Dealing with supply interruptions and restrictions due to COVID-19 in German Law

The coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 ("COVID-19") is a stress test for many supply chains. The associated restrictions have the potential to disrupt production processes and confront manufacturers and suppliers alike with considerable challenges. The virus and the reactions of governments, companies and society to it can disrupt individual production steps and thus paralyze the entire supply chain. Reconstructing the supply chain after normalization of the situation will also create challenges.

In this context, the question arises as to whether, according to German law, performance obligations under a supply contract will continue to exist or whether and how they may need to be adapted. The questions as to what efforts the parties are obliged to make and what transitional adjustments are to be made for the ramp-down and ramp-up of supply chains are also becoming increasingly relevant.

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