2008 UNCITRAL Digest of case law on the United Nations Convention on the International Sale of Goods
Digest of Article 53 case law [reproduced with permission of UNCITRAL] [*]
[Text of article
Other obligations of the buyer
Illustrations from case law]
The buyer must pay the price for the goods and take delivery of them as required by the contract and this Convention.
1. Article 53 states the principal obligations of the buyer, and serves as an introduction to the provisions of Chapter III. As the Convention does not define what constitutes a "sale of goods," article 53, in combination with article 30, also sheds light on this matter. The principal obligations of the buyer are to pay the price for and take delivery of the goods "as required by the contract and this Convention." From this phrase, as well as from article 6 of the Convention, it follows that, where the contract provides for the performance to take place in a manner that differs from that set forth in the Convention, the parties' agreement prevails.
Other obligations of the buyer
2. According to the Convention, the contract may impose on the buyer obligations other than paying the price and taking delivery, such as an obligation to provide security for payment of the price, an obligation to supply materials needed for the manufacture or production of the goods (see article 3(1)), or an obligation to submit specifications regarding the form, measurement or other features of the goods (article 65).
Illustrations from case law
3. Because it merely states the obligations of the buyer -- which are treated more fully in subsequent provisions -- article 53 has raised no particular difficulties for the courts. There have been numerous court decisions citing article 53 in connection with judgments requiring the buyer to pay the price. Cases applying article 53 to other obligations of the buyer are less common.
* 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:
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1. [ITALY Tribunale di Rimini 26 November 2002 (Porcelain tableware case)]; [SWITZERLAND Kantonsgericht Schaffhausen 25 February 2002 (Machines, devices and replacement parts case)].
2. [FRANCE Cour d'appel de Colmar 12 June 2001 (Polyurethane foam covers for air conditioners case)]; [SWITZERLAND Tribunal Cantonal de Vaud 11 March 1996 (Clay case)]; [FRANCE Cour d'appel de Colmar 12 June 2001 (Polyurethane foam covers for air conditioners case)].
3 .See articles 61(1) and 62.
4. [GERMANY Landgericht Münchengladbach 15 July 2003 (Filters case)]; [GERMANY Landgericht Tübingen, 18 June 2003 (Computers and accessories case)]; [GERMANY Landgericht Berlin 21 March 2003 (Fabrics case)]; [BELGIUM Rechtbank van Koophandel Veurne 19 March 2003 (Leeks case)]; [BELGIUM Hof van Beroep Gent 2 December 2002 (Clothing case)]; [ITALY Tribunale di Rimini 26 November 2002 (Porcelain tableware case)]; [GERMANY Landgericht Saarbrücken 25 November 2002 (Clothes case)]; [SWITZERLAND Handelsgericht Aargau 5 November 2002 (Inflatable triumphal arch case)]; [GERMANY Oberlandesgericht Köln 14 October 2002 (Designer clothes case)]; [GERMANY Oberlandesgericht Rostock 25 September 2002 (Frozen food case)]; [GERMANY Landgericht Göttingen 20 September 2002 (Mattresses and bedding accessories case)]; [GERMANY Oberlandesgericht Schleswig 22 August 2002 (Automobile case)]; [ARGENTINA Cámara Nacional de Apelaciones en lo Comercial de Buenos Aires 21 July 2002 (Malt case)]; [GERMANY Landgericht Saarbrücken 2 July 2002 (Tiles case)]; [GERMANY Amtsgericht Viechtach 11 April 2002 (Pallets case)]; [GERMANY Landgericht München 27 February 2002 (Globes case)]; [SWITZERLAND Kantonsgericht Schaffhausen 25 February 2002 (Machines, devices and replacement parts case)]; [GERMANY Landgericht München 20 February 2002 (Shoes case)]; [GERMANY Landgericht Stendal 12 October 2000 (Granite rock case)], also in [SWITZERLAND Kantonsgericht des Kantons Zug 25 February 1999 (Roofing materials case)]; [GERMANY Oberlandesgericht Oldenburg 22 September 1998 (Raw salmon case)] (see full text of the decision); [GERMANY Oberlandesgericht Celle 2 September 1998 (Vacuum cleaners case)]; [GERMANY Oberlandesgericht München 28 January 1998 (Automobiles case)]; [GERMANY Bundesgerichtshof 23 July 1997 (Benetton II fashion textiles case)]; [GERMANY Oberlandesgericht München 9 July 1997 (Leather goods case)]; [GERMANY Oberlandesgericht Düsseldorf 24 April 1997 (Shoes case)]; [ICC International Court of Arbitration, Award 8716 of February 1997]; [HUNGARY Arbitration Court attached to the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry 10 December 1996 (Caviar case)] (see full text of the decision); [GERMANY Oberlandesgericht Düsseldorf 11 July 1996]; [GERMANY Landgericht Duisburg 17 April 1996 (Textiles case)]; [GERMANY Landgericht Kassel 15 February 1996 (Marble slab case)]; [ Tribunal of International Commercial Arbitration at the Russian Federation Chamber of Commerce and Industry 22 January 1996]; [GERMANY Amtsgericht Wangen 8 March 1995 (Shoes case)]; [GERMANY Oberlandesgericht Koblenz 17 September 1993 (Computer chip case)] (see full text of the decision); [ICC International Court of Arbitration, Award 7197 of 1992 (Failure to open letter of credit and penalty clause case)] (see full text of the decision); [ICC International Court of Arbitration, Award 7153 of 1992 (Hotel materials case)] (see full text of the decision); [GERMANY Landgericht Aachen 3 April 1990 (Shoes case)] (see full text of the decision). See also [UNITED STATES Federal Bankruptcy Court 10 April 2001 (Victoria Alloys v. Fortis Bank)] (holding that buyer's obligation to pay the price under CISG article 53 was a significant factor in determining whether title to goods had passed to the buyer. [GERMANY Oberlandesgericht München 8 February 1995 (Automobile case)].