Home » Chamber services » World Chambers Federation » World Chambers Federation governance » World Chambers Federation Bylaws

Articles of the ICC World Chambers Federation

  1. Preamble
    1. The International Chamber of Commerce (“ICC”) is the world business organization, enabling business to secure peace, prosperity and opportunity for all.

    2. [The ICC World Chambers Federation (“WCF”) is a working body of the ICC, in accordance with the ICC Constitution.]1

    3. The WCF is non-political and non-governmental. WCF represents and promotes the collective interests and the collaboration of chambers of commerce, including local, regional, national, and bilateral chambers of commerce that are members of ICC, as well as transnational chambers of commerce that are partners of ICC. Chambers of commerce include chambers of industry, agriculture, and mining, among others.

    4. The WCF was first established in 1951 as the International Bureau of Chambers of Commerce.

2. Responsibilities and Mission

    1. The WCF endeavours to serve, support, represent, inspire, lead, and connect chambers of commerce worldwide in partnership with ICC and as an integral part of the ICC strategy and objectives.

    2. The role of the WCF is to:

      1. provide the views of chambers of commerce, and in particular the micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (“MSMEs”) which they represent, as part of ICC’s global interventions and governing bodies, and facilitate the participation of chambers of commerce and their MSME members in ICC’s global activities;

      2. encourage chambers of commerce and their members to take part in the activities of ICC and to work together with National Committees and Groups as appropriate;

      3. collaborate with ICC Commissions and other ICC Working Bodies;

      4. promote and protect the concept of chambers of commerce as essential intermediaries between business and government, and between business and the general public;

      5. encourage cooperation and collaboration between chamber organisations throughout the world, as means to extend the range and improve the effectiveness of the services that chambers provide;

      6. provide a forum where chamber leaders can communicate with each other and collaborate on matters of mutual interest, such as solving problems or realising opportunities;

      7. initiate or participate in programmes and services that bring together chambers of commerce towards common objectives;

      8. facilitate the role of chambers of commerce as local business support agencies;

      9. provide assistance in the establishment of chambers of commerce and the strengthening of existing chambers, especially in developing countries and emerging economies; and

      10. oversee and manage the Specialised Councils (see Article 8).

    3. Part of the ICC International Secretariat (“ICC Secretariat”) administers, oversees, and manages the WCF (the “WCF Secretariat”). The head of the WCF Secretariat is an ICC director (“WCF Director”) appointed by the ICC Secretary General in consultation with the chair of the WCF (“WCF Chair”).

3. Overarching Principles

    1. As an integral part of ICC, the WCF acts in accordance with the Constitution of ICC, the Governance Principles of ICC, the ICC Declaration on the Next Century of Global Business, and the principles and policies of ICC more broadly, as amended and introduced from time to time.

    2. The actions and activities of the WCF and those involved in the actions, activities, and the organisation of the WCF including its members and the staff members of the WCF Secretariat (“participants”) must be performed in the best interests of ICC.

    3. The WCF and its participants must act ethically, in accordance with the rule of law, and in a transparent way.

    4. Conflicts of interest must be disclosed by participants. If necessary, participants should recuse themselves from WCF activities that give rise to the conflict of interest. The ICC Secretary General or a person delegated by the ICC Secretary General, in consultation with the WCF Secretariat, may, at the discretion of the ICC Secretary General or a person delegated by the ICC Secretary General, recuse participants for any perceived, potential or actual conflicts of interest.

    5. The activities of the WCF must not be anti-competitive or lead to anti-competitive practices.

    6. Participation in the actions, activities, work products, and meetings of the WCF does not create any entitlement to intellectual property rights. Participants are not entitled to use, reproduce, modify or adapt intellectual property belonging to ICC without the approval of ICC.

    7. Participants in the WCF must keep all confidential information and documents of the WCF confidential, including information and documents marked or identified as confidential and information and documents reasonably inferred to be confidential, unless otherwise approved by ICC.

    8. Participants in leadership positions including the WCF Chair, the vice chairs of the WCF (“WCF Vice Chairs”), members of the General Council of WCF (“WCF General Council”), members of the Executive Committee of the WCF General Council (“WCF Executive Committee”), and chairs of Specialised Councils and Task Forces (see Articles 8 and 9), must be endorsed by the WCF Member (see Article 4) for the duration of the participant’s term in that leadership position. The participant’s term will end if the endorsement is withdrawn by the WCF Member.

4. Membership

    1. Members of the WCF comprise:

      1. properly constituted chambers of commerce that are current members of ICC;

      2. properly constituted transnational chambers of commerce that are partners of ICC; and

      3. other organisations which conduct activities and are governed in a similar way to properly constituted chambers of commerce, subject to the approval of the WCF Chair and WCF Secretariat, in consultation with the WCF Executive Committee, together “WCF Members”.

    1. The WCF Secretariat oversees applications for WCF membership. [In countries or territories where a National Committee or Group exists, applications for WCF membership must be submitted through the National Committee or Group.] In countries or territories where there is no National Committee or Group, applications for WCF membership must be submitted directly to the WCF Secretariat. For transnational chambers of commerce that are partners or seek to become partners of ICC, applications for WCF membership, including requests for partnership, must be submitted directly to the WCF Secretariat.

    2. Where chambers of commerce are members of National Committees or Groups, the WCF Secretariat will inform the National Committee or Group if the application for WCF membership has been rejected. Where chambers of commerce are Direct Members or a transnational chamber of commerce that is a partner of ICC, the WCF Secretariat will inform the Direct Member or transnational chamber of commerce that is a partner of ICC of the outcome of the application for WCF membership. The WCF General Council may reject any application for WCF membership.

    3. In circumstances where a chamber of commerce is in a territory that has a National Committee or Group that does not accept its membership to the ICC, the matter will be brought to the WCF Executive Committee for consideration and recommendation to the ICC Secretariat, for the ICC Secretariat to bring the matter to the Global Networks Committee of the ICC Executive Board (“NETCOM”) for consideration and resolution relating to the application for WCF membership of that chamber of commerce.

    4. The WCF Chair, in consultation with the WCF Executive Committee and the WCF Secretariat, may propose to NETCOM the suspension or the removal of any WCF Member, and may consider, among other things:

      1. compliance with this document, the Constitution of ICC, the Governance Principles of ICC, the ICC Declaration on the Next Century of Global Business, and the principles and policies of ICC more broadly;

      2. any action that may hinder the work of the WCF;

      3. payment of any applicable membership fees or subscriptions to the National Committee, Group, or ICC Secretariat;

      4. compliance with any statutory or legal definition of chambers of commerce in force in the applicant’s territory of origin; and

      5. membership of any recognised national network of chambers of commerce in the territory in which it is located.

    5. Membership to the WCF does not extend any membership rights on other organisations that are affiliated with that WCF Member, unless those other organisations are appointed WCF Members in their own right.

    6. National Committees, Groups, Direct Members, and transnational chambers of commerce that are partners of ICC must directly inform the WCF Secretariat of any appointment or removal of WCF Members for the purposes of accurate record keeping.

    7. The WCF General Council must be informed by the WCF Secretariat of the status of WCF membership at least once a year.

5. WCF Chair and Vice Chairs

    1. The chairmanship of WCF comprises the WCF Chair and up to seven WCF Vice Chairs. The first vice chair of the WCF (“WCF First Vice Chair”) is included among the WCF Vice Chairs. It is intended that the WCF Vice Chairs are representatives of their region.

    2. For the election of the WCF Chair, the ICC Executive Board will appoint a selection committee at the invitation of the current WCF Chair (“WCF Selection Committee”) to recommend candidates for the position of WCF Chair to the WCF General Council. The WCF Selection Committee must include the ICC Secretary General, at least one member of the ICC Executive Board, and at least three representatives of chambers of commerce. The three representatives of chambers of commerce are proposed by the current WCF Chair, in consultation with the WCF General Council, to the ICC Executive Board.

    3. The WCF Selection Committee, in consultation with the WCF Secretariat and the current WCF Chair, will define the prerequisites for candidates for the position of WCF Chair. WCF Members, the ICC Secretary General, and members of the ICC Executive Board may propose candidates to the WCF Selection Committee for its consideration. Individuals proposed to be a candidate may or may not be associated with a WCF Member at the time of proposal.

    4. Upon recommendation by the WCF Selection Committee, the WCF General Council elects one candidate for the position of WCF Chair to be proposed to the ICC Executive Board. Upon review, the ICC Executive Board will make a recommendation to the ICC World Council on the ratification of the election of the WCF Chair. The election of the WCF Chair becomes effective on the date on which the ICC World Council ratifies the election of the WCF Chair.

    5. The term of the WCF Chair and the WCF Vice Chairs is three years and may be renewed once. An individual may not be in any one position for more than six years in total.

    6. If the WCF Chair or WCF Vice Chairs are a General Council Representative (see Article 7.3.b) when elected or appointed to the position, their term as a General Council Representative ends and their term as WCF Chair or WCF Vice Chair, as appropriate, begins.

    7. The responsibilities of the WCF Chair include:

      1. representing WCF Members within ICC;
      2. promoting the activities of the WCF externally;
      3. chairing WCF General Council meetings, WCF Executive Committee meetings, and other meetings of the WCF as appropriate;
      4. consulting with the Nominations and Human Resources Committee of the ICC Executive Board on nominations for chamber of commerce representatives to be elected to the ICC Executive Board;
      5. proposing to NETCOM the suspension or the removal of WCF Members in accordance with the process in Article 4.5;
      6. recommending candidates for the positions of WCF Vice Chairs in accordance with the process in Article 5.11;
      7. reporting on the activities of the WCF to the ICC Executive Board and ICC World Council as appropriate;
      8. selecting the chairs of the WCF Task Forces in accordance with the process in Article 9.3; and
      9. liaising with the WCF Secretariat.
    8. The WCF Chair is an ex-officio member of the ICC Executive Board and attends the meetings of the ICC World Council in an ex-officio capacity.

    9. The WCF Chair may delegate responsibilities to the WCF First Vice Chair.

    10. If the WCF Chair is temporarily unable to discharge their duties, the WCF First Vice Chair will replace the WCF Chair for the duration of the WCF Chair’s temporary absence. If the WCF First Vice Chair is unable to replace the WCF Chair, the ICC Chair or a person delegated by the ICC Chair, in consultation with the WCF Secretariat must appoint a replacement among the WCF Vice Chairs. If the WCF Chair resigns, is definitively unable to discharge their duties, or the absence of the WCF Chair would substantially impact the activities of the WCF, the process in Articles 5.2 to 5.4 must be followed to appoint a replacement.

    11. For the appointment of the WCF Vice Chairs, the WCF Chair will recommend candidates for the available positions to the ICC Chair or a person delegated by the ICC Chair, for approval by the ICC Executive Board.

    12. The WCF Chair may establish an advisory body of past and present WCF Chairs, WCF Vice Chairs, the ICC Secretary General, and past WCF General Council members (“WCF Chair’s Circle”), to ensure continuous engagement with the WCF network and to provide support, guidance and advice on issues of strategic importance to the long-term success of the WCF. The WCF Chair, in consultation with the WCF Secretariat, is responsible for defining the terms of reference of the WCF Chair’s Circle, if appropriate.

6. WCF Executive Committee

    1. The WCF Executive Committee is comprised of the:

      1. WCF Chair;

      2. WCF Vice Chairs;

      3. ICC Secretary General (ex-officio member); and

      4. WCF Director (ex-officio member), for the duration of their term in that position.

    1. The WCF Executive Committee may invite to its meetings:

      1. Chairs of Specialised Councils (see Article 8); and

      2. Chairs of WCF Task Forces (see Article 9).

    2. The WCF Chair, in consultation with the WCF Director, may invite guests and support staff to attend WCF Executive Committee meetings for administrative purposes or to contribute their expertise.

    3. The WCF Executive Committee takes actions and makes decisions for meeting the objectives of the WCF and, in particular, it:

      1. prepares reports on the activities and decisions of the WCF for the WCF General Council;

      2. works with the WCF Secretariat on the strategic development of the WCF in line with the vision, mission and purpose of ICC;

      3. in accordance with the objectives of the WCF and ICC, develops projects and initiatives that will benefit and support WCF Members and submits those projects and initiatives to the WCF Secretariat, to be reviewed by the ICC Executive Board for approval;

      4. proposes the creation of, monitors and dissolves, any WCF Task Forces (see Article 9), defines their terms of reference, and guides and coordinates their activities as necessary; and

      5. proposes the amendment of these Articles to the ICC Executive Board.

    4. The WCF Executive Committee will be informed of, and consulted on, the allocation of expenses and revenues related to WCF activities within the ICC annual budget process. The WCF Executive Committee will be given sufficient time to have an opportunity to meaningfully engage in the consultation process.

    5. The WCF Executive Committee must meet at least twice a year, and when necessary on the initiative of the WCF Chair or at the written request of at least four of its members.

    6. An executive summary or other meeting record must be prepared for each meeting for record keeping purposes, which must include decisions of the meeting, details of the documents submitted, and the list of participants.

    7. Between WCF Executive Committee meetings, the WCF Executive Committee delegates its functions to the WCF Chair. For substantive matters that arise in between meetings, the WCF Chair must communicate the matter in writing to the WCF Executive Committee with a proposed solution. The communication from the WCF Chair must stipulate a reasonable time in which WCF Executive Committee members can respond, and if no response is received from a WCF Executive Committee member within that time, the WCF Executive Committee member is deemed to have accepted the solution.

7. WCF General Council

    1. The WCF is governed by the WCF General Council which reviews the progress of the strategic roadmap, initiatives and programmes of the WCF to ensure the WCF acts in accordance with the strategy and objectives of ICC.

    2. All initiatives and activities determined by the WCF General Council must be within the framework of ICC, including the framework of the ICC annual budget process, and are subject to veto by the ICC Executive Board.

    3. The WCF General Council is comprised of:

      1. the WCF Executive Committee, Chairs of Specialised Councils, and Chairs of any WCF Task Forces (ex-officio members); and

      2. 20 elected representatives of WCF Members and up to 20 appointed representatives of WCF Members (“General Council Representatives”).

    4. The WCF Chair, or a person delegated by the WCF Chair, will request nominations for candidates for General Council Representative positions. Only individuals endorsed by a WCF Member are eligible to be General Council Representatives. The WCF Secretariat, in consultation with the WCF Executive Committee, will identify any other prerequisites for a candidate to be considered and to be elected.

    5. In each country or territory in which there is a National Committee, Group, or Direct Member, one candidate may be nominated for the elected General Council Representative position.

    6. In circumstances where the WCF Secretariat receives more than one candidate for nomination for the same country or territory in which:

      1. there is a National Committee or Group, the WCF Executive Committee, on the recommendation of the WCF Secretariat having consulted with the national chamber, National Committee or Group (as the case may be and as appropriate), will determine which candidate should be nominated; and

      2. there are Direct Members, the WCF Secretariat in consultation with the WCF Chair will determine which candidate should be nominated.

    7. The nomination period will be open for at least four weeks.

    8. In circumstances where there are more candidates than elected General Council Representative positions, WCF Members will vote on candidates. Each WCF Member is entitled to one vote. The WCF Secretariat, in consultation with the WCF Chair, will determine and communicate the voting and election process and rules. The WCF Secretariat will provide appropriate means for WCF Members to vote.

    9. The WCF Chair, in coordination with the ICC Secretary General and the WCF Executive Committee, as well as considering the recommendations of the WCF Secretariat and based on an analysis of the 20 elected General Council Representatives, will appoint up to 20 General Council Representatives, of which may include up to 5 transnational chambers of commerce, taking into account the following considerations:

      1. diversity;

      2. geography;

      3. size and type of chamber of commerce; and

      4. individual’s role and level of seniority at the chamber of commerce.

    10. The term of a General Council Representative is three years and may be renewed once. A General Council Representative cannot be in the position for more than six years in total. In circumstances where WCF Members in a country or territory have agreed, following a democratic and transparent election process, to nominate an elected candidate beyond the two term limit, the WCF Chair, in coordination with the ICC Secretary General and the WCF Executive Committee, may decide to accept the nomination of that candidate.

    11. The WCF General Council must meet at least twice a year, or more frequently if requested by the WCF Chair. Members of the WCF General Council may participate in person, by teleconference, or videoconference.

    12. The WCF Chair, in consultation with the WCF Director, may allow guests and support staff to attend WCF General Council meetings for administrative purposes or to contribute their expertise.

    13. If a member of the WCF General Council is unable to participate in two General Council meetings in a row, the member of the WCF General Council must consider tendering their resignation from the WCF General Council.

    14. The WCF General Council responsibilities include:

      1. recommending to the ICC Executive Board the WCF annual programme of action (within the overall framework of the ICC programme of action and annual budget process);

      2. its members being eligible to serve as voting members of the World Chambers Congress selection committee (additional members may be co-opted to the committee by the WCF Chair, in consultation with the WCF Executive Committee);

      3. overseeing the selection of topics of the programme of the World Chambers Congress and the categories of the World Chambers Competition;

      4. its members being eligible to serve as a member of the World Chambers Competition jury;

      5. electing the candidate for the position of WCF Chair to be proposed to the ICC Executive Board for ratification by the ICC World Council;

      6. reviewing and approving proposals of the WCF Executive Committee; and

      7. approving Admission Temporaire / Temporary Admission (“ATA”) national guaranteeing associations and recording ATA issuing associations.

    15. The decisions and recommendations of the WCF General Council will be reached by a majority vote of at least half of the General Council Representatives. The WCF Secretariat will provide appropriate means for WCF General Council members to vote.

    16. When the WCF General Council is required to fulfil a responsibility but is unable to meet in a reasonable amount of time or does not fulfil the voting requirements of article 7.15, the WCF General Council delegates its authority to the WCF Executive Committee.

8. Specialised Councils

    1. The ICC Secretariat, in consultation with the WCF Chair, may establish councils to govern, manage and administer the specialised activities and programmes of WCF (“Specialised Councils”), in accordance with any international conventions and regulations that may be applicable.

    2. The Specialised Councils must support the strategic direction, objectives, and mission of the WCF. The WCF Secretariat is responsible for defining the purpose and terms of reference of the Specialised Councils.

    3. The permanent Specialised Councils are:

      1. World ATA Carnet Council (“WATAC”); and

      2. ICC WCF International Certificate of Origin Council (“CO Council”).

    4. The terms of reference of WATAC and CO Council are set out in Appendix A and Appendix B respectively.

    5. Specialised Councils must report to the WCF Executive Committee and WCF General Council on their programme of activities.

    6. The ICC Secretariat, in consultation with the WCF Chair, may disband Specialised Councils, including permanent Specialised Councils, except for those Specialised Councils that may not be dissolved as a result of a requirement of any international conventions and regulations that may be applicable.

9. Task Forces

    1. The WCF Secretariat, in consultation with the WCF Executive Committee, may establish working groups or task forces to undertake the activities and initiatives of the WCF (“WCF Task Forces”).

    2. The WCF Task Forces must support the strategic direction, objectives, and mission of WCF. The WCF Executive Committee is responsible for defining the purpose and terms of reference of the WCF Task Forces, which must include the duration of the WCF Task Force.

    3. The WCF Chair, in consultation with the WCF Secretariat and the WCF Executive Committee, is responsible for selecting the chairs of WCF Task Forces. The ICC Chair or a person delegated by the ICC Chair is responsible for appointing the chairs of WCF Task Forces.

    4. Participation in WCF Task Forces may be open to:

      1. all WCF Members;

      2. WCF General Council members only; or

      3. WCF Executive Committee members only, as appropriate and as determined by the WCF Executive Committee.

    1. WCF Task Forces must report to the WCF Executive Committee and WCF General Council on their programme of activities.

    2. The WCF Executive Committee may dissolve WCF Task Forces at its discretion.

10. Articles of WCF

    1. Undefined terms in this document have the same meaning as those terms in the Constitution of ICC.

    2. Proposals to amend this document may be made by:

      1. the WCF Executive Committee, having consulted with the WCF General Council and approved by majority vote of the WCF General Council;

      2. the ICC Chair, having consulted with the WCF Secretariat, the WCF Chair and the WCF General Council, to the ICC Executive Board for approval.

* * * * * * *

APPENDIX A – Terms of Reference of the World ATA Carnet Council (WATAC)

 1. Preamble

    1. WATAC is a Specialised Council managed by ICC. The day-to-day operation of WATAC is undertaken by the WCF Secretariat.

    2. WATAC is the forum that brings together national guaranteeing associations (“NGAs”) of the ICC ATA Carnet International Guaranteeing Chain (“Guaranteeing Chain”). The Guaranteeing Chain refers to a guaranteeing scheme administered by ICC to which all NGAs appointed by customs authorities are affiliated for the operation of the Customs Convention on ATA Carnets for the temporary admission of goods (Brussels, 6 December 1961) and / or the Convention on Temporary Admission (Istanbul, 26 June 1990). Issuing associations (“IAs”) under the NGAs’ umbrella are affiliated directly or indirectly to the Guaranteeing Chain as well, however only NGAs are accepted as members to WATAC.

2. Responsibilities and mission of WATAC

    1. The mission of WATAC is to promote the use of the ATA Carnet to facilitate international trade and to ensure the integrity and sustainability of the Guaranteeing Chain.

    2. WATAC supports ICC in the:

      1. operation, management and expansion of the Guaranteeing Chain; and

      2. promotion of best practices and ensuring that NGAs, together with the IAs under the NGA umbrella, comply with their responsibilities in relation to the ATA Carnet Guaranteeing activities and ATA Carnet Issuing activities.

    3. The role of WATAC is to:

      1. engage with international, regional and national governments and agencies, through ICC structures, to explain and support the role of IAs and NGAs;

      2. recommend to WCF General Council the long-term strategy of ATA Carnet and the annual programme of action (within the overall framework of the WCF programme of action);

      3. ensure that the members of WATAC provide ATA Carnet issuing statistics and claims statistics to assist ICC in the preparation of global reports;

      4. recommend to the WCF General Council the affiliation or the suspension of an individual member of the Guaranteeing Chain;

      5. examine questions of interest relevant to NGAs, IAs and carnet users;

      6. review mechanisms established for the operation of the Guaranteeing Chain and submit proposals for approval by the WCF Executive Committee in relation to those mechanisms to ensure ongoing relevance;

      7. elect the chair of WATAC (“WATAC Chair”) and the vice chair of WATAC (“WATAC Vice Chair”) in accordance with clause 4.1;

      8. select members of the ATA Carnet Administrative Committee (“ATAC”) in accordance with clause 5.3; and

      9. establish and dissolve sub-working groups, and define their terms of reference (as necessary), to assist with the activities of WATAC subject to the approval of the WCF Secretariat.

    4. WATAC and the WCF Executive Committee will be informed by the WCF Secretariat of the allocation of expenses and revenues related to WATAC activities within the ICC annual budget process.

3. Membership

    1. To be a member of WATAC, an organisation must be:

      1. an NGA appointed by the relevant customs authority;

      2. a WCF Member; and

      3. affiliated with the Guaranteeing Chain, (“WATAC Member”).

    1. The WCF General Council, upon the recommendation of WATAC, approves the affiliation of the organisation with the Guaranteeing Chain.

    2. Only one NGA per country or customs territory where the ATA Carnet procedure is operational may be appointed.

    3. Each WATAC Member must:

      1. select one representative of the WATAC Member to actively participate in the activities and meetings of WATAC;

      2. submit to the WCF General Council the list of the IAs under the WATAC Member’s umbrella that are issuing ATA Carnets and keep the list updated;

      3. pay the ATA contribution fee to ICC at the rate approved by the ICC Executive Board; and

      4. pay applicable ICC membership contributions.

4. WATAC Chair and WATAC Vice Chair

    1. The WCF Chair, in consultation with ATAC and the WCF Secretariat, will designate the WATAC Chair and the WATAC Vice Chair for election by WATAC. The WATAC Chair and WATAC Vice Chair will be selected among the ATAC members (see clause 5).

    2. The WATAC Chair and the WATAC Vice Chair participate in their personal capacity and must be endorsed by their respective WATAC Member for the duration of the participant’s term in that position. The participant’s term will end if the endorsement is withdrawn by the WATAC Member.

    3. The WCF Secretariat, in consultation with the WCF Chair, will determine and communicate the voting and election process and rules. The WCF Secretariat will provide appropriate means for WATAC Members to vote.

    4. The term of the WATAC Chair and the WATAC Vice Chair is three years and may be renewed once. An individual may not be in any one position for more than six years in total.

    5. The WATAC Chair is responsible for:

      1. chairing WATAC meetings, ATAC meetings, and other meetings of WATAC as appropriate;

      2. reporting on the activities and recommendations of WATAC to the WCF Chair, WCF Executive Committee, or WCF General Council, as appropriate; and

      3. providing feedback and input to inquiries or consultations raised by the WCF Secretariat.

    6. The WATAC Vice Chair supports the WATAC Chair in their duties.

    7. If the WATAC Chair is temporarily unable to discharge their duties, the WATAC Vice Chair will replace the WATAC Chair for the duration of the WATAC Chair’s temporary absence. If the WATAC Vice Chair is unable to replace the WATAC Chair, the WCF Chair, in consultation with the WCF Secretariat must appoint a replacement among ATAC. If the WATAC Chair resigns, is definitively unable to discharge their duties, or the absence of the WATAC Chair would substantially impact the activities of WATAC, the process in clause 4.1 must be followed to appoint a replacement.

4. ATA Carnet Administrative Committee

    1. ATAC is the executive body of WATAC.

    2. ATAC is comprised of:

      1. the WATAC Chair;

      2. the WATAC Vice Chair; and

      3. 12 WATAC Members (“Selected Members”).
    3. The Selected Members will be selected by WATAC, in consultation with the WCF Chair and WCF Secretariat, taking into account the:

      1. number of ATA Carnets issued per year;

      2. operational structure;

      3. geographic location; and

      4. expertise of the WATAC Member, to encourage balanced representation.

    1. The term of a Selected Member is three years and may be renewed once for a total of six years. Once a Selected Member has completed two consecutive terms, the Selected Member may not be selected for a further term by WATAC for two years (“cooling off period”). The WCF General Council, upon recommendation of the WCF Executive Committee following a proposal of the WATAC Chair, may expressly authorise the waiver of the cooling off period if the Selected Member is actively engaged in the activities, initiatives, and work of ATAC (for example, leads a working group) and meets at least one of the following conditions:

      1. is the only representative in the geographical zone (European Union, Europe (excluding the European Union), Asia-Pacific; America, Middle East, Africa); and

      2. represents one of the top five ATA Carnet issuing countries.

    2. The responsibilities of ATAC include:

      1. reviewing issues and documents to be examined by WATAC; and

      2. proposing solutions, actions, or recommendations to be adopted by WATAC and supporting their implementation.

5. Meetings

    1. WATAC must meet at least twice a year. Between its meetings, WATAC delegates its functions to ATAC.

    2. ATAC must meet at least twice a year, and when necessary on the initiative of the WATAC Chair or at the written request of at least four of its members. ATAC must have a quorum of seven members present.

    3. The WATAC Chair, in consultation with the WCF Secretariat, may invite guests and support staff to attend ATAC or WATAC meetings for administrative purposes or to contribute their expertise.

    4. Any recommendations of WATAC or ATAC will be taken:

      1. for ATAC, by a majority vote of 75% of the members present and voting; and

      2. for WATAC, by a majority vote of the members present and voting,

each member being entitled to one vote. Invited guests are not entitled to vote.

    1. The WCF Secretariat is the secretary of WATAC. The WCF Secretariat, in consultation with the WATAC Chair, is responsible for the general administrative arrangements for WATAC and ATAC meetings, including preparing the agenda and the executive summary of the meeting.

APPENDIX B – Terms of Reference of the ICC WCF International Certificate of Origin Council (CO Council)

1. Preamble

    1. The CO Council is a Specialised Council managed by ICC. The day-to-day operation of CO Council is undertaken by the WCF Secretariat.

    2. The CO Council is the forum that brings together chambers of commerce with an interest in the Certificate of Origin2 (“CO”) issuance, a role that has been delegated by governments to chambers of commerce since the signing of the International Convention relating to the Simplification of Customs Formalities in Geneva on 3 November 1923 (the 1923 Geneva Convention), and origin of goods matters.

2. Responsibilities and mission of the CO Council

    1. The mission of the CO Council is to enhance and promote the unique position of chambers of commerce as the natural agent in CO issuance and origin of goods related matters, and to ensure the integrity and sustainability of the International Certificates of Origin Accreditation Chain (“CO Accreditation Chain”).

    2. The responsibilities of the CO Council include:

      1. engaging with international, regional and national governments and agencies, through ICC structures, to explain and support the role of chambers of commerce in issuing CO;

      2. supervising the CO Accreditation Chain, based on the ICC International CO Guidelines (“CO Guidelines”);

      3. supervising international training programmes to enhance and raise the level of chambers of commerce professionalism and competency in CO issuance;

      4. supporting chambers of commerce in the identification and use of advanced technologies in the delivery of CO and trade documents, and promoting recognition and acceptance of digital CO by governments; and

      5. supporting chambers of commerce in creating and delivering projects related to CO and origin of goods.

    3. The WCF Secretariat is responsible for determining the allocation of expenses related to CO Council activities within the ICC annual budget process.

3. Membership

    1. To be a member of the CO Council, an organisation must be a WCF Member that issues COs (“CO Council Member”).

    2. Each CO Council Member must:

      1. select one representative of the CO Council Member to actively participate in the activities and meetings of the CO Council; and

      2. pay applicable ICC membership contributions.

    3. For CO Council Members that are accredited within the CO Accreditation Chain, those members must additionally:

      1. submit to the WCF Secretariat the number of COs issued in the previous year; and

      2. pay the CO Accreditation Chain contribution fee to ICC at the rate approved by the ICC Executive Board.

4. CO Council Chair and CO Council Vice Chairs

    1. The WCF Chair, in consultation with the CO Council and the WCF Secretariat, will designate and appoint:

      1. the chair of the CO Council (“CO Council Chair”); and

      2. three vice chairs of the CO Council (“CO Council Vice Chairs”), one of which is designated a first vice chair (“CO Council First Vice Chair”).

    2. Each CO Council Vice Chair must be responsible for one of the following areas:

      1. CO Accreditation Chain;

      2. Digital COs; and

      3. rules of origin.

    3. The CO Council Chair and the CO Council Vice Chairs participate in their personal capacity and must be endorsed by their respective CO Council Member for the duration of the participant’s term in that position. The participant’s term will end if the endorsement is withdrawn by the CO Council Member.

    4. The WCF Secretariat, in consultation with the WCF Chair, will determine and communicate the process and rules of appointment for the CO Council Chair and CO Council Vice Chairs.

    5. The term of the CO Council Chair and the CO Council Vice Chairs is three years and may be renewed once. An individual may not be in any one position for more than six years in total.

    6. The responsibilities of the CO Council Chair include:

      1. chairing CO Council meetings and other meetings of the CO Council as appropriate;

      2. reporting on the activities and recommendations of the CO Council to the WCF Chair, WCF Executive Committee, or WCF General Council, as appropriate; and

      3. providing feedback and input to inquiries or consultations raised by the WCF Secretariat.

    7. The CO Council Vice Chairs support the CO Council Chair in their duties.

    8. If the CO Council Chair is temporarily unable to discharge their duties, the CO Council First Vice Chair will replace the CO Council Chair for the duration of the CO Council Chair’s temporary absence. If the CO Council First Vice Chair is unable to replace the CO Council Chair, the WCF Chair, in consultation with the WCF Secretariat must appoint a replacement among the other CO Council Vice Chairs. If the CO Council Chair resigns, is definitively unable to discharge their duties, or the absence of the CO Council Chair would substantially impact the activities of the CO Council, the process in clause 4.1 must be followed to appoint a replacement.

5. ICC WCF International CO Accreditation Committee

    1. The ICC WCF International CO Accreditation Committee (“COAC”) is responsible for the administration, operation, management and expansion of the CO Accreditation Chain, within the framework of the CO Guidelines.

    2. The COAC is comprised of:

      1. the CO Council Vice Chair responsible for the CO Accreditation Chain (“CO Council Vice Chair (COAC)”; and

      2. nine CO Council Members that are accredited within the CO Accreditation Chain.

    3. The nine CO Council Members will be selected by the CO Council Vice Chair (COAC) and the WCF Secretariat, in consultation with the CO Council Chair, taking into account:

      1. the number of COs issued per year;

      2. operational structure; and

      3. geographic location, to encourage balanced representation and a rotation of members.

    1. The term of a COAC member is three years and may be renewed once for a total of six years. Once a COAC member has completed two consecutive terms, the COAC member may not be selected for a further term by CO Council for two years (“cooling off period”). In exceptional circumstances, the WCF Secretariat in consultation with the WCF Chair, may expressly authorise the waiver of the cooling off period.

    2. The responsibilities of the COAC include:

      1. managing the expansion of the CO Accreditation Chain;

      2. preparing recommendations to the CO Council;

      3. monitoring compliance with the CO Guidelines;

      4. processing applications received for accreditation and recommending eligible applications for approval by the CO Council;

      5. reporting at each CO Council meeting; and

      6. actively participating in COAC work and activities.

    3. The CO Council Vice Chair (COAC) chairs the meetings of the COAC.

6. Meetings

    1. The CO Council must meet at least twice a year.

    2. The COAC must meet at least twice a year, and when necessary on the initiative of the CO Council Vice Chair (COAC) or the WCF Secretariat.

    3. The CO Council Chair and the CO Council Vice Chair (COAC), in consultation with the WCF Secretariat, may invite guests and support staff to attend CO Council meetings or COAC meetings (as appropriate) for administrative purposes or to contribute their expertise.

    4. Any recommendations of the CO Council or the COAC will be taken by a majority vote of the members present and voting, each member being entitled to one vote. Invited guests are not entitled to vote.

    5. The WCF Secretariat is the secretary of CO Council and the COAC. The WCF Secretariat, in consultation with the CO Council Chair and the CO Council Vice Chair (COAC), is responsible for the general administrative arrangements for CO Council and COAC meetings, including preparing the agenda and the executive summary of the meeting.

1 ICC note: Articles, or parts of articles that show in [bracketed and italicised text] will be in force at the same time as other provisions, however they might be subject to amendments following further consideration and broader ICC-wide consultation.

2 Certificate of Origin has the meaning as defined in the WCO Revised Kyoto Convention effective as of 3 February 2006.