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CISG CASE PRESENTATION

Spain 7 June 1999 Appellate Court Barcelona (Clothes case)
[Cite as: http://cisgw3.law.pace.edu/cases/990607s4.html]

Primary source(s) of information for case presentation: Patricia Rincón Martín

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Case identification

DATE OF DECISIONS: 19990607 (7 June 1999)

JURISDICTION: Spain

TRIBUNAL: Audiencia Provincial de Barcelona [Appellate Court], sección 17a

JUDGE(S): Sra. Mateo Marco (President)

CASE NUMBER/DOCKET NUMBER: 28/1999

CASE NAME: Unavailable

CASE HISTORY: 1st instance Juzgado de Primera Instancia No. 3 (Barcelona) 4 September 1998 [affirmed]

SELLER'S COUNTRY: Spain (plantiff)

BUYER'S COUNTRY: United Kingdom (defendant)

GOODS INVOLVED: Clothes


Case abstract

SPAIN: Audiencia Provincial de Barcelona 7 June 1999

Case law on UNCITRAL texts (CLOUT) abstract no. 320 [(CLOUT) abstract no. 394 also addresses this case]

Reproduced with permission from UNCITRAL

The matter at issue was concerned with the determining of the jurisdiction of the Spanish courts and the declaring of Spanish law as the law applicable to a dispute which arose from a commercial sale of textiles in which a Spanish manufacture, the plaintiff, was the seller and a British importer, the defendant, was the buyer. It had been agreed that payment for the purchased goods would take place at the seller's domicile, which does not appear to have happened. Since Spain is a party to the CISG and the United Kingdom is not, it had to be concluded that, in the event that Spanish law was applicable, the CISG would be the instrument governing the sale.

The Court noted that the essential service provided under the disputed contract was the supply of the purchased textiles by the seller, whose administrative headquarters are located in the city of Barcelona.

The Court accordingly ruled that the law applicable was Spanish law and hence the CISG would apply, even though the United Kingdom is not a party to the CISG. That ruling was in accordance with article 1(1)(b) CISG, which states that the CISG applies to contracts of sale of goods between parties whose places of business are in different States when the rules of private international law lead to the application of the law of a Contracting State, which is what happened in the present case.

The Court further indicated that the jurisdiction of the Spanish courts was based on article 57(1)(a) CISG, which states that, if no other place is specified, the price has to be paid "at the seller's place of business". Consequently, that is the place of performance of the contract and the place that determines which courts have jurisdiction to hear the seller's claim and settle the dispute.

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Case abstract [Patricia Rincón Martín]

The seller sought to have the Spanish Tribunal declare that it had jurisdiction to rule on the merits of the case according to the Brussels Convention of 27 September 1968, which determines that the competent tribunal is that where the obligation claimed to have been breached is purported to have been performed. In this case, the place of performance of this obligation, the payment of the price, was in dispute. The Tribunal ruled that in the light of Spanish private international law, the applicable law to determine the place of payment was Spanish Law (lex fori).

The court further found that since Spain was a Contracting State to the CISG and the contract involved the international sale of goods, the CISG was applicable. In this case, despite the fact that the UK is not a Contracting State, according to Art 1(1)(b) the CISG is nevertheless applicable. Furthermore, the regulation of the place of the payment falls within Art. 57(1)(a) CISG, which states that in cases such as this the place of payment is the seller's place of business. The court therefore concluded that the Spanish Tribunal had jurisdiction.

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Classification of issues present

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

APPLICABLE CISG PROVISIONS AND ISSUES

Key CISG provisions at issue: Article 57(1)(a)

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

EDITOR: Patricia Rincón Martín

Referring to Spanish rules of private international law, the court decided that Spanish law was applicable and applied the CISG. Specifically, the court stated that the CISG is the Convention that regulated international sales of goods.

In this case, the Tribunal considered the CISG applicable even though the United Kingdom was not a Contracting State, citing Art 1(1)(b) which states that the Convention applies to contracts of sale of goods between parties whose place of business are in different States when the rules of private international law lead to the application of the law of a Contracting State.

Referring to the settlement of the place of payment, the Tribunal applied Art. 57 to determine this law to be the law of the seller's place of business (Barcelona), concluding that, as such, it was also the place of the competent Tribunal, according to the Brussels Convention. "En virtud del Art. 57.1.a CISG, al tener que hacerse el pago en el domicilio del vendedor, éste será el lugar de ejecución y por tanto el que determinará el fuero competente para conocer de la reclamación. Teniendo la actora su domicilio en Barcelona, serán los órganos judiciales de esta ciudad los competentes . . . "

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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=432&step=Abstract>

Spanish: CISG-Spain and Latin America database "http://www.uc3m.es/cisg/respan5.htm"

CITATIONS TO TEXT OF DECISION

Original language (Spanish): CISG-Spain and Latin America database "http://www.uc3m.es/cisg/respan5.htm"; Actualidad Civil núm. 5, 31 de enero al 6 de febrero de 2000, pp. 171-173; Unilex database <http://www.unilex.info/case.cfm?pid=1&do=case&id=432&step=FullText>

Translation: Unavailable

CITATIONS TO COMMENTS ON DECISION

French: Rosch, Dalloz, Cahier Droit des Affairs (30 November 2000) No. 42/7007, 440-441

Spanish: Campuzano Díaz, Revista de Derecho patrimonial, Aranzadi (2000), núm. 5, 195-201; Font Segura, La Ley (2000) D-115, 1406-1414; Gardeñes Santiago, Revista española de Derecho internacional (1999), núm. 2, 706-710

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Pace Law School Institute of International Commercial Law - Last updated September 3, 2002
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