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2012 UNCITRAL Digest of case law on the United Nations Convention on the International Sale of Goods

Digest of Article 56 case law [reproduced with permission of UNCITRAL] [*]

Article 56

If the price is fixed according to the weight of the goods, in case of doubt it is to be determined by the net weight.


1. Article 56 states that, in cases where the parties fix the price according to the weight of the goods without expressly or impliedly indicating that they intend to refer to gross weight or net weight, it is net weight — the weight remaining after subtracting the weight of the packaging — that governs the price. This is a rule of interpretation which is applied in the absence of contractual stipulations, usages or practices established between the parties on the matter. Where the rule set forth in article 52 applies, the buyer does not pay for the weight of the packaging.[1]

2. Court decisions referring to article 56 have been extremely rare.[2]


* This presentation of the UNCITRAL Digest is a slightly modified version of the original UNCITRAL text at <http://www.uncitral.org/pdf/english/clout/CISG-digest-2012-e.pdf>. The following modifications were made by the Institute of International Commercial Law of the Pace University School of Law:

   -    To enhance access to contents by computer search engines, we present in html rather than pdf;
   -    To facilitate direct focus on aspects of the Digests of most immediate interest, we inserted linked tables of contents at the outset of most presentations;
   -    To support UNCITRAL's recommendation to read more on the cases reported in the Digests, we provide mouse-click access to (i) CLOUT abstracts published by UNCITRAL (and to UNILEX case abstracts and other case abstracts); and also (ii) to full-text English translations of cases with links to original texts of cases, where available, in [bracketed citations] that we have added to UNCITRAL's footnotes; and
   -    To enable researchers to themselves keep the case citations provided in the Digests constantly current, we have created a series of tandem documents, UNCITRAL Digest Cases + Added Cases. The new cases and other cases that are cited in these updates are coded in accordance with UNCITRAL's Thesaurus.


1. See UNCITRAL Secretariat Commentary to draft article 52.

2. See CLOUT case No. 632 [UNITED STATES U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Ohio, 10 April 2001 (Victoria Alloys, Inc. v. Fortis Bank SA/NV)] (the decision merely cites CISG articles 53, 54, 56 and 57); [RUSSIA Verhovny Sud Rossisko Federats, 23 September 1999] (the judgment states that articles 48, 50 and 56 are unrelated to the question of the validity of an instruction of the exchange control authority); [RUSSIA Verhovny Sud Rossisko Federats, 3 December 1998] (while the claimant had maintained that an instruction of the exchange control authority conflicted with CISG articles 48, 50 and 56, the court did not reply to that point and invalidated the instruction on procedural grounds).

©Pace Law School Institute of International Commercial Law - Last updated July 30, 2012
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