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Bulgaria 2 February 1998 Arbitration Case 20/1997 [translation available]
[Cite as: http://cisgw3.law.pace.edu/cases/980202bu.html]

Primary source(s) of information for case presentation: Case text

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Case identification

DATE OF DECISION: 19980202 (2 February 1998)

JURISDICTION: Arbitration ; Bulgaria

TRIBUNAL: Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry [BTTP (Bulgarska turgosko-promishlena palata)]

JUDGE(S): Unavailable


CASE NAME: Unavailable

CASE HISTORY: Unavailable

SELLER'S COUNTRY: Russian Federation (claimant)

BUYER'S COUNTRY: Bulgaria (respondent)


Classification of issues present



Key CISG provisions at issue: Article 6

Classification of issues using UNCITRAL classification code numbers:

6A [Convention (also the otherwise applicable law) yields to contract]

Descriptors: Autonomy of parties

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Editorial remarks

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Citations to case abstracts, texts, and commentaries


(a) UNCITRAL abstract: Unavailable

(b) Other abstracts



Original language (Bulgarian): Praktika Bulgarska turgovsko-promishlena palata (BTPP) 1998-1999, No. 2b [10-12]

Translation (English): Text presented below



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Case text (English translation) [second draft]

Queen Mary Case Translation Programme

Arbitration Tribunal of Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Case No. 20/1997 of 2 February 1998

Translation [*] by Bojidara Borisova [**]



Claimant [seller], a corporation seated in Russia, brought a suit against the respondent [buyer], a private company seated in Bulgaria.

The Arbitral Tribunal of the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry [BCCI] is competent to settle the dispute between the [seller] and the [buyer] in accordance with article 2 of the Moscow Convention for Arbitrate Settlement of Civil Disputes Following from Economical and Scientific Partnership (1972): both Bulgaria and Russia are Contracting States and the disputing parties are not private commercial organizations. This also corresponds with the permanent practice of the Arbitrate Tribunal of the BCCI - see case decisions No. 21/93, No. 32/93 and No. 37/93. The parties agreed in their contract that future disputes between them will be settled by Arbitrate Tribunal in the [buyer]'s country. Neither party objected to the competence of the Arbitrate Tribunal of the BCCI.

The parties did not stipulate the procedure which the Arbitral Tribunal should apply. According to Article 24 of the International Trade Arbitrage Law and Article 3 of the Statute of the Arbitrate Tribunal (SAT) to the BCCI, the Arbitral Tribunal should apply the procedure prescribed in the SAT.

The parties concluded a sales contract but did not stipulate in their contract the applicable substantive law. The Arbitral Tribunal considered that the applicable substantive law is the CISG. This was confirmed in the [seller]'s and the [buyer]'s pleadings. At the time of the conclusion of the contract, the Russian Federation was a party to the CISG; consequently, the Convention should be applied for the settlement of the dispute according to its Article 1(1)(b). This was confirmed by the fact that at the time of the conclusion of the annex to the initial contract both the Russian Federation and the Bulgarian Republic had ratified the Convention. Consequently, the Convention is the substantive law applicable for the regulation of contracts for sale of goods with international element concluded between parties having their places of business in two different Contracting States (Article 1(1)(a) CISG).

The CISG does not define the amount of the interest for arrears. In this case, the rule is that the substantive law of the [seller] should be applied because the [seller] is the party that has to effect the performance which is characteristic of the contract. This should be the rule if the parties did not stipulate something different in their contract. However, in this case, the contracting parties have stipulated in article 1 of the annex that the amount of the interest is 6% per year. The Arbitral Tribunal found unjustified the assertion of the [seller] that the amount of the interest is not stipulated, because the opposite conclusion can be drawn form the interpretation of the annex. It is true that in the initial contract the parties have defined the amount of the interest at 10% but the annex follows the initial contract and represents the final will of the parties.

Even if the Arbitrate Tribunal would consider that the applicable substantive law is the law of the [seller]'s country the regulations of this law, which have dispensable character. cannot be applied as the contracting parties have explicitly stipulated the amount of the interest.


* All translations should be verified by cross-checking against the original text. For purposes of this presentation, Claimant of the Russian Federation is referred to as [seller]; Respondent of Bulgaria is referred to as [buyer].

** Bojidara Borisova is a candidate for the degree of Ph.D. in Law at Sofia University "ST.Kl.Oxridski", Bulgaria

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Pace Law School Institute of International Commercial Law - Last updated July 14, 2003
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