98 Lex ET Scientia. Juridical Series
LESIJ NO. XVIII, VOL. 1/2011
agent for particular commercial affairs between particular partners or on behalf of another person
(client), in exchange for payment. This particularity gives the contracts, based on legal relations of
commercial intermediation, an onerous feature1.
Generically, intermediation contracts are contracts for services, the intermediation activity
carried out under such contracts favour, especially commercially speaking, the exchange of goods
and in general economic development.
b) Origin of commercial intermediation
The origin of commercial intermediation is to be found in the Middle Ages, when it was
used every day for carrying out commerce practised at distance. In the 10th and 12th centuries in
Italy and in Northern Europe drafts similar to those of the nowadays contract of commission
appeared. Commerce at distance carried out on a daily basis by frequent exchanges occurring in
European medieval fairs, represented the premise for the first forms of intermediation.
The fast-paced development of commercial transactions, occurring throughout Renaissance,
lead to the necessity of adapting commercial transactions, in view of traders cooperating and
improving the actual means of exchanging goods.
It was during this period that the commercial mandate was born2. However, along with it,
as an expression of the expansion of the principle of free commerce, especially international
commerce3, other types of intermediation were encountered more and more often, similar to the
nowadays commission and agency contracts.
Indeed, the ever higher complexity of the concluded operations and the obstacles, given the
large geographical areas in which such commercial relations arose, along with the language and
culture barriers and the significant differences in terms of laws, lead throughout time to the
necessity of discovering some advantageous methods for traders to enter and expand in markets
from other states, in order to conclude international contracts under easy terms and to maintain
durable economic connections4. One method which was frequently resorted to as a result of
international commerce developing was the execution of intermediation contracts namely contracts
Once with the development of international commerce, a tradesman entering a foreign
market in which he could sell his goods had to be done, via persons they knew on the local market,
who had earned their trust and were prestigious, thus procuring the popularization and personal
guarantee of their products5. The persons in question, who became the intermediaries under the
conventions they executed with foreign tradesmen, carried out the required precedent operations
and effectively executed commercial contracts in their own name or on behalf of clients; the
effects of such contracts reflected upon foreign tradesmen.
1 See R. Munteanu, Intermediation contracts in Romanian foreign commerce (Contracte de intermediere în
comerYul exterior al României), Printing House of the Academy of the Romanian Socialist Republic, 1984, p. 138.
2 See F.A. Moiu, Commercial intermediation contracts without representation (Contractele comerciale de
intermediere fr reprezentare), Lumina Lex Printing House, Bucharest, 2005, p. 24-25.
3 For a more detailed analysis of the principle of free commerce, see Dragoş A. Sitaru, International Commerce
Law. Treaty. General Part (Dreptul comerYului internaYional. Tratat. Partea general), Universul Juridic Printing
House, Bucharest, 2008, p. 20-24.
4 V. Anghelescu, Al. Deteşanu, E. Hutira, International Commercial Contracts (Contracte comerciale
internaYionale), Printing House of the Academy of the Romanian Socialist Republic, Bucharest, 1980, p. 106-113.
5 See R. Petrescu, General theory of commercial obligations. General Part (Teoria general a obligaYiilor
comerciale. Partea general), Romfel Printing House, Bucharest, 1994, p. 185.