INTERNATIONAL TRADE (by VITE SOLUTIONS)



      International Trade may be regarded as the exchange of goods and services between nations.

THE ESSENCE OF REGULATING INTERNATIONAL TRADE.
  1. To provide a certain and predictable legal framework to guide transactions.
  2. To provide a flexible and accommodating platform for parties’ interaction.
  3. It allows for the application of trade customs and usage to confer internationally accepted rights and privileges.
  4. It provides an efficient system for the resolution of commercial disputes. Usually through the machinery of arbitration.
  5. It integrates and recognizes international rules, conflict of law rules, and so on. Thereby making parties rely on (not only municipal but also) international rules.
In construing an international contract, the courts try to decipher the intention of the parties.

TERMS IN INTERNATIONAL TRADE
     In addition to the express terms of the parties. There are certain terms that are implied into the contract. Especially where the express terms are inadequate. Terms may be implied from: a. facts (In Re Moorcock the court of appeal held the defendant liable for the damage caused because both parties must have contemplated that the wharf should be safe for the vessel especially in the light of the fact that both parties knew that “at no time would the vessel take ground?”); b. law (See Scally v Southern Health and Social Services Board particularly Lord Bridge’s dictum); c. trade custom and usage (especially where the parties deal regularly). This is to give business efficacy to the contract and reflect (as much as possible) the intention of the parties.

APPLICABLE LAWS
  1. Municipal Law: A sovereign territory’s legislation, case law and secondary sources.
 2. International law: Certain conventions and rules govern international trade.
  3. Regional Law: Various treaties also regulate international trade. E.g. Treaties of ECOWAS, OHADA (which is a harmonization of laws for French Speaking countries) etc.


THE STRUCTURE AND CHARACTERISTICS OF INTERNATIONAL TRADE
     Various mechanisms are in place for international trade to take place. It may be by way of:
a. Direct Exporting: referring to the transfer of the property in the goods from the seller to the buyer. Under terms stipulated by the parties.
b. Counter trade: which may take one of the following forms: Barter, Counter-purchase and Offset, Buy back, switch trading, Evidence accounts, Swaps and so on.
In addition to the main trade contract, there are other ancillary contracts which facilitate international trade. When parties enter an agreement for the sale and purchase of the goods, various issues must be captured e.g. time of shipment, mode of shipment and delivery, mode of payment, documentary requirements, insurance, choice of law and (or) choice of forum clauses, Arbitration clause etc.

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