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CISG CASE PRESENTATION

Switzerland 18 January 1996 Federal Supreme Court (Waste gas cleansing installation case)
[Cite as: http://cisgw3.law.pace.edu/cases/960118s1.html]

Primary source(s) for case presentation: Michael R. Will; UNCITRAL abstract; Unilex abstract


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Case identification

DATE OF DECISION: 19960118 (18 January 1996)

JURISDICTION: Switzerland

TRIBUNAL: Bundesgericht [= BGer = Federal Supreme Court]

JUDGE(S): Unavailable

CASE NUMBER/DOCKET NUMBER: Unavailable

CASE NAME: Firma T. S.r.l v. Firma S. AG

CASE HISTORY: 1st instance HG Zürich 29 December 1994 [affirmed]

SELLER'S COUNTRY: Switzerland (plaintiff)

BUYER'S COUNTRY: Italy (defendant)

GOODS INVOLVED: Waste gas cleansing installation


Case abstract

SWITZERLAND: Bundesgericht 18 January 1996

Case law on UNCITRAL texts (CLOUT) abstract no. 194

Reproduced with permission from UNCITRAL

The federal court had to decide in this case if the Zürich Court of Commerce had jurisdiction to adjudicate a lawsuit between a Swiss seller of a waste gas cleaning installation and an Italian buyer.

The plaintiff began the lawsuit in Zürich based on article 5(1) of the Lugano Convention on Jurisdiction and Enforcement of Judgements in Civil and Commercial Matters, according to which, in matters relating to a contract, a person may be sued in the courts of the place of performance of the obligation concerned. The Zürich Court of Commerce affirmed its jurisdiction.

On appeal, the federal court found that the purchase price as the obligation in controversy was governed by the CISG. The purchase price had to be paid at the seller's place of business (article 57(1)(a) CISG). If, however, payment was to be made against the delivery of the goods or of documents, the seller must be paid at the place where the delivery occurs (article 57(1)(b) CISG). In the present case, the federal court had to determine whether article 57(1)(b) CISG was applicable.

The federal court construed the words of article 57(1)(b) CISG "if the payment is to be made against the handling over of the goods" in the light of article 58(1)(2) CISG, pursuant to which the seller may make such payment a condition for delivering the goods or documents.

The federal court held that the present case did not fall within the ambit of article 57(1)(b) CISG. Thus, payment had to be made at the seller's place of business at Zürich. Consequently, the Zürich Court of Commerce had jurisdiction under article 5(1) of the Lugano Convention.

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Classification of issues present

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

APPLICABLE CISG PROVISIONS AND ISSUES

Key CISG provisions at issue: Article 57(1)(a) [Also cited: Articles 58(1) and 58(2) ]

Classification of issues using UNCITRAL classification code numbers:

57A [Place for payment: in absence of agreement, payment at seller's place of business]

Descriptors: Payment, place of ; Jurisdiction

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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=199&step=Abstract>

French: Entscheidungen des Schweizerischen Bundesgerichts / Arrêts du Tribunal Fédéral Suisse (Bern) 122 III 43-44

German: Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Internationales und Europäisches Recht (SZIER)/ Revue suisse de droit international et de droit européen (1997) 129-131; Aktuelle Juristische Praxis (AJP) 1996, 1050

Italian: [1998] Diritto del Commercio Internazionale 1099 No. 201; Entscheidungen des Schweizerischen Bundesgerichts / Arrêts du Tribunal Fédéral Suisse (Bern) 122 III 44

CITATIONS TO TEXT OF DECISION

Original language (German): cisg-online.ch <http://www.cisg-online.ch/cisg/urteile/214.htm>; Entscheidungen des Schweizerischen Bundesgerichts / Arrêts du Tribunal Fédéral Suisse (Bern) 122 III 43-48; Unilex database <http://www.unilex.info/case.cfm?pid=1&do=case&id=199&step=FullText>

Translation: Unavailable

CITATIONS TO COMMENTS ON DECISION

English: Honnold, Uniform Law for International Sales (1999) 362 [Art. 57]; [2005] Schlechtriem & Schwenzer ed., Commentary on UN Convention on International Sale of Goods, 2d (English) ed., Oxford University Press, Art. 57 para. 11a

French: Witz, Dalloz Sirey (1997) 224-225

German: Schwenzer, Aktuelle Juristische Praxis (AJP) 1996, 1051-1052

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Pace Law School Institute of International Commercial Law - Last updated August 16, 2005
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