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CISG CASE PRESENTATION

Belarus 20 May 2003 Supreme Economic Court of the Republic of Belarus (Holzimpex Inc. v. State Farm-Combine Sozh)
[Cite as: http://cisgw3.law.pace.edu/cases/030520b5.html]

Primary source(s) of information for case presentation: UNCITRAL

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Case identification

DATE OF DECISION: 20030520 (20 May 2003)

JURISDICTION: Belarus

TRIBUNAL: Supreme Economic Court of the Republic of Belarus

JUDGE(S): Karatkevich, E.A. (Chairman)

CASE NUMBER/DOCKET NUMBER: 7-5/2003

CASE NAME: Holzimpex v. State Farm-Combine Sozh

CASE HISTORY: Unavailable

SELLER'S COUNTRY: United States (plaintiff)

BUYER'S COUNTRY: Belarus (defendant)

GOODS INVOLVED: Fish flour


Case abstract

BELARUS: Supreme Economic Court of the Republic of Belarus 20 May 2003

Case law on UNCITRAL texts (CLOUT) abstract no. 499

Reproduced with permission from UNCITRAL

The case deals with the application of the CISG in case of failure of fulfilment of the obligation of payment by the buyer, and, in particular, with the determination of the amount of interests due on the outstanding sum.

Holzimpex Inc. (the seller), an American company, concluded on 26 April 2001 a contract for the sale of fish flour with Sozh (the buyer), a Belarusian State farm complex [...]. The goods were delivered and accepted by the buyer. However, the buyer did not pay the agreed price of $38,732.8. The seller sued the buyer to recover the outstanding sums of $38,732.8 for the price of the goods, $2,374.3 for a penalty clause for the delayed payment of the price, and interests on the price of the goods in the amount of $9,802.4.

The court noted that the contract contained the choice of the forum of the Supreme Economic Court of the Republic of Belarus and of Belarus law. The court then stated that, by virtue of art. 8 of the Constitution of Belarus, international treaties are part of the legislation in force in the Republic of Belarus. Therefore, as both Belarus and the USA are party to the CISG, the court declared that the CISG applies to the contract.

After declaring the liability of the buyer for the payment of the price of the goods, the court moved to discuss the demand related to the penalty clause inserted in the contract between the parties to recover losses related to the delay in payment of the price of the goods. Referring to art. 14 of the Civil Code of the Republic of Belarus, the court dismissed the demand as the plaintiff had failed to prove any loss. The court then examined the demand of the plaintiff to recover the interests based on art. 78 CISG, and stated that in case of delay in payment of the price, the seller is entitled to claim the interest which is to be determined pursuant to article 7.4(9) of the (1994) UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts. Accordingly, the court determined the applicable interest rate in the case in the current Belarusian bank rate for short term crediting of legal entities in US dollars.

The court entered a judgement in favour of the plaintiff for $38,732.8 for the price of the goods and for $9,802.4 for interests.

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Classification of issues present

APPLICATION OF CISG: Yes

APPLICABLE CISG PROVISIONS AND ISSUES

Key CISG provisions at issue: Article 78

Classification of issues using UNCITRAL classification code numbers:

78B [Rate of interest: Art. 78 CISG silent; tribunal selected rate prescribed in Art. 7.4(9) of the UNIDROIT Principles]

Descriptors: Interest

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Editorial remarks

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Citations to other abstracts, case texts and commentaries

CITATIONS TO OTHER ABSTRACTS OF DECISION

English: Unilex database <http://www.unilex.info/case.cfm?pid=1&do=case&id=1011&step=Abstract>

CITATIONS TO TEXT OF DECISION

Original language (Belarussian): Text on file at UNCITRAL

Translation: Unavailable

CITATIONS TO COMMENTS ON DECISION

Unavailable

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Pace Law School Institute of International Commercial Law - Last updated June 14, 2005
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