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International sales agreements

Trading on a global rather than domestic basis means there are extra factors to consider when forming a sales agreement.


With international contracts, if you're the seller, you may want payment before you release the goods to the buyer. However, the buyer might not want to pay you until they've received them, or may want a credit period. This section shows how this can be reconciled.

Transportation of goods

International sales contracts involve transporting goods from one country to another. This can be complicated, as usually more than one type of transport is involved. This section looks at the different international transport arrangements that you can use.

Choice of jurisdiction and law clauses

When parties trade on a global basis, they have to consider which country's courts will deal with any disputes. It's essential that the relevant jurisdiction is agreed beforehand to avoid costly arguments about it later.

You'll also need to agree which country's law will govern the contract. This is the law that will apply if there are any disputes as to what the contract terms mean, and whether the parties have fulfilled their obligations and can enforce their rights under the contract. Usually you'd want the same country to have jurisdiction so that it's applying its own law. If you're the seller you'd probably want the law of your country to be the law of the contract. There are rules that apply when the parties haven't specifically chosen the law of the contract. These sections look at these issues in more detail.

What is the law guide

The Desktop Lawyer law guide aims to present the law to you in a comprehensive yet jargon-free and easy-to-read format. Our law guide is constantly kept up to date with changes in business and family law by our team of in house solicitors, and includes information across all the legal jurisdictions in the UK.

Our law guide is free to use. Where we provide documents related to this area of law, or where they may help you with any legal issue in this area, they will be listed to the right of this message.