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CISG: List of Contracting States

Click on the country of interest to identify the date the CISG entered into effect for it and texts and explanations of declarations or reservations, if any, applicable to the adoption of the CISG by that country. These are summaries prepared for the Pace database. For official summaries prepared by the UN Treaty Section, click on United Nations, New York-Treaty Section.

Declarations and State interpretations

Certain countries have adopted the CISG subject to authorized declarations. There are also several instances of States accompanying their acceptances with interpretive comments (a procedure not authorized by the CISG).

Examples of authorized declarations

Article 92 and 94 declarations. The Scandinavian States (Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden), pursuant to Article 92 declared that they would not be bound by Part II of the Convention (Formation of the Contract); and that pursuant to Article 94 the entire Convention would not apply to inter-Scandinavian trade between parties from these countries [the Scandinavian countries have their own uniform Sale of Goods Acts]. Armenia has also filed an Article 94 declaration. However, the meaning of this declaration is unclear.

Article 93 declarations. Pursuant to Article 93, several States have made territorial declarations: Australia has declared that the Convention shall not apply to the territories of Christmas Island, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands and the Ashmore and Cartier Islands; Denmark has declared that the Convention shall not apply to the Faroe Islands and Greenland; New Zealand has declared that the Convention shall not apply to the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau.

Article 95 declarations. Pursuant to Article 95, China (PRC), Czech Republic, Singapore, Slovakia and the United States declared that they would not be bound by Article 1(1)(b). This declaration restricts the role of private international law in determining the applicability of the CISG when both contracting parties do not have their relevant places of business in Contracting States. See the Cross-reference editorial analysis of Article 1 for further discussion of this subject.

Article 96 declarations. Pursuant to Article 96, Argentina, Armenia, Belarus, Chile, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Russian Federation and Ukraine have declared that any provision of Article 11, Article 29 or Part II of the Convention that allows a contract of sale or its modification or termination by agreement or any offer, acceptance, or other indication of intention be made in any form other than in writing does not apply where any party has his place in the country that has filed this declaration. China (PRC) has filed a similar declaration, but it is not couched in the precise phraseology called for by Article 96.

Examples of interpretive comments that accompanied adoptions of the CISG.

The interpretive comments recited below will presumably be followed by the courts of the State (or in the case of Canada, the province) that made them, but whether they will be followed by other courts is a matter of conjecture as they are not expressly authorized by the Convention. Article 98 of the CISG states: "No reservations are permitted unless expressly authorized in this Convention."

Canada. A summary and assessment of interpretive comments contained in implementing acts of provinces of Canada:

"The Alberta, New Brunswick and Ontario Acts . . . require the contract to state 'that the local domestic law of [the enacting jurisdiction] or another jurisdiction applies to it or that the Convention does not apply to it.' The Manitoba Act . . . indicates that the parties may exclude the Convention 'by expressly providing in the contract' that the Convention does not apply to it. Bill C-81 [of Canada's Parliament], on the other hand . . . provides that the parties may exclude the application of the Convention 'in accordance with the terms of the Convention and, in particular, by providing in the contract that other law applies in respect of the contract'. Newfoundland's approach differs yet again. Section 7(1) [of the Newfoundland Act] allows the parties to exclude the Convention 'by expressly providing in the contract that the law of the province or another jurisdiction applies to it or that the Convention does not apply to it.' Section 7(2) then goes on to make it clear that the section of the law of the province or of another jurisdiction as the proper law of the Contract shall not be interpreted so as to make the Convention apply to it." Jacob Ziegel, "Canada Prepares to Adopt the International Sales Convention", 18 Canadian Bus. L.J. (1991) 3. Zeigel's assessment is: "All this is . . . bound to lead to much confusion." Id.. With respect to the Ontario Act, for example, he states: "[The interpretation recited there] may prevail before an Ontario Court but it would cut little ice outside Canada. This is because a foreign tribunal or arbitrator would probably hold that Ontario cannot unilaterally change the meaning of Article 6 of the Convention." Id. at 11.

Germany and Armenia. Upon ratifying the Convention, Germany declared that it would not apply Article 1(1)(b) in respect of any State that had made a declaration that the State would not be bound by Article 1(1)(b). Armenia has made a similar delcaration. These appear to be interpretations, not declarations authorized by the Convention.

Hungary. Upon ratifying the Convention, Hungary declared that it considered the General Conditions of Delivery of Goods between Organizations of the Member Countries of the Council or Mutual Economic Assistance to be subject to the provisions of Article 90 of the Convention. CMEA, of course, has a different scope of application today than then.

Pace Law School Institute of International Commercial Law - October 24, 2014
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