Interruption of the statute of limitations in international debt collection

If a foreign company has violated its obligations, then in most cases, the dispute is resolved in economic arbitration. The main difficulty lies in the fact that the parties to the proceedings are on opposite sides of the border, and the rules of law enforcement may differ. In particular, this applies to the statute of limitations for commercial disputes.

The limitation period for the parties to the UN convention

As a rule, in the countries of the CIS and neighboring countries, it is necessary to file a claim no later than 3 years after the outbreak of the conflict. There are exceptions that suspend the calculation of the time limit, for example, compelling circumstances, participation in hostilities, etc.

The UN International Convention on Limitation Periods, which is valid in the signatory states, extends the possibility of international debt collection for up to 4 years. Say, for example, Belarus has signed a convention, and if the country where the second party to the dispute is located is also a signatory, within 4 years you can initiate the receipt of the funds owed.

Such situations arise in the following cases:

• the goods have been delivered, but not paid for by the buyer;
• the service was provided, but not paid for by the customer;
• advance payment was made, but obligations were not fulfilled;
• the terms of the contract have been violated and coercion is required;
• requirements for quality, sanitary standards, etc. are violated.

How to interrupt the limitation period

The grounds for interruption include:

• recognition of the claim letter as the culprit;
• filing a statement of claim with the initiation of proceedings;
• partial payment of a debt or fulfillment of an obligation;
• a written petition of the debtor for an additional period to pay the debt or fulfill obligations;
• signing by the parties of an agreement on the debt payment schedule.

What specific actions are considered sufficient grounds for interrupting the period of claim, as a rule, are indicated in the decisions of the Supreme Courts establishing judicial practice on these issues. In general, they are of the same type for the CIS countries, but nevertheless, each country has its own certain nuances that should be taken into account when the settlement of a dispute through negotiations has grown into a long-playing process.