Developed by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) in Vienna in 1980 and in force since 1988, the United Nations Convention on Contract for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) is a uniform contract law treaty applicable to international sale of goods. It provides agreements between contracting states and is legally binding once the legislative branch of a country adopts it.
Professor Hiroo Sono from Hokkaido University and a senior member of CISG Advisory Council from Japan, which ratified CISG in 2008, said: “From the time of Vietnam’s accession to the World Trade Organization, international trading volumes of domestic firms have risen significantly. However, the country has not ratified CISG, and most organisations and enterprises know almost nothing about this convention.”
“This is a severe drawback since the well-known convention has brought extensive benefits to enterprises of contracting states. CISG helps remove legal barriers for international trade and diminishes uncertainty in conflicts of laws and increase facilitation of contract negotiations in international transactions,” he said.
Sono said the Association of Southeast Asian Nations had only seen Singapore ratify the CISG.
The CISG now has 74 contracting states, including giant trading states such as the United States, France, Germany, Canada, Australia, Russia, Japan, China, and Korea or almost two-thirds of the world’s trade volume. These countries are also Vietnam’s major trading partners.
Matthias Duhn, executive director of European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam, said: “Despite some inconsistencies in court decisions, the CISG will be an important step for Vietnam and help its further integrate into the world economy.”
“The CISG could help foreign and Vietnamese business people to make goods sales more efficient and make dispute resolution easier through balancing the interests of buyers and sellers with more practical remedies.”
Dinh Thi My Loan, team leader of CISG study group in Vietnam said: “It will be easy for Vietnam to adopt the CISG as most Vietnamese regulations are consistent with CISG rules. Also, Vietnam has allowed businesses to freely and voluntarily undertaking some CISG rules as agreed by both parties.”
Vietnam’s legal system would be much improved by ratifying the CISG, Loan said, adding that “CISG is a choice for Vietnam.”