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CIF sale repudiated by buyers – sellers’ options

The facts

The terms of a sale of 500 tonnes Argentine Bolitas beans were as follows:

 “Delivery CIF Le Havre / Antwerp.  Quality … as per samples submitted to buyers and sealed by the General Superintendence Company Limited, Paris.

Quality final at port of discharge as per certificate of General Superintendence Company Limited (the “SGS”) indicating that the quality of the lot is equal to one of the sealed samples.

The goods were shipped on the Salland.  Of the 500 tonnes, 445 tonnes were discharged at Le Havre.  The balance of 55 tonnes was over-carried to Rotterdam and returned to Le Havre 12 days later.

In the meantime the shipping documents were presented to the buyers and rejected by them.

Shortly thereafter the sellers presented the buyers with a certificate from the SGS reading as follows:

“We hereby certify that we inspected the quality of the parcel designated as 9661 bags Beans Bolitas discharged ex m/s Salland Le Havre … According to the results of the analysis performed on the samples drawn by us on a 10% basis at random, the parcel of beans discharged from the m/s Salland is equal to the samples previously sealed by us and kept in our possession.”

The 55 tonnes over-carried were submitted by the buyers to their own appointee for analysis and found to contain 1.8% of coloured beans.

The parcel of 55 tonnes was not submitted for certification by SGS. 


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