International Trade

Kinds of Trade Disputes

Kinds of Trade Disputes

               By    Min Cho


1、  法律选择

因国际贸易产生仲裁或者诉讼纠纷时,首先需要确定的是法律适用。不同法律适用会可能产生完全不同的法律后果。在国际贸易各方没有明确选择法律适用或者法律适用选择无效情况下,一般依据最密切联系地原则确定法律适用。在我国司法实践中,法院在确定国际贸易纠纷的法律适用时,一般会选择适用《合同法》、《民法通则》等。《联合国国际货物销售合同公约》是我国国际贸易当事人经常选择适用的公约。但是,在仲裁实践中,仲裁庭在法律适用问题上显得更加慎重和注意分析,也更尊重当事人的选择。


1. Choice of law

Law application should be determined first in case of handling arbitration or litigation arising from international trade. Different law application leads to completely different legal consequence. Normally the application law shall be decided according to principle of most-connected place if the parties involved in the international trade do not choose law application or the choice of law application is void and null. In Chinese legal practice, generally, the Chinese court will choose the Contract Law or the Civil Code as law to solve disputes arising from international trade. However, as to arbitration, the arbitral tribunal seems to be more prudent in choosing applicable law and pay more attention to the choice of the disputed parties.



2、国际贸易纠纷解决办法

根据以往经验,通过友好协商方式解决贸易纠纷是最省时、省力和省钱的方法,通过仲裁或诉讼解决贸易纠纷是友好协商途径不成功后的无耐之举。在实践中选择国际仲裁有下列益处:1.仲裁结果易为当事人接受2.仲裁解决一般情况下较公正、合理,不像诉讼方式严格受制于证据举证规则和程序法的规定。3.较诉讼省时4.成本较诉讼低。在国际贸易纠纷处理上,欧美等西方法治发达国家当事人喜欢严格按照条文确定双方责任的办事方式,行为习惯较为“僵化”,不讲情理,而且不因仲裁或诉讼的进行而影响双方商业感。而相比较而言,以我国、日本,韩国等为代表的东方国家当事人在处理国际贸易纠纷时则采取比较灵活的办事方式,内心不太愿意通过诉讼或仲裁手段解决国际贸易纠纷,一旦采取诉讼或仲裁手段解决贸易纠纷,则双方以后很难有再合作的机会。通过了解、把握东西方国家不同当事人对贸易争端的不同解决思路,并在国际贸易纠纷处理实践中采取更加有效、灵活的对策,对我国国际贸易实践有着十分重要的意义。笔者在实务处理中就有过通过采取诉讼手段迫使日本当事人作出商业让步的成功案例。


2. Methods of solving disputes arising from international trade

Friendly negotiation is the best time-saving and money-saving method of solving disputes, while arbitration or litigation is a choice of “have to”at the time when friendly negotiation fails. In practice, the advantages of international arbitration are:

1. The arbitral award is easier to be accepted by the parties;

2. Not limited by strict evidence rules and procedural requirements that applied to litigation, generally speaking, arbitration is relatively fairer and more reasonable.

3. time-saving in compare with litigation.

4. cost-saving in compare with litigation.

From the perspective of culture difference, people of Europe or USA are willing to decide the liabilities of each other by strictly respecting the contract terms and do not take the mutual relationship into consideration. So they get used to solving disputes by arbitration or litigation and worried about affecting their future business cooperation by doing this. In contrast, people of oriental world representing by Chinese, Japanese and Korean adopt more flexible method to solve disputes and do not prefer arbitration or litigation from the bottom of heart. Once arbitration and litigation are initiated, the two parties are impossible to cooperate in the future. We should take different measures to handle international trade disputes by considering the culture difference of the parties.



3、质量标准

国际贸易合同中的质量标准条款在国际贸易质量纠纷中对双方权利义务的确定有着举足轻重的影响。而往往国际贸易质量纠纷的发生,缘由在于双方对质量标准的看法不一致。因此最直接的办法就是在国际贸易合同中确定产品质量的标准。我国《合同法》和《联合国国际货物销售合同公约》等法律、公约对此均有明确规定,可以参照适用。


3. Criterion of Quality

The quality terms in the sale contract play very important role in telling the rights and obligations of the parties involved. Normally, parties will not agree the criterion of quality with each other after disputes arise; hence the best method is to define the criterion of quality in the sale contract. The PRC Contract Law and the CISG include quality terms in details which can be referred to.



4、质量检测方法

质量标准明确了,如果双方对质量检测方法约定不同,也往往会造成产品质量异议,因此有必要去确定产品质量检测办法,包括:A质量检测机构的确定;B质量检测机构检测报告的权威性;C检测样品的挑选比例、挑选办法及保存办法;D、检测报告中合格样品与不合格样品比例对确定整批产品质量状况的影响,例如达到或者超过多少比例可以拒绝接收货物,甚至解除合同。


4. Method of quality inspection

It is suggested to make term of quality inspection in the sale contract, including content of: [1] institution of quality inspection; [2] the authority of the inspection report issued by the inspection institution; [3] the sampling rate and method of selecting and storage of samples; [4] the percentage of qualified and unqualified samples and its effect to deciding the quality of the whole batch of goods, e.g. a certain percentage of unqualified samples entitles the buyer to reject the goods or even terminate the contract.



5、安装

国际贸易合同中如果涉及到产品安装,无论国际贸易合同中的买方或卖方都要十分清楚该义务的履行和权利的行使对确定双方的法律责任有着十分重要的影响,在仲裁或者诉讼实践中对安装过程中相关证据的取舍和保存,就显得非常的重要。


5. Installation

Normally the seller should bear responsibility to install as agreed in the sale contract. If disputes occur, the seller should pay attention to collect evidence of installation.



6、包装

国际贸易中的产品包装条款往往会对国际贸易中的因货物毁损、灭失等而产生的赔偿、保险理赔等法律后果有实质性影响,甚至导致合约的解除。


6. Packaging

The packaging terms substantially influence the legal consequence of compensation or insurance reimbursement caused by cargos damage or loss; even turn the contract to termination.



7、价格条件

国际贸易中价格条件对于确定双方法律责任,例如货物毁损、灭失等风险、所有权归属等法律责任有重要影响,因此建议明确使用《2000年国际贸易术语解释通则》中的标准贸易术语。在约定适用术语过程中,不要出现一方面约定适用某贸易术语,一方面在合同中约定与该贸易术语内容矛盾的合同条款,这容易导致双方权利义务的纠纷。例如CIF价格条件下,如果约定货物所有权在卖方收到货款后才转让至买方,则可能引发CIF价格条件无效的法律后果,因为CIF价格条件下其实质是单证交易,上述的约定显然与CIF价格条件矛盾。


7. Price

The price term is so important that it tells the legal responsibility of the parties in respect with cargos damage or loss, risk and title transfer, hence, it is suggested to apply the 2000 Incoterms clearly. However, any inconsistence between the contract terms and the Incoterms shall be prevented, which could bring trouble to the parties involved.



8、国际贸易纠纷发生后的应对措施
纠纷发生后至将纠纷提起仲裁或诉讼之前,无论是国际贸易的买方或卖方,应该a邀请法律专业人士对纠纷进行法律会诊;b根据国际贸易法律的有关规定,完备相关法律文件例如限期对方提货通知书,为防止损失扩大而将采取相应法律措施通知等;C提前收集与纠纷有关的法律证据;d谨慎合法地处理来自纠纷相对方所发的每一份文件,包括邮件。如果上述有关准备工作不充分或者没有依法准备,则可能发生原本己方有理却“不合法”以至承担不良法律后果的法律风险。


8. Measures to be taken after occurrence of international trade disputes

After disputes arising and before filing arbitration or a lawsuit, the seller or the buyer shall:

[1] Invite legal expertise to analyze the dispute;

[2] Prepare relevant documents such as delivery notice and take measure to prevent further loss or damage;

[3] collect evidence relating to the disputes;

[4] be prudent in handling each document and email between the parties.

If the works mention above is not prepared sufficiently or in a legal way, the party could take risk of losing the case.



9、损害赔偿

仔细研究《合同法》、国际统一私协会《国际商事合同通则》、《联合国国际货物销售合同公约》、1979年《英国货物销售法》等对国际贸易纠纷可能适用的国际商事法律在违约发生后可采取法律救济措施的异同,并采取相应法律对策。


9. Compensation

Do research in the PRC Contract Law, the CISG and the Sale of Goods Act 1979 ofEngland, compare the remedies prescribed in them and take suitable methods.