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Germany 13 June 1991 Appellate Court Frankfurt (Textiles case)
[Cite as: http://cisgw3.law.pace.edu/cases/910613g1.html]

Primary source(s) for case presentation: Michael R. Will; case commentaries

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Case identification

DATE OF DECISION: 19910613 (13 June 1991)


TRIBUNAL: OLG Frankfurt [OLG = Oberlandesgericht = Provincial Court of Appeal]

JUDGE(S): Unavailable


CASE NAME: German case citations do not identify parties to proceedings

CASE HISTORY: 1st instance LG Frankfurt 10 October 1990

SELLER'S COUNTRY: France (plaintiff)

BUYER'S COUNTRY: Germany (defendant)


Case abstracts

GERMANY: OLG Frankfurt 13 June 1991

Case law on UNCITRAL texts (CLOUT) abstract no. 1

Reproduced with permission from UNCITRAL

A sales contract between a French seller and a German buyer, concluded after the Convention's entry into force in France, was held to be governed by the Convention, since the parties had not chosen another law. It did not constitute an implied consent that the seller at first instance, in response to the buyer's statement that German law was applicable, had merely raised the question whether German or French law applied. Nor could the lack of an unequivocal response be treated as an admission since the applicable law is not a fact.

The buyer, who had alleged non-conformity of the goods without specifying in which respect, had to pay the purchase price with interest. As regards the rate of interest, the court referred to the widely prevailing view that the law of the country of the seller (the creditor) applied, but mentioned the opposite view according to which the debtor's law should apply. The court did not take a final stand on that controversy since in the case at hand the statutory rates of interest in both laws were identical (5%).

Abstract from 14 Journal of Law & Commerce (1995) 229

Reproduced with permission from the Journal

Law applicable to determine amount of interest under CISG, Article 78. Since the rate of interest was not stipulated under CISG, Article 78, according to German international private law the rate of interest on the claim for the purchase price is governed by French Law. Referring to the predominant legal opinion, the legal rate applicable to money claims at the seller's domicile determines the interest rate pursuant to CISG, Article 78. . . .

A deviating opinion is given by [the commentator] Stoll, according to whom the amount of interest has to be determined under the domestic law of the debtor. He argues that the duty to pay interest aims at preventing the debtor from deriving advantage by withholding sums due and investing the money [rather than paying the amount owed]; on the other hand, [others argue] that interest is given as compensation to the creditor, in the amount proper under the domestic law of the seller's country. The court, however, need not decide [which law determines the interest rate] because it does not affect the outcome of the case.

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Classification of issues present

APPLICATION OF CISG: Yes [Article 1(1)(b)]


Key CISG provisions at issue: Article 78 [Also cited: Articles 35 ; 36 ; 53 ; 58 ; 95 ; 100 ]

Classification of issues using UNCITRAL classification code numbers:

78A ; 78B [Interest on delay in receiving price or any other sum in arrears; Rate of interest]

Descriptors: Applicability ; Choice of law ; Interest

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Editorial remarks

EDITOR: Albert H. Kritzer

Interest: Interest was held payable from the date buyer was obligated to pay the price. Interest was required at the statutory rate of the applicable domestic law. The court did not resolve whether to apply the statutory rate of the country of the creditor (the seller's country) or of the country of the debtor (the buyer's country) as the statutory rate is the same in both countries (5%).

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Citations to other abstracts, case texts and commentaries


English: Uniform Law Review (1991-1) 372; Unilex database <http://www.unilex.info/case.cfm?pid=1&do=case&id=4&step=Abstract>

French: Uniform Law Review (1991-1) 372

German: Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Internationales und Europäisches Recht (SZIER)/Revue suisse de droit international et de droit européen 1993, 663

Italian: Diritto del Commercio Internazionale (1992) 633 No. 1

Polish: Hermanowski/Jastrzebski, Konwencja Narodow Zjednoczonych o umowach miedzynarodowej sprzedazy towarow (Konwencja wiedenska) - Komentarz (1997) 234


Original language (German): cisg-online.ch <http://www.cisg-online.ch/cisg/urteile/23.htm>; Neue Juristische Wochenschrift (NJW) 1991, 3102-3103; Recht der Internationalen Wirtschaft (RIW) 1991, 591-592; Der Betrieb (DB) 1991, 1512; Die deutsche Rechtsprechung auf dem Gebiete des internationalen Privatrechts im Jahre (IPRspr) 1991 No. 38 [75-77]; Uniform Law Review (1991-1) 372-375; Unilex database <http://www.unilex.info/case.cfm?pid=1&do=case&id=4&step=FullText>

Translation: Unavailable


English: Honnold, Uniform Law for International Sales (1999) 279 [Art. 39(1) (specificity of notice)]; Behr, 17 Journal of Law and Commerce (1998) 266-288 [abstracts and comments on 29 interest rulings from 10 countries (this case presented at 271-272)]; Karollus, Cornell Review of the CISG (1995) 51 [75]; Ferrari, International legal Forum (4/1998) 138-255 [247 n.1027, 253 n.1079 (interest issues)]; Ferrari, 15 Journal of Law and Commerce (1995) 116-125; Koneru, 6 Minnesota Journal of Global Trade (1997) 123-138 [each commentary discusses interest issues, citing this and other cases]; Thiele, 2 Vindobono Journal (1998) 3-35, citing this case [n.63] and 42 other interest rulings; Schwenzer, ibid, [Art. 35 (burden of proof)] 288 n.143, [Art. 39] 312 n.22a; Huber, ibid, [Art. 45 (burden of proof)] 360 n.23; Winship in: Contemporary International Law Issues: Opportunities at a Time of Momentous Change (1994) 122 [126-127]; Bernstein & Lookofsky, Understanding the CISG in Europe, 2d ed., Kluwer (2003) § 4-4 n.46; § 6-31 n.353 [cite as 13 April 1991]; Liu Chengwei, Recovery of interest (November 2003) n.233; [2004] S.A. Kruisinga, (Non-)conformity in the 1980 UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods: a uniform concept?, Intersentia at 57; Article 78 and rate of interest: Mazzotta, Endless disagreement among commentators, much less among courts (2004) [citing this case and 275 other court and arbitral rulings]; [2005] Schlechtriem & Schwenzer ed., Commentary on UN Convention on International Sale of Goods, 2d (English) ed., Oxford University Press, Art. 35 para. 49 Art. 39 para. 6

Dutch: Herbots in: van Houtte/Eraw, Het Weens Koopverdrag (1997) No. 4.30 [119 n.50] [cited as 13 April 1991]

French: Witz, Les premières applications jurisprudentielles du droit uniforme de la vente internationale (L.G.D.J., Paris 1995) 86-87, 105-106 n.114 n.116

German: Herber, Entscheidungen zum Wirtschaftsrecht (EWiR) Art. 1 CISG 1/91, 1199-1200; Jametti-Greiner, Schweizerische Zeitschrift für internationales und Schweizerisches Recht (SZIER) 5/1993, 653; Karollus, [österreichisches] Recht der Wirtschaft (öRdW) 1991, 319 [320]; Piltz, Neue Juristische Wochenschrift (1994) 1101; Strömer/Le Fevre, Europäische Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftsrecht (EuZW) 1992, 210-213; Schwenzer in von Caemmerer/Schlechtriem, Kommentar zum Einheitlichen UN-Kaufrecht (2d ed . 1995) 359 n.22a [Art. 39]

Italian: Bonell, Diritto del Commercio Internazionale (1992) 633 No. 1

Spanish: Perales, Cuadernos Jurídicos 3 (1996) No. 43, 5 [7 n.27] [commentary on Article 78: determination of rate of interest under the CISG (review of case law)]

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