It is the branch of law that proposes to study standards, international commercial regulations. Globally, there is a huge amount of trade across different geographical areas, often with different practices. It is a question of seeing if there is a harmonization and how this harmonization takes place International trade law is essentially based on contract law. In other words and much more precisely, international trade and business law can be defined as that which studies international contracts.

International trade standards are developed or codified by specialized institutions among which we can mention a few in particular: – UNCITRAL (United Nations Commission on International Trade Law),  UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on International Trade and Development) and also – the International Chamber of Commerce.

The  International trade standards emanate from various sources, including: – international conventions drawn up by States within the framework of the appropriate international bodies, – international custom, – domestic laws and – international case law

The international commercial contract would certainly be one that brings into play the interests of international trade certainly by the movement of goods across borders. It is a question here of seeing in terms of contractual negotiation, which are the mentions which should necessarily appear in the contract of international trade to ensure its legal certainty.

The essential clauses must appear in an international contract. In this matter, given the significant risks, it is essential that the parties provide provisions allowing them, in the event of litigation, to properly settle their disputes. It is a matter of legal certainty. These preventive provisions also make it possible to facilitate the execution of the contract and certainly to safeguard good relations between partners.

Among these clauses we can retain a few: the clause concerning Applicable law, the clause concerning the settlement of disputes, the clause concerning the modification or revision of the contract, the currency clause, the clause concerning the language of the contract, etc. Below we explain one of them.

Applicable Law

The international contract is always necessarily attached to a State and the law which applies to this contract is commonly called the lex contractus. This law of the contract could have been chosen by the parties to the contract, in the absence of such a choice, it will be necessary to refer to the system of conflicts of laws. It is true that there are some international conventions, in particular the UNIDROIT conventions, which propose some rules of conflict. From this point of view, a distinction is often made between the law applicable in substance, the lex contractus but also the laws applicable in terms of limitation, for example.

In any event, it is this system of conflicts of laws that may allow the judge to designate the applicable law.

The uses of International Trade

The uses of international trade constitute the main source of international trade law because autonomy of will is preferred and because practitioners are very attached to their professional practices so that in absence of mandatory standards, these practices are essential. These commercial uses are quite numerous, in each activity there are some.


Mainly – when it comes to international sales, there are the INCOTERMS or International Commercial Terms. Incoterms only concern international sales of goods. An international sale is the sale of goods from one country to another country. This means that in international sales, there is always a group of contracts.

The main objectives of inconterms are established a series of optional relationships. It aims to clarify the interpretation of the main terms used in sales contracts abroad. providing operators with a technical instrument. This instrument makes it possible to eliminate the main causes of conflict and to determin the obligations and responsibilities of each party. These obligations and responsibilities relate to the shipment of the goods and the execution of the sales contract.

We will develop in other article each important point of the international trade and business law,

Notably the last point , Incoterms that are nowadays always used but still evolving. More information please contact us.