What is the ICC?




ICC is the world business organisation, a representative body that speaks with authority on behalf of enterprises from all sectors in every part of the world.

The fundamental mission of ICC is to promote open international trade and investment and help business meet the challenges and opportunities of globalisation. Its conviction that trade is a powerful force for peace and prosperity dates from the organisation’s origins early in the 20th century. The small group of far-sighted business leaders who founded ICC called themselves “the merchants of peace”.

ICC has three main activities: rule setting, dispute resolution, and policy advocacy. Because its member companies and associations are themselves engaged in international business, ICC has unrivalled authority in making rules that govern the conduct of business across borders. Although these rules are voluntary, they are observed in countless thousands of transactions every day and have become part of the fabric of international trade.

ICC also provides essential services, foremost among them the ICC International Court of Arbitration, the world’s leading arbitral institution. Another service is the World Chambers Federation, ICC’s worldwide network of chambers of commerce, fostering interaction and exchange of chamber best practice. ICC also offers specialised training and seminars and is an industry-leading publisher of practical and educational reference tools for international business, banking and arbitration.

Business leaders and experts drawn from the ICC membership establish the business stance on broad issues of trade and investment policy as well as on relevant technical subjects. These include anti-corruption, banking, the digital economy, marketing ethics, environment and energy, competition policy and intellectual property, among others.

ICC works closely with the United Nations, the World Trade Organization and intergovernmental forums including the G20.

ICC was founded in 1919. Today its global network comprises over 6 million companies, chambers of commerce and business associations in more than 130 countries. National committees work with ICC members in their countries to address their concerns and convey to their governments the business views formulated by ICC.


Technical Commissions

Specialist ICC Commissions meet regularly to review issues affecting business, among them banking, competition, the environment, financial services and insurance, intellectual property, marketing, air, maritime and surface transport, taxation, and trade and investment policy. Commission members include senior executives of major international companies, law firms, and academics.

The Commissions make critical assessments of legislative proposals and other developments affecting their fields, and communicate these views to governments and international organisations.
One of the ICC's main activities is the harmonisation of trade practices. ICC rules on documentary credits are used by banks throughout the world, and ICC Incoterms – international commercial terms defined by the ICC – are applied by importers and exporters worldwide.


Specialist Divisions and Practical Services

  • ICC Dispute Resolution Services: Includes the International Court of Arbitration, the world's leading body for the resolution of business disputes by arbitration; ADR, Dispute Boards, Expertise and DOCDEX

  • ICC Institute of World Business Law: Conducts research, training and the dissemination of information among practitioners and scholars in the field of international business law

  • ICC Commercial Crime Services (CCS): This specialised division is the ICC's umbrella organisation covering commercial crime, maritime crime, and counterfeiting

  • ICC Publications: Publishes practical reference works for the conduct of international business, based on the ICC's work programme. New guides and corporate handbooks are added to the list every year.

  • ICC World Chambers Federation (WCF): The world forum for chambers of commerce, working to strengthen chambers worldwide. The WCF also co-manages the ATA Carnet system for temporary duty-free imports.

  • ICC Events: May be held anywhere in the world, providing an opportunity for business people to learn from each other's experiences.


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