Argentina: New Ruling On USD -Denominated Obligations

A new ruling issued by a Court of Appeals established that, since article 765 of the Civil and Commercial Code is not imperative, the debtor should make the payment in US Dollars because this has been agreed on by the contracting parties.

On February 14, 2017, the Court of Appeals in Civil and Commercial Matters of (hereinafter, the "Court of Appeals"), Province of Buenos Aires, confirmed the judgment in re "Di Prinzio, Marcelo Ceferino and other v Chiesa, Carlos Javier re Fulfillment of civil/commercial contracts", file No. 8977/2013.

The lower court judge sentenced the defendant to pay the sum of USD 70,000 under the conditions set out in the bill of sale executed by the parties, applying interest to the lending rate in US dollars of the Bank of the Province of Buenos Aires.

With respect to the currency of payment, the judge held that the respondent could not prove to have requested authorization from the Federal Administration of Public Revenues to acquire US dollars. The judge took into account that the debtor did not demonstrate that, if he had resorted to some valid alternative means to acquire that currency, for example buying Argentine sovereign bonds listed abroad in pesos, this would have caused expectations not to be met in  the economic equation terms of the contract. In addition, since the restrictions to acquire foreign currency have been removed, the judge considered that there is no impediment to sentence to pay in the currency agreed on by the parties.

The respondent appealed the decision, aggrieved by the application of the rules of the repealed Civil Code, holding that article 765 of the Civil and Commercial Code ("CCCN") must be applied to the case, which allows the debtor to be released from the obligation by giving the equivalent in legal tender. . He also expressed his grievance against the requirement to prove the impossibility of purchasing foreign currency, since it specifically arises from the rules of the Central Bank of the Republic of Argentina.

The Court of Appeals pointed out, with regard to ongoing contracts at the time of the entry into force of the CCCN, that article 7 provides that new supplementary standards do not apply to them, with the exception referred to  consumer relations. Therefore, to determine if article 765 of the CCCN is a supplementary standard, the Court of Appeals took into account that the CCCN contains several rules that allow executing contracts in foreign currency. So they concluded that a harmonious and coherent interpretation of the CCCN indicates that the provision which allows the debtor to be released of the obligation to pay with currency that is not legal tender, by giving the equivalent in currency of legal tender, is neither imperative nor of public order.

Regarding the grievances referring to the impossibility of acquiring foreign currency, the Court of Appeals pointed out that the debtor should have acquired Argentine sovereign bonds in the local market, denominated in US dollars, and settled them in the securities market to pay off their debt in US dollars.

Therefore, both grievances expressed by the respondent were dismissed.

Judge Castro Durán's vote added scholars' opinions  in support of the position taken by the Court

  1. Waiving the debtor's faculty to be released from the obligation to pay in foreign currency by giving an equivalent in currency of legal tender, infringes no pillar of public order.
  2. The waiver to pay by giving the equivalent strengthens the generic solution that imposes that obligations must be fulfilled by giving the creditor the promised object.
  3. The possibility of paying with an equivalent is in fact an exception to the legal and natural order.
  4. The form of expression that the standard uses to give the debtor the choice confirms the absence of imperativeness, and this a simple permission and not a prohibition or an obligation, so it may be left aside.
  5. There is no provision establishing the mandatory nature of the final paragraph of article 765, so it should be considered of a supplementary character under the general principle of article 962 of the CCCN, which establishes that the legal rules concerning contracts are supplementary of the will of the parties.
  6. The possibility of cancelling a debt with the equivalent in currency of legal tender may be of natural application when the equivalence that the same text requires may be fulfilled through the identification between the actual value and that resulting from the application of the exchange rate.
  7. The obligation of the debtor to deliver the corresponding quantity of designated kind, be it in currency of legal tender or not, is a rule of categorical nature established in the article 766 of the CCCN.
  8. Article 959 of the CCCN on the binding effect of the contracts confirms the validity of what was agreed by the parties and the following article 960 sets forth express restrictions to the revision faculties of the judges.
  9. The order of priority established by article 963 of the CCCN gives priority to the particular rules of contracts over the supplementary rules.
  10. The property right of the contracting party enshrined in article 965 of the CCCN would be violated by modifying the object of the obligation, without the consent of the affected party.
  11. Constitutional property rights enshrined in articles 14, 17, 19 and 75.22 of the Constitution, would be seriously affected if the creditor should receive a value that ignores more than 40% of the actual market value of the business object.
  12. A valid payment under the terms of articles 867 and 868 of the CCCN wouldn't be made if the principles of identity and integrity are not recognized.
  13. The good faith principle enshrined in article 961 for contracts and by article 9 in general for the exercise of all rights in the CCCN, would be seriously violated if a payment method is agreed as essential object of the contract and then its modification is sought, alleging an impossibility to comply with it which the Court considers that is not such and intending a form of equivalence which is far from being real.
  14. Revision of contracts should be an exceptional measure to which judges should turn to in a restrictive and strictly founded manner, since if practiced with lightness the legal certainty which is of constitutional value would be violated.

Taking all these opinions into account, the Court of Appeals rejected the appeal of the respondent and confirmed the  first instance judgment.

This precedent confirms the case law tendency of recent times with respect to the supplementary nature of article 765 of the CCCN and the requirement to fulfill the obligations in foreign currency in the agreed currency.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Sign Up
Gain free access to lawyers expertise from more than 250 countries.
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Newsalert
Select Topics
Select Regions
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions