Current issue: 53(4)
This study concentrates on claims made against Finnish shippers or referred to arbitration by foreign buyers. The material is collected from two inquiries on claims and arbitrations, sent by the Finnish Sawmill Owners’ Association to Finnish sawmills engaged to exportation in 1954 and 1958.
On average the claims concerned about 5% of the sawn goods exported from Finland. They affected about 3% of the deliveries from the large sawmills, 10% of the deliveries of medium-sized sawmills and 15–20% of the small sawmills. In large consignments of raw material, variations in quality are not so marked as in smaller ones. Also, the grading of goods is stricter in the larger sawmills, and as they have well-established business relations, they have better opportunities to select goods with a view to demand of the buyer and the marketing areas.
The ratio of goods claimed was least in exports to remote countries, on the Western European markets in exports to Great Britain and the Netherlands. In Belgium, the ratio was high. In 1954 and 1958 approximately 12% of the claims were referred to arbitration. The bigger the sawmills, then on average the smaller the ratio of cases of arbitration in the number of claims. In Belgium, disputes have had to be settled by arbitration most frequently. Over 90% of the claims were made because of defects in quality or condition. About 5% were in respect of the specification of dimensions, and only 5% were related to other reasons than the good themselves. The sums paid for claims connected to the goods in 1958 represented only 54% of those demanded by the buyers. It would perhaps be advisable to consider the formulation of generally acceptable rules of the grading of export timber according to categories of shippers with definition of the minimum standard for each grade.
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