Is CISG Automatically Applicable in China?
The answer is YES, as long as the international sales of goods contracts are concluded between parties whose places of business are in different Contracting States of the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (the “CISG”). In such cases, the Chinese courts shall apply the Convention automatically.
In other words, given China is also a Contracting State of the CISG, if your place of business is located in another Contracting State and the place of business of a Chinese company is in China, the CIGS should automatically apply to your international sales of goods contract.
Accordingly, when you file a lawsuit against this Chinese company in a Chinese court, the Chinese court shall apply the CISG.
To put it more accurately, the CISG is applied automatically, unless you and the Chinese company have agreed in the contract, or later during the court trials, to exclude its application.
If you forget to claim the application of the CISG, the Chinese courts should ask for your opinions on its application before the conclusion of the court debate.
It is noteworthy that beyond some nuances, very few substantial differences exist between ‘Book III: Contract’ of the Chinese Civil Code and the CISG. In fact, China made extensive reference to the CISG when formulating the original Contract Law.
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