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How to avoid quality disputes in international trade

It is a common in international trade for the buyer to ask for discounts, return goods, default on payment and even counterclaim on the grounds of quality problems. How to avoid or reduce quality disputes in international trade.

1.Agreed quality standards

The basis for preventing quality disputes is that the buyer and the seller have understanding or definition of quality standards. Therefore, having a clear agreement on product quality standards in the trade contract can reduce the occurrence of quality disputes; Even if disputes arise, there are standards to refer to. In terms of specific agreement methods, for products with international (National) standards or industrial standards, it can be agreed that the standards shall be the quality standards; For commodities without international (National) standards or industrial standards, samples can be agreed as quality standards. Samples should be sealed and retained.

2.Agreed quality inspection methods

On the basis of the quality standards agreed in the contract, the relevant issue of quality inspection shall also be agreed, including the time of quality inspection, inspection method, inspection effectiveness, etc. for example, inspection of SGS before shipment (time) shall be agreed as the final quality inspection.

3.Try to inspect before export

Pre export inspection may include inspection by the buyer or a third party entrusted by the buyer, or inspection by an inspection institution jointly designated by the buyer and the seller.

4.Set quality objection period

Of course, the setting of quality objection period should be reasonable to ensure that the buyer has a reasonable time to inspect the goods. Unreasonable and too short quality objection period will not necessarily be recognized by the court.

5.Agreed solutions to quality problems

In practice, many buyers refuse to pay or ask for return because parts of the goods in the whole order are unqualified. If the consequences of unqualified quality are not clearly agreed in the contract, it is often the buyer’s temporary payment or even rejection.

6. Agreed arbitration clause

If quality disputes cannot be negotiated, they often have to choose litigation or arbitration in the end. Compared with litigation, arbitration is simple and fast, and its results are more enforceable.

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