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Force Majeure Clauses

Force Majeure Clause is an expression used to describe a situation in which a party to a contract is excused from his responsibilities in whole, or he can suspend or ask to extent his responsibilities because of a particular event or a series of events in his life beyond his control.

In Cyprus usually the contract of sale includes a number of events followed by the phrase “ or any other cause beyond the vendors control”.

This phrase 'Force Majeure' is wider that the 'Act of God' or "vis major" as this expressions are used to describe events due to natural causes without any human participation. It has been held that strikes, legislative or administrative intervention, a war, an embargo, an abnormal weather conditions or even the accidental breakdown of the machines used can  be considerd as 'force majeure'. On the other hand events such as a funeral, bad weather, insufficient financial resources, a third party failure to commit to his contract, negligence and others, can not be considerate within 'force majeure'.

The party relying on a 'force majeure clause' must be able to prove his sayings of at least one of these events and that he was unable or delayed to commit to the contract by the reason of the event given in the clause. Furthermore, he must prove that this situation was out of his control and that there where no reasonable steps that could be made in order to avoid this situation or its consequences.

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