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Published in J. Herbots editor / R. Blanpain general editor, International Encyclopaedia of Laws - Contracts, Suppl. 29 (December 2000) 1-192. Reproduced with permission of the publisher Kluwer Law International, The Hague.

[For more current case annotated texts by this author, see Bernstein & Lookofsky, Understanding the CISG in Europe, 2d ed. (2003) and Lookofsky, Understanding the CISG in the USA, 2d ed. (2004).]

excerpt from

The 1980 United Nations Convention on Contracts
for the International Sale of Goods

Joseph Lookofsky

Article 54
Steps to Enable Payment of the Price

239. Payment of the price is clearly the buyer's main obligation under the contract and under the Convention as well. Payment is likely to be tied to means appropriate in an international context. Article 54 provides:

'The buyer's obligation to pay the price includes taking such steps and complying with such formalities as may be required under the contract or any laws and regulations to enable payment to be made.'

If, for example, the contract requires payment by letter of credit, the failure to take steps to open the letter (and thus assure timely payment) will clearly constitute a breach. And, as discussed more fully below, the buyer's failure to perform his obligations under the contract or this Convention will entitle the seller to exercise the remedial rights set forth in Section III of Chapter 3.[1] For one thing, the seller may avoid the contract if the breach is fundamental; alternatively, she may issue a Nachfrist notice, which provides for an additional performance period and permits subsequent avoidance for failure to comply.[2]

1. See discussion infra No. 250 et seq.
2. Regarding Article 64, see infra No. 259 et seq.
[page 129]

Pace Law School Institute of International Commercial Law - Last updated April 5, 2005