New Zealand Mussel Case

VIII ZR 159/94, UNCITRAL CLOUT Case 123 (1995)

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New Zealand Mussel Case

Germany Federal Court of Justice
VIII ZR 159/94, UNCITRAL CLOUT Case 123 (1995)

RW

Facts

A Swiss seller (plaintiff) and a German wholesale buyer (defendant) agreed on the sale and purchase of a large shipment of New Zealand mussels, which the buyer would resell to retail seafood markets. The seller delivered the mussels to the buyer’s warehouse, where, a few weeks later, the mussels were examined by government inspectors. The inspectors found that the mussels’ cadmium levels were within legal limits but too high, in the inspectors’ opinion, for the mussels to be declared harmless for human consumption. The buyer complained to the seller that this finding made the mussels unfit for retail consumer sales. The seller rejected the buyer’s attempt to return the mussels at the seller’s expense and sued to collect payment for the mussels. The German trial court entered judgment for the seller and was affirmed by an intermediate court on appeal. The buyer appealed to Germany’s federal supreme court, which applied the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) to the case.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning ()

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