Policy making
Much of ICC’s work is rooted in producing rulesand guidelines to facilitate international trade, which is done through specialized working bodiesknown as commissions. Consisting of business experts drawn from the membership, the commissionsalso elaborate policy on major issues that affect business globally.
Preferred business partner to the UN
Over the years, ICC hasbeen actively involvedin the work of the UN’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the InternationalTelecommunication Union(ITU), the UN Commissionon International TradeLaw (UNCITRAL), the UNConference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD),the UN Commission onSustainable Development(UNCSD), the UNDevelopment Programme(UNDP), the UN Economic Commission for Europe (ECE), the UN Environment programme (UNEP), the World Customs Organization (WCO), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), among others.
Trade, investment and globalization
The fight for an open world economy and the market system is never won, as difficulties encountered by the Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations attest. Successful integration of developing countries into the global economy through increased tradeand investment is one of the international community’s most pressing challenges. ICC will remain a steadfast rallying point, telling governments, intergovernmental bodies and the public that strengthening commercialties among nations is good for business, good forliving standards and good for peace.
Business in society
Society’s expectations of the role of businessare changing rapidly, and cover everything from theenvironment to community relations. To address thesenew demands, ICC provides business input to majorinitiatives, such as the UN Global Compact, which offers guidance to business on promoting human rights.
Writing rules for business
At the heart of international trade are rules, norms,standards and tools that help facilitate the daily flow of global commerce, the life-support system ofcross-border trade and investment. In its historicrules-writing function, ICC has developed a large arrayof voluntary rules, guidelines and codes to facilitate business and spread best practices. These rules helpreinforce business self-regulation, provide an invaluableservice to businesses across the globe, and are usedin billions of dollars’ worth of transactions every year.
The most widely used set of rules in internationalfinance, the UCP 600 Uniform Customs and Practicefor Documentary Credit, was revised in 2006. UCP takes effect from mid-2007.
Business self-regulation
ICC’s consolidated and expanded advertisingand marketing code, the eighth revision since it firstappeared in 1937, sets a high ethical bar for industryself-regulation in a fast-paced media era. It includesnew guidance in everything from advertisingon the Internet to SMS and further direction on greenadvertising claims. To help in the fight against childobesity, ICC’s framework for responsible food andbeverage marketing provides a series of guidepoststhat set rigorous standards for advertising to children.
Now in their 70th year, ICC’s International Commercial Terms, known as Incoterms, help avoid legal uncertaintyby spelling out clear responsibilities between the buyer  and seller in cross-border sales contracts, and have beenendorsed by the UN Commission on International Trade Law. These terms, such as FOB (Free on Board), areregularly incorporated into sales contracts worldwide and have become part of the daily language of trade.
Model contracts
ICC’s series of model contracts is an indispensabletool for trouble-free trading. A model contract is a legal device that any company may adapt toits needs – thus shortening the time it must spend on negotiations, which saves money and facilitatestrade. The ICC Model Confidentiality Agreement, for example, helps businesses large and small to protect sensitive information. Others in the series include the ICC Model Distributorship Contractand the ICC Model International Franchising Contract.
Certificate of Origin Guidelines
This set of guidelines for the issuance of certificatesof origin, used by customs as the main way to apply tariffs, is the first set of international procedureson this subject and is based on the work of ICC’s World Chambers Federation. These voluntary ruleshelp govern business conduct across bordersand benefit traders and customs officials alike.
Arbitration – resolving disputes quickly and flexibly
ICC’s International Court of Arbitration is the most trusted system of commercial arbitration in the world,having received more than 14 500 cases sinceits founding in 1923. Over the past decade, the Court’s workload has considerably expanded as its reputation for fast, flexible dispute resolution services spreads worldwide. The Court’s membership has also grown and covers 86 countries.


ICC Research Foundation