- Corte Suprema di Cassazione
- Sure Skins s.n.c. v. South African Wool, Hide & Skin Ltd.
CONTRACT BETWEEN ITALIAN BUYER AND SOUTH AFRICAN SELLER - CISG NOT APPLICABLE (ART. 1(1)(A)(B))
An Italian buyer bought a certain quantity of plicated leathers from a South African seller. The goods were to be used in the production of high-quality leather clothing; however, once the processing had started, they turned out to be severely defective. As a result, the buyer initiated lawsuit against the seller, alleging breach of contract and invoking right to damages. On its part, the seller contended that defects were imputable to the buyer, as this latter had failed to take over of the goods promptly at the time of their arrival at the post of destination, and, in any case, had not notified lack of conformity in due time.
The first instance Court rejected the buyer’s claim and that decision was confirmed on appeal. The buyer then turned to the Supreme Court, alleging inter alia that the appellate Court had erroneously failed to apply the CISG to the merits of the dispute.
While admitting that the contract from which the dispute had arisen was one for the international sale of goods, the Supreme Court yet denied that such contract was subject to the CISG’s provisions. South Africa - the Court recalled - is not among the contracting States of the Convention, therefore the requirement provided by Art. 1(1)(a) CISG was not satisfied.
Nor could the Convention have been applied by virtue of Art. 1(1)(b), since the private international rules of the forum remanded, as applicable law, to the law of the seller (i.e., the law of South Africa). Nonetheless, the Supreme Court quashed the inferior court’s decision, for the Court of Appeal had solved the dispute in accordance with Italian domestic law.
Original in Italian:
- published in Rivista di diritto internazionale privato e processuale, 2017, p. 1031 ff.}}