FAQ Central Fee Payment – deposit account

General information

How can I access Central Fee Payment to submit debit orders?

Central Fee Payment can be accessed under Online services on the EPO website (see link below). Note that you will need a smart card to use the service for submitting debit orders.

User accounts/smart cards

I am already a registered user of the credit card fee payment service. Do I need to create a new account to use the new functionality for submitting debit orders?

You need a smart card for authentication to be able to submit debit orders in Central Fee Payment.

I already have a smart card for Online Fee Payment. Can I use the same smart card to sign in to Central Fee Payment?

Yes, if you already have a smart card linked to a deposit account, you can use it also for Central Fee Payment.

I used the wrong certificate when signing in with my smart card. Re inserting my smart card and clicking Retry did not work. What do I need to do?

Close your browser and start again, making sure to select the correct certificate.

The smart card login screen in Central Fee Payment looks unfamiliar. It is different to the login screens for other online services. Is it legitimate?

The EPO has recently upgraded its authentication services. Central Fee Payment is the first service to use the new back end. This is why the login screen looks different.

Deposit account

Can I and should I replenish my deposit account via Central Fee Payment?

No. To replenish your deposit account please make a bank transfer, entering the number of the EPO deposit account concerned (eight-digit number starting with 28) in the reference field, preceded by the word "replenishment" (or "repl", if the payment-reference field is too small) or "deposit".

Further information can be found under point 3.2 of the Arrangements for deposit accounts (ADA).

Can I monitor my deposit account in Central Fee Payment?

No. Currently, your deposit account balance and statements can only be accessed in Online Fee Payment.

Pending orders and rejected fees submitted using Central Fee Payment can only be found in the Fee order history and Rejected fee payment history in Central Fee Payment and do not appear in Online Fee Payment.

Debit orders

Does Central Fee Payment offer additional functionalities not available in Online Fee Payment?

Central Fee Payment offers considerable advantages over the existing Online Fee Payment service. For example, Central Fee Payment lets you:

  • display the fees due and due dates for single payments
  • make batch uploads in csv and xml format
  • prepare payments by adding them to the cart where they are ready for checkout at a later stage
  • change selected fees (fee codes can be changed or removed, amounts can be edited) as long as you do so before checkout
  • validate selected fees (similar to Online Fee Payment).

Can I submit or revoke automatic debit orders via Central Fee Payment?

No, for the time being automatic debit orders can only be submitted and revoked in Online Fee Payment (OFP). However, the migration of this functionality is planned to take place in 2022 and OFP will be decommissioned soon after. You will then be able to monitor and fully manage your account in Central Fee Payment.

Can I see the orders submitted via Central Fee Payment as pending orders in Online Fee Payment?

No, debit orders submitted via Central Fee Payment are not visible in the list of pending orders in Online Fee Payment. However, you can see them in the order history in Central Fee Payment (status: submitted).

To calculate the correct balance of your deposit account, remember to add the pending orders in Central Fee Payment to the pending orders in Online Fee Payment.

Please note that for the time being all functionalities relating to deposit account management remain in Online Fee Payment. However, the migration of these functionalities will take place in 2022 and OFP will be decommissioned soon after. You will then be able to monitor and fully manage your account in Central Fee Payment.

Can I see my rejected fees in Online Fee Payment?

No, fees that are rejected in Central Fee Payment are not visible in the Rejected folder in Online Fee Payment. However, you can see them in your Rejected fee payment history in Central Fee Payment.

I can't find my debit orders under Fee order history. Why could this be?

There are two different views depending on the authentication you use to sign in.

If you sign in with your smart card, you will see all payments (credit card, bank transfer and deposit account) that were submitted using the smart card.

If you sign in with your email address and password, you will see all payments (credit card, bank transfer) that were submitted using this authentication method.

The same applies for rejected payments.

I prepared some payments and left them in the cart. The next time I signed in, the items were no longer in the cart. What happened?

There are two different carts depending on the authentication you use to sign in.

Payments that you prepare when signed in with your smart card are not visible in your cart when you sign in with your email address and password.

Please make sure you sign in using the same authentication method as before to find your preselected payments.

When is a payment deemed to have been received when using Central Fee Payment?

The payment date according to point 5.4.1 ADA is the date on which the EPO receives the debit order, provided there are sufficient funds in the deposit account. This date normally corresponds to the date the debit order is submitted via Central Fee Payment. The submission date is displayed on the order confirmation that is automatically generated by Central Fee Payment. Once the fees have been effectively debited from your deposit account (see point 5.2.4 ADA), the status of the order will be changed from submitted to paid.

Do I receive a payment confirmation for my debit order in Central Fee Payment?

Yes, once the fees are debited from the deposit account you will automatically receive a payment confirmation in pdf format.

The pdf is stored in the Fee order history in Central Fee Payment but not in Online Fee Payment.

Note: In the case of insufficient funds, the pdf will only be generated once all fees relating to the debit order have been processed. The pdf will display the different payment dates.

Batch payments

Can I make a batch payment using Central Fee Payment?

Yes. You can upload a batch payment file in csv or xml format.

How do I make a batch payment?

To make a batch payment you need to create a file in xml or csv format containing the relevant application numbers and payment details.

When you have saved your file:

  1. Sign in to the payment service with your smart card
  2. Go to Fees on the main navigation bar and then Upload fee payments file.
  3. Select Upload file.
  4. Browse for the file and upload it.
  5. Select Add to cart.

The system will automatically recognise the different fields and calculate the total amounts. You can then either go directly to the checkout or add other fees to the cart.

Fees due fee group

Why has the new Fees due fee group been introduced?

This new feature was introduced to improve the payment service and help users pay fees correctly and on time. It shows the procedural fees due for a selected application or patent based on the information available on file at the time.

The date indicated as the due date corresponds to the last day of the period for making the payment.

You can edit the fee amounts if you have made changes which have not yet been updated in the file but which would lead to different amounts. You are responsible for the correctness of any edited amounts.

Certain fees are not displayed in the Fees due fee group. These include the opposition and appeal fee as well as some administrative fees. For more information, see OJ EPO 2020, A130.

Can I decide if I want to pay the fees due or is it mandatory to pay them?

It is not mandatory to pay the fees in the Fees due fee group. However, we recommend using this feature.

Is it possible to edit the amounts of the fees that are displayed in the Fees due fee group?

Yes. However, you are responsible for the completeness/correctness of any edited amounts.

I can't see any fees in the Fees due fee group, but I would like to make a payment. What should I do?

Please select another fee group.

Validation of payments

What is the purpose of the payment validation functionality?

The validation functionality detects and automatically rejects the following:

  • renewal fee payments for definitively closed applications and granted patents
  • payments of the fee for registration of a transfer for definitively closed applications
  • double payments, i.e. where the same fee has already been paid, unless the fee is one of those that can be paid several times in the proceedings before the EPO
  • renewal fee payments before the applicable earliest valid payment date (Rule 51(1) EPC)

The automatic rejection of payments reduces the administrative work involved in refunding invalidly paid fees, for both users and the EPO.

I have entered the European phase late and have to pay several fees for further processing. Will they be automatically rejected by the double-payment validation functionality? What happens if I have to pay a fee for further processing later in the proceedings?

The new functionality only rejects double payments of fees that are payable only once in the proceedings, e.g. the filing fee or the third/fourth/fifth/etc. renewal fee. Fees that can be paid several times during the proceedings, such as the fee for further processing or the additional search fee in the event of non-unity, are excluded from double-payment validation.

What happens if a payment is erroneously rejected by the validation functionality?

After validation, you will receive a message, generated by the system, indicating that the payment could not be carried out. The message can be printed or downloaded at any time and is stored in your Rejected fee payment history, which can be found by going to Fees in the main navigation bar. This enables both you and the EPO to retrace the issue. If it turns out that a payment has indeed been erroneously rejected, the date of the attempted payment will be accepted as the payment date and any loss of rights which might have occurred as a result of the rejection will be remedied.

Please note that the rejected fee payment will not be displayed in the Rejected payments view in Online Fee Payment if it was submitted via Central Fee Payment.

The system provided me with a message that a fee payment was rejected but I cannot find it in the rejected payment history. What could have happened?

This means that you did not complete the checkout and payment process after the fee validation.

The validation of fees takes place during checkout, and rejected fees are automatically removed from your cart. However, you must continue the checkout, select a payment means and submit your order for the rejected fees to appear in your Rejected fee payment history.

If you do not check out, but instead go back to check the fees again or add additional fees, the rejected fees have already been removed from your cart and so will not be validated again. Therefore they will not appear in your Rejected fee payment history.

If all fees are rejected, you will not be able to complete the checkout and so these fees will not appear in your Rejected fee payment history.

Confirmations and order history

Do I get a confirmation of my order?

You will receive a printable and downloadable order confirmation once you have completed the checkout process. It can also be found in your Fee order history.

Once your debit order is processed you will likewise find a payment confirmation in the Fee order history. It includes the payment date and all other relevant details, such as the application numbers, fee codes and fee amounts. There is a separate page for each application for which fees have been paid.

Your payment may also be found under Transactions in Online Fee Payment and on your statements in Online Fee Payment.

Can I see all my company's orders in the order history?

The Fee order history in Central Fee Payment is user-specific. This means you will only see debit orders submitted via your user account.

Once the payment is processed the fees are visible in Online Fee Payment.

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