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UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG)

Introduction

  1. Welcome to the Department of Justice’s webpage for the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (“CISG”).
  2. The CISG is a treaty which provides a set of uniform rules governing the formation, performance and remedies for breach of contracts for the international sale of goods within its scope. Its purpose is to provide a modern, uniform and fair regime for contracts for the international sale of goods, and through which to contribute to introducing certainty in commercial exchanges and decreasing transaction costs[1]. In particular, the Convention applies to contracts for sale of goods between parties whose places of business are in different Contracting States, subject to the right of the parties to opt out in whole or part of the Convention. The CISG has been adopted by over 90 Contracting States from diverse legal traditions and levels of economic development, which together represent over two-thirds of the global economy[2].
  3. As explained in the briefing to the LegCo Panel on Administration of Justice and Legal Services in May 2019[3], with the number of Contracting States to the CISG growing, there are views in favour of extending the application of the CISG to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (“Hong Kong”) for reasons that such application could potentially facilitate trade growth, prevent businesses from being subject to unfamiliar foreign laws when entering into cross-boundary transactions, improve Hong Kong’s competence in resolving CISG disputes and hence enhance Hong Kong’s status as an international trade and dispute resolution hub.
  4. For the purposes of gathering and understanding the views of a full range of interested stakeholders in this regard (including the business and legal sectors), the Department of Justice issued on 2 March 2020 a public consultation paper titled “Proposed Application of the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region”, with a bilingual executive summary. We welcome views from the public on or before 30 September 2020[*].
  5. On this webpage you will find the full set of the consultation documents and information related to the proposed application of the CISG to Hong Kong, as well as information and resources related to the CISG (including its relevance to and impact on international trade law rules).
  6. We hope that you find the information and resources on this webpage helpful.

[*] The consultation period has been extended to 30 September 2020 (from 31 May 2020 as stated in the printed/pdf versions of the consultation documents).




Consultation Paper and Related Documents


Press Release (PDF)

Executive Summary (PDF) (MS Word)

Consultation Paper

Administration’s paper for the Legislative Council Panel on Administration of Justice and Legal Services on “Consultation on the Proposed Application of the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region” (May 2019)

PowerPoint slides for the Briefing “The CISG in Hong Kong – What good is it for my business?” conducted by the International Law Division of the Department of Justice in January 2020

FAQs (PDF)




Useful Information and Resources


Text of the CISG with Explanatory Note

Status of the CISG

CISG page of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL)

Case Law on UNCITRAL Texts (CLOUT)

CLOUT Digest (most updated 2016 Edition)

CISG Lecture I: Purposes, Background, History, Nature, Scope and Application, Mr. Harry M. Flechtner (32 minutes)

CISG Lecture II: Issues Covered and Key Substantive Provisions, Mr. Harry M. Flechtner (34 minutes)

Sale of Goods Ordinance (Chapter 26, Laws of Hong Kong)

Electronic Transactions Ordinance (Chapter 553, Laws of Hong Kong)




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