glutamate (MSG) originating in the P.R.C. and to make such imports subject to registration. 

(4) The European Commission received a request for maintaining the (expiring) antidumping measures in force on the imports of citric acid originating in the P.R.C. 

(5) The European Commission informs that it is  not intended to impose provisional  measures in regards to certain polyvinyl alcohols originating in the P.R.C. but  continues investigations. 

(6) The European Commission notified that the  anti-dumping measures currently in place for 

a. wire rods originating in the P.R.C.  will expire on 16 October 2020,

b. certain grain-oriented flat-rolled products of silicon-electrical steel will expire on 31 October  2020, 

c. acesulfame potassium originating in the P.R.C. will expire on 01 November 2020, 

d. seamless pipes and tubes of iron  or steel originating in the P.R.C. will  expire on 09 December 2020 if no request for maintaining these measures  will be lodged in time.

8. 最近的重大破产程序

Recent European Anti-Dumping Measures

这些营业额超过5000万欧元的公司申请了破产:

–Matrix GmbH和

–Fintyre集团(包括Tyre 1,Reifen 24,RS Exklusiv,Secura,SW Reifenhandel,TyreXpert,Reiff Reifen和Autotechnik等德国子公司)

由于新冠病毒疫情爆发,预计破产将比平时更多。欧盟和欧洲国家已经宣布采取实质性措施来减轻经济影响。


These companies with a turnover of more than  50M € filed for insolvency: 

- Matrix GmbH and 

- Fintyre Group (including German subsidiaries such as Tyre 1, Reifen 24, RS Exklusiv, Secura, SW Reifenhandel, TyreXpert, Reiff Reifen and Autotechnik) .

More insolvencies than usual are expected due to the Covid-19 outbreak.The EU and European countries have already announced  substantial measures to soften the economic  impact.

更多信息,欢迎您联系:

For more information: 

DS Graner Lawyers Avocats 

Griegstraße 27 B 70195 Stuttgart / Germany 

Tel.: +49 711 16260 - 0  Fax: - 18 

www.ds-graner.com 

info@ds-graner.com

本新闻稿仅供一般参考。本文中包含的任何信息均不应被解释为法律意见或建议,也不能替代与任何主题相关的法律咨询。

This Newsletter is provided for general informational purposes only. Any information contained herein should not be construed as legal advice and is not intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter.


(来源:法国德尚律师事务所)