It is the last day for paying a particular fee and I am unable to file my debit order because of a system issue. What can I do?

As a rule, we publish advance notice on the EPO website of any periods of unavailability due to maintenance work of the online filing and fee payment services. We recommend that you check the website regularly for such downtime notices. 

If you cannot find any information about system problems on the website and still have doubts as to the origin of the problem, you can pay the outstanding fee by one of the other payment methods available, i.e. by bank transfer or credit card. If you choose to pay by bank transfer, you should also file a request under Article 7(3) RFees.  

Alternatively, you can file a request under point 11 ADA, pointing out that the accepted electronic means of filing debit orders were unavailable. Under this provision, a payment period is extended if it expires on a day on which one of the accepted means of filing debit orders is not available at the EPO. The payment period is extended to the next day on which all means of filing debit orders as are available for the type of application concerned can be accessed again. 

Exceptionally, and notwithstanding the requirements governing the filing of debit orders in the ADA, you can also submit a debit order in an emergency via the Contingency Upload Service. To use this fallback service, the following conditions must be met: 

  • it is a genuine emergency; i.e. it is the last day for paying the fees concerned 
  • your deposit account contains sufficient funds for all fees to be paid 
  • you provide evidence that an outage has occurred (e.g. screenshots) irrespective of its source.