Force Majeure in Fidic Contracts

Force Majeure in FIDIC Contracts: What You Need to Know

When it comes to construction projects, delays and unforeseen circumstances are often par for the course. Whether it`s bad weather, labor disputes, or unexpected financial setbacks, any number of factors can throw a project off schedule. When these factors are beyond the control of either party, they are known as force majeure events.

In the world of construction contracts, the FIDIC (Fédération Internationale Des Ingénieurs-Conseils) suite of contracts is one of the most widely used. FIDIC contracts provide a framework for parties to agree on the terms and conditions of a construction project, including issues related to force majeure.

What is force majeure?

Force majeure refers to events or circumstances that are beyond the control of either party, and which make it impossible or impracticable to fulfill the obligations of the contract. These events are usually unexpected and unforeseeable, and can include natural disasters, war, strikes, and pandemics.

In the context of a FIDIC contract, force majeure events are defined in clause 19.1. This clause provides a non-exhaustive list of events that may qualify as force majeure, including acts of God, war, terrorism, and epidemics.

What are the implications of force majeure in a FIDIC contract?

If a force majeure event occurs, the affected party may be entitled to relief from their contractual obligations. Under FIDIC contracts, this relief takes the form of an extension of time and/or a claim for costs incurred as a result of the delay.

To claim relief under clause 19, the affected party must notify the other party in writing as soon as practicable after becoming aware of the event. They must also provide evidence that the event was beyond their control and that they have taken all reasonable steps to mitigate the effects of the event.

It`s important to note that not all delays or disruptions will qualify as force majeure events. For example, if a delay is caused by a party`s own negligence or breach of contract, they will not be entitled to relief under clause 19.


Force majeure is a key issue in any construction contract, and particularly in FIDIC contracts. By understanding the scope and implications of force majeure clauses, parties can better manage the risks and uncertainties of construction projects and avoid costly disputes down the line. As a professional, it`s important to ensure that any content related to construction contracts is written with clarity and precision, to help readers grasp the complex legal issues involved.