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Progressive Development of the Law of International Trade:
Report of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, 1966

Introduction

I. The law of international trade

A. Concept of "law of international trade"

B. Legal techniques used to reduce conflicts and divergencies

1. Choice of Law Rules

2. Harmonization and Unification of Substantive Rules

C. Development of the law of international trade

1. Similarity

2. Application

3. Formulation

II. Survey of the work in the field of harmonization and unification of the law of international trade

A. Inter-governmental organizations

1. The International Institute for the Unification of Private Law

2. The Hague Conference on Private International Law

3. The League of Nations

(a) The Geneva Conventions on the unification of the law relating to bills of exchange (1930) and to cheques (1931)

(b) The Geneva Protocol on Arbitration Clauses of 1923 and the Geneva Convention on the Execution of Foreign Arbitral Awards of 1927

4. The United Nations

(a) The Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards of 1958

(b) Industrial property legislation

(c) United Nations regional economic commissions

(i) Economic Commission for Europe (ECE)
a. The ECE General Conditions of Sale and Standard Forms of Contract
b. European Convention on International Commercial Arbitration
(ii) Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East (ECAFE)
(iii) Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLA)
(iv) Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)

(d) United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

(e) Centre for Industrial Development

5. The United Nations Specialized Agencies

(a) International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)

(b) Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO)

(c) The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)

6. United International Bureaux for the Protection of Intellectual Property (BIRPI)

B. Regional inter-governmental organizations and groupings

1. The Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CMEA)*

2. The European Economic Community (EEC)

3. The European Free Trade Association (EFTA)

4. The Latin American Countries

(a) Unification of conflict rules

(b) International commercial arbitration

(d) Other activities

5. The Council of Europe

6. The Benelux Countries

7. The Nordic Council

8. The Organization of African Unity (OAU)

9. The Asian-African Legal Consultative Committee

C. Non-governmental organizations

1. The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)

(a) The Court of Arbitration

(b) Incoterms 1953

(c) Uniform customs and practice for documentary credits

2. The International Maritime Committee (IMC)

3. The International Association of Legal Science

4. The International Law Association (ILA)

5. The Institute of International Law

D. Summary: main areas of harmonization and unification

III. Methods, approaches and topics suitable for the progressive harmonization and unification of the law of international trade

A. Methods

B. Approaches

C. Suitable topics

IV. Role of the United Nations in the progressive harmonization and unification of the law of international trade

A. Progress and shortcomings of the work in the field of harmonization and unification of the law of international trade

B. Desirable action to remedy the existing shortcomings

C. Role of the United Nations

1. Is the Unification and Harmonization of the Law of International Trade an Appropriate Subject for United Nations Action?

2. Would a United Nations Participation in this Activity Unnecessarily Duplicate the Work of Existing Agencies and Reduce or Abolish their Usefulness?

3. Would the United Nations be in a Position to Make a Significant Contribution to Furthering Unification on A World-Wide Scale or Otherwise?

4. Should the Functions of the United Nations be Confined to Co-Ordination or Should they Also Encompass Formulation?

5. Is There a Realistic Chance of Success or is the Task too Diffficult for Tangible Results?

D. Establishment of a United Nations Commission on International Trade Law

E. Financial implications of the establishment of a United Nations commission on international trade law

Endnotes

Endnotes

Concordance (wordlist)

Manifest (alternative outputs)

Metadata

Progressive Development of the Law of International Trade: Report of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, 1966

United Nations (UN)

copy @ Lex Mercatoria

II. Survey of the work in the field of harmonization and unification of the law of international trade

C. Non-governmental organizations

1. The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)

(b) Incoterms 1953

161. Incoterms 1953 is a set of international rules for the interpretation of nine frequently used trade terms. The terms regulated by the formulation are: ex works, f.o.r. (free on rail, free on truck), f.a.s. (free alongside), f.o.b. (free on board), c. and f. (cost and freight), c.i.f. (cost, insurance, freight), freight and carriage paid to, ex ship, and ex quay. The obligations of the seller and the buyer are defined in Incoterms as clearly and precisely as possible.

162. Incoterms are based upon the greatest common measure of practice current in international trade and ascertained by the ICC as the result of detailed studies by the various national committees. The ICC refused to incorporate in these terms desirable improvements on current practice. "In the opinion of the Chamber's Committee, there are two objections to this policy: (i) what practical merchants have evolved over the years as convenient is always likely to be better than theoretical improvements, and (ii) the prime consideration is to get one set of international rules agreed and widely adopted. If that could be achieved it would be a great step forward, and on the basis of it thereafter improvements may gradually be accepted."  71 

163. The practical utilization of Incoterms is widespread. It was reported in July 1963  72  that more than 100,000 copies of the English and French original had been issued: in addition, translations exist in fifteen languages. Incoterms are widely used as standard terms of business by trade associations. instances of that use occur, for example, in the German Muhlenbau-und-lndustrie G.m.b.H. or the French Syndicat general de l'industrie de jute. The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe embodied a reference to Incoterms, with regard to the passing of the risk in the General Conditions for the Supply of Plants and Machinery for Export, Forms Nos. 188 and 188A (1953), but substituted its own regulation for such reference in later formulations. Some foreign trade corporations of countries with centrally planned economies use Incoterms in their transactions with enterprises of countries with free enterprise economies. This is done, for example, by the Polish corporations Varimax and Cetebe and by the Czechoslovak corporations Controtex, Ligna, Prago-Export. Sometimes even bilateral agreements between countries of centrally-planned economy which are not both members of CMEA provide for the application of Incoterms, e.g. the agreements between East Germany, on the one hand, and North Korea and North Viet-Nam respectively, on the other.


 71. International Chamber of Commerce, Incoterms 1953 (Paris 1953/1954), p. 8.

 72. By Gunnar Lagergren in the Introduction to Frederic Eisemann's Die Incoterms in Handel und Verkehr (Vienna, GOF-Verlag, 1963), p. ix.

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