Sales contract

A sales contract is a legal agreement between a seller and a buyer that sets out the terms and conditions of a sale, such as the price, delivery, payment, and warranties. Companies and businessmen must ensure that their sales contracts comply with international legal requirements, such as the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) or the Incoterms rules, to avoid disputes and legal issues. In case of disputes, companies should seek legal advice to enforce their rights and claims under the applicable law and dispute resolution mechanisms, such as arbitration or litigation.

Issues related to Sales contract

Unlike oral contracts, which are only enforceable under specific circumstances, sales contracts clearly outline the contractual obligations and rights and the economic consequences of an agreement. This document helps guarantee that the transaction will proceed in a way acceptable to both parties based on the agreed-upon terms, allowing you to protect your interests. This is because a sales agreement supplies the legal protections available to the buyer and seller if one of the parties fails to deliver what they promised when they promised it.

What Should I Include in a Sales contract:

  • Identification of the Parties
  • Description of the Services and/or Goods
  • Payment Plan
  • Delivery
  • Inspection Period
  • Warranties

It is not essential to consult an attorney for a routine, simple residence purchase. However, even then, the assurance from an attorney that the terms are standard and fair to you may be worth the price you pay for an attorney to review the contract. 

Suppose a home’s purchase terms are not typical with a traditional lending institution. In that case, you need to consult an attorney to either help you draft the contract or review it. The terms for critical elements of the purchase, such as what is included in the sale and who pays for costs connected with the purchase, can vary widely.

A legal defect exists when third parties can assert rights or claims concerning the goods against the purchaser.

  • Rights and Remedies of Purchaser:
  • Remedy of defect
  • Withdrawal from contract
  • Reduction of purchase price
  • Claim for damages

The purchaser is not deprived of any right it may have to claim damages by exercising its right to other remedies.

The applicable law to the sale contract:

Regarding contracts, diverging national laws tend to increase the complexity of the rules governing aspects such as applicable law, jurisdiction for cross-border disputes, or country-specific public policy. First, it is crucial to frame anything agreed upon in a written document is crucial. Then, the parties must consult to anticipate – as much as possible – any difficulty arising over the contract’s lifetime. The idea is to identify possible solutions to avoid a time-consuming – and often costly – dispute. Disputes can arise from your action(s), failure to act, or your contracting party’s. In addition, circumstances change, and the people who signed the contract may change positions. Therefore, a contract sometimes needs adjusting to reflect such changed situations better.

Furthermore, the parties have to manage various documents from the beginning of the relationship: purchase orders, order confirmations, general terms and conditions of sale/purchase, framework agreement, Incoterms, and (technical) specifications. Therefore, it is vital to set the priority order between these documents based on their respective legal value and know precisely which ones shall prevail.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    The key components of an international sales contract typically include:

    1. Parties involved: The names and addresses of the buyer and seller, as well as any intermediaries or agents involved in the transaction.

    2. Product description: A detailed description of the goods being sold, including the quantity, quality, price, and delivery terms.

    3. Payment terms: The agreed-upon payment method and schedule, including any applicable fees, currency exchange rates, and penalties for late payment.

    4. Delivery terms: The place and time of delivery, as well as any transportation costs and insurance requirements.

    5. Force majeure clause: A provision that excuses the parties from performing their obligations due to unexpected events beyond their control, such as natural disasters or political unrest.

    6. Dispute resolution: The agreed-upon process for resolving any disputes that may arise during the course of the contract, including arbitration or litigation.

    7. Governing law: The law that will be used to interpret and enforce the contract, which is usually the law of the country where the seller is located.

    8. Signatures: The signatures of both parties, indicate their agreement to the terms and conditions of the contract.

    The laws of the United Kingdom and China can have a significant impact on the terms of an international sales contract that involves parties located in these countries.

    In the United Kingdom, the law that governs international sales contracts is the Sale of Goods Act 1979, which provides specific rules and regulations related to the sale of goods. The act includes provisions related to the quality and fitness for purpose of goods sold, delivery obligations, and remedies available to buyers and sellers in the event of breaches of contract. Any sales contract involving a party located in the UK should comply with the requirements of this act.

    In China, the law that governs international sales contracts is the Contract Law of the People’s Republic of China. This law sets out regulations related to the formation of contracts, performance obligations, breach of contract, and dispute resolution. In addition to this, there are other relevant laws and regulations that may affect the terms of a sales contract in China, including the Foreign Trade Law, the Customs Law, and the Import and Export Commodity Inspection Law.

    Therefore, any international sales contract involving parties located in the UK or China should take into account the specific legal requirements and regulations of each country, as well as any applicable international laws, such as the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG), which both countries are signatories to. It is recommended that parties seek legal advice from professionals experienced in international sales contracting in the relevant jurisdictions.

    There are several common pitfalls to avoid when drafting an international sales contract:

    1. Ambiguous or Unclear Language: To avoid misunderstandings, the language used in the contract must be clear and unambiguous.

    2. Failure to Address Cultural Differences: Different cultures have different business practices, and it’s important to take these into account when drafting a contract.

    3. Ignoring Local Laws: It’s important to understand the legal requirements of the countries involved in the transaction, as well as any applicable international laws.

    4. Inadequate Payment Terms: The payment terms must be clearly defined, including the currency of payment, the method of payment, and any conditions that must be met before payment is made.

    5. Incomplete or Inaccurate Product Specifications: The product specifications should be clearly defined, including any warranties or guarantees associated with the product.

    6. Failure to Address Dispute Resolution: Disputes may arise during the course of the transaction, so it is important to include a dispute resolution process in the contract.

    7. Poorly Defined Delivery Terms: It is important to specify the delivery terms, such as the shipping method, delivery time, and who is responsible for shipping and customs clearance.

    By avoiding these pitfalls, you can help ensure that your international sales contract is clear, comprehensive, and effective in protecting your interests.