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It Could Be Time To Brush Up On International Business Law

Aug 17, 2007
Every day, goods and services are being sold across national borders. And just as businesses at home are subjected to a myriad of laws, regulations, restrictions and special agreements, so are businesses in the international market.

In fact, international business law is way more complex than domestic laws. While international business laws are presumed to be embraced by the latter (under the Doctrine of Incorporation adopted by most countries), there is a great possibility that a conflict would arise between the two laws.

International transactions are governed by such international business laws as unilateral measures (meaning nation or domestic laws), bilateral relationships (such as the Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement), multilateral arrangements (like the GATT and the WTO), and regional agreements (including NAFTA and MERCOSUR). The international businessman needs to arm himself with some basic knowledge of these laws in order to conduct his business in foreign countries.

Below are some tips to help you conduct research on international business laws that may be relevant to your enterprise:

Locate Relevant Treaties

Most international business laws are based on treaties. So the first step in researching relevant international business laws is to locate these treaties.

Many international organizations that focus on trade and international business transactions provide useful resources in addition to the full text of international agreements. Alternatively, you can also try searching US governmental agencies that assist companies with import and export ventures.

If you dont the names of these governmental agencies or you dont know where to find their websites, you can start by consulting online guides that contain links to these sites. Pages that contain a list of links are particularly useful for someone who is very new to international business law.

Where to Find Full-Text of International Agreements

The information you will find from the resources given above are often very basic. Most of the time, they contain information on how one particular international business law is applied. If you want to get a copy of the full text of the international agreement on which the guide is based on, then you need to find sites that contain collections of the international business law provisions.

Here are some sites that you can start with:

* Lex Mercatoria
* Trade and Commercial Relations
* Texts of Trade Agreements
* Trade and Related Agreements
* Private International Law Database
* UN Treaty Collection

Find Specific International Business Law

Aside from the above resources, you can also narrow your search down to a specific trading agreement. There are many organizations or secretariats that keep websites aimed at providing information on particular international business laws. Some of these sites are the following:

* Andean Community
* CARICOM
* European Free Trade Association
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