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CISG CASE PRESENTATION

New Zealand 2 April 2001 Court of Appeal (Integrity Cars (Wholesale) Ltd v. Chief Executive of New Zealand Customs Service) (Autos case)
[Cite as: http://cisgw3.law.pace.edu/cases/010402n6.html]

Primary source(s) of information for case presentation: Henning Lutz

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Case identification

DATE OF DECISION: 20010402 (2 April 2001)

JURISDICTION: New Zealand

TRIBUNAL: Court of Appeal

JUDGE(S): Keith; Fisher; Paterson

CASE NUMBER/DOCKET NUMBER: CA 128/00

CASE NAME: Integrity Cars (Wholesale) Ltd v. Chief Executive of New Zealand Customs Service

CASE HISTORY: Unavailable

SELLER'S COUNTRY: Japan (defendant is not the seller, but rather the New Zealand Customs Service)

BUYER'S COUNTRY: New Zealand (plaintiff)

GOODS INVOLVED: Autos, purchased in Japan at auction and imported into New Zealand


UNCITRAL case abstract

NEW ZEALAND: Court of Appeal of New Zealand 2 April 2001
(Integrity Cars (Wholesale) Ltd v Chief Executive of New Zealand & anor)

Case law on UNCITRAL texts [A/CN.9/SER.C/ABSTRACTS/131]
CLOUT abstract no. 1259

Reproduced with permission of UNCITRAL

Abstract prepared by Petra Butler, national correspondent

The appellant imported used cars from Japan with the assistance of a Japanese-based company (TSY). After successfully purchasing ten cars in a Japanese auction the appellant paid TSY the auction price and auction fees. It also paid TSY for the cost of export fees and inspection charges. Under s 60 of the Customs and Excise Act 1996 an importer must specify to the New Zealand Customs Service the value of imported goods. The issue was whether this value included export fees and inspection charges as part of the total value. The Customs Service ruled that it did. The appellant appealed this determination to the High Court which held that the total value under s 60 includes export fees paid, but not inspection charges. The appellant appeals to the Court of Appeal against the inclusion of export fees under s 60.

Whether the export fee is part of the “price paid” by the appellant depends on the meaning of the relevant provisions of the second schedule to the Customs and Excise Act.[25] Schedule 2 is designed to give effect in New Zealand law to the Agreement on implementation of Article VII of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 (the Agreement).[26] The Court of Appeal considered that the relevant transactions, because of their international character, may have also been subject to the provisions of the CISG (however at the time in question Japan had not yet ratified the CISG).[27] The Court noted that neither counsel for the appellant or respondent raised argument on the applicability of the CISG to the present appeal. In the end, however, the Court considered that the relevant law directly applicable to the appeal was the Agreement.[28]

The Court then had to determine whether TSY acted, in the words of the Agreement, as a buying agent for the appellant when purchasing the ten cars for export to New Zealand. If TSY was considered to be the appellant’s buying agent then the export fees were not includable as part of the price paid under s 60 (the Court held that this was so and the appeal was therefore allowed). As the CISG does not deal with agency its provisions were therefore of little assistance to the Court.

___________________________________________________________________
FOOTNOTES
25. At [19].
26. At [7].
27. At [19].
28. At [19].

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Classification of issues present

APPLICATION OF CISG: No

APPLICABLE CISG PROVISIONS AND ISSUES

Key CISG provisions at issue: Article 2(b)

Classification of issues using UNCITRAL classification code numbers:

2B [Sales by auction]

Descriptors: Scope of Convention ; Auction sales

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Editorial remarks

EDITOR: Albert H. Kritzer

CISG provisions are not analyzed. The court refers to the CISG as follows:

     "... The relevant transactions occurred in Japan (there was no evidence of Japanese law) and because of their international character may have been subject to the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods to which both Japan and New Zealand party (no argument was addressed to it). ..." [para. 19]

Caveats associated with this observation are: Japan is not at this time a party to the CISG and, to the extent the issues concern a sale by auction, CISG article 2(b) states that such sales are not within the scope of this Convention.

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Citations to other abstracts, case texts and commentaries

CITATIONS TO OTHER ABSTRACTS OF DECISION

Unavailable

CITATIONS TO TEXT OF DECISION

Original language (English): [2001] 1 New Zealand Customs Cases, page 61,198 (para. 55-020), published in CCH (Commerce Clearing House) New Zealand Duties Guide (1998); electronic publications at <http://library.cch.co.nz/library/about.asp> and <http://www.linxplus.co.nz>

Translation: Unavailable

CITATIONS TO COMMENTS ON DECISION

Unavailable

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Pace Law School Institute of International Commercial Law - Last updated July 16, 2013
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