Statutory Retention of Title Structures? A Comparative Analysis of German Property Transfer Rules in Light of English and Australian Law

Lutz-Christian Wolff


Retention of title arrangements are common contractual tools to secure the payment of the purchase price in cases where sold goods are delivered to the buyer prior to such payment. In most jurisdictions retention of title arrangements require an agreement between the buyer and the seller. Based on a comparative analysis of German law this article argues that it would be in the best interest of all concerned parties to replace this requirement with statutory retention of title structures. Statutory retention of title structures, that is, rules according to which the payment of the purchase price is an automatic - but rebuttable - precondition for the transfer of title to movable property, would only codify what is common contract practice anyway and thus eliminate the potential for errors and conflicts.

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