Greece 8 March 2000 Decision 1314/2000 of the Single-Member Court of First Instance of Athens (Tiles case) [editorial analysis available]
[Cite as: http://cisgw3.law.pace.edu/cases/000308gr.html]
DATE OF DECISION:
CASE NUMBER/DOCKET NUMBER: 1314/2000
CASE HISTORY: Unavailable
SELLER'S COUNTRY: Italy (plaintiff)
BUYER'S COUNTRY: Greece (defendant)
GOODS INVOLVED: Tiles
APPLICATION OF CISG: Yes [Article 1(1)(b)]
APPLICABLE CISG PROVISIONS AND ISSUES
Key CISG provisions at issue:
Classification of issues using UNCITRAL classification code numbers:
78B [Rate of interest]
78B [Rate of interest]
EDITOR: Dionysios P. Flambouras [*]
An Italian company [Seller] sold to a Greek company [Buyer] tiles for 25,456,673 Italian lira [Itl] and delivered them to the Buyer in two installments (two invoices issued on 30 July 1998 and 4 November 1998). The purchase price was agreed to be paid within 90 days as of the date of issue of each invoice. The Buyer did not pay the purchase price. The Seller sued the Buyer for the purchase price and also claimed default interest over the stated amounts as of 30 July 1998 and 4 November 1998, respectively.
2.1 Application of the CISG
At the time of conclusion of the contract of sale, the CISG applied in Italy, but not in Greece [the CISG was ratified in Greece by virtue of Law 2532/1997 and entered into effect as of 1 February, 1999] [CISG arts. 99 and 100]. The CISG applied by virtue of art. 1(1)(b) thereof, since the private international law rules of Greece (forum) referred to the law of a Contracting State. In particular, the contracting parties had not selected an applicable law for the sales contract and the court, in order to determine the applicable law, referred to the conflict rules contained in the Rome Convention of 1980, ratified in Greece by law 1792/1988 (Gov. Gazette 142/1988). Since the contracting parties had not selected an applicable law to govern their sales contract (art. 3 of Law 1792/1988), it was adjudicated that the sales contract was governed by the law with which is more closely connected (art. 4 § 1 of Law 1792/1988); in order for the court to find the law which is more closely connected to the contract, it applied the presumption of the characteristic obligation provided by art. 4 § 2 of Law 1792/1988. The court further accepted that in a sales contract the characteristic obligation must be fulfilled by the seller (i.e., the delivery of the goods against payment of its price) and, therefore, in the absence of an agreement to the contrary, the law of the seller's country is the applies (Italian law). Since Italy had ratified the CISG at the time of conclusion of the contract, the court applied the CISG by virtue of CISG art. 1(1)(b).
2.2 Rate of interest
The court judged that the CISG does not include a provision in connection with default interest. Then it referred to CISG art. 7(2) and concluded that reference to domestic law is necessary only in the absence of general principles. It further stated that CISG includes a general principle for uniform regulation of the matters connected to international sales. Based on this general principle the court, concluded that the rate of default interest is governed by the law that applies in the contract of sale. Accordingly the rate of default interest should be calculated on the basis of Italian law since the seller would be entitled to such default interest if an Italian buyer was late in paying a monetary amount. Therefore the court granted default interest calculated in accordance with Italian law.
2.3. Other citations
See also excerpt from commentary by Dionysios P. Flambouras "Case Law of Greek Courts for the Vienna Convention (1980) for International Sale of Goods" (publication forthcoming in the Nordic Journal of Commercial Law).
* Adjunct Lecturer (PD 407) in Civil Law, University of Athens (Dep. of Economics); Advocate of the Athens Bar, Solicitor in England & Wales; Member of M. & P. Bernitsas Law Offices. LL.M. (Brist.), M. Stud. (Oxon), Dr. jur. in Civil Law (Athens). For comments: <firstname.lastname@example.org>Go to Case Table of Contents
CITATIONS TO ABSTRACTS OF DECISION
(a) UNCITRAL abstract: Unavailable
(b) Other abstracts
CITATIONS TO TEXT OF DECISION
Original language (Greek): Unpublished
CITATIONS TO COMMENTS ON DECISION
UnavailableGo to Case Table of Contents