Export sales contracts are central to international commercial transac­ tions and around them revolves a series of connected, but distinct, relation­ ships, including cargo insurance, transportation, and payment arrangements. The rules and practices governing such contracts vary from one export transaction to another, based on the agreement of the parties as well as the legal system. National legal systems on contracts may differ, but the basic principles of contracts, such as good faith and consideration, are generally recognized and accepted in many countries. There is also a movement toward convergence among the world’s different legal systems in the area of international commercial law (DiMatteo, 1997; Lubman, 1988). Today, it is almost difficult to identify any examples of substantial divergence that produce important and predictable differences in the outcomes of commer­ cial disputes (Rosett, 1982). Certain differences in theory or approach are often offset by the countervailing force of international usage or custom, which brings about a predictable and harmonious outcome in commercial dispute resolution. It is pertinent to identify the motives behind this move toward harmonization of international contract law:

• Increase in trade and other economic relations between nations • The growth of international customary law: Commercial custom and

usage have often been used in the drafting and interpretation of com­ mercial law. Today, certain customs and practices, derived from mer­ chants in Europe, regarding documentary drafts, letters of credit, and so forth, are universally accepted and form the basis for domestic and international commercial law.