International Chamber of Commerce Prepares to Launch Incoterms® 2020

Paris and New York, April 22, 2019 – The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) is preparing for the publication of Incoterms® 2020, an update of the renowned regulations that define the responsibilities of buyers and sellers operating in the international trade system, according to ICC’s American national committee, the United States Council for International Business (USCIB).

Facilitating trillions of dollars in global trade each year, the “international commercial terms,” or Incoterms® rules, are a commonly accepted set of definitions and rules governing commercial trade activity.

“The revised Incoterms® rules will have a direct impact on traders throughout the United States and the world,” according to USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson. “It will be important for everyone involved in cross-border business to familiarize themselves with the changes. We will be working to educate our members and the business community at large on the most important changes.”

Nearly a century ago, following a series of studies conducted in the 1920s, the Paris-based ICC concluded that there was a need for the creation of a common protocol for importers and exporters everywhere. The first set of Incoterms® rules was published by ICC in 1936. Since then, ICC has periodically revised the Incoterms® rules to reflect changes in the international trade system.

For the past decade, Incoterms® 2010 has provided critical guidance to importers, exporters, lawyers, transporters and insurers across the world. ICC is preparing for the official release of Incoterms® 2020 later this year.

USCIB said that, joining with ICC chapters around the world, it plans to roll out training programs and seminars alongside the worldwide publication of the new terms.

“Now more than ever, participants in the global trading system require guidance and clarity,” Robinson said. “With the emergence of new technologies, government policies, and environmental regulations, Incoterms® 2020 will provide a common framework for the future of trade.”

USCIB has established a central information page on its website for all the latest developments surrounding the introduction of Incoterms® 2020. Go to uscib.org/about-incoterms-2020 for more information.

About USCIB:
USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and regulatory coherence. Its members include U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world, generating $5 trillion in annual revenues and employing over 11 million people worldwide. As the U.S. affiliate of several leading international business organizations, including ICC, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment. More information is available at www.uscib.org.

Contact:
Jonathan Huneke, USCIB
jhuneke@uscib.org, +1 212.703.5043

 

At B20, Robinson Stresses Need for International Cooperation

Peter Robinson at the B20 in Japan

USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson was in Japan the week of March 11 for the B20 Summit, alongside other business leaders such as John Denton, secretary general and Paul Polman, chair of the International Chamber of CommercePhil O’Reilly, chair and Russell Mills, secretary general of Business at OECD, as well as Erol Kiresepi, chairman of the International Organization of Employers.

Robinson spoke on a panel titled, “Global Economy for All: International Cooperation for Global Governance.” In his remarks, Robinson proposed looking at international cooperation from two perspectives: strengthening global institutions and rules, while also encouraging bottom-up approaches and a general spirit of cooperation, rather than confrontation, in international economic relations.

“For the foreseeable future, we will need to accept that many electorates and governments view the world through a more nationalistic, mercantilist lens,” said Robinson. “We need to demonstrate the value in international cooperation, not just through new binding rules and official structures, but through voluntary, bottom-up initiatives. Efforts such as the Paris Climate Agreement, or the plurilateral agreements being pursued by WTO members on several issues including digital trade, should be welcomed and encouraged.”

Throughout the course of the panel, Robinson also touched upon trade conflicts with China, WTO modernization, and the need to radically reform education, job training and retraining approaches around the world.

Robinson also called out climate change as being a crucial long-term global challenge. “Climate impacts everything – economic growth, jobs, health care, where people live,” stressed Robinson. “We therefore need to view climate and energy policy in a more holistic manner.”

The Japan Times covered the B20 and quoted Robinson in their piece, “At B20 in Tokyo, World Business Leaders Urge Stronger Cooperation on Looming Challenges.” The Japan Times quoted Robinson emphasizing that “The American business community still believes in open trade, globalization and multilateralism.”

Robinson also applauded the B20’s prioritization of adoption and dissemination of artificial intelligence to ensure that AI development deployment remains “human-centric”. This issue will be a big focus of the digital economy conference that USCIB is organizing with Business at OECD (BIAC) and the OECD on March 25 in Washington, DC.

Donnelly Visits Google During Trade Tour in Switzerland

USCIB Vice President for Investment and Financial Services Shaun Donnelly spent the week of March 4 as the business representative on a Washington Think Tank study tour of Switzerland, focusing on trade issues and possibilities for a potential U.S.-Switzerland Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

While in Zurich, Donnelly and the 12-member study tour visited Google Switzerland’s major operations and R&D center. Google’s Zurich operations are the company’s third-largest R&D operation globally and their largest outside the United States. Google opened its first office in Zurich only fifteen years ago and it has quickly grown into one of the largest and most respected employers in the city.

Coincident with the study tour’s visit, Google invited the leadership of economiesuisse, Switzerland’s largest and most influential business association to a luncheon meeting with the visiting Washington team. Economiesuisse is USCIB’s Swiss counterpart and partner in Business at OECD, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and other international business fora.

ICC Secretary General Meets With USCIB Members, Staff

John Denton

John Denton, the Australian lawyer and diplomat who last year took the reins as secretary general of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the world business organization that serves as the linchpin of USCIB’s global network, met with USCIB members and staff during a visit to New York in early February.

Leading representatives of USCIB member companies from a variety of industries, and reflecting a wide spectrum of expertise across USCIB’s various policy committees, gathered in USCIB’s New York and Washington, D.C. offices. Joined by video conference, they provided the ICC secretary general with their views and priorities across multiple practice areas. Denton took advantage of the opportunity to compare notes on a variety of global economic and business challenges, and laid out his efforts to streamline and re-imagine ICC’s vision, structure and services.

Denton was elected to head the secretariat of the Paris-based ICC in March of last year. A legal expert and adviser on global policy, international trade and investment and infrastructure, Denton previously served on ICC’s Executive Board and, in 2016, became the first Australian to hold the position of first vice chair of ICC.

 

UN Climate Talks Agree on Paris Pact Implementation

Norine Kennedy (center, at laptop) speaks at a business dialogue in Katowice, Poland.
Talks went down to the wire to address who pays for losses due to climate change, and how to balance responsibilities of industrialized vs. developing countries.
USCIB has urged the Trump administration to remain at the table in the UN climate process.

This year’s UN Climate Conference (COP 24) concluded late on Saturday night in Katowice, Poland, having made major progress in several key areas for American business, including on implementation of the landmark 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

Over 31,000 representatives of governments, UN bodies, NGOs, business and the media were on hand in the capital of Poland’s coal-dependent Silesia province for the 24th conference of parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Norine Kennedy, USCIB’s vice president of strategic international engagement, energy and environment, attended the entire two-week conference. She noted that, despite rough patches that delayed reaching a resolution, the resulting “Paris Rulebook” now offers clarity and predictability for companies planning long term investment and operations relating to energy.

“Crunch issues, which weren’t resolved until the last minutes of intense negotiations, included compensation for climate change-related loss and damage, how to reference scientific findings on potential impacts of a 1.5 degree (Celsius) change in global temperatures, and how to balance reporting requirements for developed and developing countries to ensure comparability and fairness.” Kennedy said.

On the Paris Rulebook, an implementation guide for the Paris Agreement, governments reached compromises to advance accounting and reporting of national climate pledges, as well as information on support provided to developing countries by developed countries. Kennedy said the price of the compromises reached seems to be a decision to defer an outcome on a section of the Paris Rulebook relating to voluntary carbon markets until next year’s conference of the parties, when governments will gather again in Chile.

“The UN Climate Agreement is a dynamic enterprise that has evolved to reflect new science and include new issues, such as just transition,” she said. “But a constant in the UN deliberations is the imperative for business innovation, engagement and action.” USCIB has advocated for enhanced involvement of representative business and employers’ organizations in the policy and implementation discussions.

The International Chamber of Commerce once again provided support for private-sector representation at the COP. USCIB members attending the two-week session took part in the ICC Business Day, the Major Economies Business Forum Business Dialogue and in presentations of the Global Action Agenda showcasing voluntary initiatives by business and other non-governmental interests.

On December 9, USCIB presented its report, “Business Engagement in Implementing National Climate Pledges and the Paris Agreement.” This report gathers business and government experiences in framing and acting on national pledges, and identifies best practices as national governments strengthen their national climate programs, working with business and other societal partners.

“USCIB has encouraged the Trump administration to advance U.S. business interests in the UN climate talks, including the Paris Agreement,” Kennedy noted. “We support having the U.S. remain at the table to defend American economic interests that may arise there.”

The UN process will now move ahead towards a UN Climate Summit to be convened by UN Secretary General Antonio Gutierres in September 2019 in New York, then on to Chile next December.

USCIB Supports Singapore Convention on Mediation 

International businesses now have a powerful tool that will greatly facilitate international trade and commerce. The new Singapore Convention will make enforceable settlement agreements resulting from international mediation.

USCIB joined the US Chamber of Commerce, NFTC, and NAM to co-sign a letter of support for the U.S. signing and ratifying the Singapore Convention on Mediation. The letter was sent to U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo on November 1. The treaty negotiation was launched by the U.S. with the aim of developing a cost-effective international legal mechanism for resolving cross-border commercial disputes between private parties.

“By encouraging the use of mediation as a viable path to resolving commercial disputes, the Convention reduces cost and eliminates the need for duplicative litigation,” the letter stated.

The Convention also improves the enforcement process by obliging governments to recognize the legal status of any mediated settlement. As a result, the Singapore Convention helps mitigate risk when entering into a commercial relationship with businesses in foreign markets and raises the standards of fair trade globally.

USCIB Hosts Arbitration Luncheon on B2B Data Breaches Disputes

Program focused on the coming wave of data privacy and security disputes between businesses, the legal claims and defenses asserted in these cases and the key role of ADR in resolving these disputes.
Where there is a breach, companies need to examine who owned the data, who had custody of the data and the source of the breach.

 

USCIB’s Arbitration Committee hosted a luncheon with Squire Patton Boggs on October 3 focusing on arbitrating B2B data breach disputes. As data breaches are increasingly more common, business-to-business (“B2B”) disputes arising from security incidents between companies are also on the rise. The luncheon program focused on the coming wave of data privacy and security disputes between businesses, the legal claims and defenses asserted in these cases and the key role of ADR in resolving these disputes.

Divided into two panels, the first panel, which was moderated by USCIB General Counsel, Nancy M. Thevenin, focused on the business problem of data breach disputes. Speaker, Nancy Saltzman, former executive vice president, general counsel and company secretary of EXL Service, advised businesses to review their new and old contracts for data breach provisions and risk allocations. Where there is a breach, companies need to examine who owned the data, who had custody of the data and the source of the breach. Saltzman explained that a breach can occur internally within one’s own company via human or system error or externally via hacking.

Edward Chang of Cyber Risk Management at Travelers described how a breach may release a company’s sensitive information or personally identifiable information of its customers. Chang explained that in terms of insurance, this is a fast moving field with about 70 different issuers that provide coverage for B2B data breaches. He specified that there are four basic schemes for coverage: (a) incident response; (b) business interruption losses; (c) fraud and business email compromise; and (d) liability. Both speakers agreed that it is not uncommon for companies to quickly go through $10 million worth of coverage where a breach occurs.

The second panel, moderated by Frederic Fucci, an independent arbitrator with Fucci Law & ADR, PLL and chair of the Transactional Lawyers Subcommittee focused on how alternative dispute resolution (ADR), as opposed to litigation, was an effective means of resolving these disputes. Speaker Joseph V. DeMarco, founder and principal at DeVore & DeMarco LLP, emphasized that the confidentiality of mediation and arbitration was a key advantage. Speaker, Gary L. Benton, FCIArb, FCCA, an independent arbitrator with Gary Benton Arbitration and founder of the Silicon Valley Arbitration & Mediation Center, added that with ADR, the parties can select neutrals with the technical expertise to effectively resolve data breach disputes.

To conclude, the program emphasized the importance for businesses to focus on and negotiate the data breach provisions of any contract in which they are providing access to their data and to consider obtaining insurance to protect against data breaches. The program also emphasized using ADR to resolve these disputes. For example, using the standard ICC arbitration clause followed by provisions for the place of arbitration, applicable law, number of arbitrators with required expertise and language would be a sufficient starting place.

At B20, Argentina’s President Notes Crucial Role of Business

Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri
The annual B20 process provides a platform for the international business community to participate in global economic governance.
The set of actionable recommendations will be submitted for consideration by heads of state at the G20 Summit in late November.

 

Argentina hosted the B20 Summit October 4-5 in Argentina, gathering business leaders of B20, government representatives and members of international organizations. Among them was International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Secretary General John Denton. Denton led a high-level panel on “Infrastructure + Energy: Two powerhouses for development”.

The annual summit, organised this year under the stewardship of G20 host country Argentina, provided an opportunity for Denton and selected business leaders to meet with Argentine President Mauricio Macri, who addressed the group at the Casa Rosada Museum in Buenos Aires.

Formally receiving the group’s recommendations to G20 leaders during the closing session of the Summit, Macri said, “Global solutions require the commitment and action not only of governments but also of all the sectors of society, including the business community. Companies are important in the process of dialogue and consensus building.”

The set of actionable recommendations will be submitted for consideration by heads of state at the G20 Summit in late November.

The annual B20 process provides a significant platform for the international business community to participate in global economic governance, and supports the work of the G20 by hosting focused policy discussions and developing recommendations geared towards strong, sustainable and balanced growth in the global economy.

International Business Magazine: Fall/Summer 2018

The Summer/Fall 2018 issue of USCIB’s quarterly International Business magazine is available here. The issue features a timely column by USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson titled, “The Myth of Private-Sector ‘Conflict of Interest’ at the UN. The issue also features news stories on how tariffs harm companies and consumers, tax reform impacts, and reinforcing US-China tie, plus news from our global network–Business at OECD, the International Organization of Employers and the International Chamber of Commerce.

“International Business,” USCIB’s quarterly journal, provides essential insight into major trade and investment topics, a high-level overview of USCIB policy advocacy and services, USCIB member news and updates from our global business network.

Subscribe to USCIB’s International Business Magazine

Subscriptions to “International Business” are available free upon request to representatives of USCIB member organizations. Contact us to subscribe.

Non-members may subscribe to “International Business” and other USCIB print publications at an annual rate of $50 (U.S.) for domestic delivery, or $75 for overseas delivery. Contact us to subscribe. USCIB’s annual report, studies from the United States Council Foundation and related publications are included with your paid subscription.

Our free electronic newsletter, “International Business Weekly,” provides regular updates on USCIB’s major activities and priorities. Click here to view a sample issue. Click here to subscribe.

We welcome outside submissions and inquiries regarding our publications – send them to news@uscib.org.

We welcome advertising in International Business magazine — special discounted rates for USCIB member organizations! Contact Kira Yevtukhova (kyevtukhova@uscib.org) for more information.

 

ICC Releases New Code of Conduct for Global Marketing Industry

L-R: Carla Michelotti (International Advertising Association), Sheila Millar (Keller & Heckman), Lee Peeler (National Advertising Division)
Launched September 25 at a conference in New York, the new edition of the flagship ICC Marketing Code raises consumer protection standards around the world and expands rules in the digital realm.

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has released the tenth revision of its flagship Advertising and Marketing Communications Code – a globally applicable self-regulatory framework developed by experts from all industry sectors worldwide. The ICC Marketing Code was launched on September 25 during the National Advertising Division’s 2018 Annual Conference in New York. ICC is the world’s largest business organisation, representing over 45 million companies and more than one billion employees. USCIB serves as ICC’s exclusive American national committee.

Underpinning self-regulatory frameworks in 42 countries, the ICC Marketing Code seeks to protect consumers by clearly setting out the “dos and don’ts” for responsible marketing to ensure legal, honest, decent and truthful communications and practices. This new revision ensures that the ICC Marketing Code takes into account emerging digital marketing and advertising practices, such as artificial intelligence-enabled marketing, market influencers, vloggers and data analytics.

“ICC’s global membership ensures that there is a worldwide consensus on Marketing and Advertising issues, and a unified voice when business speaks to the UN and to national governments,” said Carla Michelotti, vice president of the International Advertising Association and the vice chair of USCIB’s Marketing and Advertising Committee.

Sheila Millar, partner with Keller & Heckman and vice chair of the ICC Marketing and Advertising Commission, who joined Michelotti in unveiling the revised code, added: “The goal was to make sure that the ICC Code remains relevant to the marketplace of today, including modern technologies and marketing practices. We wanted to make it future-proof.”

The tenth revision of the ICC Marketing Code includes:

  • Enhanced guidance on distinguishing marketing communications content from true editorial and user generated content
  • Expanded coverage of the rules to include emerging digital mediums and participants
  • Consolidated rules on direct marketing and digital marketing communications
  • Updated terminology and guidance on the applicability of mobile phones and cross-devices to location-based advertising and interest-based advertising
  • Clarified rules on advertising to children and teens

“The digital transformation of marketing and advertising underscores the critical importance of trust between consumers and companies,” said ICC Secretary General John Denton. “The ICC Marketing Code sets the gold standard for ethical advertising that will help ensure consumer trust in the years to come.”

Brent Sanders, assistant general counsel at Microsoft and chair of the ICC Commission on Marketing and Advertising (as well as USCIB’s Marketing and Advertising Committee), agreed and noted: “The ICC Marketing Code has served as the inspiration for self-regulatory codes and as a building block for self-regulatory structures around the world. By ensuring advertising is honest, transparent and decent, these systems build consumer trust and provide quick and easy redress when transgressions occur.”

A Spanish-language edition of the newly-revised ICC Marketing Code will be launched in Cartagena, Colombia – and accessible globally online – on October 2.

The ICC Commission on Marketing and Advertising examines major marketing and advertising related policy issues of interest to world business and brings together top experts on self-regulation and ethical best practices in advertising and marketing communications. ICC has been the major rule-setter in international advertising self-regulation since 1937, when the Commission issued its first Marketing Code – one of the most successful examples of business self-regulation ever developed.