Court of Appeal Turku applies Art. 40 CISG

On 18 December 2013, the Court of Appeal Turku rendered a decision in Oy Pokostore Systems Ltd. v. TP-Konepajat Polska Sp.z.o.o. The decision’s full text, originally written in Finnish, has now been translated into English by Elias Eronen, who is a law student from the University of Eastern Finland and a former Vis Moot participant (29th Willem C. Vis Moot Court). We are very grateful for his translation that can now be accessed via the case presentation about CISG-online 3990 (see below). 

The dispute underlying the decision arose from a contract for the sale of painted steel girders. The Finnish buyer filed a claim since a large part of the steel girders was not painted. The Polish seller argued that the buyer did not give a timely notice about the lack of conformity and should thus lose its right to rely on the non-conformity of the goods.

The Court of Appeal held that the CISG was applicable in this matter according to Art. 1(1)(a) CISG since both Poland and Finland are Contracting States to the Convention. The Court then stated that the buyer indeed must examine the goods and give notice to the seller about any non-conformity within reasonable time according to Arts. 38(1) and 39(1) CISG. However, the Court decided that the seller, who manufactured the steel girders, could not have been unaware of the erroneous production process which caused the goods to be non-conforming, i.e. not painted. Thus, the Court concluded that the seller could not rely on the buyer’s late notice about the non-conforming goods pursuant to Art. 40 CISG.

Consequently, the Court held that Arts. 50 and 74 CISG would principally apply. Yet, it argued that the buyer did not provide any evidence on what damages or expenses the steel bars not being painted had caused to it. As a result, the Court rejected the buyer’s claim for damages.

Czech Republic
Oy Pokostore Systems Ltd. v. TP-Konepajat Polska Sp.z o.o
Turun hovioikeus (Court of Appeal Turku)
Finland, 18 December 2013 – S 13/1060, CISG-online 3990