I was recently fortunate in that a client came to visit me about a case involving the purchase of technical equipment. The products were purchased in an EC country, with their EC regulatory certificates of conformity and corresponding invoice. Up to this point, all fine. The customer’s problem was that these products need ministry authorization for their approval in Spain, despite being a product purchased within the EC.
The response from the client was clear: company X in country Y has sold me the product, therefore approval has to be sought by the seller.
Analyzing the purchase of the equipment and the transport system, we took note that the products acquired were EXWS, which also means that the goods were purchased in the country of manufacture, so the customer assumes all transport risks, as well as product entry into the country. So, what importance does this have in this case? asked my client. And the answer is clear. That my client was not sold the products in Spain, but he bought them in an EC country of origin and therefore he must undertake any breaches of Spanish law, even though the formal documentation with CE certificates are in effect.
It is therefore very important to always, always, have the contractual terms of trade agreements very clear and, in law, to not take anything as trivial or inconsequential, because, at some point you will become aware of its importance. If my client had employed another type of clause, if the products had been purchased in Spain, then he would not have had any responsibility.
Does it offset the cost of consultation and subsequent advice, resources and ultimately a possible penalty? From our point of view, always.