Volume 50 (2013)

Volume 50 (2013) / Issue 1/2

Douglas G. Baird, 'Precontractual disclosure duties under the Common European Sales Law' (2013) 50 Common Market Law Review, Issue 1/2, pp. 297–310


Article 23 of the Common European Sales Law requires sellers to make plain the basic attributes of what they are selling. The seller of goods has a duty to disclose "any information concerning the main characteristics of the goods . . . which [she] has or can be expected to have and which it would be contrary to good faith and fair dealing not to disclose to the other party." The largest effect of the rule may lie not in the value of the information that is communicated, but rather the legal consequences that attach to the information that is disclosed. Article 23 works in conjunction with Articles 69 and 100. These provisions require any description of the goods to serve as a warranty. Thus, the scope of the description that Article 23 requires is coextensive with the warranty that the seller must give with respect to the goods that she is selling. Because legal consequences attach to the description, sellers have reason to say less than they might otherwise. Ironically, CESL might lead to disclosure of less information and less useful information than a regime of caveat emptor.

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ISSN: 0165-0750
ID: COLA2013049