It is not necessary to be an ICC member or to have any other affiliation with ICC. The only requirement is that the parties to a contract, treaty, or separate arbitration agreement have agreed on ICC Arbitration.
Parties most commonly agree on ICC Arbitration in a contract or treaty, long before there is any hint of a dispute. Sometimes parties agree on ICC Arbitration after the dispute has arisen.
ICC Arbitration clause
ICC offers the following standard arbitration clauses, which can be adjusted to fit national laws and the parties’ special needs. Parties may and often do draft their own ICC Arbitration agreement from scratch.
The ICC Arbitration clause:
All disputes arising out of or in connection with the present contract shall be finally settled under the Rules of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce by one or more arbitrators appointed in accordance with the said Rules.
Parties wishing to exclude the emergency arbitrator procedure should state so in their clause by adding: “The Emergency Arbitrator Provisions shall not apply.”
Parties can add any other requirements they may have. Parties often stipulate the law governing the contract, the number of arbitrators, and the place and language of arbitration. Alternatively these issues can be left for determination through the ICC Arbitration system, either by the Court or arbitral tribunal.
Failure to include an ICC Arbitration clause in the original contract does not rule out ICC Arbitration. That choice can be made at any time. Obviously though, inclusion of a clause in the contract is advisable because it provides certainty as to the dispute resolution mechanism.
Arbitration agreements are binding and the awards are enforceable in most of the world’s trading nations, particularly due to the 1958 New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards.
Link to standard ICC Arbitration Clauses pages