If a document received late was delivered to a recognised postal service provider at least five days before expiry of the time limit and was received no later than three months after expiry of the time limit, it will be deemed to have been received in due time under Rule 133. The five days are calendar days, not working days. This legal fiction applies to all time limits to be observed vis-à-vis the EPO and/or the national authorities, including the priority period laid down in Art. 87(1). Despite this legal fiction that the time limit has been observed, the filing date of the document remains the day on which it was actually received.
Recognised postal service providers are the designated operators within the meaning of Article 1 of the Universal Postal Convention as well as Chronopost, DHL, Federal Express, flexpress, TNT, SkyNet, UPS and Transworld (see the decision of the President of the EPO dated 11 March 2015, OJ EPO 2015, A29). The document must have been sent as a registered letter or equivalent and, if posted outside Europe, by airmail. At the request of the EPO, confirmation of receipt by the postal service provider must be provided as evidence that the document was delivered in due time.