What is the UCC Uniform Commercial Code

Uniform commercial law

The Uniform Commercial Code, also abbreviated to UCC, is simply translated into German as the Uniform Commercial Code. The Unified Commercial Law is a federally created commercial code that applies to the entire territory of the United States of America and was enacted in 1952 by the American Law Institute with the aim of simplifying American commercial law, with the aims of it especially to make it accessible for international business relationships, but also to create legal certainty within the American economy through the standardization. This was felt to be particularly urgent, especially against the background of the recession, since in view of the large number of countries with their own legal systems, the national trade in goods was viewed as being hindered.

The drafting of the "Uniform Commercial Law" as such began as early as 1940 by a commission of experts that included representatives of the American Law Institute as well as lawyers and academics. In some cases, the Uniform Commercial Law had to be adapted to the legal reality, so that numerous revisions of the Uniform Commercial Code followed, the last one in 2003. As a special feature of the "Uniform Commercial Law", it must be pointed out that due to the lack of legislative competence of the relevant bodies, it is not a legally binding law, rather, a recommendation to the respective responsible legislature, comparable, for example, to the German Corporate Governance Code. As such, the “Uniform Commercial Law” can be modified, rejected or accepted by the legislature of the respective states at will. However, the majority of the American states have recognized the need for the Uniform Commercial Law, so that this applies almost unchanged in all states.

The only exception is the state of Louisiana, which, due to its long-standing French occupation, has a legal tradition strongly based on the Civil Code and is therefore traditionally critical of the attempts by the government of the United States to standardize federal law at regular intervals. Accordingly, each state of the United States of America continues to have its own state commercial law, in accordance with the American principle of high sovereignty and individual responsibility of the individual states, which, but since it was adopted almost unchanged from the "Uniform Commercial Law", is largely standardized . As commercial law, the "Uniform Commercial Law", similar to the German Commercial Code, arose from a synopsis of the respective commercial customs with modified standards of civil law adapted to the requirements of commercial activity. Accordingly, not only the respective regulations of the Uniform Commercial Law, but also the civil or commercial law standards of the respective state must be observed. In commercial transactions, for the reasons outlined above, one can certainly rely on the regulations of the Uniform Commercial Law, but only with precise knowledge and an overview of the state legislation, which can sometimes differ greatly.

The common law must also be observed, a peculiarity of the Anglo-American legislation, the principles of which are based on judgments and prejudices, and are constantly being further developed by the case law.
This can develop into a real stumbling block, especially for the German economy, which is used to the heavily codified regulations of the Civil Code and the Commercial Code, especially since the common low is seldom fully comprehensible even for local lawyers.
The "Uniform Commercial Law" consists of 13 paragraphs, each of which is divided into individual subsections and deals with various legal problems.