Trade Finance Made Easy: ICC Revises Dispute Resolution Rules

globe_money_lo-resThe International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has revised its DOCDEX rules, a dispute resolution mechanism specifically designed to address trade finance concerns. In addition to widening its scope to address any trade finance dispute, the new rules will also increase transparency and enhance time efficiency.

DOCDEX is a rapid, cost-effective, document-based procedure offering international bankers and traders a means to settle documentary instruments disputes – not only helping parties minimize the disruption caused by a dispute but also eliminating the need to settle the claim in court.

Decisions are reached by a panel of three independent and impartial experts, and later scrutinized by an ICC Banking Commission technical advisor. Crucially, decisions are non-binding unless both parties agree otherwise – freeing the independent experts from due process, and adding flexibility.

Daniel Schmand, head of trade finance and cash management corporates EMEA, Deutsche Bank and incoming Banking Commission Chair said: “Documentary disputes can severely impact, and often entirely halt, trade finance proceedings. And resolving them is not only a costly and lengthy process, it can also – if taken to court – irreparably damage relationships with trading partners.”

By quickly and inexpensively managing claims, DOCDEX helps minimize the disruption caused by a dispute – not only eliminating the need for protracted litigation, but also safe-guarding the partnerships that are so crucial to the banking and trade finance sectors.”

The recently revised rules – which come into force on 1 May 2015 – will significantly enhance the already advanced dispute resolution mechanism.

The revised rules will also enhance transparency – requiring ICC to publish redacted decisions in every DOCDEX case. Doing so will not only set a precedent for future cases, it will also allow ICC to analyze the panel of experts charged with forming a decision – ensuring they are both impartial and practitioners.

Finally, the 2015 revision provides that filings be made in electronic form – using standard templates available on the ICC website. While speed has always been a hallmark of the DOCDEX process – decisions are typically reached within 30 days of a claim – the change in format will help to streamline case administration and, therefore, further accelerate proceedings.

The ICC DOCDEX Rules and more information on how to use the service can be found at

Staff Contact:   Alice Slayton Clark

Director, Investment, Trade and China
Tel: 202.682.0051

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