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These General Terms & Conditions of Trade (hereinafter referred to as “GTCs”) apply to all deliveries and other services we perform for companies as natural persons, legal entities or partnerships having legal capacity within the meaning of Section 14 German Civil Code acting in pursuit of their salaried or independent occupations as well as for legal entities and special assets under public law within the meaning of Section 310 (1) German Civil Code (hereinafter referred to as the “Customer”). Our GTCs also apply to any future business relationships, even if no explicit reference is made thereto.
Any changes or additions as well as any contractual terms issued by the Customer that conflict with or differ from these provisions shall only be valid if we have expressly consented to them in writing. If the Customer is not in agreement with this, then they are required to inform us of same in writing without delay. The following GTCs shall also apply in the event of our unconditionally completing an order for the Customer knowing that they have imposed conflicting or differing terms and conditions.
Any changes made to these GTCs shall at the very least be notified to the Customer by email. Should the Customer not object to such changes within four weeks of receiving notification thereof, they shall be deemed agreed. The Customer’s attention will be specifically drawn to their right of objection and the legal consequences of non-response whenever changes are made to these GTCs. In the event of an objection being lodged in good time, the original provisions shall remain in force unaltered.
The subject of contracts shall be a given service and/or product ordered by the Customer having the features and dimensions set out in our product description or catalogues respectively. The illustrations in our catalogues provide general product information in purely pictorial form and lay no claim to completeness or correctness.
We shall provide price quotes without obligation unless they have been expressly designated as being binding or formally submitted. Any contract shall only take effect upon our having confirmed a job in writing.
A Customer’s order shall be rendered void if it is not confirmed by us in writing within three weeks of receipt.
Where we issue recommendations regarding the use of our products, we shall do so to the best of our knowledge. Given the wide range of possible uses, differing requirements and specific conditions of use, however, we can assume no liability for the suitability of a product for any one possible use unless we have explicitly warranted such suitability in writing. The Customer is in all cases obliged to verify the product’s suitability for its intended use for themselves as well as to ensure by consulting with, for instance, architects and tradespeople, or by commissioning same, that any building and safety regulations are complied with.
The Customer is responsible for the correctness of any documents provided for the purpose of fulfilling a contract such as, notably, drawings, locking plan specifications and specimens.
The Customer shall ensure that we obtain the rights required to use the material referred to in Subsection 4.1 above. To this end, they shall vouch for the fact that they have the requisite rights to the material assigned to us. Where the Customer does not enjoy the requisite rights to use documents assigned to us, they shall notify us of this upon handing them over. In the event of copyright being violated through use of the material entrusted to us, the Customer shall indemnify us against all third-party claims.
The Customer is obliged to notify us of any changes to their company name, domicile, proprietor status or financial standing without delay – in writing where at all possible.
Any faults arising are to be documented by authorised members of the Customer’s staff in text form (e.g. email) – later on in the event of a matter initially being reported by telephone – to the best of their ability and in as clear a manner as possible citing the circumstances surrounding how the faults came about, their consequences and – to the extent that the Customer is in a position to provide information on this – their possible causes and to notify us as soon as the faults are detected.
Where activities due and owing from us are to be accepted, the Customer is required to declare their acceptance to us in writing without delay as soon as said activities due and owing from us have been essentially performed or we request that they be taken delivery of. Acceptance can be refused in the event of there being serious shortcomings. Any shortcomings discovered are to be remedied by ourselves without culpable delay. Acceptance is deemed to have occurred if the Customer does not specify the reasons for refusing acceptance in writing within seven days of the service essentially having been performed or our request for acceptance having been submitted. Acceptance is likewise deemed to have occurred if the Customer makes use of the services we have performed by, for instance, initiating their productive deployment.
Customers active as retailers are obliged to check the content of orders placed by their own end-customers (parties to contracts with them) even in the event of the advice given to said end-customers having come from us.
Scope and execution of the deliveries or services due and owing from us shall be as defined in the order confirmation / confirmed price quote.
Delivery dates and periods shall only be binding if they have at least been agreed in text form (email). Delivery periods shall begin on the day order confirmation is dispatched. In the case of electronic products, the delivery period agreed shall not begin until there has been clarification of the technical requirements for the individual items in the order in accordance with our ordering specifications. The same applies with regard to adherence to the delivery date agreed. Delivery dates or periods are deemed to have been adhered to if the goods have left the works/warehouse at the agreed point in time or the Customer has been notified of their being ready for dispatch. Amendments to a job agreed subsequently shall cause the delivery period or date to be put back accordingly.
We are entitled to effect partial delivery if
The delivery date or period shall be put back by the duration of the delay plus a reasonable lead time notably
We shall only assume a nature-of-goods risk given a separate written agreement containing the words “FSB assumes the nature-of-goods risk for …”. On its own, therefore, no obligation we enter into to deliver any object that is merely specified generically shall be deemed to indicate our having either assumed a nature-of-goods risk or issued a nature-of-goods guarantee.
The performance risk passes to the Customer once the goods constituting the subject of a contract have been handed to the carrier. Where an acceptance procedure has been agreed or is adopted, this is principally applicable in determining the time of passing of risk.
The shipping mode, carriage route and applicable packing material shall be solely determined by ourselves. If the Customer desires express delivery or the taking out of transit insurance for the goods, any extra costs incurred will be chargeable to the Customer.
We do not accept the return of transport packing or any other packing material as provided for under Germany’s Packaging Regulations; exceptions to this are pallets and reusable containers. The Customer is required to see to the disposal of packing material at their own expense.
Our prices apply ex warehouse or works plus value-added tax at the rate in force on the invoice date and ancillary charges such as for packing, carriage, installation, assembly etc. unless anything to the contrary has been agreed on prices. Where the delivery address is located on an island, the Customer shall be liable to an extra charge.
The prices cited in the order confirmation/confirmed price quote shall remain valid for the agreed delivery time or to the agreed delivery date – unless anything is agreed to the contrary. Should the delivery timed agreed be delayed by more than twelve months for reasons for which we are not accountable, then we shall be entitled to pass on any cost increases that may have occurred – notably for procurement and manufacture as well as on account of price alterations brought about by legislative amendments – to the Customer by adapting our prices accordingly.
Unless anything is agreed to the contrary, invoices are to be settled within 30 days of receipt at the latest; a 2 % rebate shall be granted on payments made within a fortnight. Amounts of less than € 50 net are to be paid in full within seven days of receipt of the invoice.
Should there be a marked deterioration in the Customer’s financial circumstances subsequent to a contract being concluded or should such a state become evident once the contract has been concluded – due to the Customer discontinuing payments, for instance, or applying to initiate insolvency proceedings in respect of their assets –, then we shall be entitled to demand either advance payment of the amount agreed or collateral security.
Should the Customer default on payments, we shall be entitled to levy interest at a rate nine percentage points above the base rate. A flat-rate charge of € 40 will additionally be levied pursuant to Section 288 (5) German Civil Code for damage caused by late performance. The flat-rate charge shall be credited against any compensatory damages incurred, assuming the damage arises from the cost of prosecuting an action, notably in the form of lawyers’ fees. This shall be without prejudice to our asserting further claims for compensation, notably higher rates of interest, additional costs and charges of € 2.50 per reminder. We shall be entitled to pass on to the Customer any bank charges we incur due to account details being incorrect or unjustifiably rejected unless the Customer is not accountable for the incorrect data furnished. The Customer shall be entitled to seek to demonstrate that little or no damage has been done to us.
The Customer shall only have right of set-off against any claims of ours if its own claim is uncontested or has been finally and conclusively established.
The Customer shall only enjoy right of retention if the counterclaim cited as justifying said right of retention relates to the same contractual relationship and is uncontested, has been finally and conclusively established or is ripe for judgment.
The products supplied (hereinafter referred to as “conditional commodities”) shall remain our property until the purchase price or agreed remuneration has been paid in full and all existing or future claims arising from our business relationship with the Customer have been settled. The arrangement with regard to software is set out in Subsection 11.1.
The Customer is entitled to further process conditional commodities in the course of their standard business operations and/or to dispose of them to third parties under reservation of title. The Customer is prohibited from pledging the product delivered or assigning it as security for as long as that product remains subject to our reservation of title. In the event of the product being resold, the Customer shall immediately assign to us any claims towards their own customers arising from the resale to the value of the conditional commodities involved (invoice total inclusive of value-added tax) together with all subsidiary claims. We shall thereupon assume the assignment. At our pleasure, we shall authorise the Customer to redeem the claims assigned to us for our own account on their own behalf. The right of redemption can be revoked by ourselves at any time if the Customer fails to exercise its duty of payment properly. Neither is the Customer empowered to assign this claim for the purpose of collecting accounts receivable by way of the factoring process. Unless, that is, an obligation is simultaneously established on the part of the factoring party to directly effect counterperformance to us to the amount of our claims until such time as we cease to assert claims towards the Customer.
Any further processing or conversion of conditional commodities by the Customer shall in all cases be performed on our behalf. Where conditional commodities are further processed together with other objects not belonging to us, we shall acquire co-ownership of the new object in the ratio of the value of the conditional commodities (net invoice total inclusive of value-added tax) to that of the other objects further processed at the time the further processing is performed. The same applies to the object arising from further processing as to the conditional commodities. In the event of the conditional commodities becoming inseparably combined with other objects not belonging to us, we shall acquire co-ownership of the new object in the ratio of the value of the conditional commodities (net invoice total inclusive of value-added tax) to the other objects combined at the time of combination. If the Customer’s object is to be regarded as the principal object following the act of combination, there shall be agreement between the Customer and ourselves to the effect that the Customer shall proportionately transfer co-ownership of said object to us; we shall thereupon accept the transfer. The Customer shall hold any sole or partial ownership of the object passing to us in this way in custody on our behalf at no charge.
In the event of any third party gaining access to the conditional commodities, notably in the form of pledges, the Customer shall inform them of our existing proprietary rights and notify us without delay in order that we can assert said proprietary rights.
In the event of the Customer acting in violation of the contract, notably by not paying the purchase price or agreed remuneration, we shall be entitled to repudiate said contract and demand receipt of the conditional commodities on the grounds of reservation of title and of repudiation.
We are obliged to release any securities to which we are eligible once the value that can be realised from said securities to which we are eligible exceeds the claims secured by more than 10 %. Which securities are to be released shall be a matter for our discretion.
Where the delivery of software products constitutes the subject of a contract or part of the services due and owing, we shall, subject to the provisions contained in Subsections 11.3 and 11.4, grant the Customer a permanent, non-transferable ordinary right of compliant use in the object code. Until such time as complete payment of the licence purchase price quoted has been made, we will grant the Customer an ordinary transferable right to use the software that shall be revoked upon payment being delayed by more than 30 days.
Abbreviated hard-copy documents on software applications shall form part of the contract. We will grant the Customer the right to use these pursuant to Subsection 11.1.
The Customer is not permitted to make copies of whole or part of the software - except for backup and archiving purposes - without our prior written consent. Backup copies must, to the extent technically feasible, display the same copyright notice contained on the original data carrier and be placed in safe keeping. Copyright notices must not be deleted, altered or suppressed. Copies no longer required are to be deleted or destroyed. The user’s manual and any other documents received from us may only be copied for in-house purposes.
It is permissible under the terms of Section 69 (e) of Germany’s Copyright Act to decompile software. If the Customer is unable or unwilling to carry out any exceptional actions permitted under Germany’s Copyright Act themselves or to have this done by their own staff, then they are required, prior to placing the job with any third-party company, to give us an opportunity to effect the desired tasks of bringing about interoperability on the Customer’s behalf within a reasonable time limit and for a reasonable charge. The Customer is required to pledge to secrecy any third-party companies with whom jobs are placed.
The Customer shall not be permitted to permanently cede software to any third party whose place of business is not on the territory of the European Union or of any other signatory State to the Treaty on the European Economic Area, nor to any third party with whom we are in competition. Neither shall the Customer be authorised to permanently cede a partial quantity of any specified number of software licences obtained to third parties.
Removing copy protection or similar protection routines shall be admissible in cases where the protection mechanism impairs or prevents trouble-free use of the program.
Copyright notices, serial numbers and any other features serving to identify the program must not be removed or altered.
Where the Customer orders the subject of a contract as a commercial undertaking, they are obliged to examine said subject without delay upon receipt thereof, exercising a degree of prudence commensurate with the circumstances, and to notify us of any discernible material defects without delay in accordance with the provisions of Subsection 4.4. Any defects not immediately discernible must be notified to us without delay upon their being detected observing the requirements for the notification of defects laid down in the preceding sentence. Should the Customer fail to exercise these duties, the subject of the contract shall be deemed to have been approved in respect of this particular defect, with the consequence that no warranty claims can then be lodged.
In the event of material defects obtaining we shall, in the context of the subsequent performance thus necessitated, have the choice of effecting said subsequent performance by either carrying out repairs or furnishing a replacement. We shall be permitted to make such subsequent performance dependent upon payment of 50 % of the agreed purchase price or remuneration, or else a share deemed reasonable given the nature of the defect. Following two unsuccessful instances of subsequent performance, the Customer shall be permitted to reduce the agreed remuneration or else, in the event of there having been considerable violation of contractual duties, to repudiate the contract and, if applicable, claim for damages in accordance with Section 13. Should a contract for services be in place, then the Customer shall additionally have the right to rectify the fault themselves and demand compensation for the requisite outlay.
We shall effect subsequent performance in the event of there being any legal imperfection in title by establishing a scope of utilisation that is legally sound. To this end, we shall be permitted to replace the subject of contract concerned with a contractually compliant item of equal value assuming this is tolerable for the Customer. Should any third party assert industrial property rights against the Customer, we are to be notified of this in writing without delay. Should we be accountable for the infringement of rights, we shall either dispute or satisfy the claims at our own expense and in consultation with the Customer as we see fit, and shall indemnify the latter against any reasonable costs and damage associated with disputing the claim. The Customer may not endorse third-party claims of its own accord.
Where malice is involved and where we have agreed to honour a guarantee, this shall in no way affect the statutory provisions governing defects or legal imperfection in title. In the event of there being any third-party makers’ guarantees in place, claims issuing from such a guarantee are to be directly asserted towards the guarantor unless we have been authorised by same to receive declarations under the terms of the guarantee.
Should the Customer or any third party commissioned by same intervene to modify the products supplied without our prior written consent, we shall nevertheless remedy the defect if the Customer proves that their intervention was not the cause of its having come about.
Our duty to remedy defects shall not cover standard wear or defects arising subsequent to delivery; as a result, for instance, of external influences or operating errors. The same also applies as regards improper use of products by the Customer.
Should it transpire that a defect reported by the Customer does not actually exist, then we shall be entitled to charge the Customer for the outlay involved in analysing the situation and for any further processing input required should the Customer be culpable of wrongful intent or gross negligence in reporting the defect.
We shall be liable to compensation for damage or futile expenditure for whatever legal reason (e.g. dereliction of duty, unauthorised action) as per the provisions set out below:
a) without upward limit in the event of wrongful intent or gross negligence;
b) for ordinary negligence in the event of a cardinal contractual obligation being violated. Cardinal contractual obligations are deemed to be obligations put in place so as to protect key legal positions of the Customer that the contract’s purpose and content are inherently designed to uphold or whose fulfilment is essential to implementation of the contract and upon which the Customer can justifiedly rely. Liability in any one such instance of damage shall be confined to typical contractual damage foreseeable when the contract was concluded. For the rest, no liability shall be entertained for damage caused as a result of ordinary negligence, loss of earnings, greater staff costs incurred by the Customer, loss of use and/or shortfalls in turnover. Nothing in the above shall affect the provisions of Subsection 13.2 below.
c) We shall be liable for delay-related damage, assuming ordinary negligence is involved, to a level of up to 5 % of the contractual remuneration.
Liability is governed by the relevant statutory provisions where it concerns assumption of a nature-of-goods or manufacturing risk within the meaning of Section 276 German Civil Code, the failure to assume a nature-of-goods or service-life guarantee pursuant to Section 443 German Civil Code, malice, risk to life, body or health or the terms of Germany’s Product Liability Act.
The above liability regime also applies to our legal representatives, employees and vicarious agents.
The Customer is obliged to advise us in writing of any damage within the meaning of the above liability regime without delay or else to arrange for said damage to be documented by ourselves in order that we are informed at the earliest possible opportunity and may possibly be able to act to minimise the damage together with the Customer who has suffered same.
The period of limitation for claims to remedy defects or legal imperfections in title and any claims for compensation shall amount to two years from delivery/acceptance of the product subject to the provisions of Subsection 14.2.
Over and above the statutory warranty against defects, we guarantee the proper functioning of the mechanical parts in the products we manufacture for five years assuming the hardware has been fitted in a workmanlike manner and properly used. In the case of construction services or the supply of building materials and where there is a deficiency in title in a third party’s right in rem that enables recovery of possession of the subject of the contract to be claimed, the statutory periods of limitation apply.
With regard to any other claims asserted by the Customer on the basis of a contract or relationship under the law of obligations (Section 311 2 German Civil Code), a period of limitation of one year from the statutory commencement of the period of limitation shall apply. Claims shall lapse following the passing of the maximum statutory time limits at the latest (Section 199 3 and 4 German Civil Code).
Statutory periods of limitation shall apply in the cases of personal injury, malice, actions involving wrongful intent or gross negligence, assumption of a nature-of-goods or service-life guarantee pursuant to Section 443 German Civil Code and the terms of the German Product Liability Act.
Any amendments or additions to these GTCs and the contract concluded between ourselves and the Customer shall only be valid if made in writing to the exclusion of electronic means and text messages. This likewise applies with regard to this written-form stipulation. Amendments other than in writing shall be deemed invalid. Nothing in this written-form stipulation shall affect the validity of individual agreements of whatever nature.
We shall respect all stipulations contained in data protection legislation and shall oblige our employees to comply with the relevant provisions, notably as set forth in Section 5 of Germany’s Federal Data Protection Act, in the course of performance of contract. The Customer will in the process be notified that personal data required for completion of business will be stored by us and used to complete orders, manage customer relations, perform contractual services, effect payments and avert the loss of receivables outstanding whilst also, where necessary, being forwarded to service-provision partners we avail ourselves of for the purpose of completion of contract (e.g. credit institutes).
The Customer shall consent to personal details being passed on to any subcontractors of ours for the purpose of fulfilling a contract. We pledge to oblige each and every subcontractor to comply with the provisions of data protection legislation. We will speedily furnish the name and address of a given subcontractor if so requested.
Provided the Customer does not object to our so doing, we shall also utilise the name and postal and email addresses they furnish us with as a means of doing business in the cause of our own market research activities as well as for in-house advertising and marketing purposes and the promotion of our own products and services by post and email. We shall only pass customer data on to third parties for advertising purposes with the Customer’s express consent.
The place of fulfilment for deliveries and services is our corporate domicile.
These GTCs and any contracts concluded on their basis shall be subject to the law of the Federal Republic of Germany to the exclusion of the Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG).
If the Customer is a commercial undertaking or either a legal entity or special asset under public law, then the sole place of jurisdiction for any disputes arising from this Contract shall be our corporate domicile. We are, however, entitled to assert claims of our own at the Customer’s own place of jurisdiction.
We can be reached by email or telephone for user questions and any other advice the Customer may require from 8 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. Monday to Friday (except on the 24th and 31st of December in any year and during public holidays in North Rhine-Westphalia).
The Customer may only assign claims arising from contracts concluded with us if we consent to this in writing beforehand.
Should individual provisions of these GTCs be invalid in whole or part, or should there be a gap in these GTCs, this shall not affect the validity of the remaining provisions.
Edited to: 17 March 2016