Go to Database Directory || Go to CISG Table of Contents || Go to Case Search Form || Go to Bibliography

CISG CASE PRESENTATION

Germany 31 January 1991 Lower Court Frankfurt (Shoes case) [translation available (excerpt)]
[Cite as: http://cisgw3.law.pace.edu/cases/910131g1.html]

Primary source(s) for case presentation: Case text


Case Table of Contents


Case identification

DATE OF DECISION: 19910131 (31 January 1991 )

JURISDICTION: Germany

TRIBUNAL: AG Frankfurt [AG = Amtsgericht = Petty District Court]

JUDGE(S): Unavailable

CASE NUMBER/DOCKET NUMBER: 32 C 1074/90-41

CASE NAME: German case citations do not identify parties to proceedings

CASE HISTORY: Unavailable

SELLER'S COUNTRY: Italy (plaintiff)

BUYER'S COUNTRY: Germany (defendant)

GOODS INVOLVED: Shoes


Case abstracts

GERMANY: AG Frankfurt 31 January 1991

Case law on UNCITRAL texts (CLOUT) abstract no. 51

Reproduced with permission from UNCITRAL

The plaintiff, an Italian manufacturer of shoes, demanded payment of the balance due under the contract with defendant, a German company. The contract provided for payment of 40% of the purchase price upon delivery and the balance within sixty days after delivery. The seller sent an invoice in September 1989 and shipped the goods in January 1989 [1990] but suspended delivery without notifying the buyer, who was forced to pay more tha[n] 40% of the purchase price upon delivery in order to obtain the goods.

The court held that the seller committed a breach of contract by suspending delivery without giving notice of the suspension to the buyer and set off the claim of the seller for the balance of the purchase price against the claim of the buyer for damages (art. 45(1)(b), 73(1) and 74 CISG).


Abstract from 14 Journal of Law & Commerce (1995) 228-229

Reproduced with permission from the Journal

Right of stoppage and duty to give notice, CISG, Articles 71(2) and (3). [Under the facts of this case,] the court need not decide whether, after the dispatch of the goods, reasonable doubts as to the solvency of the [buyer] . . . actually arose, which eventually could have caused the exercise of a right of stoppage [under CISG, Article 71(2)]; the right of stoppage, however, is connected with a duty to give notice under CISG, Article 71(3), pursuant to which the complaining party was obliged to inform the defending party of any doubts concerning the [buyer's] solvency if the [seller] intended to invoke the right of stoppage. Appropriate notices, however, have not been submitted [to the court] by the [seller]. Yet notice would have been a prerequisite for a justified exercise of the right of stoppage. The [buyer], therefore, is entitled to damages for the loss of profit [suffered when the [seller] interrupted delivery of the goods].

Go to Case Table of Contents


Classification of issues present

APPLICATION OF CISG: Yes [Article 1(1)(b)]

APPLICABLE CISG PROVISIONS AND ISSUES

Key CISG provisions at issue: Articles 4 ; 58(2) ; 71(2) and 71(3) ; 74 [Also cited: Article 45 ]

Classification of issues using UNCITRAL classification code numbers:

4B [Issues covered and excluded: issues excluded (set-off of reciprocal obligations)];

58B [Time for payment (buyer to pay when goods placed at buyer's disposition): seller not obliged to hand over goods until buyer pays price];

71B ; 71C1 [Grounds for seller's stoppage of goods in transit; Obligations of party suspending performance: immediately notify other party];

74A [General rules for measuring damages: loss suffered as consequence of breach]

Descriptors: Scope of Convention ; Set-off ; Price ; Stoppage in transit ; Suspension of performance ; Damages

Go to Case Table of Contents


Editorial remarks

Excerpt from Larry A. DiMatteo et al., 34 Northwestern Journal of International Law & Business (Winter 2004) 299-440 at 417

"The importance of notice is a general theme found throughout the CISG.[726] It is particularly evident in Article 71(2). Failure to give proper notice under Article 71(2) results in the revocation of an otherwise reasonable suspension of performance. A German court held that reasonable doubts about the buyer's creditworthiness were not sufficient to overcome the seller's failure to give notice pursuant to Article 71(3).[727] The court reasoned that if the seller wanted to exercise his right of suspension, he was obligated to inform the buyer about any doubts regarding her creditworthiness or ability to perform her duties and liabilities under the sales contract. Inasmuch as the seller did not demonstrate that he gave any such notice and information to the buyer, he was not permitted to suspend performance. Hence, notification is an absolutely necessary prerequisite for exercising the right of suspension for anticipatory breach.[728]"

726. See, e.g., CISG, supra note 4, at arts. 18(3), 19(2), 21, 26, 27, 39, 43(1), 46(2), 47(1), 48, 63(2), 65(2), 71(3), 72(2), 73(2), 79(4), and 88(1).

727. AG Frankfurt 32 C 1074/90-41, Jan. 31, 1991, supra note 618.

728. Id. See generally Hof van Beroep Gent, 1997/AR/2235, Apr. 26, 2000 (Belg.), available at <http://cisgw3.law.pace.edu/cases/000426b1.html> [English translation by Benoit Samyn, translation edited by Sieg Eiselen]; Netherlands Arbitration Institute 2319, Oct. 15, 2002.

729. CISG, supra note 4, at art. 72.

Go to Case Table of Contents

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=25&step=Abstract>

German: Die deutsche Rechtsprechung auf dem Gebiete des internationalen Privatrechts im Jahre (IPRspr) 1991 No. 34 [70]; Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Internationales und Europäisches Recht [SZIER]/Revue suisse de droit international et de droit européen (1995) 274 [cited as 1 January 1991]

Italian: Diritto del Commercio Internazionale (1994) 849-850 No. 29

Polish: Hermanowski/Jastrzebski, Konwencja Narodow Zjednoczonych o umowach miedzynarodowej sprzedazy towarow (Konwencja wiedenska) - Komentarz (1997) 245

CITATIONS TO TEXT OF DECISION

Original language (German): CISG online website <http://www.cisg-online.ch/cisg/urteile/34.htm> [excerpt]; Praxis des internationalen Privat- und Verfahrensrechts (IPRax) 1991, 345; Die deutsche Rechtsprechung auf dem Gebiete des internationalen Privatrechts im Jahre (IPRspr) 1991 No. 34 [70]; Unilex database [excerpt] <http://www.unilex.info/case.cfm?pid=1&do=case&id=25&step=FullText>

Translation (English): Text presented below [Excerpt]

CITATIONS TO COMMENTS ON DECISION

English: Ferrari, International Legal Forum (4/1998) 138-255 [226 n.792 (scope of CISG: set-off issues)]; Karollus, Cornell Review of the CISG (1995) 51 [58, 73-74] [comments on Article 4 and Article 71 issues in the context of German case law on the CISG]; Lookofsky, Understanding the CISG in the USA [CISG/USA] (1995) 76 n.79, 90 n.202; Lookofsky, CISG/Scandinavia (1996) 93 n.91 n.94, 121 n.231; Bernstein/Lookofsky, CISG/Europe (1997) 93 n.76, 97 n.96, 117 n.234; Schlechtriem, Singapore Conference on International Business Law, September 1992: L.R. Penna (ed.), Current Developments in International Transfers of Goods and Services, Singapore (Butterworths) 1994, 132 n.80; Spanogle/Winship, International Sales Law: A Problem Oriented Coursebook (West 2000) [suspending performance 241-247 (this case at 245-246)]; Bernstein & Lookofsky, Understanding the CISG in Europe, 2d ed., Kluwer (2003) § 6-11, n.109; § 6-14 n.138; § 6-26 n.316; [2005] Schlechtriem & Schwenzer ed., Commentary on UN Convention on International Sale of Goods, 2d (English) ed., Oxford University Press, Art. 4 para. 22a Art. 71 para. 21; Schwenzer & Fountoulakis ed., International Sales Law, Routledge-Cavendish (2007) at p. 499

French: Neumayer/Ming, Commentaire, Lausanne (1993) Art. 71 n.29; Witz, Les premières applications jurisprudentielles du droit uniforme de la vente internationale (L.G.D.J., Paris: 1995) 107-108; Guilbeault, Les Cahiers de Droit (Québec 1997) 315 [360 n.213]

German: Jayme, Praxis des internationalen Privat- und Verfahrensrechts (IPRax) 1991, 345; Karollus, [österreichisches] Recht der Wirtschaft (öRdW) 1992, 168; Piltz, Int. Kaufrecht (1993) 172 No. 262 = Neue Juristische Wochenschrift (1994) 1101; Schlechtriem, Internationales UN-Kaufrecht (1996) 29 n.64, 148 n.229; Staudinger-Magnus (1994) Art. 4 No. 47, Art. 71 Nos. 46-47

Spanish: Piltz, La Ley (Buenos Aires: 5 September 1994) 1-4 n.34

Go to Case Table of Contents


Case text (English translation)

Queen Mary Case Translation Programme

Lower Court (Amtsgericht) Frankfurt am Main

31 January 1991 [32 C 1074/90-41]

Translation [*] by Stefan Kuhm [**]

Edited by Camilla Baasch Andersen [**]

[...]

I. Extract from the reasoning for the decision

[...]

It is not necessary to decide whether or not it became apparent, after the [seller] had dispatched the goods, that there were in fact founded doubts about the creditworthiness of the [buyer] sufficient to entitle the [seller] to exercise his right to suspend the further delivery of the goods. Such a right of suspension is associated with a concurrent obligation of notification and information pursuant to Art. 71(3) CISG. If the [seller] wanted to exercise his right of suspension, the [seller] was obligated to inform the [buyer] about any existing or arisen doubts with regards to her creditworthiness or ability to perform her duties and liabilities under the sales contract. The [seller] has not demonstrated or given evidence that he gave any such notice and information to the [buyer]. Such a notification would have been an absolutely necessary prerequisite for exercising [seller]'s right of suspension for anticipatory breach.

In the light of the lack of such necessary notification and information, the [buyer] is entitled to claim for damages due to her loss of profit.

[...]


FOOTNOTES

* All translations should be verified by cross-checking against the original text. For purposes of this translation, the Plaintiff of Italy is referred to as [seller], the Defendant of Germany as [buyer].

** Stefan Kuhm is a Member of the Bar Association, Frankfurt a.M., and a Ph.D. candidate at Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen. Camilla Baasch Andersen is a Fellow of Pace University School of Law and a Lecturer at Queen Mary, University of London.

Go to Case Table of Contents
Pace Law School Institute of International Commercial Law - Last updated February 9, 2007
Comments/Contributions
Go to Database Directory || Go to CISG Table of Contents || Go to Case Search Form || Go to Bibliography