- Supreme Economic Court of the Republic of Belarus
- Holzimpex Inc. v. Republican Agricultural Unitary Enterprise
SALES CONTRACT - BETWEEN A UNITED STATES AND A BELORUSSIAN COMPANY - GOVERNED BY BELORUSSIAN LAW
CISG APPLICABLE SINCE PARTIES SITUATED IN TWO CONTRACTING STATES
NON-PAYMENT OF THE PRICE - SELLER ENTITLED TO INTEREST (ART. 78 CISG) - RATE OF INTEREST DETERMINED ACCORDING TO ART. 7.4.9(2) OF THE UNIDROIT PRINCIPLES
A U.S. trading company entered into a sales contract (No. 8-5/2003) with a state-owned enterprise of Belarus. The goods were delivered but the Belarus enterprise failed to pay the price, prompting the U.S. company to bring an action for payment.
The contract contained a choice of law clause in favour of the law of Belarus and indicated the Supreme Economic Court of the Republic of Belarus as the competent forum for the settlement of any disputes.
The Court held that CISG was applicable since it has been ratified by both the United States and the Republic of Belarus.
As to the merits, the Court decided that the U.S. company was entitled to the payment of the agreed price plus interest according to Article 78 of CISG. With no further explanation the Court held that “the rate of such interest is determined pursuant to Article 7.4.9 UNIDROIT Principles and is the average bank short-term lending rate to prime borrowers prevailing for the currency of payment at the place for payment or where no such rate exists at that place, the same rate in the state of the currency of payment”. It awarded interest at a rate of 13.4% which according to the National Bank of the Republic of Belaurs was the rate in U.S. dollars in March 2003.
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