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Cite as Evans, in Bianca-Bonell Commentary on the International Sales Law, Giuffrè: Milan (1987) 675-676. Reproduced with permission of Dott. A Giuffrè Editore, S.p.A.

Article 101

Malcolm Evans

1. History of the provision
2. Meaning and purpose of the provision
3. Problems concerning the provision

ARTICLE 101

(1) A Contracting State may denounce this Convention, or Part II or Part III of the Convention, by a formal notification in writing addressed to the depositary.

(2) The denunciation takes effect on the first day of the month following the expiration of twelve months after the notification is received by the depositary. Where a longer period for the denunciation to take effect is specified in the notification, the denunciation takes effect upon the expiration of such longer period after the notification is received by the depositary.

1. History of the provision

     1.1. - Paragraph (l) of this article is based on Article 45(1) of the Limitation Convention while paragraph (2) is, subject to the substitution of a reference to «twelve months» for one to «one year», identical to Article 34(2) of the Hamburg Rules.

     1.2. - The original text of Article 101 was submitted by the Secretary-General of the United Nations to the Vienna Conference as Article K (Official Records, I, 70).

2. Meaning and purpose of the provision

     2.1. - Paragraph (1) provides that a State may denounce the Convention as a whole, or Parts II or III thereof, by a formal notification in writing addressed to the depositary. The effect of the reference to Parts II and III of the Convention is to permit a State which has failed to make a declaration under Article 92 at the time of signature, ratification, acceptance, approval or accession to exclude the application of either Part II or Part III at any subsequent time. [page 675]

     2.2. - In accordance with Article 101(2), denunciation in whole or in part of the Convention will take effect on the first day of the month following the expiration of twelve months after the notification is received by the depositary, unless such notification specifies a longer period for the denunciation to take effect. The period of twelve months mentioned in paragraph (2) constitutes a parallel with the provisions regarding the entry into force of the Convention under Article 99 and is intended to give sufficient time to all concerned, both in the denouncing State and in other Contracting States, to become aware of the change in the legal regime applicable to the international sale of goods in that State.

3. Problems concerning the provision

     3.1. - In the course of discussion at the Vienna Conference, an amendment to the article was unsuccessfully tabled which provided for a new paragraph (3) spelling out the relationship between entry into force and denunciation. It was, however, objected that the inclusion of such a provision paralleling that in Article 99 was unnecessary since once a denunciation becomes effective the State in question ceases by definition to be a Contracting State with the consequence that it is unnecessary to say that the Convention does not apply (Official Records, II, 458).

     3.2. - Although Article 99(1) of the Convention requires ten Contracting Parties for it to enter into force, nothing is said as to the fate of the Convention should the number of Contracting Parties subsequently fall below ten, for example as a result of denunciations with a view to the acceptance of a new instrument intended to supersede the Convention. It would however seem that the Convention would remain in force since Article 55 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of Treaties provides that «unless the treaty otherwise provides, a multilateral treaty does not terminate by reason only of the fact that the number of parties falls below the number necessary for its entry into force». [page 676]


Pace Law School Institute of International Commercial Law - Last updated February 10, 2005
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