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Assessment of Beijing Metals case by DiMatteo, 22 Yale Journal of International Law (1997) 166 n.373

"The Court in Beijing Metals & Minerals v. American Business Center, Inc. held that the parol evidence rule would still apply in U.S. courts under the CISG when there is a written instrument. The court made only passing reference to the CISG, stating that 'there is as yet virtually no case law interpreting the Sale of Goods Convention.' 993 F.2d 1178, 1182-83 n.9 (5th Cir. 1993) (quoting Filanto S.p.A. v. Chilewich Int'l Corp., 789 F. Supp. 1129, 1237 (S.D.N.Y.)). The court assumed that the parol evidence rule goes to the validity of the contract, which requires the application of internal law. 'We need not resolve this choice of law rule, because our discussion is limited to application of the parol evidence rule which applies regardless' (emphasis added). Id. Based upon this determination, the court disregarded two oral agreements made contemporaneously with a written payment agreement. It concluded that the written agreement '[was] unambiguous . . . and that nothing in its four corners, or in the surrounding circumstances, indicates the existence of collateral contingent agreements. . . . [T]he parol evidence rule bars enforcement of prior or contemporaneous agreements to vary . . . terms of a fully integrated written instrument.' Id. at 1182."


Pace Law School Institute of International Commercial Law - Last updated May 24, 1999