Where there is a general dislocation in the delivery or transmission of mail in a contracting state, any period expiring during such dislocation is extended for parties who are resident in the state concerned or have appointed a representative with a place if business in that state. Where the state concerned is the state in which the EPO is located, the extension applies to all parties and representatives, irrespective of their residence. The beginning and the end of the period of such general dislocation is published in the Official Journal.
Equally, where an individual party can provide evidence of a dislocation of the delivery or transmission of mail due to an exceptional occurrence inside or outside EPC contracting states (such as, in particular, a natural disaster, war, civil disorder or a general breakdown of any of the means of electronic communication accepted by the EPO for the filing of documents), a late submission or payment will be deemed to be received in due time, provided that
– the dislocation affected the locality where that party or their representative resides or has their principal place of business,
– the dislocation existed on any of the last ten days of the period at issue, and
– the transmission or payment is effected within five days from the end of the dislocation, together with
– a formal request of the party concerned under Rule 134(5), accompanied by appropriate evidence.