Code of the District of Columbia

Part I. Short Title, General Construction and Subject Matter.


§ 28:2-101. Short title.

This article shall be known and may be cited as Uniform Commercial Code — Sales.


(Dec. 30, 1963, 77 Stat. 639, Pub. L. 88-243, § 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 28:2-101.

1973 Ed., § 28:2-101.

Uniform Commercial Code Comment

This Article is a complete revision and modernization of the Uniform Sales Act which was promulgated by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws in 1906 and has been adopted in 34 states and Alaska, the District of Columbia and Hawaii.

The coverage of the present Article is much more extensive than that of the old Sales Act and extends to the various bodies of case law which have been developed both outside of and under the latter.

The arrangement of the present Article is in terms of contract for sale and the various steps of its performance. The legal consequences are stated as following directly from the contract and action taken under it without resorting to the idea of when property or title passed or was to pass as being the determining factor. The purpose is to avoid making practical issues between practical men turn upon the location of an intangible something, the passing of which no man can prove by evidence and to substitute for such abstractions proof of words and actions of a tangible character.


§ 28:2-102. Scope; certain security and other transactions excluded from this article.

Unless the context otherwise requires, this article applies to transactions in goods; it does not apply to any transaction which although in the form of an unconditional contract to sell or present sale is intended to operate only as a security transaction nor does this article impair or repeal any statute regulating sales to consumers, farmers or other specified classes of buyers.


(Dec. 30, 1963, 77 Stat. 639, Pub. L. 88-243, § 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 28:2-102.

1973 Ed., § 28:2-102.

Uniform Commercial Code Comment

Prior Uniform Statutory Provision: Section 75, Uniform Sales Act.

Changes: Section 75 has been rephrased.

Purposes of Changes and New Matter: To make it clear that:

The Article leaves substantially unaffected the law relating to purchase money security such as conditional sale or chattel mortgage though it regulates the general sales aspects of such transactions. “Security transaction” is used in the same sense as in the Article on Secured Transactions (Article 9).

Cross Reference: Article 9.

Definitional Cross References: “Contract”. Section 1-201.

“Contract for sale”. Section 2-106.

“Present sale”. Section 2-106.

“Sale”. Section 2-106.


§ 28:2-103. Definitions and index of definitions.

(1) In this article unless the context otherwise requires:

(a) “Buyer” means a person who buys or contracts to buy goods.

(b) Repealed.

(c) “Receipt” of goods means taking physical possession of them.

(d) “Seller” means a person who sells or contracts to sell goods.

(2) Other definitions applying to this article or to specified parts thereof, and the sections in which they appear are:

“Acceptance”. Section 28:2-606 .

“Banker’s credit”. Section 28:2-325 .

“Between merchants”. Section 28:2-104 .

“Cancellation”. Section 28:2-106(4) .

“Commercial unit”. Section 28:2-105 .

“Confirmed credit”. Section 28:2-325 .

“Conforming to contract”. Section 28:2-106 .

“Contract for sale”. Section 28:2-106 .

“Cover”. Section 28:2-712 .

“Entrusting”. Section 28:2-403 .

“Financing agency”. Section 28:2-104 .

“Future goods”. Section 28:2-105 .

“Goods”. Section 28:2-105 .

“Identification”. Section 28:2-501 .

“Installment contract”. Section 28:2-612 .

“Letter of Credit”. Section 28:2-325 .

“Lot”. Section 28:2-105 .

“Merchant”. Section 28:2-104 .

“Overseas”. Section 28:2-323 .

“Person in position of seller”. Section 28:2-707 .

“Present sale”. Section 28:2-106 .

“Sale”. Section 28:2-106 .

“Sale on approval”. Section 28:2-326 .

“Sale or return”. Section 28:2-326 .

“Termination”. Section 28:2-106 .

(3) Control as provided in § 28:7-106 and the following definitions in other articles apply to this article:

“Check”. Section 28:3-104 .

“Consignee”. Section 28:7-102 .

“Consignor”. Section 28:7-102 .

“Consumer goods”. Section 28:9-102 .

“Dishonor”. Section 28:3-502 .

“Draft”. Section 28:3-104 .

(4) In addition Article 1 contains general definitions and principles of construction and interpretation applicable throughout this article.


(Dec. 30, 1963, 77 Stat. 639, Pub. L. 88-243, § 1; Oct. 26, 2000, D.C. Law 13-201, § 201(c)(1), 47 DCR 7576; Apr. 27, 2013, D.C. Law 19-299, § 3(a), 60 DCR 2634.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 28:2-103.

1973 Ed., § 28:2-103.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 28:2A-103, § 28:6-102, and § 28:7-102.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-201, enacting a new Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code applicable July 1, 2001, made conforming amendments to this section applicable upon the same date.

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-299 repealed (1)(b), defining “Good faith”; and added “Control as provided in § 28:7-106 and” at the beginning of the introductory paragraph of (3).

Uniform Commercial Code Comment

Prior Uniform Statutory Provisions: Subsection (1): Section 76, Uniform Sales Act.

Changes: The definitions of “buyer” and “seller” have been slightly rephrased, the reference in Section 76 of the prior Act to “any legal successor in interest of such person“ being omitted. The definition of ‘’receipt“ is new.

Purposes of Changes and New Matter: 1. The phrase “any legal successor in interest of such person” has been eliminated since Section 2-210 of this Article, which limits some types of delegation of performance on assignment of a sales contract, makes it clear that not every such successor can be safely included in the definition. In every ordinary case, however, such successors are as of course included.

2. “Receipt” must be distinguished from delivery particularly in regard to the problems arising out of shipment of goods, whether or not the contract calls for making delivery by way of documents of title, since the seller may frequently fulfill his obligations to “deliver” even though the buyer may never “receive” the goods. Delivery with respect to documents of title is defined in Article 1 and requires transfer of physical delivery. Otherwise the many divergent incidents of delivery are handled incident by incident.

Cross References: Point 1: See Section 2-210 and Comment thereon.

Point 2: Section 1-201.

Definitional Cross Reference: “Person”. Section 1-201.


§ 28:2-104. Definitions: “merchant”; “between merchants”; “financing agency”.

(1) “Merchant” means a person who deals in goods of the kind or otherwise by his occupation holds himself out as having knowledge or skill peculiar to the practices or goods involved in the transaction or to whom such knowledge or skill may be attributed by his employment of an agent or broker or other intermediary who by his occupation holds himself out as having such knowledge or skill.

(2) “Financing agency” means a bank, finance company or other person who in the ordinary course of business makes advances against goods or documents of title or who by arrangement with either the seller or the buyer intervenes in ordinary course to make or collect payment due or claimed under the contract for sale, as by purchasing or paying the seller’s draft or making advances against it or by merely taking it for collection whether or not documents of title accompany or are associated with the draft. “Financing agency” includes also a bank or other person who similarly intervenes between persons who are in the position of seller and buyer in respect to the goods (section 28:2-707).

(3) “Between merchants” means in any transaction with respect to which both parties are chargeable with the knowledge or skill of merchants.


(Dec. 30, 1963, 77 Stat. 640, Pub. L. 88-243, § 1; Apr. 27, 2013, D.C. Law 19-299, § 3(b), 60 DCR 2634.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 28:2-104.

1973 Ed., § 28:2-104.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 28:2-103, § 28:2A-103, and § 28:9-102.

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-299 substituted “accompany or are associated with” for “accompany” in the first sentence of (2).

Uniform Commercial Code Comment

Prior Uniform Statutory Provision: None. But see Sections 15 (2), (5), 16(c), 45(2) and 71, Uniform Sales Act, and Sections 35 and 37, Uniform Bills of Lading Act for examples of the policy expressly provided for in this Article.

Purposes: 1. This Article assumes that transactions between professionals in a given filed require special and clear rules which may not apply to a casual or inexperienced seller or buyer. It thus adopts a policy of expressly stating rules applicable “between merchants“ and ‘’as against a merchant“, wherever they are needed instead of making them depend upon the circumstances of each case as in the statutes cited above. This section lays the foundation of this policy by defining those who are to be regarded as professionals or “merchants” and by stating when a transaction is deemed to be “between merchants”.

2. The term “merchant” as defined here roots in the “law merchant” concept of a professional in business. The professional status under the definition may be based upon specialized knowledge as to the goods, specialized knowledge as to business practices, or specialized knowledge as to both and which kind of specialized knowledge may be sufficient to establish the merchant status is indicated by the nature of the provisions.

The special provisions as to merchants appear only in this Article and they are of three kinds. Sections 2-201(2), 2-205, 2-207 and 2-209 dealing with the statute of frauds, firm offers, confirmatory memoranda and modification rest on normal business practices which are or ought to be typical of and familiar to any person in business. For purposes of these sections almost every person in business would, therefore, be deemed to be a “merchant” under the language “who ... by his occupation holds himself out as having knowledge or skill peculiar to the practices ... involved in the transaction ...“ since the practices involved in the transaction are non-specialized business practices such as answering mail. In this type of provision, banks or even universities, for example, well may be “merchants.” But even these sections only apply to a merchant in his mercantile capacity; a lawyer or bank president buying fishing tackle for his own use is not a merchant.

On the other hand, in Section 2-314 on the warranty of merchantability, such warranty is implied only “if the seller is a merchant with respect to goods of that kind.“ Obviously this qualification restricts the implied warranty to a much smaller group than everyone who is engaged in business and requires a professional status as to particular kinds of goods. The exception in Section 2-402(2) for retention of possession by a merchant-seller falls in the same class; as does Section 2-403(2) on entrusting of possession to a merchant “who deals in goods of that kind”.

A third group of sections includes 2-103(1)(b), which provides that in the case of a merchant “good faith” includes observance of reasonable commercial standards of fair dealing in the trade; 2-327(1)(c), 2-603 and 2-605, dealing with responsibilities of merchant buyers to follow seller’s instructions, etc.; 2-509 on risk of loss, and 2-609 on adequate assurance of performance. This group of sections applies to persons who are merchants under either the “practices” or the “goods” aspect of the definition of merchant.

3. The “or to whom such knowledge or skill may be attributed by his employment of an agent or broker ...” clause of the definition of merchant means that even persons such as universities, for example, can come within the definition of merchant if they have regular purchasing departments or business personnel who are familiar with business practices and who are equipped to take any action required.

Cross References: Point 1: See Sections 1-102 and 1-203.

Point 2: See Sections 2-314, 2-315 and 2-320 to 2-325, of this Article, and Article 9.

Definitional Cross References: “Bank”. Section 1-201.

“Buyer”. Section 2-103.

“Contract for sale”. Section 2-106.

“Document of title”. Section 1-201.

“Draft”. Section 3-104.

“Goods”. Section 2-105.

“Person”. Section 1-201.

“Purchase”. Section 1-201.

“Seller”. Section 2-103.


§ 28:2-105. Definitions: transferability; “goods”; “future” goods; “lot”; “commercial unit”.

(1) “Goods” means all things (including specially manufactured goods) which are movable at the time of identification to the contract for sale other than the money in which the price is to be paid, investment securities (Article 8) and things in action. “Goods” also includes the unborn young of animals and growing crops and other identified things attached to realty as described in the section on goods to be severed from realty (section 28:2-107).

(2) Goods must be both existing and identified before any interest in them can pass. Goods which are not both existing and identified are “future” goods. A purported present sale of future goods or of any interest therein operates as a contract to sell.

(3) There may be a sale of a part interest in existing identified goods.

(4) An undivided share in an identified bulk of fungible goods is sufficiently identified to be sold although the quantity of the bulk is not determined. Any agreed proportion of such a bulk or any quantity thereof agreed upon by number, weight or other measure may to the extent of the seller’s interest in the bulk be sold to the buyer who then becomes an owner in common.

(5) “Lot” means a parcel or a single article which is the subject matter of a separate sale or delivery, whether or not it is sufficient to perform the contract.

(6) “Commercial unit” means such a unit of goods as by commercial usage is a single whole for purposes of sale and division of which materially impairs its character or value on the market or in use. A commercial unit may be a single article (as a machine) or a set of articles (as a suite of furniture or an assortment of sizes) or a quantity (as a bale, gross, or carload) or any other unit treated in use or in the relevant market as a single whole.


(Dec. 30, 1963, 77 Stat. 640, Pub. L. 88-243, § 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 28:2-105.

1973 Ed., § 28:2-105.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 28:2-103.

Uniform Commercial Code Comment

Prior Uniform Statutory Provision: Subsections (1), (2), (3) and (4)—Sections 5, 6 and 76, Uniform Sales Act; Subsections (5) and (6)—none.

Changes: Rewritten.

Purposes of Changes and New Matter: 1. Subsection (1) on “goods”: The phraseology of the prior uniform statutory provision has been changed so that:

The definition of goods is based on the concept of movability and the term “chattels personal” is not used. It is not intended to deal with things which are not fairly identifiable as movables before the contract is performed.

Growing crops are included within the definition of goods since they are frequently intended for sale. The concept of “industrial” growing corps has been abandoned, for under modern practices fruit, perennial hay, nursery stock and the like must be brought within the scope of this Article. The young of animals are also included expressly in this definition since they, too, are frequently intended for sale and may be contracted for before birth. The period of gestation of domestic animals is such that the provisions of the section on identification can apply as in the case of crops to be planted. The reason of this definition also leads to the inclusion of a wool crop or the like as “goods” subject to identification under this Article.

The exclusion of “money in which the price is to be paid” from the definition of goods does not mean that foreign currency which is included in the definition of money may not be the subject matter of a sales transaction. Goods is intended to cover the sale of money when money is being treated as a commodity but not to include it when money is the medium of payment.

As to contracts to sell timber, minerals, or structures to be removed from the land Section 2-107(1) (Goods to be severed from Realty: recording) controls.

The use of the word “fixtures” is avoided in view of the diversity of definitions of that term. This Article in including within its scope “things attached to realty” adds the further test that they must be capable of severance without material harm thereto. As between the parties any identified things which fall within that definition become “goods” upon the making of the contract for sale.

“Investment securities” are expressly excluded from the coverage of this Article. It is not intended by this exclusion, however, to prevent the application of a particular section of this Article by analogy to securities (as was done with the Original Sales Act in Agar v. Orda, 264 N.Y. 248, 190 N.E. 479, 99 A.L.R. 269 (1934) when the reason of that section makes such application sensible and the situation involved is not covered by the Article of this Act dealing specifically with such securities (Article 8).

2. References to the fact that a contract for sale can extend to future or contingent goods and that ownership in common follows the sale of a part interest have been omitted here as obvious without need for expression; hence no inference to negate these principles should be drawn from their omission.

3. Subsection (4) does not touch the question of how far an appropriation of a bulk of fungible goods may or may not satisfy the contract for sale.

4. Subsections (5) and (6) on “lot” and “commercial unit” are introduced to aid in the phrasing of later sections.

5. The question of when an identification of goods takes place is determined by the provisions of Section 2-501 and all that this section says is what kinds of goods may be the subject of a sale.

Cross References: Point 1: Sections 2-107, 2-201, 2-501 and Article 8.

Point 5: Section 2-501.

See also Section 1-201.

Definitional Cross References: “Buyer”. Section 2-103.

“Contract”. Section 1-201.

“Contract for sale”. Section 2-106.

“Fungible”. Section 1-201.

“Money”. Section 1-201.

“Present sale”. Section 2-106.

“Sale”. Section 2-106.

“Seller”. Section 2-103.


§ 28:2-106. Definitions: “contract”; “agreement”; “contract for sale”; “sale”; “present sale”; “conforming” to contract; “termination”; “cancellation”.

(1) In this article unless the context otherwise requires “contract” and “agreement” are limited to those relating to the present or future sale of goods. “Contract for sale” includes both a present sale of goods and a contract to sell goods at a future time. A “sale” consists in the passing of title from the seller to the buyer for a price (section 28:2-401). A “present sale” means a sale which is accomplished by the making of the contract.

(2) Goods or conduct including any part of a performance are “conforming” or conform to the contract when they are in accordance with the obligations under the contract.

(3) “Termination” occurs when either party pursuant to a power created by agreement or law puts an end to the contract otherwise than for its breach. On “termination” all obligations which are still executory on both sides are discharged but any right based on prior breach or performance survives.

(4) “Cancellation” occurs when either party puts an end to the contract for breach by the other and its effect is the same as that of “termination” except that the cancelling party also retains any remedy for breach of the whole contract or any unperformed balance.


(Dec. 30, 1963, 77 Stat. 641, Pub. L. 88-243, § 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 28:2-106.

1973 Ed., § 28:2-106.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 28:2-103, § 28:2A-103, § 28:6-102, § 28:7-102, and § 28:9-102.

Uniform Commercial Code Comment

Prior Uniform Statutory Provision: Subsection (1)—Section 1(1) and (2), Uniform Sales Act; Subsection (2)—none, but subsection generally continues policy of Sections 11, 44 and 69, Uniform Sales Act; Subsections (3) and (4)—none.

Changes: Completely rewritten.

Purposes of Changes and New Matter: 1. Subsection (1): “Contract for sale” is used as a general concept throughout this Article, but the rights of the parties do not vary according to whether the transaction is a present sale or a contract to sell unless the Article expressly so provides.

2. Subsection (2): It is in general intended to continue the policy of requiring exact performance by the seller of his obligations as a condition to his right to require acceptance. However, the seller is in part safeguarded against surprise as a result of sudden technicality on the buyer’s part by the provisions of Section 2-508 on seller’s cure of improper tender or delivery. Moreover usage of trade frequently permits commercial leeways in performance and the language of the agreement itself must be read in the light of such custom or usage and also, prior course of dealing, and in a long term contract, the course of performance.

3. Subsections (3) and (4): These subsections are intended to make clear the distinction carried forward throughout this Article between termination and cancellation.

Cross References: Point 2: Sections 1-203, 1-205, 2-208 and 2-508.

Definitional Cross References: “Agreement”. Section 1-201.

“Buyer”. Section 2-103.

“Contract”. Section 1-201.

“Goods”. Section 2-105.

“Party”. Section 1-201.

“Remedy”. Section 1-201.

“Rights”. Section 1-201.

“Seller”. Section 2-103.


§ 28:2-107. Goods to be severed from realty; recording.

(1) A contract for the sale of minerals or the like (including oil and gas) or a structure or its materials to be removed from realty is a contract for the sale of goods within this article if they are to be severed by the seller but until severance a purported present sale thereof which is not effective as a transfer of an interest in land is effective only as a contract to sell.

(2) A contract for the sale apart from the land of growing crops or other things attached to realty and capable of severance without material harm thereto but not described in subsection (1) or of timber to be cut is a contract for the sale of goods within this article whether the subject matter is to be severed by the buyer or by the seller even though it forms part of the realty at the time of contracting, and the parties can by identification effect a present sale before severance.

(3) The provisions of this section are subject to any third party rights provided by the law relating to realty records, and the contract for sale may be executed and recorded as a document transferring an interest in land and shall then constitute notice to third parties of the buyer’s rights under the contract for sale.


(Dec. 30, 1963, 77 Stat. 641, Pub. L. 88-243, § 1; Mar. 16, 1982, D.C. Law 4-85, § 4, 29 DCR 309.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 28:2-107.

1973 Ed., § 28:2-107.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 28:2-105.

Uniform Commercial Code Comment

Prior Uniform Statutory Provision: See Section 76, Uniform Sales Act on prior policy; Section 7, Uniform Conditional Sales Act.

Purposes: 1. Subsection (1). Notice that this subsection applies only if the timber, minerals or structures “are to be severed by the seller“. If the buyer is to sever, such transactions are considered contracts affecting land and all problems of the Statute of Frauds and of the recording of land rights apply to them. Therefore, the Statute of Frauds section of this Article does not apply to such contracts though they must conform to the Statute of Frauds affecting the transfer of interests in land.

2. Subsection (2). “Things attached” to the realty which can be severed without material harm are goods within this Article regardless of who is to effect the severance. The word “fixtures” has been avoided because of the diverse definitions of this term, the test of “severance without material harm” being substituted.

The provision in subsection (3) for recording such contracts in within the purview of this Article since it is a means of preserving the buyer’s rights under the contract of sale.

3. The security phases of things attached to or to become attached to realty are dealt with in the Article on Secured Transactions (Article 9) and it is to be noted that the definition of goods in that Article differs from the definition of goods in this Article.

Cross References: Point 1: Section 2-201.

Point 2: Section 2-105.

Point 3: Articles 9 and 9-105.

Definitional Cross References: “Buyer”. Section 2-103.

“Contract”. Section 1-201.

“Contract for sale”. Section 2-106.

“Goods”. Section 2-105.

“Party”. Section 1-201.

“Present sale”. Section 2-106.

“Rights”. Section 1-201.

“Seller”. Section 2-103.

Reason for 1972 Change [Laws 1977, Ch. 452]

Several timber-growing states have changed the 1962 Code to make timber to be cut under a contract of severance goods, regardless of the question who is to sever them. The section is revised to adopt this change. Financing of the transaction is facilitated if the timber is treated as goods instead of real estate. A similar change is made in the definition of “goods” in Section 9-105. To protect persons dealing with timberlands, filing on timber to be cut is required in Part 4 of Article 9 to be made in real estate records in a manner comparable to fixture filing.