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The

abstraction principle dominates the entire code and is vital for the understanding of

how the BGB treats legal transactions, such as contracts. One example to clarify this: In the system of the BGB, ownership is not transferred by a contract of sale, as in some other jurisdictions. Instead, a

contract of sale merely obliges the seller to transfer ownership of the good sold to the buyer, while the buyer is obliged to pay the stipulated price. The buyer does not
automatically gain ownership by virtue of the contract of sale whereas the seller has not automatically gained ownership of the money. Section 433 of the BGB explicitly states this obligation of the seller, as well as the buyer's obligation to pay the negotiated price and take the thing he bought. So, seller and buyer have just gained

reciprocal claims. For transfer of ownership, another contract is necessary which is governed by
sections 929 et seq. Thus, in a simple purchase of goods paid immediately in cash, German civil law interprets the transaction as (at least) three contracts: the contract of sale itself, obliging the seller to transfer ownership of the product to the buyer and the buyer to pay the price; a contract that transfers ownership of the product to the buyer, fulfilling the sellers obligation; and a contract that transfers ownership of the money (bills and coins) from the buyer to the seller, fulfilling the buyers obligation. This doesn't mean that contracts in Germany are more complicated to the people involved. Especially the contracts of everyday life don't differ from those in other countries in their outer appearance. For instance, if someone buys a newspaper at a newsstand without saying one single word to the seller, all the three contracts which are mentioned above are fulfilled by conclusive demeanor.

BGB
Book 1

Book 2, The law of obligations, 241 853


General Part

Special Part (i.e. part 8 of book 2, 433 853) Title 1: Sales contract Subtitel 1: General provisions, 433 453
Subtitel 2 Titles 2 - 27

Book 3, The law of property, 854 1296


Part 1 Part 2

Part 3, Ownership
Title 1 Title 2

Title 3: Acquisition and loss of ownership of movable property, 929 - 984


Title 4 Title 5 Part 4 Part 5

Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Book 4 Book 5

433 Standard obligations in contracts of sale (1) By a contract of sale the seller of a thing is bound to hand over the thing to the buyer and to transfer to him ownership of the thing. The seller must procure the thing for the buyer in a state that is free from defects as to quality and defects of title. (2) The buyer is bound to pay to the seller the agreed price and to take delivery of the thing purchased.

929 Agreement and delivery For the transfer of ownership of a moveable thing, it shall be necessary that the owner of the thing delivers it to the acquirer and that both agree that the ownership shall be transferred. If the acquirer is in possession of the thing, the agreement on the transfer of ownership is sufficient.