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A tariff is a contract or part of a contract with a list of fixed conditions for the provision of services within the framework of a contractual service or work contract . The contractual conditions are called tariffs if they are unilaterally offered to many possible contractual partners unilaterally by a company , an authority or a provider .

Word origin

The word tariff comes from the Arabic taʿrīfa  /تَعْرِيفَة / ' Notice , price list ', derived from the verb ʿarrafa  /عَرَّفَ / ,announce'. It was used in Arabic especially for customs tariffs . The city of Tarifa also got its name because it is located exactly on the Strait of Gibraltar and the skippers who crossed the straits had to pay a fee there for the passage. On the way via the French tariffe as the “price list for goods, remuneration and fees” (1572), it came into the German language via the Italian tarifa as a loan word .


Rates there are particular benefits not the self-employed ( collective agreement for wage bargaining, collective salary , pay scale , frame rate in Germany). Tariffs are mainly used for services by individuals and for services by companies.

Examples of tariffs:

From a legal point of view, this consists of the conditions of carriage and the associated tariff provisions .
In a tariff association (part of a transport association ) there are association tariffs .

The term is not used for the purchase of goods according to sales contract law and for contracts for work and services with a defined success , but it is used for the temporary rental of an object of sale. Authorities also set tariffs for their services, which as a rule do not indicate any real equivalent value, but only concern the issuing of an official document . Therefore, official tariffs only describe taxes , levies or rental fees .

Legal issues

Unilaterally determined contractual conditions are subject to the general terms and conditions of § § 305 ff. BGB , exceptions are the labor law collective agreements and company and service agreements. The general terms and conditions law is applied to all other collective agreements, with the result that they are subject to judicial content control .

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Raja Tazi, Arabismen im Deutschen , 1998, p. 222
  2. Detlef Leenen, BGB general part: Legal business theory , 2015, p. 355 Rn. 5

Web links

Wiktionary: tariff  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations