Acceptance testing

The legal term decrease generally referred to a statement that a thing or a state meets certain criteria, in particular, that a work is confirmed as suitable for fulfillment. Occasionally, the term is used in the sense of the actual transfer.

The decrease is preceded by an examination of the acceptance article in this or its individual components are checked for compliance / meeting certain acceptance criteria. If these criteria ( conditions, requirements, desired results ) is not fulfilled, then, especially with mandatory criteria or other important criteria, be no or only a conditional acceptance.

Decrease in Construction Law

For the work contract, the decrease is governed by § 640 BGB. It is the declaration of the buyer to accept the work, and therefore of considerable importance for the settlement of a contract.

The contractor is entitled to the reduction, if the work - apart from minor defects - is made according to the contract. Whether a substantial defect, determined by whether it is reasonable for the customer to remove the plant capacity and thereby to accept the incoming legal consequences. A significant deficiency may be present if either the utility or functionality of the plant is significantly impaired or the defect was a considerable financial weight, that is, significant financial expenses to its elimination requires.

The acceptance must be explicitly by the customer, but is done in practice often only a tacit acceptance ( implied acceptance ), which can be seen, for example, usually in a full payment of the compensation. In addition, the decline occurs without an explanation of the ordering a (fictitious decrease) if the purchaser is obliged to accept and decline despite a deadline of the entrepreneur is not explained ( § 640 paragraph 1 sentence 3 BGB).

The decrease has the following effects:

  • The fee is payable ( § 641 para 1 BGB) and shall bear interest ( § 641 Section 4 of the Civil Code ).
  • The risk of accidental deterioration shall pass to the Purchaser (transfer of risk, § 644 BGB).
  • The buyer loses certain claims in respect of such defects which he knows for purchase, but does not reserve ( § 640 para 2 BGB).
  • The burden of proving the existence of a defect is after acceptance by the purchaser ( burden of proof ), unless a reservation has been declared upon acceptance.
  • The statute of limitations for certain claims for defects begins ( § 634a para 2 BGB).
  • The buyer loses entitlement to a forfeited by the contractor penalty, if not in decline a reservation has been explained ( § 341 para 3 of the Civil Code ).
  • The work contract can not be terminated.

If on the nature of the work, a decrease is not possible (eg incorporeal works as theater performance, concert ) provides that the effects of a decrease with age, § 646 BGB.

Special features of the construction contract with VOB / B

Unless in a construction contract, the validity of Part B of award and contract procedures (VOB / B), that is, the "General conditions of contract for the execution of works ," agreed the provisions of the Civil Code in particular by § 12 VOB / B partially modified. There are the following similarities and differences:

  • Requirements As required by § 640 paragraph 1 sentence 2 BGB Acceptance may be refused only because of a major defect ( § 12 No. 3 VOB / B).
  • In contrast to the German Civil Code, the Contractor shall also be entitled to partial acceptance ( § 12 No. 2 VOB / B).
  • Method As part of a VOB / B construction contract, the client is to decrease within twelve business days after notice by the Contractor agrees ( § 12 No. 1 VOB / B). However, there is also a different period to be agreed.
  • Upon request by one Party, the decrease in accordance with § 12 Section 1 No. 4 VOB / B shall be carried out in a special form ( formal acceptance ). In a formal acceptance, the building is committed. In general, clients and contractors are present. Any Contracting Party may call upon an expert at their expense. In the formal acceptance, an acceptance protocol is to create, to be included in the eventual reservations about known defects and because of penalties and any objections the Contractor claimed by the principal deficiencies and required penalties.
  • As with sole application of the Civil Code is a tacit acceptance possible.
  • In addition to § 640 paragraph 1 sentence 3 BGB regulates the VOB / B Details of the notional loss. If there is no formal acceptance in the contract agreed and also requires no decrease of one of the parties, the power ( 12 No. 5, paragraph 1 § VOB / B) applies to the expiration of twelve working days after written notification of the completion of the work accepted. If does not require acceptance and the customer has used the performance of work or a part of the plant capacity, the decrease already after six working days have expired after commencement of use takes place. The use of parts of a building or structure for the continuation of the work shall not be considered acceptance ( § 12 No. 5, paragraph 2 VOB / B).
  • The risk of accidental loss or deterioration of the work goes to the Client ( transfer of risk ) (§ 12 No. 6 VOB / B, but primarily § 7 VOB / B).
  • The limitation period for claims for defects begins ( the start of the warranty period ) ( § 13 No. 4, Section 3 VOB / B).
  • As according to § 341 para 3 of the Civil Code, a contractual penalty incurred by the Client as no longer required, when it has proven not reserved decrease ( § 11 No. 4 VOB / B).


As a technical inspection a statement of the purchaser or his duly authorized architects often is called that the Work or a certain part of a purely technical point of view is the contract. The burden of proving that the work was not so far according to contract, thus passes to the buyer, whereas the other effects of the loss does not occur. Technical acceptance tests are frequently carried out during the construction period for parts that are no longer verifiable later, such as the reinforcement of a reinforced concrete component. The implementation of technical inspections may agree, the Parties; agreement with the VOB / B the Parties pursuant to § 4 section 10 claim for a declaration of states of parts of the performance, if these are covered in later works.

Decrease in public law

In public law, the term is decreasing for an examination and explanation used that one thing or state meets certain criteria. You must be separate from civil decreases strictly. Examples:

  • In buildings, see Built
  • For vehicles ( eg § 19 Section 3 Road Traffic Licensing Regulations )

Decrease as actual takeover

According to § 433 paragraph 2 of the German Civil Code, the buyer is obliged to purchase the item purchased. Acceptance here means the physical transfer of the purchased item. In this sense, the term is also used in connection with purchase obligation and purchase guarantee.