Publications

23/04/2020

[COVID-19] Ordinance No.°2020-341 dated 27 March 2020: Temporary adaptation of the procedures for dealing with business difficulties

Updated information, as of the date of publication of this article

In the context of the Covid-19 health crisis, the Ordinance dated 27 March 2020 temporarily adapts several provisions of Book VI of the Commercial Code relating to companies in difficulty, in order to protect debtors who may encounter difficulties during this period and in the months to come, namely :

1. Adaptation of the rules applicable to the initiation of proceedings
  • – Companies (in the broadest sense) or associations can request the opening of conciliation or collective proceedings.
  • – Simplification of the procedure opening method by encouraging the debtor not to appear in court. The debtor may petition the court by referring the request to the registry and formulating his claims and pleas in writing without physically appearing at the hearing.
  • – Simplification of communications between the court registry, the court administrator and the judicial representative as well as between the organs of the proceedings. These may be done by any means (audiovisual means of communication or electronic means of communication, including by telephone).
  • – These derogation rules apply until the expiry of a period of one month after the date of cessation of the state of public health emergency.
2. Adaptation of the rules applicable to the legal determination of the state of cessation of payments

Assessment of the state of cessation of payments in consideration of the situation of the debtor on 12 March 2020, it being specified that this companies’ situation assessment will apply until the expiry of a period of three months after the date of cessation of the state of health emergency and unless otherwise requested by the debtors.

3. Adaptation of the rules applicable to ongoing proceedings
  • – Extension of the conciliation procedure by operation of law for three months after the date of cessation of the state of public health emergency;
  • – General extension of procedural deadlines for judicial representatives by a period equivalent to the duration of the state of public health emergency plus three months;
  • – Extension of the observation period until one month after the date of the end of the state of public health emergency and for a duration equivalent to the period of the state of public health emergency plus one month;
  • – Removal of the “intermediate” hearing until one month after the date of cessation of the state of emergency;
  • – Extension of the plans and simplified judicial liquidation until the expiry of a period of one month after the date of the end of the state of public health emergency and for a duration equivalent to the period of the state of public health emergency plus one month;
  • – Extension of the deadlines for covering salary claims until the expiry of a period of one month after the date of the end of the state of health emergency for a duration equivalent to the period of the state of health emergency plus one month.

For your information and in order to make it easier for you to read, please find the report to the President of the French Republic on the Ordinance and the text of the Ordinance:

Report to the President of the French Republic on Ordinance 2020-341 of 27 March 2020

Ordinance No.°2020-341 of 27 March 2020