The central industrial property office of a Contracting State shall forward European patent applications to the European Patent Office in the shortest time compatible with its national law relating to the secrecy of inventions in the interests of the State, and shall take all appropriate steps to ensure such forwarding within:
six weeks of filing, where the subject of the application is evidently not liable to secrecy under the national law; or
four months of filing or, if priority has been claimed, fourteen months of the date of priority, where the application requires further examination as to its liability to secrecy.
A European patent application not received by the European Patent Office within fourteen months of filing or, if priority has been claimed, of the date of priority, shall be deemed to be withdrawn. Any fees paid in respect of this application shall be refunded.