The Conditions of Sale 1

courts, payment, commerce, law, commercial, date and documents

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Sometimes delivery may be spread over a rather indefinite period, "prior to June 15th of this year"_ or "before the end of this year." In other cases, how ever, a very definite period, or time, or method of transportation is indicated. "Prompt" is a term used in the English metal trade to indicate immediate or "spot" delivery. "By next steamer," "by steamer—" "To be delivered buyer's choice," "to be shipped during month of—" are terms frequently found and which explain themselves.

A common method of selling staples is "to arrive." The goods are on the ocean but their destination is undetermined. After the sale is completed the seller orders the ship to deliver the goods at a certain port. In this manner wheat on its way from Argentina may be sold in Liverpool by means of an "arrival contract" and ordered to Rotterdam for transhipment to South ern Germany.

11. The conditions of payment.—The methods of financing foreign shipments are discussed in detail in the Text on "International Exchange." A few words regarding the condition of payment included in the sales agreement are, however, appropriate here. Apart from the method by which the payment is to take place, it is important to have a definite under standing in regard to the date when the payment is due.

In cases where "documents against payment" or `'spot cash" is agreed upon, the payment is due when the goods. or evidences of their ownership, change hands. But this is by no means always the case.

Frequently the provision is inserted: "Documents against payment, but not before arrival of goods." Where in such cases, a certain period of credit is al lowed, say 60 days, this period does not begin with the date of presentation of the documents, but with the date of arrival of the goods. The object is obvious; the buyer does not care to pay for the goods, nor to accept the draft, until the goods have arrived, and he can proceed immediately to sell them. The same purpose is sometimes served by "dating" the invoice and the draft. This means dating them a month or two months ahead. Common among British export ers is the method of asking 1/3 with order; 1/3 upon receipt of goods or documents; and 1/3 three months after date of invoice.

Very infrequently "payment when possible" is found. This does not necessarily mean that payment may be indefinitely postponed. The agreement bor

ders on a consignment agreement with this difference, that the exporter has a definite claim upon the for eign firm even tho it should never succeed in selling the goods in question.

12. The legal basis of the sales contract.—Consid ering the uncertainties of international commercial law it is well to include in sales agreements with over sea customers, a clause by which the law under which possible disputes will be judged is indicated. In ternational commercial disputes may be judged under the law of the country where the contract is made, or of that in which the contract is filled. The latter is more and more becoming the rule. Most of the in tricate legal relations between business men of differ ent nations are but insufficiently covered by legal treaties. Special agreements inserted in contracts in so far as they are not contrary to existing commercial law, rules of commercial courts, or commercial usage, regulate the details of international conunercial inter course.

13. Commerce is evident that disputes will often arise over the question whether a contract has been properly filled. In order to settle such dis putes wide use is made in foreign trade of commerce courts. These courts are in many foreign countries maintained by chambers of commerce and their legal powers are dealt,- defined by law. Special courts sitting on cases in any one trade are maintained by many exchanges. The advantages of the commerce courts are many. The procedure of the court is simple, the list of cases is small and action prompt, the judges are business men, acquainted wth trade us ages and costs are negligible.

Business men submit their case to a. commerce court at an early time in the dispute and it is easier to ar rive at a friendly understanding than when the dif ficulty is of long standing. In the French commerce courts lawyers are not admitted, much less allowed to plead. In German commerce courts no oaths can be taken and no records are kept of the cases. These re strictions make the procedure of the courts simple, in formal and swift. Such courts are found in France, England, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy, Nor way, Belgium, Russia and Holland.

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