Terms and Conditions - Applicable as from January 2019
These general terms and conditions (the “T&Cs”) apply to all services supplied by the Bureau International des Containers et du Transport Intermodal (the “BIC”) to the Owner of a Container for international transportation of goods (the “Services”), who accepts them.
The term “Owner” includes the beneficiary of a lease or the operator of Containers provided such person exercises, similarly as the actual owner, an exclusive and total control over the Container, as well as the owner of one or several sea or inland terminal(s) or depot(s) where full or empty Containers are stored, repaired, handled.
The term “Container” encompasses all freight containers covered by ISO and non-ISO standards (in accordance with ISO Standards 668 and 6346) as well as container accessories and containers carrying chassis.
The BIC reserves the possibility to modify the T&Cs at any time. In this case, the applicable terms and conditions will be those effective on the date of execution or renewal of the Agreement in accordance with article 3.
Except with the written agreement of the BIC, these T&Cs prevail over any contrary provisions issued by the Owner under its own terms and conditions.
The main Services are further described on the BIC’s website (www.bic-code.org).
2.1 Registration of a new identification code
At the request of the Owner, the BIC proceeds to the registration of two types of identification codes (the “Code(s)”):
- a code (the “BIC Code”) that provides a unique identifier for each Owner, in accordance with international standard ISO 6346, and
- a code (the “BIC LoCode”) that provides a unique identifier and the geographical localisation of any premises in the container supply chain, in accordance with international standard ISO 9897.
The Owner acknowledges that it has perfect knowledge of the procedures and conditions of granting and recording of the Codes described on the BIC’s website.
The Owner shall complete the registration form located on the BIC’s website (the “Form”) in good faith.
BIC Code registration: Within thirty (30) days following the payment by the Owner of the registration invoice of a BIC Code in accordance with article 6, the BIC shall create and send to the Owner a registration certificate of the Code (the “Certificate”), which will allow the marking of the Container with a BIC Code. The BIC shall make all best efforts to ensure to the Owner exclusive international use of the Code.
BIC LoCode registration: the BIC LoCode may be used as soon as its validity has been confirmed by the BIC.
In case the Owner notices the use of its Code by a third party, it shall immediately inform the BIC by sending all documents or information in its knowledge, so that the BIC may contact the relevant company and request that it takes all measures necessary to regularize its situation.
2.2 Renewal of Codes
The duration of validity of a BIC Code is of one calendar year.
Following the term of each one calendar year period, the BIC Code shall be renewed upon update of the Form (the “Renewal Form”) sent by the BIC and payment of a renewal invoice by the Owner.
2.3 Change of ownership of Containers
- Change of Ownership of entire fleet
In the event of an entire Container fleet being acquired by a new entity, the seller (the Owner) has the possibility to transfer the Codes to the acquiring party. This transfer can be made on the request of both parties and is subject to an administrative fee as indicated in the current tariff. If the BIC Code is not transferred to the acquiring party, all transferred units must be re-marked using a BIC Code already allocated to the acquiring party.
- Change of ownership of Containers (but not of an entire fleet)
In the event of a change of ownership of one or more Containers (but not of an entire fleet), the Containers must be re-marked with the BIC Code of the acquiring party. The seller is responsible for ensuring that the Containers are neutralized prior to their sale and the buyer is responsible for marking them with a valid BIC Code prior to departing the depot.
2.4 Publication of Codes
Each BIC Code, along with the name and address of the Owner, is subject to a constantly updated publication accessible on the BIC’s website, the official registry of BIC Codes (the “Registry”). The Registry is also printed every year.
A copy of the Registry is sent every year by post to the Owner at the time of its publication.
3. Formation and renewal of the Agreement
The agreement is formed by the validation of the Form by the Owner, which entails the acceptance of the T&Cs and the acknowledgment of their perfect knowledge (the “Agreement”).
The Agreement is renewed by the validation by the Owner of the “Renewal Form” which entails the acceptance of the T&Cs, including any updates, and the acknowledgement of their perfect knowledge.
4. Authorizations / Information
The Owner represents that, on the date of execution of the Agreement, he holds from the competent national authorities all authorisations necessary to exercise its activity in relation to the Services.
The Owner represents that all the information or documents communicated to the BIC, including in the Form and the Renewal Form, are accurate.
The BIC reserves the right to request from the Owner, at any time, to supply all documents that it deems necessary to verify, among others, the legal existence of the Owner, the legality of its activities as well as the number of Containers it owns or operates.
The BIC shall not incur any liability with respect to:
- the nature, accuracy, completeness and legality of the information supplied by the Owner, especially in the Form or the Renewal Form,
- the personal, financial and legal situation of the Owner, especially with respect to its solvency, its activities and the actual existence or the activities of the Containers which it claims to own or operate,
- any operations, including sale and lease, concerning a Container marked with a Code,
- the use by third parties of the Codes recorded in the Registry,
- any damages that would result directly or indirectly from the cancellation of a Code in accordance with article 7.3.
6. Fees and Payment terms
The invoicing of the Service is made in accordance with the tariff set by the Board of Directors of the BIC and approved by the General Assembly. This tariff is published every year in the Registry.
Fees paid shall be considered fully acquired by the BIC and cannot be subject to any reimbursement.
6.2 Terms of payment
An invoice shall be sent as soon as the BIC has validated the documents and information supplied by the Owner and verified the availability of the Code.
As from the date of issuance of the invoice, the BIC shall temporarily reserve the Code for a fifteen (15) days period, until full payment of the invoice by the Owner by bank wire on the BIC’s account or by cheque.
If full payment of an invoice is not received by its due date, the BIC will not be able to proceed with the registration or renewal of the Codes, and, more generally, will cease supplying the relevant Service.
7. Termination of the Agreement
7.1 Termination by the BIC
The BIC reserves the right to terminate the Agreement immediately, without any indemnity and without prejudice to its rights to damages, especially in the following cases:
- The Owner does not provide the information or documents requested in accordance with article 4 within forty-five (45) days of a request made by registered mail with acknowledgement of receipt to the last known address of the Owner.
- The information or documents supplied by the Owner, especially in accordance with article 4, are inaccurate, fraudulent or insufficient.
- In case of non-payment or delay of payment of an invoice owed by the Owner thirty (30) days after receipt by the Owner of a notice sent to the last known address of the Owner, by registered mail with acknowledgement of receipt, which is not acted upon.
- The Code(s) were used by the Owner for illicit purposes or to conduct an activity that is illegal or damages the BIC or a third party.
- The Owner is found guilty of illicit or criminal action by a judicial decision.
- Such termination is required by a judicial decision.
7.2 Termination by the Owner
The Agreement shall be immediately terminated upon written request of the Owner, who shall be under no obligation to provide any justification, provided that a written document issued by the Owner confirms the removal of the BIC Code from all Containers, or the destruction of the relevant Containers.
7.3 Consequences of the termination
The termination of the Agreement shall entail the following consequences:
- The cancellation of the registration of the Code(s) and immediate withdrawal of the Code(s) from the Registry. The Code may be re-allocated at the BIC’s discretion.
- The termination of the Owner’s membership, if it is a member of the BIC, notified by registered mail with acknowledgement of receipt sent to the last known address of the Owner.
8. Intellectual Property/ Personal Data
8.1 Intellectual property
The Owner acknowledges that:
- the BIC took the initiative and the risk of the investment allowing the creation of the Registry;
- that the constitution, verification and presentation of the Registry results from a substantial investment of the BIC; and
- the BIC is the sole producer of the Registry.
The Owner undertakes not to undertake any extraction or reuse of a substantial part of the Registry for any other reason than its own needs without prior written agreement of the BIC.
8.2 Personal Data
Privacy and the protection of personal data are very important to the BIC.
The BIC may collect personal data from Owners concerning their employees or consultants with respect to the Form or the Renewal Form. These data will be used by the BIC solely for the purpose of the management of the client relationship with the Owner (invoicing, renewal request…) and the management of the Registry.
The Owner hereby declares that any employee or consultant whose personal data are included on the Form or the Renewal Form filled in the Form or the Renewal Form personally and was thus informed of the BIC’s identity as data controller, of the purposes of the data processing, of the existence of his/her rights of access and rectification and also expressly consented to the transfer of his/her personal data towards non EU countries which level of protection has not been acknowledged as equivalent to that of the EU by a decision of the European Commission.
The BIC may communicate these personal data to any authority who requests them for the purpose of an investigation.
The French version of these T&Cs shall prevail over any other version
10. Applicable law
The execution, interpretation, the performance, termination and cancellation of the Agreement, as well as any documents that may be related to it, including the Certificate, shall be subject to French law.
Any dispute related to the Agreement, as well as any documents related to it, including the Certificate, and especially its execution, its interpretation, its performance and its termination or cancellation and their consequences, shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Tribunal de Commerce having jurisdiction over the BIC’s registered office.