chapter  14
32 Pages

UNDERTAKINGS AS TO FITNESS AND SATISFACTORY QUALITY

In relation to implied promises, the SGA 1893 probably narrowed the scope of the common law maxim caveat emptor (see para 13.08) by providing that, subject to a contrary intention and leaving aside sales by sample (see paras 15.03-10), there shall be implied into a contract of sale three conditions2-as to description, merchantable quality and fitness for the purposes supplied3-and an implied warranty as to trade usage (see para 15.11). It has been pointed out that these three implied conditions represent a series of graduated duties.4 The undertaking as to correspondence with description offers the buyer only minimal statutory protection, but applies to almost all sales (see para 13.09-10), whereas the other two undertakings apply only to trade sales (see para 14.04). Further, all three implied undertakings leave open some issues of policy. Thus, the level at which each of them should be pitched is a matter of judgment,5 including such factors as nationally desired standards of quality control by manufacturers.6