UNECE - ЕЭК ООН
International countertrade can take many forms. However, the present guide deals with only one of those forms - namely buy-back. Problems related with another form - counterpurchase - have been treated in a separate guide issued by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. (For definitions of these two forms of countertrade, see Section 2.A below.)
The purpose of this guide is to provide to potential parties to buy-back transactions a basis for understanding the nature of the arrangement in which they are engaging, to help them identify the problem areas associated with the various components of the deal, and to give them guidance in drawing up the necessary contractual documents which define the rights and obligations of the parties.
2. Terminology, parties, and contract structure
In counterpurchase the seller and buyer of a primary transaction agree that the seller will subsequently buy (or will cause third parties to buy) products from the buyer (or from third parties in the buyer's country). In this form, the two flows of products - that is, the products sold under the primary transaction, on the one hand, and those sold in countertrade, on the other - are paid for in money. The value of products bought under the counterpurchase contract may be lower than, equal to or higher than the value of the products sold under the primary transaction. A typical feature of a counterpurchase transaction is that, contrary to buy-back (see below), there need not be any special relationship between the products sold under the primary transaction and those supplied in accordance with the counterpurchase contract.
In this form, the object of the primary transaction is machinery, equipment, patents, know-how, or technical assistance (hereinafter "equipment/technology") that will be used to set up production facilities for the buyer. The parties agree that the seller will subsequently buy from the buyer products produced in those production facilities. As in counterpurchase, both flows of products are paid for in money, and the value of the products bought back may be lower than, equal to or higher than that of the products of the primary transaction.
(a) Only two parties
Buy-back in its simplest form involves only two parties. One of the parties assumes the rights and obligations of a seller with regard to the primary transaction and those of a buyer in the buy-back transactions, while the other party takes the roles of seller and buyer in reversed order.
(b) Third parties as implementing sellers
However, it is possible that more than two parties are involved in a buy-back transaction. Thus, it may happen that the equipment/ technology which is the object of the primary transaction will not be used by the buyer itself (who might be a foreign trade organization or a trading-house), but is being bought, licensed or otherwise acquired by it in the interest of a third party who will then set up the actual production facilities. In such a case, the buy-back products may be purchased from that third party, and not from the buyer of the primary transaction.
(c) Third parties as implementing buyers
In cases where the products sold in buy-back are not suitable for in-house use by the original seller, it is often agreed that he will have the right to assign his buy-back obligation to third parties, who will then discharge buy-back obligation of the original seller.
C. Contract structure
When the parties are negotiating the details of a buy-back transaction, one of the first questions they must agree on is this: will the various rights and obligations of the parties be evidenced in a single contract or will several contracts be drawn up for this purpose? The answer to this question will depend on the specific features of the individual transaction in question.
(a) One contract
It may be said that, if, at the time when buy-back is agreed on, it is possible for the parties to lay down the exact specifications of the buy-back products, and if there are no third parties involved, there is usually no reason why the whole of the parties' rights and obligations could not be included in the same contract.
(b) Separate contracts
In some cases, e.g., for financing reasons, separate contracts may be necessary.
1. Chapter 1. Some preliminary issues
1. Scope of this guide
Parties to a buy-back deal may want to regulate their rights and obligations in a simple manner, and include the relevant provisions in the same contractual document that regulates the primary transaction. However, they often prefer to use several contracts. This guide deals with that manner of proceeding.
In principle, the rights and obligations of the parties under the primary transaction are similar to those usually agreed upon in international contracts for the sale of equipment/technology. The same can be said about the terms and conditions of the subsequent contracts implementing the sale and purchase of the specific buy-back products.
Yet, in buy-back there is a special relationship between these contracts. The equipment/technology that is involved in the setting up of the production facilities emanates from the party who commits himself to the subsequent purchase of products produced thereby.
For that reason this guide will discuss not only problems relating to the buy-back contract itself, but will also briefly address some of the main issues of the primary contract.
In this guide, the terms below will have the following meanings:
- Equipment/ technology means the machinery and/or equipment and/or patents and/or know-how and/or technical assistance that will enable the manufacturing of the Products.
- Primary contract means the contract that regulates the rights and obligations of the respective parties with regard to the supply of the equipment/technology.
- Original seller means the party to the primary contract who supplies the equipment/ technology agreed upon therein.
- Original buyer means the party to the primary contract who purchases the equipment/ technology agreed upon therein
- Products means the products that are manufactured by using the equipment/technology and are sold and purchased by way of buy-back.
- Plant means the industrial or other works where the products are manufactured.
- Buy-back contract means the contract which the original seller and the original Buyer conclude simultaneously with the primary contract, and which regulates their rights and obligations, as parties to the buy-back contract, with regard to the sale and purchase of the products.
- Buy-back seller means the original buyer in his capacity as party to the buy-back contract.
- Buy-back purchaser means the original seller in his capacity as party to the buy-back
- Implementing contract means the contract that regulates the rights and obligations of the parties to that contract with regard to the sale and purchase of the specific buy-back Products arising out of the buy-back contract.
- Implementing seller means that party to the implementing contract who supplies the products agreed on therein. He usually is the party who is the original buyer and the buy-back seller, but he may also be a third party.
-Implementing buyer means the party to the implementing contract who purchases the products agreed on therein. He may, in fact, be the party who is the original seller and the buy-back purchaser, but he may also be a third party.
-Assignor means the buy-back purchaser, or, as the case may be, the buy-back Seller, who has assigned his rights and obligations under the buy-back contract to a third party.
-Assignee means the third party to whom the Assignor has assigned his rights and obligations under the buy-back contract.
2. The primary contract
The conformity of the products with the requirements agreed upon in the buy-back contract (see chapter three, section 3) depends, among other things, on the equipment/technology that is sold under the primary contract, on the manner in which the equipment/technology is transferred and used in the plant, and on the quality control policies and procedures that are instituted at the plant. The parties to the primary contract should therefore draft particularly carefully those parts of the contract that regulate these questions. A brief account of the issues involved is given below. For further details, parties should consult existing guides and model contracts dealing with these matters.
1. Machinery and equipment
If the Original Seller is to supply machinery and/or equipment, the primary contract should contain a clear description thereof, and of the respective performance requirements.
As a rule, supply of machinery and equipment includes delivery of the technical documentation necessary for their proper use. If this is the case, the primary contract should specify the documents and stipulate how they will be handed over to the original buyer.
If installation of the machinery and equipment is included in the primary contract, it should specify the respective obligations of the parties in this regard.
(c) Commissioning, test runs, and acceptance
When appropriate, the primary contract should specify the conditions for, and duration of, the commissioning of the machinery and equipment. Similarly, details on the test runs where the performance of the machinery and equipment are proven, should be agreed upon. Finally, the primary contract should set forth the terms and conditions under which the supply of the machinery and equipment will be accepted.
The primary contract should set out the quality guarantee (material and workmanship guarantee) and performance guarantee (technological guarantee) of the machinery and equipment.
2. Patents, know-how, and technical assistance
Often a buy-back transaction includes not only the sale by the original seller of production machinery and equipment, but also a grant of licence to use the original seller's patent rights and/or know-how relating to the manufacture of the products. As part of the transaction, the original seller may also render to the original buyer technical assistance relating to the manufacture of the products.
(a) Scope of licence
The primary contract should define the patents, technical information and other know-how that the original seller will license to the original buyer.
The parties should agree on the manner (e.g., handing over of specifications, drawings, computer diskettes, etc.) in which the technical information will be disclosed by the original seller to the original buyer.
(c) Technical assistance
The parties may wish to agree that the original seller will arrange for his own technical personnel to visit the plant to assist the original buyer in undertaking the manufacture and sale of the products and/or train the original buyer's personnel in this respect. If this is the case, the primary contract should specify the number of the original seller's personnel that will be involved, and the time periods that will be used for this purpose.
Sometimes it will be necessary for the representatives of the original buyer to visit the plant of the original seller in order to become familiar with and/or be trained in the manufacturing of the products. In that case, the primary contract should contain provisions defining the scope and duration of such visit(s) or training, and the number of original buyer's personnel that will be involved therein.
3. Quality control and guarantees
(a) Quality control
To ensure that the products are of the agreed specification, performance and quality, the parties may wish to institute appropriate quality control policies and procedures. Quality control provisions might further stipulate procedures to be followed in the event that the products do not meet the agreed specifications, performance or quality.
Matters related to the guarantee of the products can, of course, be agreed upon in the buy-back contract and, if necessary, even in the individual implementing contracts. However, the parties may wish to include appropriate provisions already in the primary contract. This might be the case, for example, when products will be sold to third parties under the trade mark of the original seller. He has then a direct interest in ensuring that appropriate guarantee standards are applied also with regard to such third parties.
Chapter 3. Buy-back contract
1. The buy-back commitment
(a) The requirement of buy back
If the sale of equipment/technology involves a buy-back commitment, the buy-back purchaser will often have to take specific measures to fulfil that undertaking. It is therefore very important that the original buyer informs the original seller of the buy-back requirement before negotiations on the substance of the primary contract begin. An early notice of the buy-back requirement will be of benefit to both parties since it allows the original seller to study, before the parties use time and expenses in negotiating the primary contract, whether or not he is willing, or able, to commit himself to the buy-back undertaking proposed by the original buyer.
Consequently, already at this stage the original buyer should, whenever possible, propose concrete details for the transaction, including the proposed total value, and the time period for fulfilment, of the buy-back obligation.
(b) Mutual commitments
If buy-back is accepted and agreed on by the parties, the buy-back contract should contain in one of its first paragraphs a clear commitment by the buy-back purchaser to purchase, on agreed terms, products, and an equally clear commitment by the buy-back seller to sell said products.
2. The buy-back products
Definition of the products is usually not a problem in buy-back. However, if the equipment/technology permits the production of a wide range of products, the parties may wish to agree on a mechanism according to which the assortment of the products to be sold and purchased under the buy-back contract will be agreed upon.
(b) Availability of Products
Once the parties have agreed that the buy-back purchaser will purchase products, it may be very important for him to be sure that he will in fact receive the products. The parties may therefore wish to include in the buy-back contract a commitment by the buy-back seller whereby he warrants that agreed amounts of products will be available at the time of performance. The buy-back contract should also stipulate the legal consequences if products are subsequently not available (see section 15 below).
3. Conformity of the products
(a) Specic cation and quality
With regard to the conformity of the products the parties may simply refer to those provisions of the primary contract where the specifications and quality of the products are defined, and stipulate that the products to be delivered must correspond to such specifications and quality.
(b) Quantity and assortment
Regarding the quantity and, when applicable, assortment of the products, the parties may refer to the requirements set forth in the individual implementing contracts to be concluded within the framework of the buy-back contract.
4. Total value of buy-back commitment
(a) Value should be defined
The buy-back contract should contain a provision defining the value of the buy-back commitment -i.e., the value for which the buy-back purchaser will purchase products within the framework of the buy-back contract. This amount may be equal to, or lower or higher than, the price of the equipment/technology sold under the primary contract.
(b) Alternative ways of defining
The value of the buy-back commitment can be agreed in absolute money terms or as a percentage of the total price of the equipment/technology sold under the primary contract.
(c) Basis of calculation, etc. should be specified
The value of the buy-back commitment may be defined in terms of a percentage of the price of the equipment/technology, if such price (or the basis on which it will be calculated) is stated in unambiguous terms. That may not always be the case. Thus, for instance, the price of technical assistance might not be included in the price of the primary contract, but be invoiced separately on a time-basis. In such cases, the value of the buy-back commitment should be defined in a way which permits taking into account the final price of the technical assistance.
The buy-back contract must define clearly the value for which the individual implementing contracts will be applied against the buy-back purchaser's total undertaking (for instance, whether it is the FOB- or the CIF-value of the respective implementing contracts). Further, if the implementing contracts are to be invoiced in a currency other than the currency in which the aggregate value of the buy-back undertaking is set forth in the buy-back contract, the parties should agree in the said contract on the exchange rate at which the implementing contracts shall be applied against the aggregate buy-back undertaking; in doing so, they should take into account the applicable foreign exchange regulations (see also subsection 5 (d) below).
5. Price of the products
(a) Reasons for deferring the setting of prices.
In buy-back the parties to the buy-back contract could in principle agree on the prices of the products, since the parties to that contract will also be parties to the subsequent implementing contracts.
Substantial time may pass after the signing of the primary contract and the buy-back contract before commercial manufacture of products is started at the plant. During that period prices of raw materials and components may change, and the same may happen to the costs of labour. The market situation for the products may also be different when commercial production begins.
For these and similar reasons the parties to the buy-back contract may wish to leave the final agreement on the prices to be made only at the time when the individual implementing contracts are concluded.
(b) Guidelines and standards
Nevertheless, the parties to the buy-back contract may wish to set, in that contract, certain guidelines or standards to be applied when prices are subsequently determined. There are various ways in which that can be done.
Thus, reference can be made, for example, to the prices charged generally for the types of products that are similar to the products. Or the parties could refer to the price of the said types of products in the territory in which the products will be consumed or re-sold. If it can be expected that no products of the same type will be offered for sale in that territory, reference may have to be made to the fair market value of the Products themselves in the said territory.
(c) Most-favoured purchaser terms
In order to ensure that the buy-back purchaser or his assignees will not be undersold in the agreed territory due to the fact that the buy-back seller grants more advantageous conditions to other purchasers, the parties may wish to agree in the buy-back contract that the buy-back purchaser and his assignees shall be granted most-favoured purchaser conditions with regard to the buy-back products. The parties should bear in mind any relevant anti-dumping, cartel or other similar legislation.
The parties should agree in the buy-back contract on the currency in which the buy-back products shall be quoted and paid for. If the currency of payment is other than that of quotation, the parties should also agree on the method to be used when the currency of quotation is converted into the currency of payment (see also subsection 4 (c) above).
(a) Reasons for Assignment
In buy-back, both the buy-back purchaser and the buy-back seller may find it necessary to assign their rights and obligations, either entirely or partly, to a third party in particular. If the products cannot be used in-house by the buy-back purchaser, there are various alternative ways in which he can dispose of them.
For example, he can purchase the products himself and then resell them, or he can assign the buy-back obligation directly to an assignee who will then conclude implementing contracts with the buy-back seller, take delivery of the products and either use them himself or resell them. There may, of course, be occasions when the buy-back purchaser can use a part of the products himself, and perhaps resell another part, but will still need to assign the rest of the commitment to a third party.
(b) Assignment by agreement, approvals and duty to inform
If it is the common intention of the parties that assignment in some form should be possible, they should provide for this possibility in the buy-back contract. When appropriate, an approval from relevant authorities and/or financial institutions should be obtained for the assignment.
The parties may also wish to agree in the buy-back contract that if a party assigns his rights and obligations under the contract to an assignee, he must give the other party notice thereof. If they so agree, they should also include in the contract provisions on the legal consequences of a failure to give such notice.
(c) Legal effect of assignment
The legal effect of assignment is that usually all rights and obligations of the assignor with regard to the assigned portion will terminate and be vested in the assignee. Therefore, if it is the intention of the parties that the assignor will remain responsible, together with the assignee, for the fulfilment of the assigned obligations, they should include a provision to that effect in the buy-back contract.
(d) The assignee and the other party to be bound to each other
In cases where it is agreed that a party to a buy-back contract will have the right to assign some part, or the whole, of his rights and obligations to a third party, the parties should provide in the buy-back contract that the assignor shall include in his agreement with any assignee a clause whereby the assignee commits himself to be bound by the provisions of the buy-back contract with regard to the assigned portion.
To counter balance this provision, the parties may wish to agree that, again with regard to the assigned portion, the other party shall in turn become bound vis-a-vis the respective assignee.
7. Re-sale of the products
(a) Re-sale territory to be defined.
In the event that the buy-back products are to be re-sold, either by the buy-back purchaser or by an assignee, the parties to the buy-back contract may wish to consider whether they should define the territory where re-sale can take place.
(b) Rules of competition to be observed
It should be observed, however, that territorial restrictions may in certain circumstances violate national or international rules of competition, or otherwise be un-enforceable in practice. The situation should therefore be studied carefully in each individual case.
In the event that the buy-back purchaser's commitment will be discharged through implementing contracts, entered into within the framework of the buy-back contract, it is important that each implementing contract that falls into this category is indeed recognized and recorded as such. For this purpose, the buy-back contract should contain a provision stipulating that each implementing contract must explicitly refer to the buy-back contract and state that it is made in fulfilment of the buy-back contract. Such a reference will facilitate the monitoring and recording of the individual implementing contracts.
9. Terms of delivery
Usually the parties of the buy-back contract will also be the parties to the individual implementing contracts. If this is the case, they may wish to agree already in the buy-back contract on the terms of delivery to be used in the implementing contracts.
10. Time schedules for performance
(a) Commencement of delivery
Since the products will be manufactured at the buy-back seller's plant, deliveries can begin only after some time has passed from the completion of the performance test and acceptance of the equipment/technology under the primary contract. The parties should therefore define in the buy-back contract the time period that will be required for the first delivery to take place.
(b) Estimated time schedule
If the fulfilment of the buy-back commitment will be extended over a period of several years, as is often the case, the parties may not wish to agree in advance on binding yearly quotas for deliveries, but rather to create, in a form of an estimated time schedule, only a broad framework within which to operate.
(c) Actual quantities and assortments
With regard to the actual quantities and, when applicable, actual assortments, of the products, the parties may wish to agree upon a mechanism according to which these will be defined. For example, the buy-back contract could stipulate that actual quantities and assortments will be negotiated and agreed upon in individual implementing contracts. These would be concluded between the parties an agreed number of days or months before the beginning of the next delivery period (year, quarter or month).
Even if agreement on binding quantities and assortments is left for subsequent implementing contracts, the parties may wish to set out in the buy-back contract some guidelines in that respect. They might stipulate, for instance, that when actual quantities and assortments are negotiated, the buy-back purchaser's own needs for products and/or prevailing market conditions in the agreed re-sale territory will be taken into account. On the other hand, the buy-back contract might also provide for certain minimum quantities that must always be purchased and/or maximum quantities that cannot be exeeded unless both parties agree thereto.
(d) Final date
While certain flexibility in the fulfilment of the buy-back commitment may suit both parties, they may wish to include in the buy-back contract a final date by which all implementing contracts must have been concluded.
11. Lack of conformity
Since the parties to the buy-back contract will, as a rule, also be parties to the implementing contracts, and since the buy-back products are well known to them, they may wish to agree already in the buy-back contract on their respective rights and obligations in the event that the products are not in conformity with the agreed requirements. If the buy-back purchaser uses the equipment/technology to manufacture identical or similar products himself, the provisions he uses in contracts with his own customers might be used as a model when drafting the respective clauses of the buy-back contract.
(a) Terms of payment
The buy-back contract should state how and against what documents payment of deliveries under implementing contracts will be effected, whether any securities of payment will have to be arranged by the buy-back purchaser or, as the case may be, by his assignee. The buy-back contract should also define what requirements such securities of payment, if agreed upon, should fulfil as well as which of the parties will be responsible for the costs involved in the agreed payment arrangements.
(b) Escrow arrangements
In appropriate circumstances the parties might also agree on an escrow arrangement. thereby, the value of the products delivered under the primary contract - or the proceeds received from their re-sale -is placed by the original buyer on an escrow account with a bank or another third party, and is subsequently used to pay for some or all of the buy-back products.
13. Monitoring the performance
(a) Evidence accounts
The parties should agree in the buy-back contract on how the performance of the various obligations of the parties is monitored. A rather simple mechanism is that each party records those steps that are taken on his side in fulfilment of the respective obligations within the framework of the buy-back contract. Thus, in such a record (sometimes called an "evidence account") an entry could be made of each implementing contract concluded, each delivery completed, and each payment made within the framework of the buy-back contract.
(b) Assignee(s) to inform Assignor
In the event of assignment, the assignor normally has no particular interest in monitoring the fulfilment of the assigned portion; his rights and obligations with regard to that portion will have terminated (see subsection 6(d) above). However, if it is agreed that the assignor will remain, together with the assignee, responsible for the fulfilment of the buy-back obligation, the assignor should require that the assignee inform him about all implementing contracts that he concludes within the framework of the buy-back contract. If this is done, the assignor will be able to follow the development of the situation and, when called for, take appropriate measures to secure the timely fulfilment of the buy-back obligations.
(c) Evidence accounts to be compared and agreed
Since both parties to the buy-back contract should be informed of how the contract is being performed, the parties should agree in the contract that their evidence accounts will be compared and agreed upon on a regular basis. In the contract the parties could also agree that evidence accounts thus compared and agreed shall. constitute final and conclusive evidence as to the performance of their obligations under the buy-back contract.
(a) Liquidated damages
Failure by either party to fulfil his obligations under the buy-back contract may imply liability to damages. If this question is not regulated in the buy-back contract or in the implementing contract(s), disputes will be settled in accordance with the rules of the applicable law.
It may be agreed in the buy-back contract that the non-compliance by a party or his assignee with the obligations thereunder gives birth to an obligation to pay liquidated damages - i.e., damages which are determined in advance by the parties themselves in the buy-back contract. The amount of the liquidated damages can be agreed as an absolute sum of money or, as is more usual, as a given percentage of the value of that part of the buy-back commitment which has remained unfulfilled.
(b) Bank guarantee
In appropriate circumstances the parties may wish to agree that the commitment by a party, and - as the case may be - his assignee, to pay liquidated damages should be backed by a bank guarantee obtained by the party (or his assignee). If this is the case, the parties should include in the buy-back contract provisions defining the amount of the bank guarantee, the bank in which it should be obtained, and the form and content it should have.
(c) Non-fulfilment caused by the other party
It is a general principle of contract law that a party may not claim damages for non-fulfilment of the agreed obligations by the other party if such non-fulfilment is a result of a failure by the first-mentioned party to meet his own commitments under the contract.
The parties may therefore wish to underline this principle in the buy-back contract by stating that no liquidated damages will be payable by a party insofar as the lack of performance of his obligations is due to an event which the other party has caused.
15. Relief from liability
(a) Circumstances to be defined
The parties to the buy-back contract may wish to provide in their contract for those circumstances which might bring relief from liability for consequences of failure to perform contractual obligations. Where the parties fail to make such provision, the circumstances prompting relief from liability for consequences of failure to perform contractual obligations result from the law applicable to their contract.
The parties might stipulate that a party is not liable for failure to perform any of his obligations if he can prove that the failure was due to an impediment occurring after the signing of the buy-back contract, and which was beyond his control, and that he could not reasonably have been expected to have taken the impediment into account at the time of the conclusion of the contract, or to have avoided or overcome it or its consequences. Examples of such situations are: war, civil strife, interference by public authorities, fire, natural disasters, etc.
In addition to the circumstances prompting relief from liability for failure to perform contractual obligations, the contract should also specify the procedure in the event of a party invoking relief. The following items constitute the most important provisions in this respect: the party which fails to perform and which is claiming relief should, without undue delay, give notice to the other party of the commencement of the impediment and of its inability to perform its obligations; the parties should specify the consequences for failure to give such notice (for example, payment of damages); and the right to terminate the contract in the event of a protracted impediment.
16. Termination of primary contract or implementing contract
(a) Primary Contract
Since the manufacture of products is possible only in the event that the equipment/technology is successfully transferred and accepted, it is clear that if this does not happen, and the primary contract is therefore terminated, there is no basis for the implementation of the buy-back contract either. The buy-back contract should therefore stipulate that if the primary contract is subsequently terminated without the equipment/technology having been transferred and accepted, the buy-back contract shall automatically become null and void.
(b) Implementing contracts
With respect to implementing contracts, the parties should agree whether, and under what conditions, the buy-back purchaser will be deemed to have fulfilled, in spite of the termination of an implementing contract, that part of his buy-back obligation which corresponds to the value of the implementing contract so terminated, and include corresponding provisions in the buy-back contract.
17. Prior commitments, effective date, amendments, and governing language
(a) Prior commitments
The parties to the buy-back contract may wish to include therein a provision, often found in commercial contracts, stating that the contract supersedes and invalidates all other commitments or representations which the parties may have made either orally or in writing prior to the date of signature of the contract.
(b) Effective date
The parties should agree on the date on which the buy-back contract enters into force. This date may be, for example, the date of the signing of the contract. On the other hand, if the effectiveness of the buy-back contract is subject to approval by competent authorities and/or financial institutions having an interest in the matter, the parties may wish to agree that each party must notify the other of approvals obtained in their respective countries, and that the date (of the latest) of such notification(s) will be the date when the buy-back contract enters into force. Finally, the parties should provide that if such approvals are not obtained within an agreed period, each party has the right to rescind the Buy-back Contract.
The buy-back contract should stipulate that any amendments to it will be effective only if made in writing and signed by legally authorized representatives of the parties, and if approved, when applicable, by the competent authorities and/or financial institutions.
It is to be recommended that the contracts used in the buy-back transaction be drawn up in one language only. As a consequence, disagreements based merely on differences in terminology or expression are avoided. If several languages are used, it is desirable that the parties designate one of the languages used as the governing language which shall be decisive in cases of dispute. In any event, if the contract is drawn up in more than one language, the parties should endeavour to ensure that the texts are identical.
18. Applicable law
The parties should agree on the law which governs the contracts used in the buy-back transaction, and in accordance with which the contracts are to be construed.
19. Settlement of disputes
(a) Rules or institutions to be designated
With regard to any dispute or difference arising from or in connection with the interpretation or execution of the contracts used in the buy-back transaction, the parties should try to negotiate amicably before having recourse to arbitration. Should, however, the parties be unable to settle such dispute or difference, international business practice presents adequate conciliation and arbitration procedures to enable the parties to select the one appropriate to a particular case. The parties should state in the contract which arbitration rules will be applied, and/or which arbitration institution shall be competent, for the settlement of eventual disputes between them. If the parties wish to resort to ad hoc arbitration, they should specify how the arbitration court will be set up and function.
(b) Number of arbitrators to be agreed
Under many arbitration rules, the parties may agree on the number of arbitrators.
(c) Language of arbitration procedure
The parties may wish to agree on the language to be used in the arbitration procedure.
(d) Place of arbitration
The parties may wish to agree on the place where the arbitration will be held.