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Brazil adhere The Vienna Convention of 1980
on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods

Iacyr de Aguilar Vieira [1]

The deposit of the instrument of Brazil’s accession to CISG with the Secretary-General of the UN, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, on 4 March 2013, makes the country the 79th Contracting State of the United Nations Convention on contracts for the International sale of Goods, concluded at Vienna on 11 April 1980 - CISG.

Although the Brazilian delegation to the 97th United Nations Conference have participated to the Vice-President of the Conference and the Drafting Committee of the official text of the Convention,[2] it was necessary to wait almost 25 years after it come into effect, to Brazil have conditions to adhere this important instrument of standardization of the international sale of goods law.

Indeed, it was not significant reasons for the absence of the Brazil as a part of the contracting countries,[3] but we observe that the absence to sign the final text of the Convention is a representative sign of a period marked by the Brazilian reluctance to participate in the international private law conventions.[4] However, the great efforts of a considerable part of the Brazilian doctrine, which has dedicated a large number of studies in the Vienna Convention, demonstrating its quality and the importance of Brazil's accession to this instrument of Uniform Law.[5]

A message from the President of the Republic led to the National Congress, Mensagem 636, 4 November 2010, has started the process of integration of conventional text to the Brazilian law.[6]

The Chamber of Deputies approved the accession on 8 May 2012 and the Senate on 16 October of the same year, when the National Congress of Brazil approved the accession to the CISG, by Legislative Decree No. 538 / 2012.

According to the provision of Article 99 (2) CISG,[7] and since the date of deposit of the instrument of accession, the Vienna Convention will come into force in Brazil on April 1, 2014. In accordance with the constitutional provisions, the Convention was adopted as a sub-constitutional common law. As a special law derogates from the Convention, except in application of Article 6, the internal standards that relate to the topic. We note however that these internal rules concerning the contract for international sales of goods are very rare and that the rules on foreign trade from the Banco Central do Brasil, the Ministério da Fazenda and the Agências Reguladoras Nacionais are public and cannot be overridden by the will of the parties.

The application of the Vienna Convention in Brazil will be valuable to traders, which will have the possibility of using a uniform law, widely recognized and applied by two thirds of world trade. The application of the CISG will also have the opportunity to provide input to modernize the national law of obligations and contracts, especially in the knowledge of institutions from foreign rights in national law, in particular those belonging to the common law countries.

We remain optimistic and pending the implementation of a text of treaty law, which is celebrating its twenty-five application in the great part / in most part (in much) of the world, composed by Contracting States in five continents, belonging to different legal traditions, as well as different levels of economic development. Brazil has to take advantage of this seed launched on a field already well plowed.

Roma, April 15, 2013.


1. Is Professor of International and Private Law at Universidade Federal de Viçosa. Viçosa-MG-Brasil.

2. Brazil participated, along with other states, such as Vice-President of the Conference and participated in the Drafting Committee of the Convention (A/CONF.97/18). Brazil approved the final text of the Convention and signed the Final Act of the Conference, opened for signature during its 12th plenary session (A / CONF. 97/SR.12).

3. In response to the consultation by the author at the Ministry of External Relations of Brazil, the Director of the Division of International Acts, José Vicente da Silva Lessa wrote April 26, 2002: "There has been no internal initiative in this direction on the part of organizations or sectors of society "," there is no substantial reasons for the absence of Brazil to the Vienna Convention ».

4. G. N. Nazo, Lei Geral de Aplicação das Normas Jurídicas, Revista dos Tribunais, Ano 75 novembro 1986, vol. 613, p. 32-43, sorry legislative inaction during the authoritarian political system, which was installed in the country since the Revolution of 1964, both as regards the law in regard to private international law. In this regard, recall that Brazil had denounced the Statute of the Hague Conference on Private International Law in order to rejoin in 2001. See G. Vieira da Costa Cerqueira, "A Conferência da Haia de Direito Internacional Privado" in Revista da Faculdade de Direito da UFRGS, vol. 20 Outubro-2001, p. 171-192.

5. A list of books and articles prepared by Brazilian authors of the Vienna Convention as Annex to the national report organized by Iacyr Vieira de Aguilar and presented at the 1st Intermediate Congress of the International Academy of Comparative Law "The impact of Uniform Law in National Law. Limits and Possibilities. "The United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods and Its Impact on National Contract Law: Iacyr Aguilar Vieira, Brazilian report. In: Franco Ferrari. (Org). The CISG and Its Impact on National Legal Systems. 1st ed. Munich: Sellier, European Law Publishers, 2008, c. 1, p. 7-31.

We also note the importance of doctrine in the process of accession of Brazil to the CISG, when the realization of the Seminar on the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG), organized by ILA Brazil PUC-Rio and June 15, 2009. In addition to the major national and international specialists lawyers present Convention, the seminar had the opportunity to attract the attention of many members of the Legislature, and the Brazilian government (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Industry and commerce, Justice), of the Bar Association of Brazil and the ICC-Brasil on the importance of Brazil's accession to the Convention.

6. Mensagem No. 636, November 4, 2010, published in the DOU, November 5, 2010.

7. Art. 99 (2) CISG: "(...) When a State ratifies, accepts, approves or accedes to this Convention after the deposit of the tenth instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, this Convention, with the exception of the Part excluded, enters into force in respect of that State, subject to the provisions of paragraph (6) of this article, on the first day of the month following the expiration of twelve months after the date of the deposit of its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession".

©Pace Law School Institute of International Commercial Law - Last updated June 27, 2013
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