31 May 2017

Uganda: Buyers Not to Be Forced to Return Goods They Reject

Kampala — Buyers will be free to keep the goods sellers deliver to them in any case they, (buyers) reject them.

This is according to Clause 45 of the Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Bill,2015, a clause the Committee of the Whole House on Tuesday, May 30 voted in supported of.

"I put the question that clause 45 stands part of the bill," the chair of the Committee of the House, Jacob Oulanyah, said.

"Those in favour say 'Aye', to the contrary say 'No'. The ayes have it."

The clause provides that, "Unless otherwise agreed, where goods are delivered to the buyer, and the buyer refuses to accept them, having the right to do so, the buyer is not bound to return them to the seller..."

It says it would be enough if the buyer just informs the seller that he or she has refused to accept them.

The objective of the bill, which the House debated on Tuesday, is to provide for the formation of contracts for the sale of goods and supply of services.

It is also to provide for the performance of contracts for the sale of goods and supply of services and the remedies of the parties in a contract for the sale of goods and supply of services.

Lastly, the bill seeks to reform and replace the existing Sale of Goods Act Cap. 82.

During the Committee of the House debate on the bill, Members of Parliament (MPs) differed on clause 42, which touches on the delivery of the goods to a place other than the place of sale.

Before the clause was amended, the clause said the buyer would shoulder the risk of the deterioration of the goods in the course of transit.

Joseph Ssewungu Gonzaga, the Member of Parliament of Kalungu West, said the clause ignored the disadvantages to the buyer.

"We are only looking at the seller's advantages other than also looking at the side of the buyer," Mr Ssewungu said.

Buwuma Woman Representative Nantume Egunyu argued that where goods are delivered to a place other than that where they are sold, the buyer should not take the risk.

The Deputy Attorney-General, Mwesigwa Rukutana, concurred.

"So we substitute buyer for seller," Mr Rukutana said.

Responding to passing of the Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Bill, Trade, Industries and Cooperatives minister Amelia Kyambadde said it would streamline contracts.

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