- Russian Federation
- Arbitrazh Court of Khanty-Mansi Autonomous District – Yugra
ADMINISTRATIVE CONTRACTS - SUPPLY CONTRACT - BETWEEN A RUSSIAN REGIONAL SOCIAL SECURITY FUND AND A RUSSIAN COMPANY
UNIDROIT PRINCIPLES APPLIED AS MEANS OF INTERPRETING DOMESTIC LAW (RUSSIAN LAW)
FORCE MAJEURE - REFERENCE TO ARTICLE 7.1.7 OF THE UNIDROIT PRINCIPLES
Claimant, a Russian Regional Social Security fund, entered into contracts with Respondent, a Russian company, for the supply of wheelchairs for disabled. Subsequently, when Respondent did not timely deliver the first shipment of goods, Claimant filed a suit requesting the payment of a penalty for the delay according to the relevant regulations.
The Court decided basically in favor of Claimant. In so doing, it rejected Respondent's objection that the penalty was not due on the ground that the delayed delivery was caused by the fact that Respondent was subject to auditing by governmental agencies. In support of its decision, the Court referred to Article 7.1.7 of the UNIDROIT Principles which according to the Court makes it clear that to be an exemption or "force majeure" the impediment must be extraordinary and unavoidable under the given circumstances, such as e.g. floods, earthquakes, snow debris and other similar natural disasters, acts of war, epidemics, etc. The auditing procedure did not amount to a force majeure, because it did not have the characteristics of extraordinarity, emergency and unavoidability.
Original in Russian available at the bank of decisions of the Commercial Courts of the Russian Federation: http://ras.arbitr.ru}}