The European Union (EU) has published a draft regulation on a Common European Sales Law (CESL) intended to operate on an optional basis in conjunction with national laws with respect to cross-border transactions (including transactions from states outside the EU) for the sale of goods and related services, and the provision of digital content.
This approach is intended to benefit small and medium sized enterprises which the EU sees as being disadvantaged in cross-border transactions and as part of its continuing effort to reduce barriers to the free movement of goods within the European market. The regulation proposes that CESL may be chosen to apply in business to consumer contracts (where the consumer has given informed consent), business to business contracts but not consumer to consumer contracts. The CESL is not a complete code and is intended to operate in conjunction with national laws, it will still be necessary for parties to choose the proper law for their contractual relations in addition. It seems that the proposals for the CESL may have fallen on stony ground so far as big business is concerned but time will tell whether this approach to standardization will gain any traction.