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LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

Legislative history of CISG article 32: Match-up with 1978 Draft to assess relevance of Secretariat Commentary


1978 Draft article 30

(1) If the seller is bound to hand the goods over to a carrier and if the goods are not clearly marked with an address or are not otherwise identified to the contract, the seller must send the buyer a notice of the consignment which specifies the goods.

(2) If the seller is bound to arrange for carriage of the goods, he must make such contracts as are necessary for the carriage to the place fixed by means of transportation which are appropriate in the circumstances and according to the usual terms for such transportation.

(3) If the seller is not bound to effect insurance in respect of the carriage of the goods, he must provide the buyer, at his request, with all available information necessary to enable him to effect such insurance.

  

CISG article 32

(1) If the seller, in accordance with the contract or this Convention, hands the goods over to a carrier and if the goods are not clearly identified to the contract by markings on the goods, by shipping documents or otherwise, the seller must give the buyer notice of the consignment specifying the goods.

(2) If the seller is bound to arrange for carriage of the goods, he must make such contracts as are necessary for carriage to the place fixed by means of transportation appropriate in the circumstances and according to the usual terms for such transportation.

(3) If the seller is not bound to effect insurance in respect of the carriage of the goods, he must, at the buyer's request, provide him with all available information necessary to enable him to effect such insurance.


Editorial comments

The Secretariat Commentary on 1978 Draft article 30 remains relevant to CISG article 32. CISG article 32 reflects various drafting changes, one of which -- the change from "send" to "give" in paragraph (1) -- is commented on below. Paragraph (1) of the 1978 Draft refers to seller's obligation to "send the buyer a notice of the consignment which specifies the goods" (emphasis added). The legislative history of the deliberations which led to this language reports that: "The Committee considered but did not retain a proposal for an exception to the general rule... which provides that a party who has sent a notice by appropriate means may rely on the notice even if it does not arrive. Under the proposal the seller could have relied on a notice sent... only if the notice arrived" (UNCITRAL Yearbook VIII, A/CN.9/SER.A/1977, p. 36, para. 157). CISG article 27 contains the general rule that: "Unless otherwise expressly provided in this Part of the Convention, if any notice, request or other communivation is given or made by a party in accordance with this Part and by means appropriate in the circumstances, a delay or error in the transmission of the communication or its failure to arrive does not deprive that party of the right to rely on the communication." Paragraph (1) of CISG article 32 refers to seller's obligation to "give the buyer notice of the consignment specifying the goods" (emphasis added). The Summary Records of Committee Meetings of the Vienna Conference contain no explanation for the change from "send" to "give". However, the word "give" in CISG article 32 of the Official Text tracks the word "given" in CISG article 27. The general rule of CISG article 27 would therefore appear to remain applicable to notice under CISG article 32(1).

The Secretariat Commentary on 1978 Draft article 30 should be read in conjunction with this explanation.


Pace Law School Institute of International Commercial Law - Last updated July 12, 1999
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To examine 1978 Draft provisions in context, go to the full-text of the 1978 Draft || To examine CISG provisions in context, go to the full text of the CISG