WARNING: Although the information which follows was correct at the time of original publication in the PCT Newsletter, some information may no longer be applicable; for example, amendments may have been made to the PCT Regulations and Administrative Instructions, as well as to PCT Forms, since the PCT Newsletter concerned was published; changes to certain fees and references to certain publications may no longer be valid. Wherever there is a reference to a PCT Rule, please check carefully whether the Rule in force at the date of publication of the advice has since been amended.
Fees payable when filing an international application
Please could you tell me what fees are payable for the filing of an international application, whether the amounts are subject to change, and if so, when?
There are three kinds of fees that are payable to the receiving Office in relation to the filing of an international application:
1. The transmittal fee: this fee is payable to the receiving Office with which the international application is filed. The transmittal fee covers the costs in connection with the tasks performed by the receiving Office, such as the receipt and checking of the international application, the transmittal of the record copy to the International Bureau (IB) and providing a copy also to the International Searching Authority (ISA). A few receiving Offices do not charge any transmittal fee. Note also that some receiving Offices that accept electronic filings offer a fee reduction for international applications that are filed electronically, and some Offices offer a fee reduction for filings submitted by small entities.
The transmittal fee should be paid within one month from the date of receipt of the international application by the receiving Office. If there is a change in the amount of the transmittal fee between the date of receipt of the application and the date of payment, the applicant must pay the amount that was applicable on the date on which the application was received. (See PCT Rule 14)
2. The international filing fee: the amount of this fee is fixed in Swiss francs by the PCT Contracting States (the PCT Union), and is set out in the Schedule of Fees annexed to the PCT Regulations. Note that there is an additional component of this fee that is payable for each sheet of the international application in excess of 30 sheets, and special provisions apply in respect of international applications containing sequence listings. The international filing fee is payable to the receiving Office (in a currency accepted by it) for the benefit of the IB, and covers the costs incurred by the IB during the performance of various tasks, including the publication of the international application, the issuance on behalf of the ISA of the international preliminary report on patentability (Chapter I of the PCT) (where applicable), and the communication of various notifications to the applicant, the receiving Office, the ISA, the International Preliminary Examining Authority and the designated (or elected) Offices.
Although the amount of the international filing fee has not changed for many years (it has been the same since July 2008), the equivalent amounts payable in other currencies are subject to change (see below). The international filing fee should be paid within one month from the date of receipt of the international application. If there is a change in the amount (or equivalent amount in another currency accepted by the receiving Office) of the international filing fee between the date of receipt of the application and the date of payment, the applicant must pay the amount that was applicable on the date of receipt of the application. (See PCT Rule 15)
3. The search fee: the amount of this fee, which is fixed by each ISA, depends on which ISA is competent (or which ISA is chosen by the applicant where more than one ISA is competent). The search fee is payable to the receiving Office for the benefit of the ISA for carrying out the international search, establishing the international search report and the written opinion of the ISA, and for carrying out any other tasks entrusted to it as ISA.
The search fee should be paid within one month from the date of receipt of the international application by the receiving Office. If there is a change in the amount (or equivalent amount established in another currency accepted by the receiving Office) of the search fee between the date of receipt of the international application and the date of payment, the applicant must pay the amount that was applicable on the date of receipt of the application. (See PCT Rule 16)
Changes in amounts payable, or in equivalent amounts in other currencies
The amount of the transmittal fee is fixed by the receiving Office, usually in the local currency of the country in which the Office is located, and may change at any time according to the practices of the Office concerned. The Office will announce any changes in the amounts in advance. Generally, the international filing fee and the search fee are also payable in the local currency of the country in which the receiving Office is located. If that currency is not the same as the currency in which those fees are fixed, the amounts payable in the local currency are subject to changes due to fluctuations in the exchange rates between those two currencies.
The establishment of equivalent amounts is governed by the “Directives of the PCT Assembly Relating to the Establishment of Equivalent Amounts of Certain Fees” (as in force since July 2010), and are reviewed periodically. In the month of October of each year, the Director General of WIPO, after consultation with the Offices concerned, establishes new equivalent amounts of the international filing fee and the search fee (as well as the supplementary search fee and handling fee, where applicable) according to the exchange rates prevailing on the first Monday in the month of October, and any adjustment generally enters into force on 1 January of the following year.
In addition, where, for more than four consecutive Fridays, the exchange rate between the Swiss franc (in the case of the international filing fee) or the fixed currency (in the case of the search fee), and any applicable prescribed currency is at least 5% higher, or at least 5% lower than the last exchange rate applied, the Director General of WIPO, after consultation with the Offices concerned, will establish new equivalent amounts of those fees according to the applicable exchange rate prevailing on the first Monday following those four Fridays. The newly‑established amount will generally be applicable two months after the date of its publication in the Official Notices (PCT Gazette).
Where to find the amounts of the fees payable when filing an international application
The amounts of the transmittal fee, the international filing fee and the search fee can be found in the PCT Fee Tables at:
The applicable amounts of the transmittal fee and the international filing fee can also be found in Annex C of the PCT Applicant’s Guide, and the applicable amount of the search fee can be found in Annex D.
Note that, when filing an international application electronically, for example using ePCT‑Filing or PCT‑SAFE, the amounts of the fees payable will be calculated automatically where possible (for example, where the fee is a fixed amount, the currency of payment is not an equivalent of an amount in Swiss francs, or the conditions for a fee reduction are easily applicable), once you have entered all the relevant information. Please note that the fees calculated by the electronic filing software, whilst usually correct, are still subject to confirmation by the receiving Office. If you are filing on paper, you will need to complete the Fee Calculation Sheet annexed to the request form. The Notes to the fee calculation sheet will help you with this.
Availability of fee reductions
If you file an international application in electronic form with a receiving Office which is prepared to accept the filing of international applications in electronic form1, the PCT Schedule of Fees (annexed to the PCT Regulations) prescribes the following reductions in the total amount of the international filing fee, depending on the electronic formats used:
- 100 Swiss francs (or equivalent amount in the currency in which the international filing fee is paid to the receiving Office) where the request and the text of the description, claims and abstract are not in character coded format (see item 4(a));
- 200 Swiss francs (or equivalent) where the request is in character coded format and the text of the description, claims and abstract is not in character coded format (see item 4(b)); or
- 300 Swiss francs (or equivalent) where the request and the text of the description, claims and abstract are in character coded format (see item 4(c)).
Applicants who are nationals and residents of certain lower income States, and, under certain circumstances meet other conditions, may be entitled to a reduction in the international filing fee (as well as the supplementary search handling fee and the handling fee), provided that, where there is more than one applicant, all the applicants meet the necessary criteria. Furthermore, for applicants who meet those criteria and who file their international application with the IB as receiving Office, the transmittal fee is waived. To see which States are concerned, and for further information, see the table at:
As far as the search fee is concerned, in the case of some ISAs, reductions are available in certain situations, such as:
- for applicants from certain States;
- for filings by an individual, or by small- or micro entities; or
- where the international application is filed in a particular language.
For information on the various reductions in the search fee that are applicable for certain ISAs, see Annex D of the PCT Applicant’s Guide.
Modes of payment of fees
When filing using ePCT‑Filing or the PCT‑SAFE software, the payment methods that can be selected for paying fees vary depending on the receiving Office selected on the relevant screen. For further details, see the information published on the PCT eServices Support page at:
(select “ePCT Filing” then “PCT fees and payment”)
For other filings, information on the modes of payment of fees to the RO can be found on the Fee Calculation Sheet and in the Notes to the fee calculation sheet, or you can contact your receiving Office. For information on payment of fees to the IB as receiving Office, please see:
It is important to note that other fees not mentioned above may also be payable during the international phase under certain circumstances. For further information, please refer to the relevant parts of Annexes B (IB), C, D, SISA and E of the PCT Applicant’s Guide and Section 113 of the Administrative Instructions under the PCT.
We would like to take this opportunity to remind you that some PCT applicants and agents are receiving invitations to pay fees that do not come from the International Bureau of WIPO and are unrelated to the processing of international applications under the PCT. Whatever registration services might be offered in such invitations, they bear no connection to WIPO or to any of its official publications. As stated above, it is the IB alone which publishes all PCT applications, and the international filing fee covers the cost of that publication; no further fees are required for this service. For further information, see: