When must the European phase be initiated before the EPO as designated or elected Office? 
5.1.010
If, after considering the ISR and WO‑ISA (see points 3.2.029 ff) and, where applicable, the result of the international preliminary examination as laid down in the IPER (see points 4.2.044 ff) and/or a supplementary international search (see points 3.4.001 ff), applicants decide to pursue their international application further before the EPO as designated/elected Office, they must comply with the requirements for entry into the European phase within 31 months from the filing date or, if priority has been claimed, from the earliest priority date.
5.1.011
The time limit for complying with the requirements for entry into the European phase thus extends by one month beyond the standard time limit of 30 months provided for in Articles 22(1) and 39(1)(a) PCT and applies irrespective of whether or not a demand for international preliminary examination was filed (see points 4.1.034-4.1.035).
If the 31-month time limit expires on a day on which one of the filing offices of the EPO is not open for receipt of documents or on which no mail is delivered, the period is extended to the first day thereafter on which all filing offices are open for receipt of documents or on which mail is delivered. 
5.1.012
If the applicant does not comply with the requirements for entry into the European phase within the 31-month time limit, the Euro-PCT application will, as a rule, be deemed to be withdrawn (see point 5.2.003). For the legal remedies available in cases of non-observance of time limits due to the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, it is advisable to refer to the information regularly published in the Official Journal and on the EPO website.[ 57 ] For the procedures and safeguards applicable in the event of the unavailability of the EPO's means of electronic filing or fee payment tools, please see OJ 2020, A120.
 

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