Alternative Dispute Resolution ACT

Strong from the Swiss expertise in dispute resolution and to enrich the thriving commodity trading community in Switzerland, STSA and the CCIG have closely worked together to create ACT, soon joined in this initiative by SCAI, the Swiss Chambers' Arbitration Institution.

The Alternative Dispute Resolution for Commodity Trading, Shipping and Trade Finance provides enhanced flexible tools to navigate a time-saving and effective dispute resolution process, with:

  • Customised dispute resolution under the Swiss Rules of International Arbitration and the Swiss Rules of Commercial Mediation with a tailor made clause to best fit your needs
  • Optional and indicative list of recognised arbitrators and mediators specialised in commodity trading, shipping, or trade finance.

The Swiss Rules of International Arbitration are procedural rules which provide the framework for the arbitration proceeding only. Under the Swiss Rules, the parties are free to choose whichever law they deem to be appropriate for the transaction, the language of the arbitration, the number of arbitrators, and, of course, to select their legal counsel and the seat of arbitration wherever they consider most appropriate.


The Swiss Rules are globally recognised and have many time-saving features. The rules are well known for their expedited procedure which allows for an award to be rendered by a sole arbitrator in 6 months.

Parties are equally given a great amount of autonomy and flexibility in mediation under the Swiss Rules of Commercial Mediation.

Role of STSA

As the sector's umbrella association, STSA promotes efficient and cost effective alternative dispute resolution, that takes into account the specificities of commodity trading, shipping and trade finance. ACT is designed to offer valuable service to STSA's Members and to the Swiss commodity trading community.

Note that STSA is not involved in arbitration or mediation cases and has no access to any information related to them and the parties. All arbitration and mediation cases will be administered exclusively by the SCAI, which ensures that the cases remain strictly confidential as is required under the Swiss Rules.

STSA, SCAI and the CCIG have developed a tailor made clause to allow you to customise your dispute resolution process. It is designed to expedite the proceedings and ultimately, aims to reduce the cost of an arbitration case. The Standard Clause gives the option to mediate at any time before or during the arbitration under the Swiss Rules of Commercial Mediation.

There are four options, which can be added to the Standard Clause à la carte, meaning that you can customise your clause by selecting any combination of the following options:

1. Submit the case to the Expedited Procedure (Article 42 of the Swiss Rules)
2. Resolve the dispute on the basis of documentary evidence only
3. Shorten the time-limit for the Respondent’s Answer to the Notice of Arbitration
4. Shorten the time-limit for the designation of an arbitrator

The optional list of arbitrators and mediators has been carefully compiled by an independent Selecting Committee composed of commodity traders, dispute resolution practitioners and field specialists. The Selecting Committee identified well recognised arbitrators and mediators, who are highly specialised in the commodity trading, shipping and trade finance field and enjoy confirmed field experience and expertise.

For further information, do not hesitate to contact office@swissarbitration.org.

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List of Arbitrators / Mediators

The optional list of arbitrators and mediators has been carefully compiled by an independent Selecting Committee composed of commodity traders, dispute resolution practitioners and people involved in the Geneva University Master in International Trading, Commodity Finance and Shipping. The Committee has identified some well recognised and available arbitrators and mediators with an experience in commodity trading, shipping or finance.

The list groups arbitrators and mediators according to their particular commodity (e.g. oil, minerals) and according to any particular expertise they have within that trade (e.g. shipping, trade finance).

This list and individual arbitrators and mediator profiles are accessible here.



ACT selection criteria

Every year, the Selecting Committee re-evaluates the list. At any time, and without providing reason, the Selecting Committee may withdraw an arbitrator or a mediator from the list.

Selection criteria

The following are guidelines and will not be adhered to rigidly, and Applicants will not necessarily have to combine all of the following criteria.

Applicants for the arbitrators’ list must have a reasonable period of experience (e.g. 5 years) in the particular trade for which they are asking to be considered as an arbitrator and in addition should:

  • have a good working knowledge of the substantive laws relating to commodity trading, shipping and/or trade finance;
  • provide evidence of previous experience in conducting international arbitration proceedings in commodity trading, shipping and/or trade finance;
  • provide at least one reasoned award (in redacted form), which the Applicant has drafted, preferably following an oral hearing;
  • live within easy reach of Geneva or otherwise be able to demonstrate that they can effectively deal with urgent applications in Geneva.

In all cases, Applicants for the arbitrators’ list must provide two references.

Applicants for the mediators’ list must have a reasonable period of experience (e.g. 5 years) in the particular trade for which they are asking to be considered as a mediator and in addition should:

  • have a good working knowledge of the substantive laws relating to commodity trading, shipping and/or trade finance, and of the business environment of commodity trading, shipping and financing;
  • provide evidence of previous experience in conducting mediation in trade and shipping disputes subject to substantive laws relating to commodity trading, shipping and/or trade finance;
  • live within easy reach of Geneva or otherwise be able to demonstrate that they can effectively deal with urgent applications in Geneva.

In all cases, Applicants for the mediators’ list must provide two references. If required, Applicants for either list will be asked to attend an interview with the Selecting Committee or delegates of the Selecting Committee before being accepted for appointment to the List.

Applicants may be required to resubmit an application in appropriate circumstances.

For the inclusion on Arbitrator List B (non-lawyers; recommended as co-arbitrators):

  • have basic working knowledge of the substantive laws relating to commodity trading, shipping and/or trade finance;
  • provide evidence of previous experience in international arbitration proceedings in trade and shipping disputes subject to substantive laws relating to commodity trading, shipping or trade finance;
  • live within easy reach of Switzerland or otherwise be able to demonstrate that they can effectively deal with urgent applications in Switzerland without being the cause of any delay in the proceeding.

In all cases, Applicants for the arbitrators' list must provide two references.