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COVID-19 Pandemic - supply to customers in case of continuing production and supply bottlenecks

After the first phase of the Pandemic had given absolute priority to the protection of health and the containment of the risk of infection, questions are now increasingly coming up - also with the aim of mitigating the economic consequences of the Pandemic - about an exit strategy and a return to the - new? - normal are becoming the focus of the discussion on COVID-19.

An essential element of any exit strategy is the resumption of production capacities that have been shut down, and with it the question - which is not easy to answer - of how a company should proceed if, as a result of the corona Pandemic, it is unable to meet all its contractual obligations or if this is to be feared, especially also with regard to new contracts to be concluded.
In view of the fact that production has only just restarted and the associated limited capacities for immediate supply to all potential customers, the question arises as to whether and, if so, according to what standards supply can be prioritised and whether there are even legal obligations to give preference to certain "systemically relevant" customers over other customers.

Our working paper (download) covers the following: 

  • So-called system relevance
  • Legal obligation to supply systemically important customers with priority?
  • Customer information when prioritizing deliveries
  • Imminent civil law claims in the event of delivery delays
  • Force Majeure clauses
  • Reservation of self-supply
  • Legal provisions, impossibility
  • Legal provisions, disruption of the basis of the transaction
  • Reparation obligation for limited generic debts (e.g. standard products)
  • Recommendation for action 
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