Vienna Convention and International Sale of Goods

Contract for the International Sale of Goods
Contract for the International Sale of Goods


What is CISG? 

The United Nations Treaty on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (“1980 Vienna Convention” or shortly “CISG”) is an international agreement that was ratified 1980. It regulates the rights and obligations of the buyers and the sellers in international sale of goods.

What is the 1980 Vienna Convention used for? 

The 1980 UN Treaty introduces a global legal framework designed to standardize the rules governing contracts for the international sale of goods. Created to facilitate seamless international trade, it helps businesses bridge the gap created by divergent legal systems, offering a set of guidelines that span across its signatory countries. This treaty not only simplifies business transactions but also mitigates the risks associated with international dealings.

In Which Countries is CISG Applied?

Today 97 countries have adopted the 1980 Vienna Convention. The contracting states of the 1980 Vienna Convention are as follows: Albania Argentina Armenia Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahrain Belarus Belgium Benin B&H Brazil Bulgaria Burundi Canada Chile Cameroon China (PRC) Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea Colombia Costa Rica Croatia Cuba Cyprus Czech Rep. Denmark Dominican Rep. Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea Ethiopia Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Estonia Ethiopia (*) Finland Fiji France Gabon Georgia Germany Greece Guinea Guatemala Guyana Honduras Hungary Iceland Iraq Israel Italy Japan South Korea Kyrgystan Laos Latvia Lebanon Liechtenstein Lesotho Liberia Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macedonia Madagascar Mauritania Mexico Moldova Mongolia Montenegro Netherlands New Zealand Norway Palestine Paraguay Peru Portugal Rwanda Suadia Arabia Poland Portugal R. Congo Romania Russian Fed. Rwanda Saint Vincent Saudi Arabia San Marino Serbia Singapore Slovakia Slovenia Spain Sweden Switzerland Syria Turkey Turkmenistan.

In Which Situations is CISG Applied?

All international sale of goods between the businesses located in the contracting states are subject to CISG. Moreover, businesses that are not located in the contracting states may agree to have their sale be subject to CISG by opting to apply the national laws of a contracting state. CISG is applied to the international sale of goods between the contracting states regardless of the citizenship of the parties and whether they are traders or not.

What Are the Rights and Obligations of the Seller under CISG? 

Under CISG, the obligations of the seller are:

  1. Delivering the goods,
  2. Handing the delivery documents, and
  3. Passing the ownership to the buyer.

What Are the Rights and Obligations of the Buyer under CISG?

Under the Vienna Sales Convention, the obligations of the seller are:
Under the Vienna Sales Convention, the obligations of the buyer are:

  1. Paying the sale price, and
  2. Taking delivery of the goods.

In case of the seller’s default, the buyer’s rights are:

  1. Demanding satisfaction of the contract
  2. Rescinding the contract
  3. Demanding discount
  4. Claiming compensation

What is the Place of Delivery under CISG? 

Determining the place of delivery is crucial in sales contracts because it is at this specific location and time that ownership and responsibility for the goods, along with associated costs and liabilities, are transferred from the seller to the buyer. The determination of who bears the costs, who owns the goods, who is liable for any losses, and who benefits from the insurance policy all hinges on whether the goods were delivered at the specified place of delivery.

Place of Delivery by Default

If the place of delivery of the goods is not agreed in the contract, under the 1980 Vienna Convention, the place of delivery by default is determined according to the following:

  1. If the contract of sale requires the transportation of the goods, the seller fulfills the obligation of delivery by “delivering the goods to the first carrier” for delivery to the buyer.
  2. In the event that the contract relates to individually specified goods or goods of a type to be supplied from a specific stock or goods to be manufactured or produced and the parties know at the time of the conclusion of the contract that the goods are located in a specific place or that they will be manufactured or produced there, the seller fulfills the delivery obligation by making the goods available to the buyer at this place.
  3. In other cases, the place of delivery is the place where the seller’s workplace is located at the time of the conclusion of the contract.

Turkish Lawyer Baris Erkan Celebi and his Antalya Law Firm offer consultation on all matters of international commerce and handle claims related to international sale of goods under the Vienna Sales Convention.

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