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On Tuesday, October 11, 2022 the Oman American Business Center hosted one of their most popular networking events, Taco Tuesday, to recognize former Executive Director, Rebecca Olson, and her 5 years of dedication to the OABC.  The evening was hosted by the U.S. Embassy Muscat’s Deputy Chief of Mission, Jay Munir. More than 70 members spent the evening networking while enjoying a delicious Taco Bar provided by Los Amigos Mexican Kitchen.

Rebecca’s contributions to the OABC were recognized by Ali Daud, Founder and Chairman Emeritus of the OABC, Vice President of the OABC, Fouad Eid and DCM Jay Munir. During her tenure, Rebecca, drastically reshaped the OABC. She more than doubled membership and tripled the number of annual events. She also extended the reach of the OABC by joining AmCham MENA and forming a partnership with AmCham GCC. The Board of Directors presented Rebecca with artwork done by Omani artist Safiya Al Bahlani, who was the keynote speaker at OABC’s Iftar earlier this year.

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The evening was also supported by OUA.  And a few lucky OABC members won fantastic raffle prizes donated by Intercontinental Muscat, Talabat Oman and Los Amigos Mexican Kitchen.

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On January 11, OABC Members attended the”U.S. Chamber of Commerce for State Business 2022 webinar.

The program included keynote remarks from U.S. Chamber President and CEO Suzanne Clark followed by a panel featuring Dr. Alberta Bourla, Chairman and CEO of Pfizer where he discussed the innovation for a healthier and more prosperous World.

When COVID-19 brought the world to a standstill, pharmaceutical companies stepped up to the challenge, developed lifesaving treatments and vaccines, and delivered them around the globe. Against remarkable difficulties, their successes have created our strongest tools in beating back this pandemic, demonstrating that through creativity and resilience, businesses can solve some of the world’s greatest challenges.

 

Click here to view the full video.

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On December 7, Members of the OABC attended “How Can the U.Ss Government Strengthen Your Business”, online. In this event, they explored the complimentary services offered by the U.S. government and additionally touch on advocacy, EXPO 2020, trade promotion, and data privacy followed by a Q&A session.

The online session included moderator Judith Barnett – President, The Barnett Group, Adam Shub – Acting Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs at the U.S. State Department, Jason Buntin – Director for Europe and Middle East Affairs, Office of the United States Trade Representative, Bruce J. Ellsworth – Commercial Attaché / Digital Attaché, Commercial Section, United States Consulate General in Dubai, UAE, Pete Mehravari – IPR Attache U.S. Intellectual Property Attaché for the Middle East and North Africa, and Pete Zube – Regional Export Control Officer, U.S. Department of Commerce.

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On November 22nd, the Oman American Business Center (AmCham Oman) hosted The State of Logistics in Oman, Past, Present, and Future, sponsored by the Port of Salalah, at the Grand Hyatt Muscat. The event included a panel discussion, moderated by OABC Board Member, Shayan Sumar, and featured panelists Sunil Joseph, CCO, Port of Salalah, Omaima Bahajaj, Marketing and Communication Manager, Salalah Free Zone, and Aisha Al Saifi, Director Market Intelligence at ASYAD Group. During the discussion, the panelists talked about significant changes in Oman’s logistics sector over the past 5 years and shared their viewpoints of current logistics trends in the Sultanate and the GCC region, and their expectations of what may occur within the sector in the years ahead.

The panel discussion included three themes: the global shipping crisis and its impact on Omani businesses, Oman’s Vision 2040, and opportunities in the Omani logistics sector. 

Panelists touched on crucial topics such as fostering further utilization of the Free Trade Agreement between Oman and the U.S, various services that Port of Salalah now offers such as sea air cargo solutions and Flexhub, as well as Salalah’s value proposition, focused on a strong integrated ecosystem.

A big part of the Salalah Value proposition is the collaborative efforts of Port of Salalah, the Free Zone, ASYAD, Salalah International Airport, and various government entities to work collectively towards highlighting Salalah as a hub to attract foreign investment to the country. To improve the ease of doing business, these entities have worked hard in recent years to provide a one-stop-shop solution. 

Towards the conclusion of the panel discussion, the floor was opened to attendees for a Q&A session. Many eagerly asked engaging questions that were relevant to various sectors in Oman and private sector members found it highly beneficial to have direct discussion with government stakeholders to analyze logistics challenges and suggest solutions. 

 We’ve received incredible feedback following this event,” says Rebecca Olson, Executive Director of the OABC.  “Attendees were extremely grateful for the opportunity for both the private and public sector to have in-depth discussion about the sector’s goals, Oman’s Vision 2040, past obstacles, and ideas for the way forward. The main takeaway mentioned repeatedly that we need more opportunities for key conversations like this.  All of these business leaders want the same thing — an incredible but possible goal — which is to make Oman, with its unique location in the region, a world leader in logistics.

“Salalah sits on the crossroads of USD 2.5tn global trade flows, with all key regional markets accessible within a week of sailing. This is turn offers the Sultanate the opportunity to develop its logistics footprint. Unlocking Salalah’s full potential could lead to contribution of ~$9 bn to Oman´s total GDP, along with 70,000 jobs added in Dhofar,” stated Sunil Joseph, CCO of Port of Salalah during the panel discussion. 

“The event was extremely useful and much needed: it was a very important time for the private sector to sit down with government stakeholders and decision-makers to discuss logistics challenges and how to work together on solutions. OABC did an excellent job facilitating today’s event: we need to see more of these types of discussion focused sessions to connect leaders within Oman’s key sectors.” — Yousuf Al Balushi, Smart Investment Gateway.

The Port of Salalah, the Salalah Free Zone and ASYAD continue to actively contribute to Oman’s Vision 2040, and each support Oman’s economic diversification strategy. 

Strategically located on the trade crossroads between Asia and Europe and serving the markets of East Africa, the Red Sea, the Indian Subcontinent and the Arabian Gulf – the Port of Salalah is operated by APM Terminals as part of the APM Terminals global terminal network.  The port operates both a container terminal and a general cargo terminal. 

www.salalahport.com

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global adsvocates

Spread of Corona Virus Disease (“COVID-19”) over the past couple of months at the global scale has coerced the governments to enforce certain drastic measures, including but not limited to, limiting the movement of citizens and residents, closure of international borders and suspension of trade to keep a check on further spread of COVID-19. While the said measures remain necessary in the wake of COVID-19, their impact on the economy and contractual obligations would be profound as the global economy comes to a standstill. International Monetary Fund has already hinted that the recession which will follow COVID-19 would be worse than the one that world witnessed in 2008.

In view of such bleak economic landscape, businesses are eagerly looking for legal solutions to either avoid or minimize the impact that non-fulfillment of contractual obligations would have on the health of their businesses and Omani commercial enterprises are no exception. While we look to explore various protections made available to the commercial enterprises against unforeseen situations rendering the performance of obligations either impossible or burdensome, readers are advised to seek legal opinion in respect of their specific situation and challenges.

Civil Transactions Law (Royal Decree 29/2013) (“CTL”) provides protection to the any contracting party where the obligations may either be rendered redundant or suspended, in some circumstances, mainly where:

  1. performance of contractual obligations becomes impossible on account of circumstances which are beyond human control (Force Majeure); or
  2. performance of contractual obligation is not impossible but unduly burdensome to the extent that the obligor faces severe loss through performance of the obligation concerned (Emergency Circumstances).

A requirement common to invocation of either of the foregoing scenarios is that the aggrieved party shall not have contributed to the circumstances which render the performance of an obligation either impossible or burdensome and that the event must be unforeseen.

FORCE MAJEURE:

Article 172 of the CTL lays down the principle of ‘force majeure’ which is a common feature of majority of the commercial contracts. Force majeure, in simple terms, means an unforeseen event which prevents the fulfillment of a contractual obligation. It is pertinent to note that the event must be one which does not exist at the time of conclusion of contract and does not arise, as held by the Supreme Court in Appeal No. 11/2003, out of the negligence or act of the aggrieved party. While Article 172 does not provide for specific instances or situations constitutive of a force majeure event, commercial contracts usually contain an elaborate list of events occurrence of which can be used by a party to either terminate the contract or evade performance of certain contractual obligations directly affected by the force majeure event. What is important to note here is that even where a commercial contract does not contain a force majeure provision, Article 172 would remain applicable by operation of law.

However, where force majeure is defined in a contract then it becomes imperative to discern whether the measures taken as a result of COVID-19 would fall within the set of circumstances listed in the contract and which would constitute force majeure event. A usual definition of force majeure includes references to, inter alia, ‘act of God’ or ‘epidemic/pandemic’ and COVID-19 would be covered under both set of circumstances. However, where a force majeure definition does not refer to an instance which may cover COVID-19, even by reference, or to the measures taken by the government then it would be difficult for the aggrieved party to invoke the application of force majeure on account of non-fulfillment of obligations as the competent court usually defers to the intention of the parties and would not go beyond the term of the contract to include by reference or otherwise such circumstances in the definition of force majeure which were not originally included.

Another important factor to bear in mind before seeking application of force majeure on contractual obligations is to specifically determine the obligations which are affected by a force majeure event. It is pertinent to note that one can only avoid performance of obligations which are rendered redundant by a force majeure event whereas the rest of the responsibilities listed in the contract would remain enforceable.

EMERGENCY CIRCUMSTANCES:

Where the impact of COVID-19 is such that it does not render the performance of a contractual obligation impossible but rather burdensome on account of rescheduling or for any other reason which increases the cost for meeting the contractual obligation to an extent that the obligor faces severe loss through performance of the obligation concerned, then in terms of Article 159 of the CTL, competent court would be inclined to reduce the burden of obligation in manner so that the same becomes reasonable and does not result in undue losses for the aggrieved party. It is important to note that to invoke the protection provided by Article 159, aggrieved party must prove to the satisfaction of the court that the emergency circumstances were not foreseen and have occurred during the currency of the contract as observed by Ministry of Legal Affairs in Fatwa  No. 2/28 of 2018.

However, determination as to whether a contractual obligation has become burdensome or not is a matter of fact and hence, a causal link needs to be established between the unforeseen situation, arising in consequence of measures adopted by the government to tackle COVID-19, and the obligation which stands effected by the unforeseen situation.

CONCLUSION

In the current set of circumstances, it is evident that the measures taken by the government in the wake of COVID-19 have either restricted or made it impossible to perform obligations for certain sectors of the economy and it is only a matter of time that parties would have to either renegotiate the terms of the contracts or invoke dispute resolution mechanism to avoid adverse consequences to the maximum extent. Where the parties choose the latter, Articles 172 and 159 of CTL would inevitably be involved. However, the party seeking refuge in either force majeure or the concept of burdensome obligation must remain wary of the terms of the concluded contract particularly the requirement to put the other party on notice where the performance of obligation becomes impossible or burdensome.

Since the Sultanate is facing the current epidemic as a new challenge, we believe that the current situation will be deeply assessed by the Judicial bodies and authorities through their judgments to be issued in the relevant contractual disputes. Subsequently, such judgments would serve as a resource for comprehending force majeure or emergency circumstances for times to come.

Co-authored by:

Abdulredha Al Lawati,  Partner/Muscat:

Email: Abdulredha.allawati@globaladvocates.net

 

Muhammad Bilal Ramzan, Associate/Muscat

Email: Muhammad.Ramzan@globaladvocates.net

 

Khadija Al Adawi, Trainee/Muscat

Email: Khdija.aladawi@globaladvocates.net

 

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This post is to encourage all OABC member companies to support small businesses during this difficult season.  As we are all aware, business is tough now, and especially tough for newly established businesses, small companies, or those who’ve had to close temporarily.  This is a good time for SME’s to think creatively and find ways to keep going, and when they do…it’s our job to support them.

Would you check out the below ways to shop local and encourage your fellow member companies?

  • Fresco Oman: Order a kid-friendly pizza-making kit, for a fun night at home. Deliveries also available on WhatsApp +968 24989876

  • Mai’s Salads: Get delicious fresh salads delivered daily. Deliveries available on +968 71219479

  • 3rd Street Donuts: Have donuts delivered to friends or employees who are still working (or enjoy some yourself!) Salam gallery: +968 94182674, Al Hail: +968 96311333

  • Bomba Burrito: Open for delivery and takeaway.  Order gift cards for burritos now and use or give them later. Contact Ahmed at +968 9913 7590

  • Al Wadood PRO Services: Consult with an experienced Omani PRO on WhatsApp, phone or email at +968 98292949 or info@alwadoodholdings.com

  • Arabia Experience Institute: Take online Arabic classes in the comfort of your own home. Contact Nasser at +968 9399 9391.

  • Zayr: Purchase a gift card, redeem later for a home-cooked Omani meal or cooking class. Contact Hamed at Info@zayr.om

  • Mumtaz Mahal: North Indian cuisine, 30% discount and delivering up to Qurm on Talabat and Akeed

  • Woodlands: Authentic South Indian Cuisine. Deliveries up to Qurm on Talabat and Akeed.

  • Haagen Dazs: Everyone’s favorite ice cream. Available for a drive-thru, Talabat and Akeed.

  • Shabestan: Majestic, authentic Iranian cuisine available on Talabat.

  • The countdown sports lounge: Stay safe, stay home, and curbside order you next comfort and pick up at the pavement outside the lounge.

Gift cards are a wonderful way to support these businesses now, then give as gifts or enjoy their services later when the situation improves.

Please follow our social media channels to learn about other ways to support businesses during this time. You can find us on FacebookInstagramLinked In and Twitter.

Business as usual will return, and until then, we know the OABC community will practice kindness and patience in support of each other (and excellent hand-washing skills!)

 

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metlife

We at MetLife want you to know we are here for you. We would like to share important information on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and provide you an an update on this public health situation.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced the Coronavirus (COVID-19) as a world pandemic, in light of this recent announcement we want to assure you that we are here to support our customers and continue servicing our members in a timely manner.

Information about your Policy

Medical
We are currently not applying the epidemic or pandemic exclusion for treatment associated with Coronavirus (COVID-19). We are currently covering diagnostic testing, healthcare services, and admission leading up to the diagnosis of COVID-19 and for care following the diagnosis of COVID-19 per the policy terms, conditions, and limits. Should there be any change to our current position or based on regulator guidance or otherwise, we will update you at that time.

Life and Disability
With regards to the declaration of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) as a pandemic by the World Health
Organization (WHO), we want to inform you that our group life, accident, and disability policies do not
contain exclusions for pandemic events and therefore death and or disabilities as a result of Coronavirus are covered under the general terms and conditions of the policy.

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) FAQ

What is the Coronavirus?
As per the World Health Organization (WHO), coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes the disease COVID-19.

What is COVID-19?
As per the WHO COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered Coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.

What are the Symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

The most common symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19) are:

1.Fever

2. Dry Cough

3. Tiredness

4. Shortness of breath and difficulty breathing (in severe cases)

People with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) believes at this time that symptoms of
Coronavirus (COVID-19) may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure.

Useful information links:
1.COVID-19 website

2.WHO travel advice

Where can I find reliable information about Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
We recommend official and vetted resources such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and local governmental sources:

UAE:
Dubai – Dubai Health Authority (DHA) www.dha.gov.ae

Abu Dhabi – Department of Health (DoH) www.doh.gov.ae

Other countries in the Gulf:

Bahrain – Ministry of Health www.moh.gov.bh
Kuwait – Ministry of Health www.moh.gov.kw | https://corona.e.gov.kw
Oman – Ministry of Health www.moh.gov.om
Qatar – Ministry of Public Health www.moph.gov.qa

Other useful websites:
World Health Organization (WHO) www.who.int
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) www.cdc.gov

Where Can I find information about current travel restrictions?
Please refer to the IATA Travel Centre for the latest updates on travel restrictions at https://www.iata.org/ and your Local Government Authority.

What if I suspect I am infected with COVID-19 or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive?
Members with symptoms should visit a medical facility within their network or contact their local health authorities at the numbers provided above. The Doctor will assess and decide if the member needs to be tested for COVID-19 as per protocols established by the local regulator. As the situation is continuously changing, we advise you to check regularly the links provided above for updated information from your local government.

What is the list of hospitals or clinics I can visit should I have Coronavirus (COVID-19)
symptoms?
A member with symptoms can contact or visit any hospital within their network or contact their local health authority at the numbers provided above. The treating Doctor will assess and decide if the member needs to be tested for COVID-19 as per the protocols established by the local regulator.

I want to do the test to make sure I do not have Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
The decision to test for Coronavirus (COVID-19) lies with the treating physician and the guidance of the
local health regulator. Members are advised to visit their local health authority website or call the contact numbers above for more information.

How much does it cost within the network – outside the network for the test?
Currently, most government authorities are providing the tests at no cost, and please note that charges may be incurred for doctor visits, screenings, additional labs, and those could incur a charge under the policy terms conditions and limits.

What is the isolation process?
The governmental and private hospitals are equipped with isolation rooms; however, the admission will be based on evaluation of government and clinical guidelines.

What is MetLife’s Business Continuity Plan in the event of a lockdown, or multiple staff
quarantined?
MetLife has launched a comprehensive approach to assess business readiness across all critical functions, and this includes operational readiness, employee mobility, infrastructure resiliency, and information security. We remain committed to ensuring our customers get the service they expect and the timely handling of claims.

To achieve this, we are:
1.Activating our business continuity planning to assess readiness throughout the enterprise
2. Conducting a review of end to end plans and interdependencies
3. Stress testing critical processes and systems including information technology and security
4. Determining alternate solutions for all critical processes, including resources and technology
5. Testing employee mobility and connectivity by enacting elements of our business continuity plan in a controlled environment
6. Scenario planning for a high number of resources being out due to illness and countermeasures and supplemental staffing should this situation arise. Additionally, MetLife is prepared to handle a shift to a remote workforce, with the majority of our team already equipped to work remotely and securely.

MetLife’s Business Continuity Plan in response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Preparing for such outbreaks requires structured pre-planning, leveraging internal and external expertise, and coordinated action by all segments of the business, globally. MetLife has a comprehensive Crisis Management framework consisting of three distinct levels with teams set up to respond to incidents on a Country, Regional, and Global level. MetLife’s Infectious Disease response plans are embedded in the global crisis management framework and define country, regional, or global actions to support our customers, protect our employees, and continue operations. A dedicated internal Communicable Disease Working Group supported by pandemic response experts from International SOS on a Global and Regional level act as a steering group for the various local Crisis Management Teams to ensure consistency in approach, proper practice implementation, and global alignment in response.

Activities are undertaken by teams getting ready for any potential activation:
Preparedness: Activities that ensure preparedness, including pro-active communication, confirmation of roles and responsibilities, and technical and system preparedness.

Monitoring and updates: Global and regional monitoring to provide continuous situational awareness to ensure the earliest warning possible to teams and activation is in line with the spread of the disease.

Response and containment testing: Conduct ongoing pre-testing of business continuity setups across the organization, including technical system and IT readiness confirmations and dedicated readiness exercises for respective Crisis Management Teams.

Activities undertaken by our activated teams comprise of:

1. A business travel reduction with guidance to ensure full organizational capability balanced against health considerations of our employees.
2. Activation of our Business Continuity plans across the region with a focus on ensuring service provisions for highly affected countries. Our plans are a mixture of enabling our employees to work from home, splitting critical teams, and increase distancing between employees to reduce any potential direct effects.
3. Increase in customer communication to provide reassurance to existing clients, sharing of fact sheets
to increase balanced awareness to reduce anxiety, and support our customer base in higher affected countries through additional country-specific actions.
4. Implementation of strategies to increase employee and office space hygiene. A combination of briefings, posters, email advice, distribution of hand sanitizers, masks, and increased cleaning intensity.
5. Up to date information sharing amongst our employees via a dedicated microsite containing up to date information for governmental and non-governmental health advisory bodies, travel advice, and latest information on the virus form our health partner, International SOS.
6. Continuous pre-planned adjustment of MetLife’s IT operating environment to ensure enough bandwidth is available and sufficient corporate system access points for all key functions.
7. We are introducing work from home initiatives in higher affected countries supported by our digital
platforms, communication tools, and integrated system access options.

If you have any questions regarding the above, please contact: 

George Joseph

Executive Consultant Oman| MetLife

T.+967 24787531 | M. +968 92381084

george.joseph@metlifegulfagency.com

addleshaw goddard

Retrieved from: Addleshaw Goddard

Since December 2019, the coronavirus has continued to cause varying degrees of concern around the world. Whilst the economic consequences may take time to be fully understood, disruptions to supply chains are already emerging.

For commercial entities that have been or may be impacted by such disruption, now is a prudent time to consider what avenues of relief may be available in Omani law governed contracts. Namely, the concepts of Force Majeure and Unforeseen Circumstances. Whilst these concepts are often overlooked at the time of contracting, they can have important consequences in times of disruption and turmoil.

FORCE MAJEURE IN OMAN

At its simplest, the principle of force majeure can be defined as an unforeseen circumstance preventing a party from fulfilling its contractual obligations.

Force Majeure is a longstanding feature of both civil and common law jurisdictions. Even prior to the enactment of the Oman Civil Code[1]  (Civil Code) in 2013, force majeure was recognised in Omani jurisprudence[2].  The Omani courts had held that an event of force majeure was any event that prevented a party from performing its obligations under the relevant contract for reasons outside its control, and which could not reasonably have been foreseen by the party asserting the claim.

The Civil Code and the resulting codification of commercial law principles brought further clarity. Article 339 of the Civil Code (Impossibility of Performance) provides:

‘The Obligation shall be extinguished if the debtor proves that the fulfilment thereof become impossible due to a foreign cause beyond his will’

The word ‘impossible’ requires a high threshold to be established by the party asserting a force majeure event under the Civil Code. Accordingly, the mere fact a contractual obligation has become more onerous due to an unforeseen event will not provide a basis to invoke Article 339.

However, relief may be obtainable via other provisions of the Civil Code (discussed below).

COMMON CONTRACTUAL PROVISIONS

More commonly, force majeure is typically addressed in the express provisions of a contract. Such provisions may or may not provide a broader definition of force majeure than contemplated by Article 339.

For example, many standard form contracts in the construction industry seek to define force majeure events broadly, by providing express examples of such events. The FIDIC standard suite of contracts that are commonly used for private sector projects in the GCC refers to ‘Exceptional Events,’ meaning an ‘event or circumstance which:

  • is beyond a Party’s control; 
  • the Party could not reasonably have provided against before entering into the Contract;
  • having arisen, such Party could not reasonably have avoided or overcome; and
  • is not substantially attributable to the other Party.'[3]  

Public health events are not among the examples expressly defined to amount to an ‘Exceptional Event.‘ However this is of limited consequence as the definition is not limited to solely such examples.

As an interesting aside, early irritations of Omani Standard Conditions of Contracts, many of which are still in use, expressly state events such as ‘plague, quarantine’  and ‘epidemics,’[5]may constitute force majeure events.

UNFORESEEN CIRCUMSTANCES

Entities experiencing adverse impacts from the disruption caused by the Coronavirus would be well advised to contemplate the Civil Code’s treatment of ‘unforeseen circumstances.’

Article 159 of the Civil Code provides:

‘If general exceptional accidents that were unforeseen at the time of contracting occur and result in that the execution of the contractual obligation, even if not impossible, become burdensome to the debtor and threaten the latter with serious loss, the court may, according to the circumstances and after balancing the interests of both parties, reduce the burdensome obligation to a reasonable limit. Any other agreement to the contrary shall be void.’

Notably, Article 159 is one of a handful of provisions of the Civil Code that cannot be contracted out of by parties. Initially, it may seem that this principle and force majeure are similar concepts. This is not the case. There are important differences.

Unlike the treatment of force majeure in the Civil Code, where the relevant contractual obligation can be deemed ‘extinguished’ (i.e. terminated), Article 159 merely provides for the relevant contractual obligation to be reduced or in other words, lessened. The underlying contractual obligation itself will continue, albeit with some form of alteration to ease the burden on the obligor.

Whether or not performance has become oppressive due to an ‘unforeseen event’ and threatens a party with ‘serious loss’ is a matter of fact in each case. A court or arbitral tribunal considering an application for relief under Article 159 would need to determine, amongst other things, a causal link between the unforeseen event and that performance has become unduly burdensome. The financial capacity (or incapacity) to the obligor to absorb the effect the unforeseen event will be integral. The resulting impact on the counterparty will also be considered.

Given the reference to ‘serious loss,’ an objective assessment of the obligor’s overall financial standing would be relevant. A mere dent in an obligor’s balance sheet due to increased costs in performing an obligation will be unlikely to suffice. A degree of exorbitance is arguably required.

PRACTICAL STEPS

Parties that are experiencing adverse impacts due to a suspected event of force majeure or unforeseen circumstance should:

  • Promptly obtain legal advice to explore what avenues for relief may be available under the contract and the Civil Code;
  • Not assume force majeure clauses will give rise to relief in every instance; and
  • Maintain detailed records to justify the financial consequences of any such events.

Ultimately, the speed of the Coronavirus is a timely reminder of the importance of ensuring due consideration is given to how sudden events can displace the contractual bargain.

For any questions on the above article please contact Nic Henderson, Managing Associate at n.henrikson@aglaw.com

rental copy

Retrieved from: RA Logistics

RA Logistics has a Global Network of 185 Registered offices around the world, specializing in International Logistics & Forwarding, Supply Chain Solutions, Consultancy and Projects across many industry sectors.

Despite on-going challenges, RA logistics can assist with international shipping requirements, including FTA related matters. 

  • Services include Airfreight — customers can still use Freighter Services into Oman despite all passenger flights being canceled from the 29th March 2020. 
  • RA Logistics also specializes in FTA shipments and has practical hands-on experience working closely with their clients, Oman Customs and U.S. suppliers to ensure all aspects are properly in order for smooth clearance.

RA’s consultancy and projects across industry sectors include:

  • Oil and Gas / Energy
  • Oil and Gas / Energy
  • Engineering and Construction
  • Environmental
  • Government
  • Safety & Security
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Engineering and Construction
  • Environmental
  • Government
  • Safety & Security
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • More

The advanced logistic solutions that Resource Allocations provides not only stretches across a number of industries, it is proven, reliable, and certified. Some of the features associated with our import and export logistics includes:

  1. Highly experienced team in all aspects of International Transportation Services
  2. Key Relations & Partnerships with all major Sea freight and Airfreight Carriers
  3. Competitive Market Rates
  4.  Airfreight: Direct / PO Consolidation / Lower Deck / Main Deck Freighter / Charter
  5. Sea freight: LCL / FCL / PO Consolidation / Break-bulk / Ro-Ro / Project / Heavy Lift / Charter
  6. Dangerous Goods / Hazardous
  7.  Road Transportation
  8. Shipment visibility & Status Reporting
  9. Purchase Order Management & Expediting
  10. Customs Clearance & Compliance
  11. Project Management
  12. On-Site Shipment Coordination
  13. Marine Cargo Insurance
  14. Total Transportation & Supply Chain Services and Solutions
  15. Network Partners in all key International Locations
  16. Registered Member of World Partner Alliance www.ourwpa.com