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International Chamber of Commerce Rules for Documentary Instruments Dispute Resolution Expertise (ICC DOCDEX Rules) (2002)

  • (First revision, effective from 15 March 2002)(republished with grammatical and typographical corrections July 2002) 

    Article 1: 

    Dispute Resolution Service 

     1.1. These Rules concern a service called Documentary Instruments Dispute Resolution Expertise (DOCDEX) which is available in connection with any dispute related to:
    · a documentary credit incorporating the ICC Uniform Customs and Practice for Documentary Credits (UCP), and the application of the UCP and/or of the ICC Uniform Rules for Bank-to-Bank Reimbursement under Documentary Credits (URR),
    · a collection incorporating the ICC Uniform Rules for Collections (URC), and the application of the URC,
    · a demand guarantee incorporating the ICC Uniform Rules for Demand Guarantees (URDG), and the application of the URDG.
     

    Its objective is to provide an independent, impartial and prompt expert decision (DOCDEX Decision) on how the dispute should be resolved on the basis of the terms and conditions of the documentary credit, the collection instruction, or the demand guarantee and the applicable ICC Rules, be it the UCP, the URR, the URC or the URDG (ICC Rules). 

    Any reference to DOCDEX will be deemed to apply to the latest version of the DOCDEX Rules and the applicable version of the ICC Rules, unless otherwise stipulated in the documentary credit, the collection instruction or the demand guarantee. 

    1.2. DOCDEX is made available by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) through its International Centre for Expertise (Centre) under the auspices of the ICC Commission on Banking Technique and Practice (Banking Commission). 

    1.3. When a dispute is submitted to the Centre in accordance with these rules, the Centre shall appoint three experts from a list of experts maintained by the Banking Commission. These three experts (Appointed Experts) shall make a decision which, after consultation with the Technical Adviser of the Banking Commission, shall be rendered by the Centre as a DOCDEX Decision in accordance with these Rules. The DOCDEX Decision is not intended to conform with any legal requirements of an arbitration award. 

    1.4. Unless otherwise agreed, a DOCDEX Decision shall not be binding upon the parties. 

    1.5. In the DOCDEX procedure the communication with the Centre shall be conducted exclusively in writing, i.e. by communication received in a form that provides a complete record thereof, via teletransmission or other expeditious means. 

    Article 2: 

    Request 

    2.1. The Initiator shall apply for a DOCDEX Decision by submission of a request (Request). The Initiator may be one of the parties to the dispute applying individually, or more or all parties to the dispute submitting jointly a single Request. The Request, including all documents annexed thereto, shall be supplied to the Centre in Paris, France, in four copies. 

    2.2. A Request shall be concise and contain all necessary information clearly presented, in particular the following: 

    2.2.1. full name and address of the Initiator, clearly stating such Initiator's function(s) in connection with the documentary credit, the collection, or the demand guarantee, and 

    2.2.2. full name and address of any other party to the dispute (Respondent), clearly stating such Respondent's function(s) in connection with the documentary credit, the collection, or the demand guarantee, where the Request is not submitted jointly by all parties to the dispute, and 

    2.2.3. a statement of the Initiator formally requesting a DOCDEX Decision in accordance with the ICC DOCDEX Rules, ICC Publication No. 811, and 

    2.2.4. a summary of the dispute and of the Initiator's claims, clearly identifying all issues related to the documentary credit, the collection, or the demand guarantee and the applicable ICC Rules to be determined, and 

    2.2.5. copies of the documentary credit, the collection instruction, or the demand guarantee in dispute, all amendments thereto, and all documents deemed necessary to establish the relevant circumstances, and 

    2.2.6. a statement by the Initiator that a copy of such Request, including all documents annexed thereto, has been sent to each Respondent named in the Request. 

    2.3. The Request must be accompanied by the payment of the Standard Fee as per the Appendix hereto. No Request shall be processed unless accompanied by the requisite payment. 

    Article 3: 

    Answer 

    3.1. The Respondent may submit an Answer to the Initiator's Request. The Respondent may be one or more of the parties to the dispute named in the Request as Respondent, each submitting an individual Answer or submitting jointly a single Answer. The Answer must be received by the Centre within the period stipulated in the Centre's Acknowledgement of the Request (see Article 5). The Answer, including all documents annexed thereto, shall be supplied to the Centre in Paris, France, in four copies. 

    3.2. An Answer shall be concise and contain all necessary information clearly presented, in particular the following: 

    3.2.1. name and address of the Initiator, and 

    3.2.2. date of the relevant Request, and 

    3.2.3. a statement of the Respondent formally requesting a DOCDEX Decision in accordance with the ICC DOCDEX Rules, ICC Publication No. 811, and 

    3.2.4. a summary of the Respondent's claims, clearly referring to all issues related to the documentary credit, the collection, or the demand guarantee and the applicable ICC Rules to be determined, and 

    3.2.5. copies of all additional documents deemed necessary to establish the relevant circumstances, and 

    3.2.6. a statement of the Respondent that a copy of such Answer, including all documents annexed thereto, has been sent in writing to the Initiator and to the other Respondent named in the Request. 

    3.3. If the Respondent does not provide a statement pursuant to Article 3.2.3, then the final DOCDEX Decision will not be made available to him. 

    Article 4: 

    Supplements 

    4.1. Request, Answers and Supplements shall be final as received. 

    4.2. The Centre may ask the Initiator and Respondent, by way of an Invitation, to submit specific supplementary information, including copies of documents, relevant to the DOCDEX Decision (Supplement). 

    4.3. Supplements must be received by the Centre in four copies within the period stipulated in the Invitation. The Supplement shall be concise and contain all necessary information clearly presented and include copies of relevant documents. It shall also contain: 

    4.3.1. date and reference as stated in the Invitation, and 

    4.3.2. name and address of the issuer of such Supplement, and 

    4.3.3. a statement of the issuer of such Supplement that a copy of the Supplement, including all documents annexed thereto, has been sent to the Initiator or Respondent. 

    4.4. Supplements shall only be submitted to the Centre upon and in accordance with an Invitation issued by the Centre. 

    Article 5: 

    Acknowledgements and Rejections 

    5.1. The Centre shall confirm the receipt of Requests, Answers and Supplements to the Initiator and Respondent (Acknowledgement). 

    5.2. The Centre will stipulate a reasonable period of time within which each Answer or Supplement must be received by the Centre. The stipulated time should not exceed 30 days after the date of the Acknowledgement of the receipt of a Request or 14 days after the date of an Invitation to submit a Supplement. 

    5.3. Any Answer or Supplement received by the Centre after expiry of the period of time specified in the relevant Acknowledgement or Invitation, or any communication not solicited by the Centre, shall be disregarded. 

    5.4. By advice to the Initiator and Respondent, the Centre may reject at any time, before or after its Acknowledgement, any Request, Answer or Supplement, in whole or part, 

    5.4.1. where the Centre or Appointed Experts deem any issue to be determined to be unrelated to the applicable ICC Rules, or 

    5.4.2. which in other respects, in particular regarding form and/or substance, does not fulfil the requirements of these Rules, or 

    5.4.3. in respect of which the Standard Fee has not been received by the Centre within 14 days after the date of the Request. 

    5.5. Periods of time specified in these Rules or in any Acknowledgement or Invitation referring to days shall be deemed to refer to consecutive calendar days and shall start to run on the day following the date of issuance stated in the relevant Acknowledgement or Invitation. If the last day of the relevant period of time is, or any fixed day falls on, a non-business day in Paris, France, then the period of time shall expire at the end of the first following business day in Paris. 

    Article 6: 

    Appointment of Experts 

    6.1. The Banking Commission will maintain internal lists of experts having profound experience and knowledge of the applicable ICC Rules. 

    6.2. Upon receipt of a Request, the Centre shall appoint three independent experts from the list. Each Appointed Expert shall declare his independence of the parties indicated in the Request. The Centre shall designate one of the three Appointed Experts to act as their Chair. 

    6.3. An Appointed Expert shall at all times keep strictly confidential all information and documents related to any DOCDEX case. 

    6.4. Where an Appointed Expert deems that he is unable to carry out his functions, he shall immediately give notice of termination to the Centre. Where the Centre deems that an Appointed Expert is unable to carry out his functions, it shall immediately give notice of termination to such Appointed Expert. In either case, such Appointed Expert shall immediately return to the Centre the Request, Answer(s) and Supplement(s) received, including all documents annexed thereto, and the Centre shall inform the other Appointed Experts of such termination. 

    6.5. The Centre shall, without delay, replace an Appointed Expert whose appointment is prematurely terminated pursuant to Article 6.4 of these Rules and the Centre shall inform the other Appointed Experts accordingly. 

    Article 7: 

    Appointed Experts' Procedure 

    7.1. The Centre shall submit to the Appointed Experts the Request, Answer(s) and Supplement(s) received in connection therewith 

    7.2. The Appointed Experts shall render their decision impartially and exclusively on the basis of the Request, Answer(s) and Supplement(s) thereto, and the documentary credit and the UCP and/or URR, or the collection and the URC, or the demand guarantee and the URDG. 

    7.3. Where it is deemed necessary by the Appointed Experts, their Chair may ask the Centre to invite the Initiator and Respondent, pursuant to Article 4 of these Rules, to provide additional information and/or copies of documents. 

    7.4. Within 30 days after they have received all information and documents deemed by them to be necessary and appropriate to the issues to be determined, and provided that the Additional Fee as mentioned in Article 10.1 is paid, the Appointed Experts shall draft a decision and their Chair shall submit the decision to the Centre. 

    7.5. Neither the Initiator nor the Respondent shall
    - seek an oral hearing in front of the Appointed Experts,
    - request ICC to reveal the name of any Appointed Expert,
    - seek to have an Appointed Expert or officer of the Banking Commission called as witness, expert or in any similar function to an arbitral tribunal or a court of law hearing the dispute in connection with which such Appointed Expert or officer of the Banking Commission participated by rendering a DOCDEX Decision.
     

    Article 8: 

    DOCDEX Decision 

    8.1. Upon receipt of the decision of the Appointed Experts, the Centre shall consult with the Technical Adviser of the Banking Commission or his nominated delegate, to ascertain that the DOCDEX Decision will be in line with the applicable ICC Rules and their interpretation by the Banking Commission. Amendments suggested by the Technical Adviser (or his delegate) shall be subject to the consent of the majority of the Appointed Experts. 

    8.2. Subject to Article 10.2 of these Rules, the Centre will issue and make available the DOCDEX Decision without delay to 

    8.2.1. the Initiator and 

    8.2.2. the Respondent who has requested, pursuant to Article 3.2.3, a DOCDEX Decision in accordance with the ICC DOCDEX Rules, ICC Publication No. 811. 

    8.3. The DOCDEX Decision shall be issued by the Centre in the English language, unless Appointed Experts decide otherwise, and shall contain, inter alia, the following: 

    8.3.1. names of the Initiator and Respondent, and 

    8.3.2. summary of the representations relevant to the issues determined, and 

    8.3.3. determination of the issues and the decisions taken with succinctly stated reasons, therefor, and . 

    8.3.4. date of issuance and signature for and on behalf of the Centre. 

    8.4. The DOCDEX Decision shall be deemed to be made at Paris, France, and on the date of its issuance by the Centre. 

    Article 9: 

    Deposit and publication of the DOCDEX Decision 

    9.1. An original of each DOCDEX Decision shall be deposited with the Centre and shall be kept there for 10 years. 

    9.2. The ICC may publish any DOCDEX Decision, provided always the identities of the parties to the dispute are not disclosed. 

    Article 10: 

    Costs of DOCDEX 

    10.1. The costs of the DOCDEX service shall be the Standard Fee set out in the Appendix. The Standard Fee shall not be recoverable. In exceptional circumstances, an Additional Fee may be payable which shall be fixed by the Centre at its discretion, taking into account the complexity of the issue and subject to the ceiling set out in the Appendix under "Additional Fee". Such Additional Fee shall be invoiced to the Initiator within a reasonable time, at the latest, within 45 days after the date of the Acknowledgement of the Request. The Centre will fix a time limit for the payment of the Additional Fee. The Centre may stay the procedure at any time, and instruct the Appointed Experts to suspend their work on the case, until the Additional Fee is paid by the Initiator. No Additional Fee will be charged where the amount of the letter of credit, the collection, or the demand guarantee in dispute does not exceed the minimum amount stated in the Appendix. 

    10.2. The DOCDEX Decision shall not be issued until the Centre has received the Additional Fee, if invoiced. 

    Article 11: 

    General 

    11.1. In all matters not expressly provided for in these Rules, the Centre, experts, Appointed Experts, officers, officials and employees of ICC shall adhere to strict confidentiality and shall act in the spirit of these Rules. 

    11.2. Appointed Experts, officers, officials and employees of ICC assume no liability or responsibility for the consequences arising out of delay and/or loss in transit of any message(s), letter(s) or document(s), or for delay, mutilation or other error(s) arising in the transmission of any telecommunication, or for errors in translation and/or interpretation of technical terms. 

    11.3. Appointed Experts, officers, officials and employees of ICC assume no liability or responsibility for the discharge or purported discharge of their functions in connection with any DOCDEX Decision, unless the act or omission is shown not to have been in good faith. 

    Appendix to the ICC Rules for Documentary Instruments Dispute Resolution Expertise 

    1. Standard Fee:
    The Standard Fee, which includes administrative expenses and expert fees, is US$ 5000.
     

    2. Additional Fee:
    Pursuant to Article 10.1 of these Rules the Centre may, if the amount of the letter of credit exceeds US$ 500 000, charge an Additional Fee of up to 100% of the Standard Fee.
     

    3. Payment
    Any payment made towards such fees shall be made in United States dollars to the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris, clearly marked wit the reference of DOCDEX
     

    • by bank transfer to 

    UBS SA
    35 rue des Noirettes
    P.O. Box 2600
    CH-1211 Geneva 2
    Switzerland
    Account No.: 240-224534.61R
    Swift code: UBSWCHZH12A
     

    or 

    • by cheque payable to the International Chamber of Commerce, 

    or 

    • by Visa card stating
    Expiry date
    Visa card number
    Name on card
    Signature
    Date
     

    4. Transmission:
    Any such payment shall be accompanied by an advice in writing to
    International Chamber of Commerce
    International Centre for Expertise
    38, Cours Albert 1er
    F-75008 Paris France
    Telefax: +33 1 49 53 29 29
    e-mail Docdex@iccwbo.org
     

    stating the following data: 

    Name:
    Business title:
    Company:
    Address:
    Code/postal code:
    Date of Request:
     

    5. General:
    This Appendix is subject to change without notice. Please enquire with the International Chamber of Commerce as to the applicable version of this Appendix.
     

    Request 

    When a dispute arises, the Initiator shall apply for a DOCDEX Decision by submission of a request (Request). The Initiator may be one of the parties to the dispute applying individually, or more or all parties to the dispute submitting jointly a single Request. The Request, including all documents annexed thereto, shall be supplied to the Centre in Paris, France, in four copies. 

    A Request shall be concise and contain all necessary information clearly presented, in particular the following: 

    ·       full name and address of the Initiator, clearly stating such Initiator's function(s) in connection with the documentary credit, the collection, or the demand guarantee and 

    ·       full name and address of any other party to the dispute (Respondent), clearly stating such Respondent's function(s) in connection with the documentary credit, the collection, or the demand guarantee, where the Request is not submitted jointly by all parties to the dispute, and 

    ·       a statement of the Initiator formally requesting a DOCDEX Decision in accordance with the ICC DOCDEX, ICC Publication No. 811, and 

    ·       a summary of the dispute and of the Initiator's claims, clearly identifying all issues related to the documentary credit, the collection, or the demand guarantee and the applicable ICC Rules to be determined, and 

    ·       copies of the documentary credit in dispute, the collection instruction, or the demand guarantee in dispute, all amendments thereto, and all documents deemed necessary to establish the relevant circumstances, and 

    ·       a statement by the Initiator that a copy of such Request, including all documents annexed thereto, has been sent to each Respondent named in the Request. 

    The Request must be accompanied by the payment of the Standard Fee amounting to US$ 5000. In exceptional circumstances, if the amount of the letter of credit exceeds US$ 500 000, an additional payment of up to US$ 5000 may be required. 

    The Request for the DOCDEX Decision should be sent to: 

    ICC International Centre for Expertise
    38, Cours Albert 1er
    75008 Paris France
     

    Fax +33 1 49 53 29 29
    e-mail Docdex@iccwbo.org
     

    Banking instructions are as follows: 

    - by cheque to the order of the INTERNATIONAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE 

    or 

    - By wire transfer to our account no. 240-224534.61R at: 

    UBS SA
    35 rue des Noirettes
    P.O. Box 2600
    CH-1211 Geneva 2
    Switzerland
     

    Swift Code: UBSWCHZH12A 

    (Please identify creditor) 

    Process 

    The International Centre for Expertise administers the ICC Rules for Documentary Instruments Dispute Resolution Expertise (DOCDEX), established by the ICC Banking Commission to facilitate the rapid settlement of disputes arising under the Uniform Customs and Practice for Documentary Credits (UCP) and the Uniform Rules for Bank-to-Bank Reimbursement (URR). DOCDEX is a private, expert-based and non-binding dispute-resolution option to international litigation and arbitration for documentary credit dispute. 

    The DOCDEX system came into effect on 1 October 1997 and was revised on 15 March 2002. Under this mechanism the ICC International Centre for Expertise, together with the Secretariat of the ICC Commission on Banking Technique and Practice, proposes the following procedure for resolving disputes in connection with documentary instruments practice. 

    The purpose of an expertise under the DOCDEX Rules is to enable a panel of three independent, experienced documentary instruments experts, appointed by the ICC International Centre for Expertise, to issue an opinion and/or recommendation on any given dispute for a fair and rapid resolution of a dispute. There are no hearings, the decision is not binding and not intended to conform with the legal requirements of an arbitral award. The ICC urges banks to respect DOCDEX on a voluntary basis. If the parties wish to increase the enforceability of DOCDEX Decisions, they may specify in advance that the DOCDEX Decision will be legally binding between them. 

    The Request for the DOCDEX Decision must be accompanied by the payment of the non-refundable Standard Fee of US$ 5000. 

    All the parties are given the opportunity to participate in the DOCDEX proceedings. However, the DOCDEX panel issues an opinion regardless of whether or not the Respondent agrees to participate. 

    The DOCDEX Experts' Panel remains anonymous. All communication between Experts and parties passes through the Center; there are no hearings. The Experts are chosen from a list maintained by the ICC Commission on Banking Technique and Practice. 

    The Chair of the Experts' panel has to issue an opinion to the Centre within 30 days following receipt of the relevant documents. The Experts' decision is examined by the Technical Adviser of the Banking Commission, who ascertains that their decision is in line with the UCP and/or URR and their interpretation by the Banking Commission. 

    The Experts' decision is issued by the Centre as a DOCDEX Decision. It is Issued in English (unless the Appointed Experts decide otherwise), and is to include a summary of the representations made and a determination of the issues and the decisions taken with "succinctly stated reasons therefor". The Decision is deemed to be made in Paris on the date it is issued. 

    The DOCDEX Rules provide that the ICC may publish any DOCDEX Decision provided that the identities of the parties to the dispute are not disclose. DOCDEX Decisions have already been published in DC Insight. 

    The ICC, through its International Centre for Expertise and its Banking Commission shows a new example of the use of the expertise as the alternative to the dispute resolution mechanisms. This expertise provides a swift answer to complex problems and deserves to meet a success in the future. 

    Costs 

    The costs of the DOCDEX service are the Standard Fee amounting to US$ 5000. In exceptional circumstances, if the amount of the letter of credit exceeds US$ 500 000, an Additional Fee may be payable which shall be fixed by the Centre at its discretion, taking into account the complexity of the issue and subject to the ceiling amounting to 100% of the Standard Fee. Such Additional Fee shall be invoiced to the Initiator within a reasonable time, at the latest, within 45 days after the date of the Acknowledgement of the Request. 

    Appendix to the ICC Documentary Instruments Dispute Resolution Expertise Rules 

    1. Standard Fee: 

    The Standard Fee, which includes administrative expenses and expert fees, is US$ 5000. 

    2. Additional Fee: 

    Pursuant to Article 10.1 of these Rules the Centre may, if the amount of the letter of credit exceeds US$ 500 000, charge an Additional Fee of up to 100% of the Standard Fee. 

    3. Payment 

    Any payment made towards such fees shall be made in United States Dollars to the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris, clearly marked with the reference of DOCDEX 

    • by bank transfer to 

    UBS SA 

    35 rue des Noirettes 

    P.O. Box 2600 

    CH-1211 Geneva 2 

    Switzerland 

    Account No.: 240-224534.61R 

    Swift code: UBSWCHZH12A 

    or 

    • by cheque payable to the International Chamber of Commerce, 

    or 

    • by Visa card stating 

    Expiry date 

    Visa card number 

    Name on card 

    Signature 

    Date 

    4. Transmission: 

    Any such payment shall be accompanied by an advice in writing to 

    International Chamber of Commerce 

    International Centre for Expertise 

    38, Cours Albert 1er 

    F-75008 Paris France 

    Telefax: +33 1 49 53 29 29 

    e-mail Docdex@iccwbo.org 

    stating the following data: 

    Name: 

    Business title: 

    Company: 

    Address: 

    Code/postal code: 

    Date of Request: 

    5. General: 

    This Appendix is subject to change without notice. Please enquire with the International Chamber of Commerce as to the applicable version of this Appendix.