The examination fee is due when the request for examination is filed. Since the latter is contained in the prescribed form for the request for grant (EPO Form 1001), the examination fee may be paid straight away on the date of filing of the European patent application if the application is filed with said prescribed EPO Form 1001. It may be paid up to expiry of the period laid down in Rule 70(1), namely within six months of the date of the mention of the publication of the European search report in the European Patent Bulletin.
The designation fee falls due upon publication of the mention of the European search report. It may be paid within six months of the mentioned date of publication (Rules 39(1), 17(3) and 36(4)). Where paid before the due date, e.g. upon filing of the application, the designation fee will however be retained by the EPO. These payments will only be considered valid as from the due date, provided that the amount paid corresponds to the amount payable on the due date (see A‑X, 5.1.2).
For Euro-PCT applications, see E‑IX, 2.1.4.