Exemption from liability according to the art. 79 of the Convention
on International Sale of Goods (CISG)
PhD. Tugce ORAL1
Unlike other international documents with r egards to internationa l sa le of goods,
impediments providing an exemption from liability to the promisor are regulated broad ly in
Art. 79 of the CISG in or der to ensure uniformity, which is the main objective of th e
Convention. Within this framework, this p aper first d eals with the spher e of application of
Art. 79 CISG followed by the prerequisites for exemption of liability under Art. 79.
Evaluating the impediment in this context, it is discussed whether cases of har dship would
benefit from the protection provided by the Art. 79 along with ca ses of force majeure.
Subsequently, liability for thir d persons, temporary impediments, and consequences of
exemption are ana lyzed.
Keywords: exemption from lia bility, Art. 79 CISG, force majeur e, hard ship,
exemption under CISG.
JEL Classification: K22, K33
Art. 79 CISG regulates under which circumstances the party that does not
perform its obligations can be exempt from which liabilities. In this regard, in Art.
79 (1), the characteristics of the impediment that the parties experience; in Art. 79
(2) exemption from liability in the case of the party's failure is due to the failure by
a third person; in Art. 79 (3), the duration of the effectiveness of this Article; in Art.
79 (4), the burden of giving notice and in Art. 79 (5), the effects of exoneration from
liability is regulated.
As the other international conventions, since it was aimed to create a uniform
regulation, the “impediment” in Art. 79, is totally different from the nations’ law
systems. Besides, differently from the other international regulations, the effect of
the exemption from liability was determined as the exoneration from liability for
2. Sphere of application of art. 79 CISG
The application of Art. 79 CISG depends on some occasions between the
parties. With the materialization of these occasions, the exemption can be possible
due to Art. 79 CISG only if the other conditions become fact.
Firstly, the party can be exempt from liability under Art. 79, if it has not
fulfilled or not properly performed its contractual obligations. Since the CISG has a
1 Tugce Oral - Faculty of Law, Ankara University, Turkey, firstname.lastname@example.org.