Introduction to ICC DOCDEX

Through its International Centre for ADR ("Centre"), ICC offers a confidential, quick and cost-effective means to settle disputes concerning trade finance-related instruments, usually in two to three months using ICC’s Documentary Instruments Dispute Resolution Expertise (DOCDEX).

In particular, parties may file a Request for a DOCDEX Decision for any dispute relating to:

  • a documentary credit;
  • a standby letter of credit;
  • a bank-to-bank reimbursement;
  • a collection;
  • a demand guarantee or counter-guarantee;
  • a forfaiting transaction,
  • a bank payment obligation (BPO); or
  • any other trade finance-related instrument, undertaking or agreement.

Cases are decided by a panel of three impartial experts having experience in, and knowledge of, trade finance transactions. Said experts are selected from a list maintained by the ICC Banking Commission. The experts' decision is further scrutinized by the Technical Adviser to the ICC Banking Commission to ensure that it conforms to applicable ICC Banking Rules and/or international standard practice in trade finance.

DOCDEX Decisions are confidential and are rendered in English. They are only binding if all parties have provided their express agreement. A DOCDEX Decision is not an arbitral award.

Advantages of using DOCDEX

  • DOCDEX Decisions permit parties to stay out of court and to settle reliably at a low cost
  • The experts rendering DOCDEX Decisions are individually handpicked by the Centre after careful screening to check their qualifications and independence
  • The average DOCDEX decision is handed down in 2-3 months, while courts may easily take between 6-18 months or much longer.
  • DOCDEX saves money compared to the unlimited costs of litigation. In DOCDEX proceedings, the total cost is capped at US$ 5 000 or US$ 10 000, depending on the amount in dispute. Even in exceptional cases, the Centre will only charge an additional maximum fee of US$ 2 500 or US$ 5 000.
  • You can feel confident that you receive a thorough analysis and well-considered conclusion with DOCDEX. Experts carefully examine all documents before reaching a decision, which are then further reviewed by the ICC Banking Commission's Technical Adviser.
  • Anonymized DOCDEX Decisions are widely distributed enabling practitioners to avoid common errors leading to disputes, while at the same time preserving confidentiality. You can find the full text of DOCDEX decisions on DC-PRO Focus, ICC's online subscription service for documentary credits.

More information is also available on the ICC Banking Commission website.