There are two key types of goods
2. Unascertained goods.
The crux of Sale of Goods Contract is the passing of the property in the goods from seller to buyer. This can only happen where the goods are unascertained, property cannot pass.
18. Where there is a contract for the sale of unascertained goods, no property in the goods is transferred to the buyer unless and until the goods are ascertained.”
Specific goods are goods which have been identified, agreed upon and set aside by the parties for the contract and the goods can be specific either at the time the contract is entered into or they can be made specific in the course of dealing. For instance when talking of a motor vehicle, you will be talking about the engine number and the chassis number being what you specified so only that vehicle is the specific goods subject of the contract. Only the property in specific goods will pass. No other goods will do.
19. (1) Where there is a contract for the sale of specific or ascertained goods, the property in them is transferred to the buyer at such time as the parties to the contract intend it to be transferred.
(2) For the purpose of ascertaining the intention of the parties, regard shall be had to the terms of the contract, the conduct of the parties and the circumstances of the case.
An identified part of a specific whole.
Kursell V. Timber Operators & Contractors Ltd.
The Plaintiff sold to the defendant all the trees in a Latvian forest which conformed to certain measurements namely 15 meters on the date of the contract. The Buyer would have 15 years on which to cut and remove the timber. Almost immediately afterwards, the Latvian Parliament passed a law confiscating the forest. The matter went to court and went to the House of Lords primarily on one issue. Had the property in the trees passed from the Seller to the Buyer or as one of the Judges did “whose forest and therefore the trees was confiscated by Parliament? Remember he who has the property bears the risk. The court held as follows
“the property in the goods had not passed to the defendant the buyer as the goods were not sufficiently identified since not all the trees were to pass to the buyer but only those conforming to the stipulated measurements namely 15 metres.”