|An Italian buyer and a Swiss seller concluded a contract for the sale of industrial machinery, made in Great Britain by a British manufacturer. After delivery the buyer sued the Swiss seller before an Italian Court, claiming damages for defective functioning of the machinery. The Swiss seller objected that it had bought the machinery from a third party and asked for the intervention of the British manufacturer in the proceedings. The intervening British company denied the jurisdiction of the Italian Court over the case.
The Court applied Art. 5(1) of the 1988 Lugano Convention on Jurisdiction and Enforcement of Judgements in Civil and Commercial Matters, which states that a person domiciled in a contracting State may be sued in the Court of the place of performance of the obligation in question (in the case at hand, delivery of conforming goods). The Court held that Art. 31(a) CISG was applicable for determining the place of performance, considering Italian law applicable as the “lex causae” and Italy being a contracting State of CISG. According to Art. 31(a) CISG, in a sale involving the carriage of goods the obligation to deliver consists in the handing over the goods to the first carrier. The Court found that the place of performance was England since the goods had been delivered to a carrier in Sheffield.
The Court declared its lack of jurisdiction over the claim against the British manufacturer but ordered the continuance of the proceedings against the Swiss seller in consideration of its acceptance of the Italian Court's jurisdiction.