2023 New Mexico Statutes
Chapter 55 - Uniform Commercial Code
Article 2 - Sales
Section 55-2-509 - Risk of loss in the absence of breach.

Universal Citation: NM Stat § 55-2-509 (2023)

(1) Where the contract requires or authorizes the seller to ship the goods by carrier:

(a) if it does not require the seller to deliver them at a particular destination, the risk of loss passes to the buyer when the goods are duly delivered to the carrier even though the shipment is under reservation (Section 55-2-505 NMSA 1978); but

(b) if it does require the seller to deliver them at a particular destination and the goods are there duly tendered while in the possession of the carrier, the risk of loss passes to the buyer when the goods are there duly so tendered as to enable the buyer to take delivery.

(2) Where the goods are held by a bailee to be delivered without being moved, the risk of loss passes to the buyer:

(a) on the buyer's receipt of possession or control of a negotiable document of title covering the goods; or

(b) on acknowledgement by the bailee of the buyer's right to possession of the goods; or

(c) after the buyer's receipt of possession or control of a nonnegotiable document of title or other direction to deliver in a record, as provided in Paragraph (b) of Subsection (4) of Section 55-2-503 NMSA 1978.

(3) In any case not within Subsection (1) or (2) of this section, the risk of loss passes to the buyer on the buyer's receipt of the goods if the seller is a merchant; otherwise the risk passes to the buyer on tender of delivery.

(4) The provisions of this section are subject to contrary agreement of the parties and to the provisions of this article on sale on approval (Section 55-2-327 NMSA 1978) and on effect of breach on risk of loss (Section 55-2-510 NMSA 1978).

History: 1953 Comp., § 50A-2-509, enacted by Laws 1961, ch. 96, § 2-509; 2005, ch. 144, § 34.


UCC Official Comments by ALI & the NCCUSL. Reproduced with permission of the PEB for the UCC. All rights reserved.

Prior uniform statutory provision. — Section 22, Uniform Sales Act.

Changes. — Rewritten, Subsection (3) of this section modifying prior law.

Purposes of changes. — To make it clear that:

1. The underlying theory of these sections on risk of loss is the adoption of the contractual approach rather than an arbitrary shifting of the risk with the "property" in the goods. The scope of the present section, therefore, is limited strictly to those cases where there has been no breach by the seller. Where for any reason his delivery or tender fails to conform to the contract, the present section does not apply and the situation is governed by the provisions on effect of breach on risk of loss.

2. The provisions of Subsection (1) apply where the contract "requires or authorizes" shipment of the goods. This language is intended to be construed parallel to comparable language in the section on shipment by seller. In order that the goods be "duly delivered to the carrier" under Paragraph (a) a contract must be entered into with the carrier which will satisfy the requirements of the section on shipment by the seller and the delivery must be made under circumstances which will enable the seller to take any further steps necessary to a due tender. The underlying reason of this subsection does not require that the shipment be made after contracting, but where, for example, the seller buys the goods afloat and later diverts the shipment to the buyer, he must identify the goods to the contract before the risk of loss can pass. To transfer the risk it is enough that a proper shipment and a proper identification come to apply to the same goods although, aside from special agreement, the risk will not pass retroactively to the time of shipment in such a case.

3. Whether the contract involves delivery at the seller's place of business or at the situs of the goods, a merchant seller cannot transfer risk of loss and it remains upon him until actual receipt by the buyer, even though full payment has been made and the buyer has been notified that the goods are at his disposal. Protection is afforded him, in the event of breach by the buyer, under the next section.

The underlying theory of this rule is that a merchant who is to make physical delivery at his own place continues meanwhile to control the goods and can be expected to insure his interest in them. The buyer, on the other hand, has no control of the goods and it is extremely unlikely that he will carry insurance on goods not yet in his possession.

4. Where the agreement provides for delivery of the goods as between the buyer and seller without removal from the physical possession of a bailee, the provisions on manner of tender of delivery apply on the point of transfer of risk. Due delivery of a negotiable document of title covering the goods or acknowledgment by the bailee that he holds for the buyer completes the "delivery" and passes the risk. See definition of delivery in Article 1, Section 1-201 [55-1-201 NMSA 1978] and the definition of control in Article 7, Section 7-106 [55-7-106 NMSA 1978].

5. The provisions of this section are made subject by Subsection (4) to the "contrary agreement" of the parties. This language is intended as the equivalent of the phrase "unless otherwise agreed" used more frequently throughout this act. "Contrary" is in no way used as a word of limitation and the buyer and seller are left free to readjust their rights and risks as declared by this section in any manner agreeable to them. Contrary agreement can also be found in the circumstances of the case, a trade usage or practice, or a course of dealing or performance.

Point 1: Section 2-510(1).

Point 2: Sections 2-503 and 2-504.

Point 3: Sections 2-104, 2-503 and 2-510.

Point 4: Section 2-503(4).

Point 5: Section 1-201.

"Agreement". Section 1-201.

"Buyer". Section 2-103.

"Contract". Section 1-201.

"Delivery". Section 1-201.

"Document of title". Section 1-201.

"Goods". Section 2-105.

"Merchant". Section 2-104.

"Party". Section 1-201.

"Receipt" of goods. Section 2-103.

"Sale on approval". Section 2-326.

"Seller". Section 2-103.


The 2005 amendment, effective January 1, 2006, provided in Subsection (2)(a) that the risk of loss passes to the buyer upon the buyer's receipt of possession or control of a negotiable document of title and in Subsection (2)(c) that the risk of loss passes to the buyer upon the buyers receipt of possession or control of a nonnegotiable document of title or director to deliver in a record.

Law reviews. — For article, "Special Property Under the Uniform Commercial Code: A New Concept in Sales," see 4 Nat. Resources J. 98 (1964).

For article, "Buyers and Sellers of Goods in Bankruptcy," see 1 N.M. L. Rev. 435 (1971).

Am. Jur. 2d, A.L.R. and C.J.S. references. — Goods remaining in custody of seller or third person, when deemed to have been received by buyer, 4 A.L.R. 902.

Liability for loss of or damage to property delivered on trial or with privilege of return, 31 A.L.R. 1365.

Who bears loss incidentally to destruction of goods sold conditionally, 38 A.L.R. 1319.

Delay in delivery placing goods at the risk of the party at fault, 38 A.L.R.2d 658.

Upon whom loss from theft or the like falls, where seller turns over goods at buyer's premises, 50 A.L.R.2d 330.

77A C.J.S. Sales § 223 et seq.

Disclaimer: These codes may not be the most recent version. New Mexico may have more current or accurate information. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or the information linked to on the state site. Please check official sources.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.