for Albert H. Kritzer CISG Database

of the Institute of International Commercial Law

at Pace University Law School

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Area of Operation of the International Sales Conventions,
László Réczei   * 


The 1964 Hague Convention relating to a Uniform Law on the International Sale of Goods (ULIS) has been ratified by nine States,  1  but by no socialist and only one developing country. From the very first the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) strove to elaborate an international convention acceptable not only to the highly industrialized capitalist countries but to the developing and socialist countries as well. As a result of these efforts a diplomatic conference in Vienna, between 10 March and 11 April 1980, adopted a text (VIENNA TEXT) and opened it for signature.  2 

The absence of uniform regulation of international trade has always been considered an obstacle to its development. In establishing UNCITRAL, the United Nations sought to eliminate this impediment. Should the VIENNA TEXT come into operation, international economic circles will have at their disposal two Conventions competing for universal application. [page 513]

The object of this Comment is not to compare the substantive merits of ULIS and the VIENNA TEXT, but to examine their respective fields of application.

 * Professor of Law, Karl Marx University, Budapest. This is an updated extract from a paper delivered at the Colloquium on the UNCITRAL Convention held by the International Association of Legal Science at the Academy of Sciences of the GermanDemocratic Republic, Potsdam-Babelsberg, August 1979.

 1. United Kingdom, San Marino, Belgium, Israel, The Netherlands, Italy, Federal Republic of Germany, Gambia and Luxembourg. The Convention text is reproduced in 13 Am. J. Comp. L. 453 (1964) and Zweigert and Kropholler, IV Source, of Intern'l Uniform Law E 137 (1971).

 2. U.N. General Assembly, A/CONF. 97/18 (10 April 1980); 19 Internat. Leg. Mat. 668 (1980). The draft for the Vienna Text was published in 27 Am J. Comp. L. 325(1979) as part of a Symposium on the Draft Convention.

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