FTN EXPORTING:SMICE CODE OF CONDUCT
Final Edit: July 12, 2020
The personal opinions of the author Davide Giovanni Papa are apparent in this editorial.
Advanced Educational Matters : USCT members, end buyers and suppliers world wide.
Unfortunately, as a world leading trade law and agency expert I am embarrassed to say that many agents worldwide especially those practising in my state of Victoria, Australia are acting dishonourably and often misrepresent or describe what is on offer incorrectly. Statutory agencies meant to police bad agents often lack the resources to investigate claims, leaving several agents to run amok with false claims and even acts of fraud therein, especially those handling small transactions i.e: real estate, car sales.etc.etc. The role of an Agent used to be an honourable one where trust and good intent were aligned to their practice. Our best selling publication “International Trade and the Successful Intermediary” (ITSI) describes how an agent, broker or principal worldwide must act when selling and buying large scale commodities. It also serves trading procedures and advice. ITSI is underpinned on a platform of ‘common law’ principles also known as case law that many other countries are already using in part or fully locally, because the British legal system takes the lead among all other judicial systems. Case law is about judges arriving on decisions based on precedents. This legal system was established by English Kings circa 1066 ( i.e: Alfred the Great ‘law-maker’). Up to one-third of countries in the world live under ‘common law jurisdiction’ outright (India Pakistan, USA, Canada, Australia, U.K and even into China via Hong Kong etc.etc.) When mixed with civil law (especially French law), this rate ostensibly increases to 60 percent–or more. Even as former colonies of England revert to their own laws (hybrid legal system) many elements of British law will still be preserved. The FTNX doctrine of trade has a base formed on the past and present laws of England, as well as ICC Incoterms and UCP banking rules as administrated by the ICC Paris France, now further defines why our uniform and ‘International’ trading procedures and practise therein are formidable, safe and properly prescribed when applied by a PCT acting as Principal, Agent or Broker. TRIBE Rules of Association (TRA) has framed the doctrine into a set of in house rules for such traders to use and abide by.
Lets take a look at a common law principle that many countries observing ‘local laws’ are applying, or are prepared to accept; which has found its way internationally and is directly related to the code of conduct rules being prescribed herein. I doubt if a judge could be found world wide (Civil or Common law) who would disagree with such a principle. Civil law (i.e Europe) applies its basis on ‘Case law’ as well, except precedents do not underpin the final decision, defines the obvious difference. In most common law countries or even states within, like those found in i.e: Australia or USA, civil law rarely leads to criminal proceedings as administered under statute law (i.e: laws created by Parliament) instead, compensation or remedies are being addressed as sought by person or parties making a claim–as such laws, in such countries, are mostly administered by government bodies and agencies therein ( i.e: Anti discrimination laws) In Australia consumer disputes which may include disputes about a contract may be heard by VCAT (Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal) where persuasive arguments are presented and adjudicated upon by a Judge. Similar 'civil' proceedings apply in common law countries.
- ‘A company must not, in trade or commerce, accept payment or other considerations for goods or services where at the time of acceptance it intends not to supply the goods or services offered, or to supply such goods and services differently to what was described on the offer.’ Therefore, proving as much in a court could lead to serious charges becoming evident i.e: misrepresentation, unconscionable conduct and even criminal fraud. To avoid such court proceedings, the doctrine of trade must be observed as to procedures and that the code of conduct as specified below must be observed and practiced. The PCT must retain respect and thus ‘must be seen’ to be an honourable person. Perception is this business plays a critical role. Find the precedent that mostly supports the principle and win the case accordingly.
- Locally: A car is sold stating it has a V12 motor only to find after accepting the offer that the car had a V6 motor.
- Locally: Accepting an offer for a house and land deal where the land was advertised as 800 square metres when in fact the land size is only i.e: 600 share metres
- International Trade: The offer was accepted for ore containing 62 % iron ore content only to find at unloading a Fe content of 58%
- International Trade: The seller stated on its offer, just to close on the deal; 30% deposit / delivery 14 days, knowing before hand that delivery will not eventuate for 50 days.etc.etc.
The following code of conduct in an overview which also deals with the ‘ethical aspect’ and expectation of a PCT.
- A principal must make time to evaluate and oversee how its agents or brokers are conducting themselves regularly.
- A principal upon discovery that its agent or broker has acted unethically, is dismissed from acting on behalf of the principal.
- An agent or broker must act honourable at all times.
- An agent or broker must not act deceptively and service matters which are not true.
- An agent or broker must not falsely describe, present or represent goods or services offered.
- An agent or must act on behalf of disclosed or undisclosed others with good intent at all times.
- A principal must act transparently with its agents or brokers.
- An agent or broker must act transparently with its clients.
- An agent or broker must not act in a manner where collusion against the principal or others is made apparent.
- A principal, agent or brokers must not make promises it cannot keep nor service in ill informed advice or opinions.
- A principal, agent or broker must only conduct or orchestrate lawful business.
- Dishonourable principals, agents or brokers shall not be entertained by peers.
- A principal, agent or broker shall not steal, nor accept bribes.
- A principal shall look after the interests of its brokers and agents intently
- Agents and brokers shall look after the interests of the clients, with good and honourable intent
- A principal, agent or broker must be highly informed about the nature of business they are engaged in.
- A principal, agent or broker shall not make assumptions nor claims it cannot effectively support with evidence.
The law works ‘in a mysterious way’ is a spiel often heard. You are on a freeway driving at the speed limit of 100 KPH and yet car after car are passing you at much higher speeds. So many people are breaking the law, so you follow suit, only to get caught and fined some time later, while all the other speeding drivers were not. This is how the law works; when so many people are breaking so many laws–every single day. It is when ‘you’ are ‘caught breaking such laws’ that penalties and added consequences become apparent. A PCT could disregard most of the above aspect of ‘conduct’ and ‘get away with it’ while testing deals for years, until the time comes that a live deal is in effect. Any wrong doing caught at this time attracts legal issues. The fact is that; a person may be breaking the law every day which may not produce any adverse effects, until that one day comes around when a notice for you to appear in court is served. It’s the latter that must be avoided because the latter aspect often raises its ugly head when you least expect it. The efforts made to maintain ‘a good level of conduct’ is what ‘protects’ you from litigation or consequences.The fact that so many ill informed intermediaries are breaking trading laws world wide every day dealing in goods which have not be ascertained, does not serve an excuse to the ill informed intermediary entering an illegal dealings. Being ignorant of the law is no excuse. The PCT is deemed an honourable person until proven otherwise; is the new business profile of the PCT. The PCT must act honourably and earn the respect of its peers and the clients engaging with such peers. An informed trader noting the dishonourable actions of peers or even non-peer traders are obligated to intervene; as dishonourable traders cause damage to the majority of traders who are abiding by the FTNX doctrine of trade. If a PCT acting with other informed peer members in a string, during the course of an active deal, discovers that a participating member has blatantly breached the FTNX Code of Conduct, matters of doctrine and/or in-house TRIBE Rules of Association (TRA), the Principal may eject the offending member from the string and commission earned, but not paid out, may be re-distributed among the remaining string members once the active deal is closed. This rule is supported by the FTNX Doctrine and TRA as well. A principal doing as much while strictly applying the doctrine of trade, has defence by virtue of its practise; to eject such a person from participating in an active deal. Entities proven to have acted dishonestly are also placed on the FTNX “Banned for Life Registry” (BFLR). A PCT whose name is on the BFLR will find it very difficult to conduct the business of buying and selling commodities world wide. This code of conduct applies to all informed peer traders who are using an ‘USCT’ number issued by FTNX Exporting from 2015 onwards, in the first instance; and all others who have studied and are applying the FTNX doctrine in the second. “The pen is indeed mightier than the sword, but only if it is used correctly”