Research Handbook on EU Private International Law

Research Handbook on EU Private International Law

Research Handbooks in European Law series

Edited by Peter Stone and Youseph Farah

The harmonisation of private international law in Europe has advanced rapidly since the entry into force of the Treaty of Amsterdam. Most aspects of private international law are now governed or at least affected by EU legislation, and there is a substantial and growing body of case-law from the European Court as well as the courts of the Member States. This timely Handbook addresses key questions and problems that currently exist in the rules of private international law laid down by European Union regulations.

Chapter 7: International sales of goods and the Rome I Regulation

Indira Carr

Subjects: law - academic, european law, private international law


International sales of goods are high risk ventures. Both the seller and the buyer face many uncertainties. The seller, for instance, faces the risk of whether he will get paid on time and the buyer the risk of whether the goods will arrive on time and will meet the contract specifications. While the same uncertainties affect domestic sales of goods transactions, the parties to the contract, in the event of a dispute regarding performance, do not face any uncertainty or unpredictability about which law will apply to their contract. This is not the case in international sales. For instance, in the case of a sale contract between a seller located in England and a buyer located in China, the question that has to be determined first is what law applies to the sale contract in the event of a dispute? Is it English law or Chinese law? Or even the law of a third country, if that is what the parties have stipulated in their contract? The expectations and legal remedies available for non-performance depend on the law governing the contract, and there is no guarantee that the substantive provisions of different national sales law converge. This inevitably leads to both uncertainty (since it is not possible to say which law applies to the contract) and unpredictability (since it is not possible to predict the outcome).

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