Applicants should avoid late or incomplete payment of the handling and international preliminary examination fee (see points 349 ff), since the EPO cannot commence international preliminary examination before these fees have been paid. Late payment thus reduces the amount of time available for establishment of the IPER.
WIPO PCT Guide 10.047
Where the EPO as IPEA finds that the amount paid to it is insufficient to cover the handling fee and the international preliminary examination fee or that no fees were paid by the time they were due, the EPO as IPEA invites the applicant to pay to it the amount required to cover both fees together with the late-payment fee within one month of the date of the invitation. If the applicant complies with the invitation within the specified time limit, payment is deemed to have been made in due time. The late-payment fee is 50% of the amount of the unpaid fees as specified in the invitation. However, it is at least equal to but not more than double the amount of the handling fee.
OJ 1998, 282
If the applicant does not comply with the invitation, the demand is deemed not to have been submitted and no IPER will be established. The absence of a validly filed demand has no consequence for the procedure before the EPO as designated Office, because the time limit to be respected for entry into the European phase is in any case 31 months from the priority date (see point 418).
Date retrieved: 30 December 2018