Conformity of Goods, Third Party Claims, and Buyer’s Notice of Breach under the United Nations Sales Convention ("CISG"), with Comments on the "Mussels Case," the "Stolen Automobile Case," and the "Ugandan Used Shoes Case"


This paper, which derives from comments delivered at a 2006 conference held at Istanbul (Turkey) Bilgi University, gives an overview of Part III, Chapter II, Section II of the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods ("CISG"). This portion of the Convention encompasses provisions addressing a number of critical issues, including the seller’s obligations concerning the quality (Article 35), title (Article 41) and intellectual property aspects (Article 42) of goods sold in a transaction governed by the CISG, as well as a buyer’s obligations to inspect delivered goods and to give notice of their failure to conform to those seller’s obligations (Articles 38 – 40 and 43-44). Included are extensive comments on three significant German cases that have applied these provisions of the Convention – the “Mussels Case” (decision of the Bundesgerichtshof, 8 March 1995, English translation available at http://cisgw3.law.pace.edu/cases/950308g3.html), the “Stolen Automobile Case” (decision of the Bundesgerichtshof, 11 January 2006, English translation available at http://cisgw3.law.pace.edu/cases/060111g1.html) and the “Ugandan Used Shoes Case” (decision of the Landgericht Frankfurt,11 April 2005, English translation available at http://cisgw3.law.pace.edu/cases/050411g1.html). This paper concludes that the Mussels Case is a good (but not perfect) example of a court complying with the Convention’s mandate to interpret the CISG from an international perspective and with the goal of maintaining international uniformity in its interpretation. The assessment of the Stolen Automobile Case in light of these factors is more mixed. The analysis of the Ugandan Used Shoes Case concludes that the court ignored those criteria, badly misinterpreted the provisions of the Convention, and perpetrated a gross miscarriage of justice.


Commercial Law | Comparative and Foreign Law | Contracts | International Law | International Trade Law

Date of this Version

August 2007

This document is currently not available here.