Article 15 CISG

(1)  An offer becomes effective when it reaches the offeree.

(2)  An offer, even if it is irrevocable, may be withdrawn if the withdrawal reaches the offeree before or at the same time as the offer.

I.  Overview

A.  Content and Purpose of Article 15 CISG

Article 15(1) CISG lays down the rule as to when an offer becomes effective under the CISG. Article 15(2) CISG is self-explanatory. It draws a distinction between ‘withdrawal’ before an offer becomes effective, and ‘revocation’ (Art 16 CISG) after the offer has reached the offeree.

B.  Domestic Laws

Article 15 CISG generally reflects the position held under domestic legal systems. For example, Article 15(1) CISG corresponds to the first sentence of § 130(1) BGB.

§ 130(1) BGB:56

A declaration of intention, which is to be executed vis-à-vis another party, becomes effective, to the extent that it is executed in that party’s absence, at the point in time in which it is received by that other party. […]

Article 15(2) CISG also shows considerable similarities with the second sentence of § 130(1) BGB.

§ 130(1) BGB:57

[…] It [the declaration of intention] does not become effective if the other party receives a revocation earlier or simultaneously.

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