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It is often the case that an enterprise sources or sells its products abroad. This has been particularly common since the development of e-commerce.

In many cases, the commercial activities that the company develops are carried out from the country of origin, i.e. the country where the company carries out its activities, without it setting up in the territory of another state. We will talk about the mobility of goods and services or international trade.

In other cases, which are also very frequent in practice, the company’s development requires a presence on the foreign market. We will talk about corporate mobility.

The international trade contract or the mobility of goods and services

In many cases, an international trade contract is concluded between people who do not face each other and who belong to different cultural orders, by virtue of the customs, legal systems and languages used. In addition, for a number of years now, a new form of trade has developed, namely e-commerce.

As a matter of principle, the parties have the right to freely choose the law applicable to their relationship. However, difficulties will arise when they fail to do so. In this respect, in such a case, the determination of the time and place of conclusion of the contract may provide a connecting factor for the contract necessary to make the choice either of the law applicable to the agreement and/or of the court before which to present a dispute.

International trade contracts are very varied:

    • international sale of goods
    • financing (financing loan, documentary credit, guarantee),
    • international transport (rail, sea, air, road and multimodal)
    • e-commerce


International sale

International sales are based on two pillars:

  • The United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods
  • The Incoterms

The United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) (Vienna, 1980) governs contracts for the international sale of goods between private companies, excluding the sale to consumers, the sale of services and the sale of certain types of goods.



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Published on 26 January 2019
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