How does the new Law 4152/2013 affect late payments in commercial drug transactions?

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The Directive 2011/7/EU was incorporated into the Greek Legislation by Law 4152/2013 foreseeing both transactions between private businesses and between private businesses and public authorities. It includes all medical supplies (consumables and pharmaceuticals) from government services (National Health System hospitals and EOPPY). The new Directive, which has entered in force since May 9th 2013, repeals the Directive 2000/35 (incorporated into Greek legislation by the P.D 166/2003) and introduced legal provisions of compulsory law. The following changes are notable:

  • The increase of the interest amount on arrears to 8% which the supplier (trader business) is entitled to charge without required notice (previously set at 7%); this amount excludes the reference rate of the European Central Bank + (Subparagraph G.4.) and obliges all public authorities, public entities, Hospitals to honor this as commitment. The new law excludes the possibility of a separate agreement with an interest rate less than 8%. Any opposing contract term is deemed illegal (Subparagraph G.5.).
  • The deadline for payment and the beginning of the interest payments period is moved earlier to 60 days from the receipt of the products or materials – especially regarding the Hospitals and the EOPYY System (Subparagraph Ζ.5.)
  • The collection and compilation of the relevant protocols is moved earlier to within 30 days, unless otherwise specified in the contract (Subparagraph G.5.).
  • The supplier is entitled, without prior notice (automatically), in addition to interest on late payments, to a predetermined minimum (“standard”) amount of €40, as well as compensation for recovery costs (legal fees, collection agency, etc.) (Subparagraph G.7.).
  • Any term in a contract which excludes interest for late payments and compensation for recovery costs is void and null.
  • In addition, the provisions of Law 4152/2013 engage public authorities to take measures for the creditors in order to prevent the continued use of unfair contract terms in relation to the payment period, interest and compensation costs. (Subparagraph G.8.)

Although the Law 4152/2013 entered into force on 9.5.2013, the older P.D 166/03 still applies to contracts which were concluded before 9.5.2013 and were set in contract or non-contractual orders if the latter are in written form.

We also should note that the new Law supersedes previous laws on late payments due to the following three reasons: i) it is most specific, ii) it is most recent and iii) it comes from a European Directive adopted by Law into the Greek legislation.