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Reproduced with the permission of Oceana Publications

excerpt from


United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods

Convention on the Limitation Period in the International Sale of Goods

Commentary by
Prof. Dr. jur. Dr. sc. oec. Fritz Enderlein
Prof. Dr. jur. Dr. sc. oec. Dietrich Maskow

Oceana Publications, 1992

Article 24 [Definition: "reaches"]


For the purposes of this Part [1] of the Convention, an offer, declaration of acceptance or any other indication of intention [2] "reaches" the addressee when it is made [6] orally [3] to him or delivered [4] by any other means to him personally, to his place of business or mailing address or, if he does not have a place of business or mailing address, to his habitual residence [5].


[1] The definition of "reaches" according to the structure of the rule applies only to Part II of the CISG. The notion "reaches" is decisive where the effectiveness of the offer (Article 15, paragraph 1) and the acceptance (Article 18, paragraph 2) are concerned. That definition is of relevance for the commencement of the period allowed for acceptance under Article 20, paragraph 1. The rule of receipt itself does not automatically apply to the several statements which are governed by Part III of the Convention (c. also Articles 26 and 27). In that Part the rule of dispatch applies. Exceptions are made in Article 47, paragraph 2; Article 48, paragraph 4; Article 63, paragraph [page 107] 2; Article 65, paragraphs 1 and 2 and Article 79, paragraph 4. The definition of "reaches" may be applied analogously in those cases.

[2] All declarations indicating the intent to conclude a contract need to reach the addressee (Schlechtriem, 35). Other statements of intention are, in particular, the withdrawal or revocation of declarations (c. Article 15, paragraph 2; Article 16, paragraph 1, and Article 22) arid the rejection of an offer (Article 17).

[3] As to "him" or his agent, compare note 6. The authorization of an intermediary or intermediaries is determined by domestic law (Schlechtriem, 36). Regarding the written form of contracts, compare Article 11, note 1.

[4] Delivery does not mean that the addressee has taken cognizance of the statement. The communication, however, needs to have reached his area of receipt or disposal, and it needs to have been "recognizable" (Schlechtriem, 36). It would not be sufficient if it were left in an unattended place or on the door steps (Honnold, 206; Farnsworth/BB, 203).

Delivery can be made on holidays. Only if this is not possible will the fixed period be extended (c. Article 20, paragraph 2). The risk of transmission is born by the sender.

[5] Compare Article 10.

[6] Delivery to the addressee and deliveries to his statutory representative or agent have equal status (c. also Article 13, note 18 concerning the Agency Convention). [page 108] Article 29 which covers specific aspects of avoidance and modifications of contracts. [page 111]

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Pace Law School Institute of International Commercial Law - Last updated August 9, 2002
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