Court construes ‘Notices’ provision in GAFTA 64 contract

The decision in Soufflet Negoce SA v Fedcominvest Europe SARL provides helpful guidance on the construction of the ‘Notices’ provision in GAFTA 64 (general contract for grain in bulk FOB terms).

The court upheld the GAFTA Board of Appeal award, which found that the provision in the contract, whereby any notice received after 16:00 hours on a business day would be deemed to have been received the following day, applied only in the case of resales and repurchases (which was not the case here).

The commercial reality is that, in those cases, it is particularly important that notices up or down the chain are served without delay because intermediary sellers or buyers in the chain may otherwise be prejudiced if the notice is not received in time to be passed on…

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