GENERAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS
§1 Scope, Form
(1) These General Terms and Conditions of Sale (T&C) shall apply to all our business relations with our customers (“buyer”). The T&C shall only apply if the buyer is an entrepreneur (§ 14 BGB (German Civil Code)), a legal entity under public law or a special fund under public law.
(2) The T&C apply in particular to contracts for the sale and/or delivery of movable goods (“goods”), irrespective of whether we manufacture the goods ourselves or purchase them from suppliers (§§ 433, 651 BGB (German Civil Code)). Unless otherwise agreed, the T&C in the version valid at the time of the buyer’s order or, in any case, in the version last notified to the buyer in text form shall also apply as a framework agreement for similar future contracts without us having to refer to them again in each individual case.
(3) Our T&C shall apply exclusively. Deviating, conflicting or supplementary General Terms and Conditions of the buyer shall only become part of the contract if and to the extent that we have expressly consented to their application. This requirement of consent shall apply in any case, for example even if we carry out the delivery to the buyer without reservation in the knowledge of the buyer’s T&C.
(4) Individual agreements made with the buyer in individual cases (including ancillary agreements, supplements and amendments) shall in any case take precedence over these GTC. Subject to proof to the contrary, a written contract or our written confirmation shall be authoritative for the content of such agreements.
(5) Legally relevant declarations and notifications by the buyer with regard to the contract (e.g. setting of deadlines, notification of defects, withdrawal or reduction) shall be made in written or text form (e.g. letter, e-mail, fax). Legal formal requirements and further proof, in particular in the case of doubts about the legitimacy of the person making the declaration, shall remain unaffected.
(6) References to the applicability of statutory provisions shall only have a clarifying significance. Even without such clarification, the statutory provisions shall therefore apply unless they are directly amended or expressly excluded in these T&C.
§2 Conclusion of Contract
(1) Our offers are subject to change and non-binding. This shall also apply if we have provided the buyer with catalogs, technical documentation (e.g. calculations, recipe suggestions), other product descriptions or documents – also in electronic form – to which we reserve ownership rights and copyrights.
(2) The order of the goods by the buyer shall be deemed to be a binding offer of contract. Unless otherwise stated in the order, we shall be entitled to accept this contractual offer within 7 days of its receipt by us.
(3) Acceptance may be declared either in writing (e.g. by order confirmation) or by delivery of the goods to the buyer.
§3 Delivery time and Delay in Delivery
(1) The delivery time shall be agreed individually or stated by us upon acceptance of the order. If this is not the case, the delivery period shall be between one and three weeks from the conclusion of the contract.
(2) If we are unable to meet binding delivery deadlines for reasons for which we are not responsible (non-availability of goods and/or services), we shall inform the buyer of this without delay and at the same time inform him of the expected new delivery time. If the service and/or goods are also not available within the new delivery period, we shall be entitled to withdraw from the contract in whole or in part; we shall immediately refund any consideration already paid by the buyer. A case of non-availability of the service and/or goods in this sense shall be deemed to be in particular the failure of our supplier to deliver on time if we have concluded a congruent hedging transaction, neither we nor our supplier are at fault or we are not obliged to procure in the individual case.
(3) The occurrence of our delay in delivery shall be determined in accordance with the statutory provisions. In any case, however, a reminder by the buyer shall be required. If we are in default of delivery, the buyer may demand lump-sum compensation for the damage caused by the default. We reserve the right to prove that the buyer has not suffered any damage at all or that the damage is significantly lower.
(4) The rights of the buyer pursuant to § 8 of these T&C and our statutory rights, in particular in the event of an exclusion of the obligation to perform (e.g. due to impossibility or unreasonableness of performance and/or subsequent performance), shall remain unaffected.
§4 Delivery, Transfer of Risk, Acceptance, Default of Acceptance
(1) Delivery shall be made ex warehouse, which is also the place of performance for the delivery and any subsequent performance. At the buyer’s request and expense, the goods shall be shipped to another destination (sale by delivery to a place other than the place of performance). Unless otherwise agreed, we shall be entitled to determine the type of shipment (in particular transport company, shipping route, packaging) ourselves.
(2) The risk of accidental loss and accidental deterioration of the goods shall pass to the buyer upon handover at the latest. In the case of sale by delivery to a place other than the place of performance, however, the risk of accidental loss and accidental deterioration of the goods as well as the risk of delay shall pass to the forwarding agent, the carrier or any other person or institution designated to carry out the shipment upon delivery of the goods to the buyer. If acceptance has been agreed, this shall be decisive for the transfer of risk. In all other respects, the statutory provisions of the law on contracts for work and services shall also apply mutatis mutandis to an agreed acceptance. The handover or acceptance shall be deemed equivalent if the buyer is in default of acceptance.
(3) If the buyer is in default of acceptance, fails to cooperate or if our delivery is delayed for other reasons for which the buyer is responsible, we shall be entitled to claim compensation for the resulting damage including additional expenses (e.g. storage costs). Our statutory claims (in particular compensation for additional expenses, reasonable compensation, termination) shall remain unaffected; the purchaser shall be entitled to prove that we have incurred no damage at all or only significantly less damage than the aforementioned lump sum.
§5 Prices and Terms of Payment
(1) Unless otherwise agreed in individual cases, our current prices at the time of conclusion of the contract (i.e. the most recently offered prices) shall apply, ex warehouse, plus statutory VAT.
(2) In the case of sale by delivery to a place other than the place of performance (§ 4 (1)), the buyer shall bear the transport costs ex warehouse and the costs of any transport insurance requested by the buyer. Any customs duties, fees, taxes and other public charges shall be borne by the buyer.
(3) The purchase price shall be due and payable within 30 days from the date of invoice and delivery or acceptance of the goods. However, we shall be entitled at any time, even within the framework of an ongoing business relationship, to make a delivery in whole or in part only against advance payment. We shall declare a corresponding reservation at the latest with the order confirmation.
(4) Upon expiry of the aforementioned payment deadline, the buyer shall be in default. During the period of default, interest shall be charged on the purchase price at the applicable statutory default interest rate. We reserve the right to assert further damage caused by default. With respect to merchants, our claim to the commercial due date interest rate (§ 353 HGB (German Commercial Code)) shall remain unaffected.
(5) The buyer shall only be entitled to rights of set-off or retention to the extent that its claim has been finally adjudicated or is undisputed. In the event of defects in the delivery, the buyer’s counter rights shall remain unaffected, in particular pursuant to § 7 (6) sentence 2 of these T&C.
(6) If, after conclusion of the contract, it becomes apparent (e.g. by filing for insolvency proceedings) that our claim to the purchase price is jeopardized by the buyer’s inability to pay, we shall be entitled to refuse performance in accordance with the statutory provisions and – if necessary after setting a deadline – to withdraw from the contract (§ 321 BGB (German Civil Code)). In the case of contracts for the manufacture of unjustifiable items (custom-made products), we may declare withdrawal immediately; the statutory provisions on the dispensability of setting a deadline shall remain unaffected.
§6 Reservation of Ownership
(1) Until full payment of all our present and future claims arising from the purchase contract and an ongoing business relationship (secured claims), we retain title to the goods sold.
(2) The goods subject to retention of title may neither be pledged to third parties nor assigned as security before full payment of the secured claims. The purchaser must notify us immediately in writing if an application is made to open insolvency proceedings or if third parties (e.g. seizures) have access to the goods belonging to us.
(3) In the event of conduct by the Buyer in breach of contract, in particular in the event of non-payment of the purchase price due, we shall be entitled to withdraw from the contract in accordance with the statutory provisions and/or to demand surrender of the goods on the basis of the retention of title. The demand for return does not at the same time include the declaration of withdrawal; we are rather entitled to demand only the return of the goods and to reserve the right of withdrawal. If the purchaser does not pay the purchase price due, we may only assert these rights if we have previously set the purchaser a reasonable deadline for payment without success or if setting such a deadline is dispensable according to the statutory provisions.
(4) Until revoked in accordance with (c) below, the buyer shall be authorized to resell and/or process the goods subject to retention of title in the ordinary course of business. In this case, the following provisions shall apply in addition:
a) The retention of title shall extend to the products resulting from the processing, mixing or combining of our goods at their full value, whereby we shall be deemed to be the manufacturer. If, in the event of processing, mixing or combining with goods of third parties, their right of ownership remains, we shall acquire co-ownership in proportion to the invoice values of the processed, mixed or combined goods. Otherwise, the same shall apply to the resulting product as to the goods delivered under retention of title.
b) The buyer hereby assigns to us by way of security all claims against third parties arising from the resale of the goods or the product in total or in the amount of our co-ownership share, if any, in accordance with the preceding paragraph. We accept the assignment. The obligations of the buyer stated in paragraph 2 shall also apply in respect of the assigned claims.
c) The purchaser shall remain authorized to collect the claim in addition to us. We undertake not to collect the claim as long as the buyer meets his payment obligations towards us, there is no deficiency in his ability to pay and we do not assert the retention of title by exercising a right pursuant to paragraph 3. If this is the case, however, we may demand that the buyer informs us of the assigned claims and their debtors, provides all information necessary for collection, hands over the relevant documents and informs the debtors (third parties) of the assignment. Furthermore, in this case we shall be entitled to revoke the buyer’s authorization to further sell and process the goods subject to retention of title.
d) If the realizable value of the securities exceeds our claims by more than 10%, we shall release securities of our choice at the buyer’s request.
§7 Claims for Defects of the Buyer
(1) The statutory provisions shall apply to the buyer’s rights in the event of material defects and defects of title (including wrong delivery and short delivery), unless otherwise stipulated below. In all cases, the special statutory provisions shall remain unaffected in the case of final delivery of the goods to a consumer (supplier recourse pursuant to §§ 478, 479 BGB (German Civil Code)).
(2) The basis of our liability for defects is above all the agreement reached on the quality of the goods. All product descriptions which are the subject of the individual contract or which have been made public by us (in particular in catalogs, product descriptions, data sheets or on our Internet homepage) shall be deemed to be an agreement on the quality of the goods.
(3) Insofar as the quality of the goods has not been agreed, it shall be assessed in accordance with the statutory regulation whether a defect exists or not (§ 434 paragraph 1 sentence 2 and 3 BGB (German Civil Code)). However, we do not assume any liability for public statements made by the manufacturer or other third parties (e.g. advertising statements).
(4) The purchaser’s claims for defects presuppose that he has fulfilled his statutory obligations to inspect and give notice of defects (§§ 377, 381 HGB (German Commercial Code)). If a defect becomes apparent during delivery, inspection or at any later time, we must be notified of this in writing without delay. In any case, obvious defects shall be notified to us in writing within 5 working days from delivery and defects not apparent upon inspection within the same period from discovery. If the purchaser fails to carry out the proper inspection and/or to give notice of defects, our liability for the defect not notified in time or not notified properly shall be excluded in accordance with the statutory provisions.
(5) If the delivered item is defective, we may initially choose whether to provide subsequent performance by remedying the defect (rectification) or by delivering an item free of defects (replacement). Our right to refuse subsequent performance under the statutory conditions shall remain unaffected.
(6) We shall be entitled to make the subsequent performance owed dependent on the buyer paying the purchase price due. However, the buyer shall be entitled to retain a reasonable part of the purchase price in relation to the defect.
(7) The purchaser shall give us the time and opportunity required for the subsequent performance owed, in particular to hand over the goods complained about for inspection purposes. In the event of a replacement delivery, the purchaser shall return the defective item to us in accordance with the statutory provisions.
(8) We shall bear the expenses necessary for the purpose of inspection and subsequent performance, in particular transport, travel, labor and material costs, if a defect is actually present. Otherwise, we may demand reimbursement from the purchaser of the costs incurred as a result of the unjustified request for rectification of the defect (in particular inspection and transport costs), unless the lack of defectiveness was not apparent to the purchaser.
(9) In urgent cases, e.g. if operational safety is endangered or to prevent disproportionate damage, the buyer shall have the right to remedy the defect himself and to demand reimbursement from us of the expenses objectively necessary for this purpose. We are to be informed immediately of such a self-remedy, if possible in advance. The right of self-execution shall not exist if we would be entitled to refuse a corresponding subsequent performance according to the statutory provisions.
(10) If the supplementary performance has failed or a reasonable period to be set by the purchaser for the supplementary performance has expired unsuccessfully or is dispensable according to the statutory provisions, the purchaser may withdraw from the purchase contract or reduce the purchase price. In the case of an insignificant defect, however, there is no right of withdrawal.
(11) Claims of the purchaser for damages or reimbursement of futile expenses shall also exist in the case of defects only in accordance with § 8 and are otherwise excluded.
§8 Other Liabilities
(1) Insofar as nothing to the contrary arises from these T&C including the following provisions, we shall be liable in accordance with the statutory provisions in the event of a breach of contractual and non-contractual obligations.
(2) We shall be liable for damages – irrespective of the legal grounds – within the scope of fault liability in the event of intent and gross negligence. In the case of simple negligence, we shall be liable, subject to a milder standard of liability in accordance with statutory provisions (e.g. for care in own affairs) only
a) for damages resulting from injury to life, body or health,
b) for damages resulting from a not insignificant breach of a material contractual obligation (obligation, of which the fulfillment the proper execution of the contract in the first place and on the observance of which the contractual partner regularly relies and may rely on); in this case, however, our liability shall be limited to compensation for the foreseeable, typically occurring damage.
(3) The limitations of liability resulting from paragraph 2 shall also apply to breaches of duty by or in favor of persons whose fault we are responsible for according to statutory provisions. They shall not apply insofar as we have fraudulently concealed a defect or have assumed a guarantee for the quality of the goods and for claims of the buyer under the Product Liability Act.
(4) Due to a breach of duty which does not consist of a defect, the buyer may only withdraw from or terminate the contract if we are responsible for the breach of duty. A free right of termination of the buyer (in particular according to §§ 651, 649 BGB (German Civil Code)) is excluded. In all other respects, the statutory requirements and legal consequences shall apply.
§9 Statutes of Limitation
(1) Notwithstanding Section 438 (1) No. 3 BGB (German Civil Code), the general limitation period for claims arising from material defects and defects of title shall be one year from delivery. Insofar as acceptance has been agreed, the limitation period shall commence upon acceptance.
(2) Further special statutory provisions on the limitation period (in particular § 438 (1) no. 1, (3), §§ 444, 479 BGB (German Civil Code)) shall remain unaffected.
(3) The above limitation periods of the law on sales shall also apply to contractual and non-contractual claims for damages of the buyer based on a defect of the goods, unless the application of the regular statutory limitation period (§§ 195, 199 BGB (German Civil Code)) would lead to a shorter limitation period in individual cases. However, claims for damages of the buyer pursuant to § 8 (2) sentence 1 and sentence 2(a) as well as pursuant to the Product Liability Act shall become time-barred exclusively in accordance with the statutory limitation periods.
§10 Choice of Law and Place of Jurisdiction
(1) The law of the Federal Republic of Germany shall apply to these T&C and the contractual relationship between us and the buyer. The international uniform law, in particular the UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods are excluded.
(2) If the buyer is a merchant within the meaning of the German Commercial Code, a legal entity under public law or a special fund under public law, the exclusive – also international – place of jurisdiction for all disputes arising directly or indirectly from the contractual relationship shall be our registered office in Nördlingen, Germany. The same shall apply if the buyer is an entrepreneur within the meaning of §14 BGB (German Civil Code). However, we shall also be entitled in all cases to bring an action at the place of performance of the delivery obligation pursuant to these T&C or a prior individual agreement or at the general place of jurisdiction of the buyer. Overriding statutory provisions, in particular on exclusive jurisdiction, shall remain unaffected.