Overview[edit | edit source]
The Uniform Commercial Code (U.C.C. or the Code) is one of a number of uniform acts that have been promulgated in conjunction with efforts to harmonize the law of sales and other commercial transactions in all 50 states within the United States. This objective is deemed important because of the prevalence today of commercial transactions that extend beyond one state (for example, where the goods are manufactured in state A, warehoused in state B, sold from state C and delivered in state D). The U.C.C. deals primarily with transactions involving personal property (moveable property), not real property (immovable property).
The U.C.C. is the longest and most elaborate of the uniform acts. It has been a long-term, joint project of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) and the American Law Institute (ALI). The Code, as the product of private organizations, is not itself the law, but only recommendation of the laws that should be adopted in the states. Once enacted in a state by the state's legislature, it becomes true law and is codified into the state’s code of statutes. When the Code is adopted by a state, it may be adopted verbatim as written by ALI/NCCUSL, or may be adopted with specific changes deemed necessary by the state legislature. Unless such changes are minor, they can affect the purpose of the Code in promoting uniformity of law among the various states.
The ALI/NCCUSL have also established a permanent editorial board for the Code. This board has issued a number of official comments and other published papers concerning the Code. Although these commentaries do not have the force of law, courts interpreting the Code often cite them as persuasive authority in determining the effect of one or more provisions. Courts interpreting the Code generally seek to harmonize their interpretations with those of other states that have adopted the same or a similar provision, except where specific aspects of the Code were changed by that state when adopting it, or where other aspects of state law require a different decision.
The Code, in one or another of its several revisions, has been enacted in all of the 50 states, as well as in the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Louisiana has enacted most provisions of the U.C.C. with the exception of Article 2, preferring to maintain its own civil law tradition for governing the sale of goods.
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