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2008 UNCITRAL Digest of case law on the United Nations Convention on the International Sale of Goods

Digest of Article 15 case law [reproduced with permission of UNCITRAL] [*]

Article 15

(1) An offer becomes effective when it reaches the offeree.
(2) An offer, even if it is irrevocable, may be withdrawn if the withdrawal reaches the offeree before or at the same time as the offer.

OVERVIEW -- Article 15(1)

1. Paragraph (1) of article 15 provides that an offer becomes effective when it "reaches" the offeree. Article 24 defines when a revocation reaches the offeree. Although paragraph (1) has been cited,[1] no reported decision has interpreted it.

OVERVIEW -- Article 15(2)

2. Paragraph (2) provides that an offeror may withdraw its offer if the withdrawal reaches the offeree before or at the same time as the offer. After the offer reaches the offeree, the offeror may no longer withdraw the offer, but may be entitled to revoke the offer in accordance with article 16. There are no reported cases applying paragraph (2).

[See also the overview comments UNCITRAL has prepared to introduce all of the Formation provisions of the CISG (articles 14 through 24). They discuss the following subjects: Permitted Reservations by Contracting States, Exclusivity of Part II, Validity of Contract, Formal Requirements, Incorporating Standard Terms, and Commercial Letters of Confirmation.]


* This presentation of the UNCITRAL Digest is a slightly modified version of the original UNCITRAL text at <http://www.UNCITRAL.org/pdf/english/clout/CISG_second_edition.pdf>. The following modifications were made by the Institute of International Commercial Law of the Pace University School of Law:

   -    To enhance access to contents by computer search engines, we present in html rather than pdf;
   -    To support UNCITRAL's recommendation to read more on the cases reported in the Digests, we provide mouse-click access to (i) CLOUT abstracts published by UNCITRAL (and to UNILEX case abstracts and other case abstracts); and also (ii) to full-text English translations of cases with links to original texts of cases, where available, in [bracketed citations] that we have added to UNCITRAL's footnotes; and
   -    To enable researchers to themselves keep the case citations provided in the Digests constantly current, we have created a series of tandem documents, UNCITRAL Digest Cases + Added Cases. The new cases and other cases that are cited in these updates are coded in accordance with UNCITRAL's Thesaurus.

In addition, this presentation introduces each section of the UNCITRAL Digest with a Google search button. This is to help you access doctrine (relevant material from the over 1,200 commentaries, monographs and books on the CISG and related subjects that we present on this database) as well as the texts of the cases that UNCITRAL cites in its Digests and that we present in our updates to UNCITRAL's Digests.

1. [GERMANY Oberlandesgericht München 3 December 1999 (Window production plant case)] (citing arts. 14, 15(1), 18 and 23); [AUSTRALIA Federal Court of Adelaide 28 April 1995 (Roder v. Rosedown)] (citing arts. 8, 11, 15(1), 18(1) and 29(1) when holding that parties had concluded contract with a retention of title clause). The following decisions cite article 15 in general, but because they do not involve withdrawal of an offer the issue addressed in article 15(2) the citations effectively refer to paragraph (1) of article 15; [GERMANY Oberlandesgericht Celle 2 September 1998 (Vacuum cleaners case)] (citing arts. 14, 15 and 18 when finding that parties had concluded a contract); [GERMANY Landgericht Oldenburg 28 February 1996 (Egg case)] (citing arts. 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19); [GERMANY Oberlandesgericht Frankfurt a.M. 23 May 1995 (Shoes case)] (citing arts. 14, 15, 18(3), 19(1) and (3)) (see full text of the decision); [GERMANY Landgericht Krefeld 24 November 1992 (Shoes case)] (citing arts. 15 and 18).

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