The time limit under Rule 70(1) for filing the request for examination referred to in A-VI, 2 runs from the date of publication under Art. 21 PCT of the international search report. However, this time limit will not expire before the time prescribed by Rule 159(1)(f) (31-month time limit). See also E-VIII, 2.1.3.
European substantive examination must normally not begin before expiry of the 31st month from the earliest priority date (Art. 40(1) PCT). The only circumstance in which examination may begin earlier is if the applicant has expressly so requested and if any required supplementary search report is available (Art. 40(2) PCT).