International Sale of Goods and International Commercial Law

International commercial law plays a major role at O&W alongside national sales law. International sales and commercial law is one of the cornerstones of the firm. Cross-border delivery transactions are often much more complex than national trade. This makes comprehensive advice regarding applicable law and pitfalls in the drafting of international agreements all the more important. International business law requires experienced lawyers and consultants.

If you are planning to expand your company internationally and offer your goods and services abroad, then this step should be carefully planned.

Our legal advice in international commercial law

Our attorneys specialize in international commercial law and advise on the diverse structures that international trade entails. Be it the drafting of international trade agreements and/or distribution agreements, the establishment of companies or the sale of your goods.

The expertise of O&W and every lawyer with us in this area includes advice on

  • international trade law, in particular in the area of UN sales law (CISG),
  • Framework agreements in the international supply and distribution business,
  • Terms of payment in international business and delivery conditions as well as warranty provisions,
  • Bank guarantees, documentary collections, letters of credit,
  • Inclusion and application of INCOTERMS (e.g. CFR, FOB, CIF)

Questions in international private law also arise again and again. International private law now regulates at the European level which specific law is to be applied to international relations. Companies that have not made a choice of law are often surprised that their own domestic law does not apply. Since 17.12.2009, the ROM I Regulation (does not apply to Denmark) has regulated applicable law in international contract law throughout Europe. For non-contractual claims, there is the ROM II Regulation, which deals with international misconduct outside contracts, e.g. in the case of damages.

International trade in agricultural products is regarded as a special area. The contractual handling of supply contracts in this area is taken into account in our agricultural trade activities. Our expertise also includes assisting companies in establishing international supply relationships.

What are the problems in international trade?

International trade is often much more complex than national business. Not without reason, international import and export is also referred to as the supreme discipline of trade. Due to the greater distances alone, there are greater uncertainties in international business.

For example, an international supply contract or an international agency contract must be drawn up more carefully than its national counterpart. For example, it is important to agree on a reasonable place of jurisdiction or the applicable law. Exchange rate fluctuations, communication problems or also national laws in the country of the contracting partner require a careful examination. It is also often necessary to check whether national regulations in the country of the partner may conflict with the implementation of the contract or jeopardise the project. Our international commercial law firm therefore has a well-developed network of partners and can therefore also provide solid advice for foreign legal systems.

Export contract for international trade

Companies should therefore address the key issues below for any international business, especially if they wish to draft export contracts or export terms and conditions. International commercial law and the contracts to be concluded are mainly concerned with:

  • Liability and warranty,
  • Delivery and transfer of risk,
  • Prices and terms of payment,
  • Obligation to give notice of defects and inspection of the goods,
  • Retention of title,
  • Force majeure (force majeure)

The points listed above are only the basis of each export contract. Beyond the points, one should ask oneself which court should decide on any disputes. In international commercial law, arbitral tribunals are often also agreed upon. Also the payment security is often important, since the retention of title usual in Germany is not meaningful internationally as a rule.

If you have any questions regarding international trade or international commercial law, our commercial lawyers will be happy to assist you.