Arbitration proceedings under Einheitsbedingungen (Unified Contract Terms in Cereal Trade)

Contracts concluded on the basis of “Einheitsbedingungen im Deutschen Getreidehandel”, Unified Contract Terms for the German Cereals Trade, are subject to arbitration.

Lawyers at O&W are specialists for arbitral proceedings under the Unified Contract Terms for the Cereals Trade. We can act on your behalf before all the German arbitration tribunals, should you have contract disputes with Einheitsbedingungen/Unified Contract Terms.

Arbitral proceedings under German Einheitsbedingungen

Pursuant to § 1 of the Unified Contract Terms disputes arising from the agreements have to be settled by an arbitration tribunal of a German grain and produce exchange (commodity exchange or exchange association). It is not possible, therefore, to bring such disputes before the public courts. Often this is an advantage because it is possible to reach quick results with arbitration proceedings as the decisions are made by arbitrators who are well-acquainted with the peculiarities of agricultural trade.

The parties are free to name the arbitration tribunal that has to decide the case on their own. If such an agreement is not concluded, the arbitration committee in question is named in accordance with the Unified Contract Terms:

  • Should both sides be members of the same grain and produce exchange, their arbitral tribunal has jurisdiction.
  • Should they be member of more than one grain and produce exchange, it is up to the seller to choose one.
  • For all other cases the seller is entitled to determine the arbitral tribunal. If he does not name one within three working days, then this right passes to the buyer.

The arbitral proceedings are in accordance with the rules of arbitration of the tribunal in question. In Hamburg, for instance, the rules of arbitration for the arbitral tribunal of the Verein der Getreidehändler der Hamburger Börse e.V. are applied. In these rules of arbitration the composition of the arbitration committee is mentioned, how to proceed is laid down, the costs are fixed and it is mentioned what has to be done, if it is necessary to name an umpire.