DOCDEX is a private, expert-based and non-binding dispute-resolution option to international litigation and arbitration for documentary credit dispute.
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.
Administration of the procedure
DOCDEX was established by the ICC Commission on Banking (link to the Commission on Banking) to facilitate the rapid settlement of disputes arising under the ICC Uniform Customs and Practice for Documentary Credits (UCP) and the ICC Uniform Rules for Bank-to-Bank Reimbursement under Documentary Credits (URR), the ICC Uniform Rules for Collections (URC) and the ICC Uniform Rules for Demand Guarantees (URDG). The system came into effect on 1 October 1997 and was revised on 15 March 2002.
It is administered by the International Centre for Expertise.
Panel and proceedings
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 Decisions 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.
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 Centre; there are no hearings. The Experts are chosen from a list maintained by the ICC Commission on Banking Technique and Practice.
Duration and Decision
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 applicable ICC Rules 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 disclosed. DOCDEX Decisions are published in DC PRO (link to DC-PRO, a professional library).