International Trade is a phenomenon, which needs to be looked at from various viewpoints. Those involved in shipping business will be concerned with those aspects of international trade which are directly related to the transportation of goods.
However, if the service they offer is to be carried out effectively it is necessary to have an understanding not only of their own requirements but also of the needs and problems which may be faced by the shippers, merchants and traders whom they service.
The whole complex structure of international seaborne trade is composed of thousands of voyages whereby goods are carried from one country to another. Each of these voyages comprises many different legal relationships.
There are Charter Parties, Contracts of Affreightment, Contracts of Agency, Contracts of Employment and contracts for the Sale of Goods. These last are the essence of International Trade. They are the reasons why the other essential relationships have come into being, and they are the reason why goods are being shipped abroad.
As a buyer in one country has bought goods from a seller in another, it is essential that we appreciate the legal implications involved since these affect many of the practical aspects of international trading.
First of all, it is necessary to identify the basic elements in a contract for the sale of goods and then consider the implications that these legal concepts have for the responsibility for insurance coverage and the payment of goods.
Concepts such as the passing of risk and property are of fundamental importance in international trade.