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CISG CASE PRESENTATION

Switzerland 12 August 1997 District Court St. Gallen (Clothes case)
[Cite as: http://cisgw3.law.pace.edu/cases/970812s1.html]

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

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Case identification

DATE OF DECISIONS: 19970812 (12 August 1997)

JURISDICTION: Switzerland

TRIBUNAL: KG St. Gallen [KG = Kantonsgericht = District Court]

JUDGE(S): Unavailable

CASE NUMBER/DOCKET NUMBER: 3 ZK 96-145

CASE NAME: Unavailable

CASE HISTORY: Unavailable

SELLER'S COUNTRY: Germany (plaintiff)

BUYER'S COUNTRY: Switzerland (defendant)

GOODS INVOLVED: Clothes


Case abstract

SWITZERLAND: Kantonsgericht St. Gallen 12 August 1997

Case law on UNCITRAL texts (CLOUT) abstract no. 216

Reproduced with permission from UNCITRAL

A German seller of clothing sued a Swiss buyer for the purchase price. The buyer claimed that the seller didn't deliver documents necessary to clear the goods through customs and that it therefore had to return the clothing.

The court held that the buyer must pay the purchase price when the seller places either the goods or documents controlling their disposition at the buyer's disposal (article 58(1) CISG). In general, documents representing the goods are to be procured by the party exporting the goods. This is not necessarily the seller in every case. The procurement of customs documents is incumbent upon the seller, only if so agreed between seller and buyer, which was not the case.

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Classification of issues present

APPLICATION OF CISG: Yes

APPLICABLE CISG PROVISIONS AND ISSUES

Key CISG provisions at issues: Article 58 [Also relevant: Article 34 ]

Classification of issues using UNCITRAL classification code numbers:

58A [Buyer to pay when goods placed at buyer's disposition]

Descriptors: Price

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Editorial remarks

Excerpt from Larry A. DiMatteo et al., 34 Northwestern Journal of International Law & Business (Winter 2004) 299-440 at 375-376

"[A]s a general rule, documents controlling the disposition of the goods are to be procured by the party responsible for their exportation. It is important to note that this does not necessarily refer to the seller in every case. Rather, in the one case addressing this issue, the court held that the seller was responsible for procuring customs documents only if so provided by the sales contract. The absence of a developed body of case law surrounding this issue perhaps suggests that the uncertainty is more of an academic interest rather than one presenting practical difficulties for businesses operating in the global marketplace."

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Citations to other abstracts, case texts and commentaries

CITATIONS TO OTHER ABSTRACTS OF DECISION

English: [1999] Transportrecht, Beilage "Internationales Handelsrecht" (TranspR-IHR) 12

German: 1 Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Internationales und Europäisches Recht (1998) 80

CITATIONS TO TEXT OF DECISION

Original language (German): CISG-online.ch website <http://www.cisg-online.ch/cisg/urteile/330.pdf>

Translation: Unavailable

CITATIONS TO COMMENTS ON DECISION

English: Honnold, Uniform Law for International Sales (1999) 364 [Art. 58]

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Pace Law School Institute of International Commercial Law - Last updated October 12, 2004
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