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  • QA 010
    Question:
    Are the ECC Contract (Europe) and the GCA Contract (New York) valid for sales to markets outside Europe and North America, particularly Japan ?
    Background:
    Can sales to buyers outside Europe and/or North America be based on the European Contract for Coffee - ECC, issued by the European Coffee Federation or ECF, and/or the Green Coffee Association of New York Fob Contract - GCA? If so, how would any disputes be settled, particularly as regards quality?
    Asked by:
    An exporter in Panama
     
    Answer:

    Both ECC and GCA contracts can be used anywhere and by anyone in the coffee trade. For example some Japanese buyers may specify the GCA contract as the basis for purchases from Latin America, and the ECC contract for purchases from Africa and Asia. But, usually, such buyers will add specific clauses/conditions of their own as do indeed many larger trade houses and roasters generally. Some large exporters do the same.

    Both ECC and GCA specify that any dispute, irrespective of its basis or origin, must be settled by arbitration, i.e. not through a court of law. The CGA contract stipulates that arbitrations shall be held in New York unless a different, GCA-approved US location has been specified in the contract . ECC-based sales contracts must however state in which city any arbitration shall be held. This is so because multiple locations, in different ECF member countries, are possible. Logically, an exporter would choose the jurisdiction he or she feels most comfortable with. That consideration would probably include an assessment of how well people in a particular location may know the origin in question. For example, one might assume that arbitrators in New York are quite familiar with the quality of Mexican coffee generally, whereas arbitrators in France would probably be more familiar with the quality of Madagascar robusta.

    Go to 04, Contracts (Link below), for a complete review of both the ECC and GCA contracts and the major differences between them.
     


    Download the contracts themselves from www.ecf-coffee.org and www.green-coffee-assoc.org.

    Go to 07, Arbitration (Link below), for details of arbitration rules and procedures under both contracts.

    Posted 14 January 2005

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