Date: 11.03.1996
Country: Switzerland
Number: 01 93 1061
Court: Tribunal Cantonal de Vaud
Parties: H. v. A.
A Hungarian seller and a Swiss buyer concluded four contracts for the sale of aluminum and agreed that payment was to be made within 30 days from the date of each invoice. All the goods were delivered, but the buyer refused to pay the purchase price. The seller claimed payment of the price plus interest. The buyer counter-claimed set-off alleging credits it had with another company which it considered as being part of the seller's group.

The court held that the contract was governed by CISG according to Art. 1(1)(a) and the buyer had breached its obligation to pay the price (Arts. 53 and 59 CISG). The seller was therefore entitled to seek payment thereof (Art. 62 CISG).

The seller was also awarded the interest (Art. 78 CISG) accruing from the expiration of the period of time for payment of the price agreed by the parties. The court observed that according to Art. 78 CISG, the obligation to pay interest for the delay in payment of the price is not subject to a formal request by the seller. Since CISG does not determine the interest rate, the court held that the rate was to be determined in accordance with the domestic law of the buyer's country (Switzerland) as the buyer's obligation was the only disputed performance in the case at hand.

As to the buyer's claim for set-off, the court held that the issue was governed by Swiss law since CISG does not contain any rule on this question.