AuthorJack Michael Graves
The Convention, as a Treaty and U.S. Federal Law
Commonly called the “CISG,” the United Nations Convention on Contracts
for the International Sale of Goods governs many business‑to‑business trans
actions in goods across national borders. The CISG was originally drafted
under the auspices of the United Nations Commission on International
Trade Law (UNCITRAL), which convened a working group specically
for this purpose. The working group (initially 14 members, including the
United States) completed its draft in 1978, after which a broader diplomatic
conference was convened to act on the draft. On April 11, 1980, the dip
lomatic conference approved the draft with little change in substance, and
this nal draft came into force as an international convention on January
1, 1988, based on ratication by the minimum required 10 states, includ
ing the United States of America. Thus, the CISG has been federal law in
the United States since January 1, 1988.
The CISG is U.S. federal law, as reected by Apr. 11, 1980, S. Treaty Doc.
No. 98–9 (1983), 19 I.L.M. 671, reprinted at 15 U.S.C. Appendix (entered
into force Jan. 1, 1988). As such, it fully preempts state contract law within
its stated scope—including a state’s adoption of Uniform Commercial Code
INTRNTL Graves CISG Final Press Pass.indd 1 5/6/13 9:36 AM

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