If a document received late was posted or delivered to one of thea recognised postal service providers recognised by the President of the EPO (Chronopost, DHL, Federal Express, flexpress, TNT, SkyNet, UPS and Transworld)provider at least five days before expiry of the time limit and was received no later than three months after expiry of the time limit, it will be deemed to have been received in due time under Rule 133(see the Decision of the President of the EPO dated 11 March 2015, OJ EPO 2015, A29). This legal fiction applies to all time limits to be observed vis-à-vis the EPO and/or the national authorities, including the priority period laid down in Art. 87(1). Despite this legal fiction that the time limit has been observed, the filing date of the document remains the day on which it was actually received.
Recognised postal service providers are the designated operators within the meaning of Article 1 of the Universal Postal Convention as well as Chronopost, DHL, Federal Express, flexpress, TNT, SkyNet, UPS and Transworld (see the Decision of the President of the EPO dated 11 March 2015, OJ EPO 2015, A29). The document must have been sent as a registered letter or equivalent in a form of consignment corresponding to registration and, if posted outside Europe, by airmail. Within the meaning of Rule 133, a document is deemed to have been posted or delivered to a delivery service within Europe if it was despatched in one of the states belonging to the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) (in addition to the EPC contracting states these are the states listed below) or in a state which is generally understood to be part of Europe. At the request of the EPO, confirmation of registration by the post office or of receipt by the delivery postal service provider must be provided as evidence that the document was posted delivered in due time. Despite this legal fiction that the time limit has been observed, the filing date of the document remains the day on which it was actually received.
The following non-contracting states belong to the CEPT (updated 1 November 2012):
Andorra, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Moldova, Montenegro, Russian Federation, Ukraine and Vatican.