Seller’s Late Performance
Contractual relations are based on the presumption that the seller will deliver the agreed goods to the buyer at the agreed time and in the agreed manner. If this does not happen, the seller’s performance is delayed. Delays are primarily assessed on the basis of the contract, but if no contract exists or there is a gap in the contract, the Sale of Goods Act is applied.
According to the Sale of Goods Act the goods are generally delivered when the goods have been handed over to the buyer. It is advisable to agree the time of delivery in the contract. If the parties have not agreed the time of delivery the goods has to be delivered within reasonable time after the conclusion of the contract.
A delay occurs when the contractually agreed time for performance has expired, but the performance has not been fulfilled. The seller’s performance is delayed as soon as the time for the performance expires. If nothing has been agreed in respect of sanctions for delayed performance, then the provisions of the Sale of Goods Act are applied to the seller’s liability and delay. The sanctions contained in the Act are quite strict, making drafting detailed and clear contracts sensible.
The buyer does not have to demand performance by the seller if the time of delivery has been agreed in advance. The seller’s liability for delayed performance does not require fault on the part of the seller. The seller is, however, not responsible for a delay if it is caused by a reason attributable to the buyer.