Liability under CSIG
Bello Wine Co. in France produces and exports wines. It sold 1,245 cases of its wine to Tippler Distributing Co., in the United States. The contract did not use any trade terms or specify any delivery terms to any specific destination. Bello, through its agent in the United States, selected Bigport for the port of entry in the United States. Mellow then delivered the wine to an ocean-going carrier at a port in France for transport on July 5th of last year. The shipping documents and the markings on the goods identified the wine as belonging to Tippler.
Some six weeks later, on August 20, Tippler learned that the wine had been lost on the high seas on July 19th when the ship sank. Tippler refused to pay Bello. Bello then sued Tippler for the full purchase price, claiming that the risk of loss had passed to Tippler, the buyer, at the time the wine had been delivered to the carrier. Tippler answered that because Bello had not given it prompt notice of the shipment, not until after the ship was lost at sea, that the risk of loss had not passed from Bello.
Both France and the United States are signatories of the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CSIG) and the parties’ contract designates the CSIG as the governing law. Is Tippler liable for the purchase price of the wine?