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Bureau International des Containers (BIC)

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About the BIC

Founded under the auspices of the International Chamber of Commerce in 1933 as a neutral, non-profit, international organization, the BIC today has over 2500 members in 120 countries. The BIC has played an important role in the growth of containerization, with its long-established and active role in the development and maintenance of industry standards. Publisher of the BIC Code Register since 1970, the BIC was appointed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in 1972 as the industry’s global container prefix registry, a role further endorsed by international customs conventions. Since 2013 the BIC has operated the Global ACEP Database, under the guidance of the IMO. The BIC recently launched the BoxTech Technical Characteristics Database to help improve efficiency and safety in the supply chain, and to help simplify compliance with SOLAS container weight reporting requirements.


Today, the BIC code is the “international calling card” of nearly every container in international trade, allowing for proper identification and facilitating the crossing of borders without delay. With a mission to promote the safe, secure and sustainable expansion of intermodal transportation, the BIC enables professional dialogue amongst its members, standards bodies, governments and other industry organizations. The BIC holds official observer status as a NGO at both the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the World Customs Organization (WCO), and contributes regularly as an observer to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and other organizations.