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2008 UNCITRAL Digest of case law on the United Nations Convention on the International Sale of Goods

Digest of Article 59 case law [reproduced with permission of UNCITRAL] [*]

Article 59

The buyer must pay the price on the date fixed by or determinable from the contract and this Convention without the need for any request or compliance with any formality on the part of the seller.

Dispensing with formalities prior to payment of the price

1. Under article 59 the buyer must pay the price as soon as it is becomes due without the need for any notice or compliance with any other formality by the seller.[1] As a result, one decision has noted, if the buyer defaults on its obligation to pay the price the seller can resort to the remedies provided under the Convention, and without prior demand for payment.[2] Furthermore, the interest provided for under article 78 begins to accumulate as soon as the price becomes due.[3]

Dispensing with formalities prior to settlement of other monetary obligations

2. It has been asserted that article 59 embodies a general principle (within the meaning of article 7(2)) that is valid for any and all monetary claims by one party to a sales contract against the other. Such claims would include those for restitution of the price following avoidance of the contract, for payment of compensation, and for repayment of sums expended for conservation of the goods (see articles 85-86). No decisions have yet addressed this issue.


* 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_second_edition.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.

In addition, this presentation introduces each section of the UNCITRAL Digest with a Google search button. This is to help you access doctrine (relevant material from the over 1,200 commentaries, monographs and books on the CISG and related subjects that we present on this database) as well as the texts of the cases that UNCITRAL cites in its Digests and that we present in our updates to UNCITRAL's Digests.

1. For applications of this principle, see [GERMANY Landgericht Berlin 21 March 2003 (Fabrics case)]; [SWITZERLAND Handelsgericht Aargau 5 November 2002 (Inflatable triumphal arch case)]; [ARGENTINA Cámara Nacional de Apelaciones en lo Comercial de Buenos Aires 21 July 2002 (Malt case)]; [SWITZERLAND Kantonsgericht Schaffhausen 25 February 2002 (Machines, devices and replacement parts case)]; [GERMANY Landgericht Stendal 12 October 2000 (Granite rock case)]; [GERMANY Oberlandesgericht München 21 January 1998 (Insulating materials case)] (see full text of the decision); [GERMANY Oberlandesgericht München 9 July 1997 (Leather goods case)]; [HUNGARY Arbitration Court attached to the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry 10 December 1996 (Caviar case)] (see full text of the decision); [GERMANY Amtsgericht Augsburg 29 January 1996 (Shoe case)]; [SWITZERLAND Tribunal cantonal du Valais 20 December 1994 (Stone blocks case)] (see full text of the decision); [GERMANY Landgericht Hannover 1 December 1993 (Shoes case)]; [GERMANY Amtsgericht Ludwigsburg 21 December 1990 (Clothes case)]; [GERMANY Amtsgericht Oldenburg in Holstein 24 April 1990 (Fashion textiles case)] (see full text of the decision); [GERMANY Landgericht Aachen 3 April 1990 (Shoes case)] (see full text of the decision).

2. [GERMANY Oberlandesgericht Koblenz 17 September 1993 (Computer chip case)] (see full text of the decision).

3. See, e.g., [GERMANY Oberlandesgericht Rostock 25 September 2002 (Frozen food case)]; (see also, in an implicit manner, [BELGIUM Tribunal de commerce de Namur 15 January 2002 (Milling machine case)]; [GERMANY Oberlandesgericht Düsseldorf 24 April 1997 (Shoes case)]; [GERMANY Landgericht Kassel 15 February 1996 (Marble slab case)]; [GERMANY Landgericht München 25 January 1996 (Vodka case)]; [GERMANY Landgericht Kehl 6 October 1995 (Knitware case)]; [GERMANY Landgericht Alsfeld 12 May 1995 (Flagstone tiles case)]; GERMANY Oberlandesgericht Frankfurt a.M. 18 January 1994 (Shoes case)] (see full text of the decision); [GERMANY Landgericht Münchengladbach 22 May 1992 (Clothing case)]; [SWITZERLAND Pretore della giurisdizione di Locarno Campagna 16 December 1991 (Optical equipment case)]; [GERMANY Amtsgericht Oldenburg in Holstein 24 April 1990 (Fashion textiles case)] (see full text of the decision).

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