UN CONFERENCE ON CONTRACTS FOR THE INTERNATIONAL SALE OF GOODS DATED 1980 (CISG)
Baris Erkan Celebi, Attorney at Law
Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, CISG, was drafted in 1977 by United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, UNCITRAL which was founded in 1966 for the purpose of the uniformication and the harmonization of international commercial law. Subsequently, on April 11th 1980, UN Conference on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods convened in the headquarters of UNCITRAL, Vienne, and CISG was agreed upon by 62 states.
CISG was drafted in a concrete and simple wording rather than having legal terms and abstract notions so that everyone, even those who are not lawyers, could easily understand and apply.
The fundamental principles of CISG are the freedom of contract and applicability of the contract. In the framework of the applicability of CISG, the provisions of CISG stipulate that the contracts of sale of goods between parties with their business places from different contracting states are subject to CISG unless determined otherwise, and even the contracts between parties from non-contracting states could opt to have their contracts of sale of goods be subject to CISG. Futhermore, as per CISG’s principle of freedom of contract, it can be stipulated that the contracts that are subject to CISG shall not be subject to CISG and vice versa, as it can also be stipulated that some of the provisions of CISG shall not be applicable or shall be applicable in an adjusted way.
Due to CISG international sale law has been uniformed, the rights and obligations of the parties to international sale contracts were made subject to CISG unless stipulated otherwise. This way, sale law in international commerce has become more predictable and practical. Today, 84 states are party to CISG, including Turkey which became a party in August 1st 2011.