Inspection of Goods in Contracts in Japan

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With regard to inspection of goods in contracts in Japan, a major problem arises in purchase and sales agreements when the seller and buyer are not clear on the products that are to change hands.  The seller may ship a certain quality and quantity of products that he or she thinks the buyer wants, when in fact the buyer actually was hoping for something completely different.

In these cases it is always best for the buyer to inspect products upon receipt.  However, whether the buyer has an obligation to do so depends on the terms of the contract or whether the buyer is an experienced merchant or a normal person.  Merchants are held to a higher standard under the law and often required to check products that they purchase to make sure that the delivery meets with their expectations.

It is important for an inspection clause in a sale of goods contract to very clearly define the standard for inspection including the requirement for quality and quantity of the products being delivered. This is essential so that the parties can know what exact requirements must be met in order for the buyer to be able to reject a shipment. In the case that such a clause is unclear, it can give rise to a dispute between the buyer and seller, which could potentially lead to litigation.

It is also important to clearly state the type of recourse a buyer may have if the product shipped is rejected upon inspection. Many contract contain remedies ranging from a refund of the product price, replacement t of defective products or a re-shipment to account for any shortfall.

If you have any questions about purchase and sales agreements or inspection of goods in contracts in Japan, please contact our office for a legal consultation with one of our lawyers.