COVID-19 – Possible suspensions / slowdowns caused by force majeure

Dear Customer,
as is common knowledge, on 30 January 2020, after the second meeting of the Security Committee, the General Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the international outbreak of the covid-19 virus a public health emergency of international relevance (Public Health Emergency of International Concern – PHEIC), as sanctioned in the International Health Regulations (International Health Regulations, IHR, 2005).
Subsequently, because of the infection’s speed and expansion, on 12 March 2020 WHO declared the aforementioned virus as a “pandemic”.
Where Italy is concerned, article 1 of the D.P.C.M. of March 11, 2020 – containing further implementing provisions of D.L. February 23, 2020, n. 6 on “containment and management of the epidemiological emergency from COVID-19” -introduces the suspension of various commercial activities, including medium and large-scale distribution. Important operational requirements have also been imposed on companies by the law in order to continue their activities.(Attached to the mentioned decree, other documentation, also in English, is available by clicking on this link https://www.esteri.it/mae/it/ministero/normativaonline/normativa-altre-amministrazioni.html)
Additionally, the D.P.C.M. of March 22, 2020, in order to contain and oppose to the spread of the virus in an even more effective way, provided for the suspension of all industrial and commercial production activities, with the exceptions of activities indicated in Attachment 1 and except as provided in the pursuance of the decree, but always in compliance with the organizational obligations previously mentioned (Attached to the mentioned decree and the attachment 1, other documentation, also in English, is available by clicking on this link https://www.esteri.it/mae/it/ministero/normativaonline/normativa-altre-amministrazioni.html).
Given the aforementioned provisions for the COVID-19 emergency and current social and health conditions, we must unfortunately communicate a slowdown of all production activities of _ (company name), this also in order to protect people’s health, a core value in our company.
For that reasons we are experiencing interruptions in our supply chain and difficulties with delivering ordered products on time.
It’s obvious that, given the international and national provisions, as well as the current health situation, the causes generating delays and/or impossibility, total or partial, of delivery are to be considered as causes of force majeure, as these are impediments beyond our control, unforeseeable and unsurpassed and which could not reasonably have been expected to be taken into consideration at the time of the stipulation of the contract (Art. 79 Vienna Convention).
The duration of the restriction cannot be estimated yet, therefore any rescheduling would be, today, unrealistic. For that reason, further limitations, or even work stoppages, cannot be either presumed or excluded at this current point.
Anyway, we continue to monitor the situation closely, and we are working very hard on mitigating the impact of the measures taken due to the COVID-19 on your order.
We are also mobilizing to find alternative solutions aimed at reducing any possible effect that the situation might have on our usual level of service and on our ability to meet market demands.
We will get back to maximum operating capacity as soon as the current causes of force majeure cease. We will keep in touch and inform you of future developments as much as possible.
Thanking you now for your understanding, we send
Best Regards.

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