United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods

Our law firm advises you on the CISG with:

  • Advice on warranty claims from the CISG
  • Assertion of claims for damages
  • Defense against claims for damages

The United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) regulates the international purchase of goods. Whenever goods are purchased by commercial buyers and sellers and both belong to a member state of the CISG, international sales law applies.

When is the CISG applied?

The CISG is used in the commercial sector. Use with consumers is excluded. The CISG is a United Nations international treaty. It has come into force to standardize the law of international trade in goods. If both parties belong to a member state that has ratified the CISG, it will be applied. If one party has its branch in a contracting state of the CISG and the other party to the contract has its branch in another contracting state, it is applicable. Given the diversity of the goods to be manufactured and the cross-border sale of goods, the CISG is of great importance.

The parties can also stipulate a contract that excludes the CISG. In such a case, national laws apply.

Obligations of sellers and buyers

The seller is obliged to deliver the purchased goods and must transfer ownership of the goods. The buyer must pay the agreed purchase price. The seller may not deliver the goods contrary to the contract. The buyer is obliged to give notice of defects if the goods are contrary to the contract. He must point out the lack of conformity within a reasonable period.

Guarantee and warranty in the CISG

According to the CISG, the buyer can only assert a defect in the goods if there is a material breach of contract by the seller. This is the case, for example, if the quantity of the goods deviates significantly from the agreed quantity. The buyer has the legal remedies for supplementary performance and for  the performance, reduction and compensation as well as cancellation of the contract. The buyer can choose which remedies to exercise. However, he can only exercise one legal remedy and not several legal remedies at the same time.

A lawyer specializing in international commercial law can inform you in individual cases whether the CISG applies and how warranty claims can be exercised.

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