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International Contracts

Syllabus of the Subject: International Contracts. Vienna Convention. Arbitration. Clauses.

  1. Introduction to International Contracts
  2. Risks in international trade
  3. Instruments of risk minimisation
  4. Guarantees in Foreign Trade
  5. UNCITRAL (United Nations Commission on International Trade Law).
  6. United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (1980) [CISG]
  7. Vienna Convention on the law of treaties
  8. Hague Conference on Private International Law
  9. Clauses of an international contract
  10. Anti-corruption clause of the International Chamber of Commerce
  11. Arbitration
  12. Analysis of contracts for the international sale
  13. Examples of contracts:
    1. International distributor
    2. Importer
    3. Agent
  14. Introduction to the Sharia (Islamic law)
  15. Examples of contracts: distributor, importer, and broker

This subject aims at familiarising the student with International Contracts as they are used in the international trade transactions.

  1. To learn how to implement the main clauses of an international sales contract and how to minimise risks
  2. To know the main international institutions and conferences related to international contracts
  3. To know how to manage a process of international arbitration
  4. To know the functioning of an arbitration process
The Subject “International Contracts” is part of the following programs:
  1. Masters (e-learning): International Business, Foreign Trade and Marketing
  2. Diploma in International Trade
  3. Course: Internationalisation and Investments
  4. Degree in International Trade

Languages of study English or French Contrat international Spanish Contratos internacionales Portuguese

  1. Credits of the subject “International Contracts”: 3 ECTS.
  2. Duration: 3 weeks

Area of Knowledge: Foreign trade.

Sample of the subject - International Contracts:
International Contracts

Anti-corruption Clause of the International Chamber of Commerce
Anti-corruption Clause (International Chamber of Commerce)

Description of the Subject - International Contracts:

A contract is a single document, in which the rights and obligations of the exporter and the importer are stipulated. International Trade practice shows that the majority of transactions are carried out without signing a contract.

  1. However, it is strongly recommended establishing an international contract of sale for all the international transactions.
  2. One can avoid doubts and misunderstandings concerning what has been agreed during the negotiation of terms if they are set down in writing.
  3. In certain cases, a verbal agreement is legally binding, for example, when an exporter makes a sale at an international fair.
  4. Most foreign trade transactions do not use a formal contract in practice. However, the clauses in the commercial invoice and the incorporation of an appropriate Incoterms in the export price as well as national legislation will nevertheless imply certain obligations on the partie.
  5. In any case; we recommend using a formal contract.
  6. A standard model contract for international sales has been drafted by the International Chamber of Commerce


An international contract is drafted based on the following:

  1. Regulations and practice of the international trade (for example, the Incoterms)
  2. Arbitration in international trade (for example, possible dispute resolution)

Here are the usual clauses of an international contract. However, one should call upon the services of a legal advisor to produce a well-prepared contract.

  1. Preamble
  2. Definitions
  3. Duties and obligations
  4. Communication and documentation
  5. Prices
  6. Terms of payment
  7. Penalties
  8. Force majeure
  9. Official authorisations and permits
  10. Dispute resolution
  11. Language
  12. Other condition

Arbitration is a method of dispute resolution relating to international contracts of sale. A well-prepared clause on arbitration provides a basis to conduct arbitration duty in the case of litigation.

The Vienna Convention on Contracts for the International Sales of Goods regulates the formation of international contracts of sales. The Convention was signed in Austria on 11 April 1980. Forty countries have adopted it, the majority of which are developed. The layout of a contract is left entirely up to companies; it can also be accepted in a verbal form; although there are signatories countries to the Vienna Convention who do not accept verbal agreements and only recognise a written form of a contract. For a contract to be considered accepted the consignee's consent must be obtained. Silence cannot be interpreted as consent.

The delivery of the products must be performed according to what has been stipulated in the contract of sale, and the products must be of the agreed quality, quantity, and type. The products must be inspected as soon as possible and, if the products are non-compliant; it must be communicated to the exporter within a reasonable period.

Vienna Convention (International Contracts)

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