Written by Dr Ben Köhler, MPI Hamburg
Last week, following severe criticisms of its procurement strategy and a dispute with AstraZeneca over the delays in delivery of the vaccine, the EU Commission has published the Advance Purchase Agreement for the Production, Purchase and Supply of a Covid-19 Vaccine in the European Union (APA) it had concluded with AstraZeneca in August 2020. Although some important clauses were blackened at the request of AstraZeneca, the document gives interesting insights into the procurement practice of the EU and has incited a plethora of comments by the legal experts. Despite the broad coverage in legal and non-legal press, the issue of applicable law has received comparably little attention (but see Till Maier-Lohmann on the CISG’s potential applicability). In its first part, this post will argue that, as far as one can tell by the published document, the CISG is likely to be the applicable law to the contract, before outlining some of the consequences of the CISG’s potential application in the second part.
I. The CISG as the applicable law to the APA?
The issue of the applicable law would be considered by Belgian courts that are exclusively competent under the APA’s forum selection clause (§ 18.5 (b) APA). Since Belgium is a Contracting State to the CISG, Belgian courts are bound to apply the CISG’s provisions on its sphere of application that take precedence over the conflict rules in the Rome I-Regulation (Article 25 Rome I-Regulation). Pursuant to Article 1 (1) (a) CISG, the Convention applies to contracts of sale of goods between parties that have their places of business in different Contracting States. Read more...