The Dutch companies DEPT and JC RAGS ordered the supply of jeans by the Portuguese company SICI 93 Braga. This company had the jeans manufactured in Brazil.
Due to earlier conflicts between the Dutch companies and the Brazilian manufacturer, the actual manufacturing of the jeans was delayed. Because of this the fatal date of delivery of the jeans was also delayed. The jeans were accepted by DEPT and JC RAGS and delivered to shops in order to be sold. But because of the late date of delivery DEPT and JC RAGS refused to pay for the delivered jeans. SICI had to go to a Dutch court to get DEPT and JC RAGS to have to pay the invoices. Parties discussed about the agreed date of delivery.
The court in ‘s-Hertogenbosch ruled that even when goods are delivered too late, the invoices have to be paid. Because SICI disputed that the goods were delivered too late, SICI got the opportunity to prove that such a delivery date was agreed, that the goods were not delivered too late. DEPT and JC RAGS claimed damages because of the late delivery and wanted to compensate their damages with the invoices. The court gave DEPT and JC RAGS the opportunity to prove their damages because of the late delivery.
The court heard witnesses. Then the court ruled that SICI had not succeeded in proving that a new date of delivery was agreed. SICI had agreed the new date with the agent of DEPT and JC RAGS but the agent had not communicated this new date with DEPT and JC RAGS.
The court also ruled that DEPT and JC RAGS had not succeeded in proving that they suffered damages because of the late delivery. DEPT and JC RAGS already agreed upon a later date of delivery than originally agreed. Because of this the customers of DEPT and JC RAGS already had damages and it was not proven that the claimed damages were the direct result of the delivery later than the date agreed with SICI.
Because of this the court ruled that DEPT and JC RAGS have to pay SICI the invoices, added with interest and legal fees.
Lessons to be learnt:
- Make sure all agreements on delivery dates are put on paper and confirmed by the customer.
- When goods are not delivered in time, in principal the invoices have to be paid unless damages resulting from the late delivery are proven.
For more information please contact:
Jos van der Wijst
Tel: +31 (0) 411 657521