19 Apr 2011

What are “goods” is one of the critical issues which lie at the heart of the Commercial Agents Regulations.

The Regulations apply to agents who negotiate the sale or purchase of goods on behalf of their principals. But notably, “goods” are not defined by the Regulations.

There is some case law (of questionable quality) that insurance and satellite television services fall outside of the Regulations. Conversely, there is better case law that gas and electricity are goods.

But what of transportation? The decision some years ago in Pace left open the possibility that cargo space on aircraft could be “goods” for the purpose of the Regulations. If air, what of sea cargo? Could shipping agents find that, after much uncertainty, they are protected by the Regulations?

Certainly, the national laws of other EU member states have not encountered the same difficulties in resolving this issue. Hopefully the position of shipping agents and other agents involved in “services” can be resolved soon.

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