Thursday, June 3, 2010

Meanwhile, on the UNCITRAL Front

Having recently updated you on the status of the various official UCC revisions and amendments (nothing new to report on that front, by the way), I thought it would be worthwhile to take UNCITRAL's pulse and see how the U.N. Conventions on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) and on the Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracting (CUECIC) are faring.

Both strike me as profoundly relevant to anyone teaching Contracts, Sales (or a UCC survey course that includes sales), International Sales (or an International Commercial Transactions survey course), or -- at least in the CUECIC's case -- an Electronic Commerce course. The CUECIC's fortunes might also shed some light on the likelihood that the ALI Principles of the Law of Software Contracts will influence contracting practices, contracting disputes, and the evolution of contract law outside the U.S.


The U.N. first approved the CISG 30 years ago, and it had gathered the requisite ten ratifications and accessions to take effect ("enter into force" to use the U.N.'s terminology) on January 1, 1988. As of June 1, 2010, when Albania's accession entered into force, the CISG was in effect in 74 countries, including Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Russian Federation and ten of the other fourteen former Soviet republics, Singapore, and South Korea. Great Britain and most of OPEC's member-states are notable non-signatories.


The U.N. General Assembly adopted the CUECIC in November 2005. Despite the International Chamber of Commerce's endorsement, only 18 countries have signed the convention, and none has acceded to, accepted, approved, ratified, or succeeded to it. Consequently, it is not yet in effect anywhere. Moreover, nearly 2-1/2 years have passed since Honduras became the most recent signatory in January 2008. The United States and most of its major trading partners -- excluding China, the Russian Federation, Singapore, and South Korea -- have not signed the CUECIC.

1 comment:

Harry SK Tan said...

Singapore has ratified the CUECIC and has adopted much of its provisions in the amended Electronic Transactions Act. I believe Honduras is the other country ratifying it. Australia's states are now studying it and some states have already amended their laws. When the Federal level accepts the CUECIC, I believe the Convention will be passed and binding on members.