When disputes related to trade finance instruments occur, ICC offers a specialised procedure that is confidential, quick and cost-effective called Documentary Instruments Dispute Resolution Expertise (DOCDEX).
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.
Depending on the amount in dispute, DOCDEX proceedings are capped at US$5,000 or US$10,000. What’s more, even in exceptional cases, the International Centre for ADR (“Centre”) will only charge an additional fee of US$3,000 or US$6,000.
DOCDEX decision is a thorough analysis and well-considered conclusion with DOCDEX. Cases are decided by a panel of three impartial experts having extensive experience in, and knowledge of, trade finance transactions. These experts are specially selected from a list maintained by ICC Banking Commission. A Technical Adviser nominated by the Commission then personally reviews each decision to verify that it is in line with ICC Banking Rules and/or international trade finance practice standards. The entire process usually takes between two and three months, which is time-efficient compared to years with court proceedings.
DOCDEX Decisions are kept private and rendered in English. They are not binding unless the parties have otherwise agreed and are not arbitral awards. However, anonymised DOCDEX Decisions are widely distributed to enable practitioners to avoid common errors leading to disputes while at the same time preserving confidentiality.
All previous decisions are also available in the Trade Finance Channel of the ICC Digital Library.
You can find the full text of DOCDEX Decisions in the following publication available on ICC Knowledge 2GO
Collected DOCDEX Decisions 2013-2016: Decisions by ICC experts on Documentary credits, collections and demand guarantees
Covering cases from 2013-2016, this collection of DOCDEX Decisions includes 30 Decisions providing valuable insights into the reasoning behind the experts’ final judgments on letter of credit disputes.
In force as of 1 May 2015, ICC Rules for Documentary Instruments Dispute Resolution Expertise (DOCDEX) provide parties with a specific resolution procedure that leads to an independent, impartial and prompt expert decision settling disputes involving trade finance-related instruments.
Cost & payments
The Claimant(s) must pay the Standard Fee covering the costs of DOCDEX proceedings upon a submission of the Claim. Respondent(s) are not required under the DOCDEX Rules to submit any payments in order to participate in the DOCDEX proceedings.