NEC ECC: Sectional Completion (X5) Certificate - before or after defects period?

On my contract an NEC Option A contract clause X5 is used and there are two sectional completion dates in the programme. The Contractor is almost ready to complete the works and handover. I am of the understand a Sectional Completion Certificate should be completed once the works are complete, however the Client says a the Sectional Completion certificate is issued only when the defects period is complete.

The NEC FAQ’s state the following: If you have used option X5, then a certificate of completion is required to be issued for each section of the works. Note that this certificate must be issued by the project manager within one week of the date that each sectional completion was achieved – see clause 30.2.

Should I be issuing a certificate once the works are complete or after the defects period?

Clause 30.2 provides that the PM certifies Completion within 1 weeks of Completion.

The defined term “Completion” is when the work to be done by thew Completion Date has been done and notified defects have been corrected if they would have prevented use of the works.

I assume that the Employer’s reference to defects is a slightly incorrect reference to the second test under the definition of Completion. After the defects date comes the Defects Certificate, not the Completion Certificate.

You should not be waiting, say a year, until the defects date to certify Completion. You should do so as soon as possible after Completion has been achieved and in any event within 1 week. That is the same whether it is for a section under X5 or for the whole works.