Terms and Conditions

General Terms and Conditions of Business

§ 1. Scope of validity

  1. These General Terms and Conditions are applicable to contracts concluded between semantica (contractor) and its customers (principals). They shall be accepted by the principal upon placement of an order and remain in force for the entire duration of the business relationship.
  2. Amendments or ancillary understandings must be set out in writing.
  3. General Terms and Conditions of the principal shall only be binding upon the contractor if the latter has expressly accepted them.

§ 2. Execution

  • The contractor is entitled to call upon third parties in order to perform its obligations. It shall cooperate exclusively with professional, experienced translators and interpreters, whose competence and suitability for the order in question have been ensured. The interpreting shall be executed with due care in accordance with the principles of properprofessional conduct. The contractor shall be liable to the principal solely for selecting such persons with due care.

§ 3. Duty of cooperation on the part of the principal

  1. In the interests of providing optimal interpreting services the principal shall make available at the earliest possible date all useful information and documentation for preparing and performing the interpreting task. These shall encompass information on the nature and content of the event, pertinent background details regarding an enterprise, organization or previous events as well as papers and other documents in German and/or in the foreign language that are of relevance to the event.
  2. Where interpreting services are to be performed, the premises must meet certain (most notably acoustic) requirements: the interpreter must be able to hear the original language clearly and unambiguously and must be able to see the speaker. He/she must also have a clear view of any visual materials, including, for example, any transparencies that may be shown. If a booth is to be used, this must be freely accessible and offer an unimpeded view of the speaker. If the interpreting activity is severely hampered (e.g. by loud background noise), it will be discontinued until appropriate working conditions can be restored.

§ 4. Service Performance

  1. The contractor and/or third parties commissioned by the contractor shall perform the required interpreting service during the event, i.e. the oral translation of a spoken text from one language into another. This arrangement shall not apply to film or video excerpts. Film and video excerpts shall only be interpreted if the original language is fed into the booth and the film(s)/video(s) have been previously screened to the contractor and/or the third parties commissioned by the contractor, and/or if they have previously received a written transcript of the spoken text.
  2. Unless otherwise indicated in the offer, the fee specified in the offer shall cover only the defined period of the interpreter's presence. Each commenced additional hour of attendance shall be charged separately as overtime.
  3. Interpreting services shall be agreed upon placement of an order and are binding. However, the contractor shall not be in default provided a failure to render performance is due to circumstances for which it is not responsible (for example network and server problems, other line, transmission and equipment problems, Acts of God, strikes, sudden illness, traffic disruptions, including such problems affecting subcontractors). As a general principle, the performance shall be rendered as soon as the reason preventing performance ceases to apply. However, the contractor reserves the right to withdraw from the contract. The possibility of asserting more extensive rights, especially claims to compensation, shall be excluded in such instances.

§ 5. Liability

  1. The contractor shall be liable solely in the event of gross negligence or intent.
  2. The contractor shall not be held liable for damage to or the loss of the materials handed over by the principal (generally for the purposes of preparing an interpreting project). The principal shall make provision for adequate data backup. The contractor shall regularly scan its electronic data-processing systems for viruses and similar problems, although it shall not be held liable for loss or damage caused by computer viruses and similar problems.
  3. The contractor shall not be liable for loss of profits, a failure to realize savings, loss or damage resulting from recourse to third parties or indirect / consequential loss or damage. Liability in the event of negligence shall be limited to 1.5 times the invoice value of the service or delivery.
  4. In the event that an order is performed by one of the partners, this partner alone shall be liable for professional errors pursuant to section 8(2) in connection with paragraph 1 part GG, except where small sums are concerned.

§ 6. Duty to maintain secrecy

  • The contractor undertakes to treat as confidential all information that comes to its attention in connection with its work for the principal.

§ 7. Reservation of title, rights of use and copyright

  • It is intended that the product of the interpreting service shall only be heard immediately; if the principal wishes to record the interpreting, this will be permissible solely with the prior consent of the contractor. An additional amount shall be invoiced for assignment of the rights of use. The level of this amount shall be determined according to the type of use. The principal shall be liable for unauthorized recording by third parties.

§ 8. Contract termination and order cancellation

  • A cancellation fee shall be payable if an order is cancelled by the principal; unless otherwise agreed in the order confirmation, this shall amount to 50% of the agreed fee from the date of order placement until the thirtieth customary working day prior to commencement of the event, 75 % of the agreed fee between the twenty-ninth and the fifteenth customary working day and 100% of the agreed fee from the fourteenth customary working day prior to commencement of the event. Customary working days are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. If the interpreting team has already arrived on site or if other expenditures are incurred (e.g. processing charges on the return of tickets for travel that have already been purchased), the travel expenses will be charged or the specified expenditures invoiced against production of supporting documentation. The principal shall be at liberty to prove a smaller loss.

§ 9. Applicable law, validity and place of jurisdiction

  1. The order and all claims arising therefrom shall be governed by German law.
  2. If one of the above provisions is wholly or partially invalid due to legal provisions, regulations or changes in legislation, it shall be replaced by a provision which most closely approximates the intended purpose of the clause/provision in question. All other provisions shall remain unaffected and shall continue to apply to the full extent.
  3. Cologne is agreed to be the sole place of jurisdiction for both contracting parties with respect to all disputes arising out of this contract.
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