THE BILL TO SHORTEN THE LEGAL PAYMENT TERM TO 30 DAYS
The bill “Amendment of Book 6 of the Dutch Civil Code in connection with the shortening of the legal payment term to 30 days” (House of Representatives of the States-General, Session 2020-2021, 35 769, Bill, no. 2) regulates that large companies cannot agree on a payment term longer than 30 days with SMEs. If these parties agree on a term that is longer than 30 days, that agreed payment term is null and void, and a payment term of 30 days applies by law. This ground for invalidity has already been regulated in the existing Article 6: 119a paragraph 6 of the Dutch Civil Code. This bill only changes the maximum allowable payment term from 60 to 30 days. If large companies pay a submitted invoice after more than 30 days, they are legally obliged to pay statutory commercial interest for the period that exceeds 30 days. Pursuant to the current article 3: 307 paragraph 1 of the Dutch Civil Code, the obligation for a customer to pay statutory interest is enforceable for five years after the claim has become due and payable. In this way, suppliers (SMEs) who have a dependent relationship with a customer (large company) are able to claim legal interest up to five years after the agreement has been terminated.
The payment term of 30 days will apply for new agreements immediately after entry into force. For existing agreements, a transition period of one year will apply. After the transition year, the agreements already in force when the law comes into force must also be brought into line with the new regulation, under penalty of nullity of the relevant clause in the agreement.
- House of Representatives of the States-General, the session year 2020-2021, 35 769, no. 2 and no. 3, Amendment of Book 6 of the Dutch Civil Code in connection with the shortening of the legal payment term to 30 days
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