Constructive delivery

Constructive delivery
See also

Constructive delivery (called also symbolic delivery[1]) is substitute (or is an equivalent) of real delivery.

It is term used when the item was not supplied itself but the symbol or sign of it is delivered. Constructive delivery gives the mean of acquiring future ownership. It is the intention of transferring ownership, but it has not yet happened from legal perspective[2].

It is happening usually is case of handling over the property, possession or ownership, for example key to the house or title deeds of property[3].

From Latin, the whole procedure is called traditio longa manu which means delivery by extended hand (the opposite traditio brevi manu, delivery by short hand used for actual delivery). Future owner acceptance of constructive delivery is required[4].

Real (actual, physical, manual) delivery is an opposed term to constructive delivery[5].

Why physical delivery is not done[edit]

Physical delivery is not possible, impractisable or cannot be completed due to difficulties or special circumstances that exist at the moment. Once they will be solved, physical delivery might be completed[6][7].

Where constructive delivery is used[edit]

Constructive delivery is especially used in transactions of below[8][9][10][11]:

  • hire,
  • loan,
  • usufruct,
  • mandate,
  • deposit,
  • stocks,
  • donation,
  • bonds,
  • title,
  • certificate,
  • insurance policies,
  • contracts,
  • cryptocurrency.


  1. Smith J. C., (2018)
  2. Kochan D. J., Massey C. R., (2018), p. 32
  3. Melville R. D., (1915), p. 222 - 223
  4. Smith J. C., (2018)
  5. Melville R. D., (1915), p. 222 - 223
  6. Miller R. L., Jentz G. A., (2010) p. 666
  7. Dukeminier J., Krier J. E., Alexander G. S., Schill M., Strahilevitz L. J., (2017)
  8. Melville R. D., (1915), p. 222 - 223
  9. Miller R. L., Jentz G. A., (2010) p. 666
  10. Smith J. C., (2018)
  11. Chambers L. (2016)


Author: Anna Piechnik