Definition of Force Majeure

Force Majeure is the term used to describe an unexpected and disruptive event which has caused a PRIME operator to fail to perform their obligations owing to an impediment beyond their reasonable control.

Force Majeure (FM) is divided into two distinct groups: Short Term and Long Term.

Long Term is for any FM that is linked to an event with a duration equal or over 30 days (a full reporting run). The COVID 19 falls into the Long Term FM.

Short Term FM is for any event that is linked to a duration of less than 30 days.

Force Majeure may include events such as the following, but this list is not exhaustive:

  • War, whether declared or not, civil war, riots and revolutions, acts of piracy, acts of sabotage, acts of terrorism.
  • Natural disasters, such as violent storms, cyclones, volcanic activity, earthquakes, tidal waves, floods, destruction by lightning.
  • Explosions, fires, destruction of machines, of factories, and of any kind of installation.
  • External strike that disrupts the service.
  • External strike that partially disrupts the service (force majeure may be applied in such cases only when the member provides precise information on the areas and delivery office codes affected).
  • Failure of the EDI external service supplier used for PRIME.

For reporting purposes, the days in which the networks were disrupted will be excluded from the performance calculations.

Force Majeure rules and procedures

  • Only PRIME members with valid (valid or validated) delivery standards may invoke Force Majeure for reporting purposes.
  • The Head of PRIME will confirm in each case whether Force Majeure will be applied, according to the rules.
  • Any failure to inform PRIME within the timeframe defined below will constitute grounds for non-application of Force Majeure.

Implementation of Force Majeure

The PRIME member can apply for “Force Majeure” by notifying Head of PRIME within 24 hours of the incident by completing the Force Majeure form available on the PRIME website. The Head of PRIME will forward the information to all PRIME members. No communication sent to other international organizations will automatically be considered by PRIME. A specific request needs to be sent to PRIME directly.

Short Term FM: An FM under 30 days duration is intended as a short FM and days affected are considered as non-working days both for on time return information and on time delivery. Short FMs are not applicable to Covid-19 related FMs.  All Covid-19 FMs regardless of the period are considered as Long FMs and their application is for a full reporting run.
For reporting purposes the days which the PRIME service was disrupted will be excluded from the performance calculation.

Long Term FM: An FM equal to or longer than 30 days duration is intended as a long FM and the days affected will have fixed remuneration for the on time delivery only. This is respectively 0,64 SDR fixed for Exprès and 0,1 SDR for Registered independent of the real quality achieved. No impact of the FM is given to the on-time info return. The Long Term FM will be applied for the full calendar month and can be extended for an additional month.

Both Long and Short FMs are only applied if posts invoke it.

When the service has resumed, the PRIME member needs to inform the Head of PRIME by e-mail within 24 hours from the moment that the service went back to normal, using the Force Majeure form. The Head of PRIME will forward the information to all PRIME members.

In cases where the disruption occurs close to the end of the month and/or continues beyond the cut-off date for the reports, thereby affecting two or more months, the PRIME member needs to contact the Head of PRIME by the last day of the month to reconfirm that the problem is still in place.

The above process is also applied if the disruption affects only one part of the national coverage. However, in this case, the PRIME member shall make clear in the FM Form what areas are affected and their respective delivery office codes, which will be excluded from the measurement during the period of disruption.  These delivery office codes need to be the same value as the ones defined in the delivery standards.

PRIME Force Majeure Request

* Mandatory field