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Date:   22 January 1996
Court:   Eastern High Court of Denmark
Local case reference:   U1996.616Ø
CISG Nordic ID:   960122DK
Country of decision:   Denmark
Buyer's country:   Germany
Seller's country:   Denmark
Goods involved:   Rattan Products
Case history:   1st instance: 22 October 1995, Disctrict Court of Glostrup, Denmark (not available)
Original language:   Danish
Provisions cited:   CISG article 57
Original court document:   Reported below in full text.
Rapporteur:   Thomas Neumann
Case citations:   n/a

 

Abstract

By Neumann, Thomas

The parties in an international contract concerning rattan products did not agree on a choice of law. The court applied CISG art. 57 and stated that the place of payment would be the seller's place of business (Denmark). Therefore the danish courts had jurisdiction over the dispute according to the Brussels Convention (1968) art. 5(1).

An abstract is also available at Unilex

 

Translated text

by Associate Professor Sandro Nielsen, Ph.D., M.A.(LSP), Aarhus School of Business, Department of English. Reproduced with permission from CISG Denmark.

Order of the Danish High Court, Eastern Division
Chamber no. 4 of 22 January 1996 [Case No. B-3112-95]

Dänisches Bettenlanger GmbH & Co. KG v. Forenede Factors A/S

Court composed of Harald Boas, Plessing, B. O. Jespersen. Appearances: J. O. Kock, advocate, for the Claimant [seller]; Ebbe Suenson, advocate, for the Defendant [buyer]. Appeal from the District Court.

Order of Glostrup County Court of 22 October 1995

In the proceedings, which were brought on 31 January 1994, the [seller] claimed that the [buyer] be ordered to pay DKK [Danish kroner] 2,040,064.07 plus interest at a specified amount.

The claim, which was later reduced, concerns payment for consignments of goods under a number of invoices made out by Dansk Rattan A/S during the period from 23 April to 28 August 1992. Under a contract of 22 December 1987 between the [seller] and Dansk Rattan A/S, these invoices were assigned to the [seller] under an invoicing arrangement.

Dansk Rattan A/S has subsequently become subject to insolvency proceedings.

In its primary claim, the [buyer] moved for a dismissal arguing that the Danish courts had no jurisdiction over the [buyer]. In the alternative, the [buyer] moved for a dismissal, because it had not received proper notice of the assignments, and because of set-offs relating to consignments from the [buyer] to Danish Rattan A/S, which exceeded the amount claimed. Furthermore, the amounts claimed largely related to substitute goods replacing goods that had been delivered and paid for. Finally, the [buyer] claimed that, in several consignments, the goods did not conform to the terms of the contract.

The question concerning the jurisdiction of the court has been considered separately.

The [seller] relied on Article 5(1) of the EC Judgments Convention. The [seller] also relied on a letter dated 17 December 1993 from the [buyer's] German lawyer, which contains a passage reading:

"Die Muttergesellschaft unserer Mandantin hat ihren Sitz in Dänemark. Vor diesem Hintergrund sehen wir keine Schwierigkeiten einen Rechtstreit vor dem für den Sitz der Fa. Danish Rattan zuständigen Gericht zu führen," [The principal place of business of the parent company of our client [the buyer] is situated in Denmark. Consequently, we see no problems having a dispute heard by the court in whose district the principal place of business of Danish Rattan is situated.]

The [seller] submitted that this constitutes a choice-of-forum agreement.

The [buyer] submitted that there is no contractual relationship between the parties to these proceedings and, consequently, proceedings must be brought at the [buyer's] home court in Flensburg [Germany] pursuant to Article 5(3). The [buyer] further submitted that the letter of 17 December 1993 from the [buyer's] German lawyer and invoked by the [seller] did not constitute a choice-of-forum agreement, but was merely a statement to the effect that it would present no serious problem to the [buyer] if the proceedings were brought in Denmark.

Grounds of the order

The court holds that the letter of 17 December 1993 does not constitute a choice-of-forum agreement.

The claim is based on an assignment by the original creditor to the [seller], so that the [seller] has become a party to the contract between Dansk Rattan A/S and the [buyer]. As the [seller] has become a party to the contract between the [buyer] and Dansk Rattan A/S, the claim is governed by Article 5(1) of the EC Judgments Convention.

The court does not hereby decide the extent to which the [seller] has a valid claim.

The court further observes that according to Article 5(1), the decisive factor is the place of performance of the obligation to pay. As this case concerns international sale of goods, this question will have to be decided according to CISG (Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods), which was ratified by both Denmark and Germany in 1990. According to Article 57 of the Convention, payment must be made at the seller's place of business unless otherwise agreed. As the existence of a contrary agreement has not been proved to the satisfaction of the court, the place of performance is in Denmark and consequently, this court is the court of competent jurisdiction.
- - -

Order of the Danish High Court

This court holds that the [buyer's] obligation to pay is governed by Article 5(1) of the EC Judgments Convention, and that the place of performance is in Denmark. On those grounds the court hereby rules that the appeal is dismissed.

 

Original text

 

Ø.L.K. 22. januar 1996i kære 4. afd. nr. B-3112-95

(Harald Boas, Plessing, B.O. Jespersen).

Dänisches Bettenlager GmbH & Co. KG (adv. J.O. Korch, København) mod Forenede Factors A/S (hrs. Ebbe Suenson, København).

 

Glostrup Rets kendelse af 25. oktober 1995.

 

Under denne sag, der er anlagt den 31. januar 1994, har sagsøger påstået sagsøgte tilpligtet at betale 2.040.064,07 kr. med tillæg af nærmere angivne renter.

 

Kravet, der senere er nedsat, vedrører betaling for leverancer i henhold til en række fakturaer, udstedt af Dansk Rattan A/S i tiden 23/4 - 28/8 1992, hvilke fakturaer i henhold til aftale mellem sagsøger og Dansk Rattan A/S af 22. december 1987 er tiltransporteret sagsøger som led i en faktureringsordning.

 

Firmaet Dansk Rattan A/S er siden taget under konkursbehandling.

Sagsøgte har principalt påstået sagen afvist, da der ikke er værneting her i landet.

 

Sagsøgte har subsidiært påstået frifindelse, dels fordi transporterne ikke er behørigt meddelt sagsøgte, dels fordi der foreligger modregningskrav, der overstiger det indtalte krav, i form af leverancer fra sagsøgte til Danish Rattan A/S, ligesom de indtalte krav i vidt omfang vedrører varer, der er leveret som erstatning for tidligere varer, der er betalt, og endelig at der er mangler ved en række leverancer.

Retten har udskilt spørgsmålet om rettens kompetence til særskilt behandling.

 

Sagsøger har påberåbt sig EF-domskonventionens artikel 5 nr. 1.

Sagsøger har videre påberåbt sig en skrivelse af 17. december 1993 fra sagsøgtes tyske advokat, hvori det blandt andet hedder:

»Die Muttergesellschaft unserer Mandantin hat ihren Sitz in Dänemark. Vor diesem Hintergrund sehen wir keine Schwierigkeiten einen Rechtsstreit vor dem für den Sitz der Fa. Danish Rattan zustdndigen Gericht zu führen.«, idet sagsøger har gjort gældende, at der herved er indgået en værnetingsaftale.

Sagsøgte har gjort gældende, at der ikke foreligger noget kontraktforhold mellem denne sags parter, hvorfor sagen i medfør af artikel 5 nr. 3 må anlægges ved sagsøgtes værneting i Flensborg. Sagsøgte har videre gjort gældende, at den af sagsøger påberåbte skrivelse af 17. december 1993 fra sagsøgtes tyske advokat, ikke er en værnetingsaftale, men alene en udtalelse om, at sagsøgte ikke ville have særlige vanskeligheder, dersom der blev anlagt sag her i landet.

 

Retten skal udtale:

Retten kan tiltræde, at der ikke ved nævnte skrivelse af 17. december 1993 er indgået værnetingsaftale. Kravet støttes på en transport fra den oprindelige fordringshaver til sagsøger, således at sagsøger er indtrådt i det kontraktforhold, der bestod mellem Dansk Rattan A/S og sagsøgte. Da sagsøger således er indtrådt i det mellem sagsøgte og firmaet Dansk Rattan bestående kontraktforhold, findes kravet at være omfattet af EF-domskonventionens artikel 5 nr. 1.

 

Retten har ikke herved taget stilling til, i hvilket omfang sagsøgers krav består.

 

Det bemærkes videre:

Efter artikel 5 nr. 1 er det herefter afgørende, hvor betalingsforpligtelsen skal opfyldes. Da det drejer sig om et internationalt køb, vil spørgsmålet være at afgøre i henhold til CISG (Den Internationale Købelov), der i 1990 blev ratificeret af såvel Tyskland som Danmark. Ifølge denne lovs artikel 57 skal betaling ske på sælgers forretningssted, når intet andet er aftalt. Da det ikke er godtgjort, at andet er aftalt, er opfyldelsesstedet således her i landet, således at herværende ret er kompetent,

- - -

Østre Landsrets kendelse.

Idet landsretten kan tiltræde, at sagsøgtes betalingsforpligtelse er omfattet af EF-domskonvetionens artikel 5 nr. 1, og at opfyldelsesstedet er i Danmark,bestemmes:

 

Den påkærede kendelse stadfæstes.

 

 

 

 

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