PETROCHEMICAL MARKETS
IK and Elipso warn Total / Plastic packaging market confused by current force majeure on PP
At the end of January 2018, Total (Paris / France; www.total.com) communicated a very succinct declaration of force majeure to its customers (see Plasteurope.com of 31.01.2018). The two plastic packaging associations Industrievereinigung Kunststoffverpackungen (IK, Bad Homburg / Germany; www.kunststoffverpackungen.de) and Elipso (Paris / France; www.elipso.org) have partnered to bring a dialogue to the arena. In a letter to Total, the sister organisations have reported on the great confusion that the FM declaration has left on many member companies and, above all, their customers.

After the wave of FM events in spring 2015 and accompanying price explosions, there was a particular lack of understanding about Total's notification regarding two different sites, without any justification or clarification of the circumstances. [Editor's note: In the meantime, Total sent a more detailed explanation to its customers, but only two weeks after it had declared FM see Plasteurope.com of 13.02.2018.]

In this context, IK and Elipso point out in the letter that force majeure declarations require an event that depends on "an external occurrence which was both unforeseeable and unavoidable." In this case, the supplier is the liable party that bears the sole burden of proof for these "mandatory legal prerequisites." This constitutes a detailed obligation to notify the nature, gravity and duration of the impediment to performance. "Force majeure" notifications in which suppliers limit themselves to a brief reference to "technical problems" do not meet these criteria, the associations said. In addition, this could cause unnecessary doubts as to whether a case of FM is constituted at all.

In the interest of the whole value chain, Total should also adhere to these principles in future when making force majeure declarations, the associations conclude. In this way, any possible misinterpretations could be dispelled.
14.02.2018 Plasteurope.com [239060-0]
Published on 14.02.2018
German version...German version of this article...

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