Export contract: terms and conditions for sale of goods abroad
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About this document
This is a comprehensive set of terms and conditions for export sales, for a business selling any type of goods to another business in another country. It aims to give an advantage to the supplier-exporter.
There is a great deal of flexibility in how you can use this document. We have drawn it as an agreement, expecting that in most cases you would want to negotiate different terms with different customers.
However, it could be easily adapted to form a set of non-negotiable terms and conditions to be used on advertising materials, brochures and quotations. Further, there is provision within the agreement for it to be a contract for a single transaction, or for it to form the basis of multiple transactions with the same customer.
The document gives a full choice of all 11 current International Commercial Terms (known as Incoterms), a full description of each (so that you can make a decision as to which is best for you). We also provide alternatives if you would prefer to use your own.
We have included many alternative provisions in the agreement for you to select the deal you want in a way that secures payment by your customer as far as possible.
The agreement provides for you to be the party who fixes the terms: such as the date the contract comes into existence, retention of title or returns policy.
The law relating to exporting goods abroad
The law concerning export tends to relate to the goods being shipped (customs and duties) rather than the sales agreement. This contract is common law, which has two benefits.
Firstly, you are free to choose the deal you like. The document follows the basic law of contract covering: price, offer, acceptance, delivery, shipping, acceptance of goods, complaints, and returns. You can vary the terms of any of these to suit you or your customer.
Secondly, common law is less specifically applicable to the United Kingdom than statute law, used across the Commonwealth and understood in nearly all countries. As drawn, this export contract leaves the supplier to cover statutory requirements at home and the customer to cover them at his end.
Suitability of use
The document is suitable:
for exporting to any country, particularly the Commonwealth, the USA and the EU
for any types of goods (note that the export or import of many classes of goods are specifically regulated in many countries. We have not taken account of regulations affecting a particular type of goods.)
regardless of how the goods will be transported
Features and contents
Included are paragraphs covering the following matters:
- Contract: whether the agreement covers a single deal or provides an umbrella for multiple transactions
- Payment, including by letter of credit
- Transportation: choose from a well explained and full incoterm list
- Risk and retention of title
- Compliance with local standards
- Liability for defects or goods not ordered
- Intellectual property rights
- Limitation of liability
- Dispute resolution
- Uncontrollable events
- Other miscellaneous points to protect the interests of the distributor, supplier or manufacturer
This document was written by a solicitor for Net Lawman. It complies with current English law.
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