Already during the years between the First and the Second World War contacts were established between several National Associations of Independent Commercial Agents aiming at an international cooperation to the benefit of their Members. These contacts were renewed after the end of the Second World War and on the 21st of September 1953 the Internationally United Commercial Agents and Brokers (IUCAB) was established. At that time IUCAB consisted of seven National Member Associations. During the following years, more and more National Associations throughout Europe and North America joined IUCAB. Today the Membership of IUCAB consists of 20 National Associations of commercial agents, brokers and independent sales companies.
The Charter adopted by the Delegates of IUCAB contains a description of the aim and task of IUCAB which reads as follows:
“It is IUCAB’s aim to uphold the freedom and sound development of international trade, to protect and promote the common interests of the commercial agents, brokers and distributors of all countries and to strengthen the position of the commercial agents, brokers and distributors as independent business persons. IUCAB will also take part in the activities of other International Organisations. Together with the National Federations and Associations, IUCAB will undertake the activities that serve this purpose. IUCAB is neutral as to politics and religion.“
International Recognition by the Business World and Governmental Institutions
The international appearance of IUCAB has not only brought recognition by the international business world of the extremely efficient and effective role of commercial agents in international trade and distribution, but also official recognition of IUCAB by Governmental Institutions.
In the European Union, IUCAB is registered in the European Commission’s Register of Interest Representatives and it has successfully influenced a major legislative harmonisation project resulting in a Directive of the European Council in 1986 on independent commercial agents. As a result, working with commercial agents under the laws of one of the EU Member States is fairly regulated by a unique and specific set of legal rules.
In North America, IUCAB’s Member Association MANA has been a major contributor to successful negotiations leading to Commission Protection Statutes in the various state jurisdictions. Largely due to MANA’s efforts, 33 states have enacted legislation that require the timely payment of the due commissions and provide for consequences for failure to do so.
International recognition by the business world was reflected by the International Congresses both in Europe and the USA which were attended by commercial agents and manufacturers from all over the world. The first International IUCAB Congress was organised and hosted by the German Member Association CDH in 1962 and the success of this first Congress was followed up during the following years by International Congresses in Paris (1963), London (1965), Rome (1967), Tel Aviv (1969), Copenhagen (1973), San Francisco (1976), Amsterdam (1979), Vienna (1984). Another major International Congress was held in Vienna in the year 2003 on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of IUCAB. Marrakech was then the place venue for yet another successful International IUCAB Congress in 2011. The last International Congress took place in Warsaw in 2015.
An excellent example of how the commercial agency profession is promoted by IUCAB and its Member Associations was the advertorial that appeared in 1999 in “Fortune Magazine” and which was contributed by the Manufacturer’s Representatives Educational Research Foundation (MRERF) which IUCAB’s Member Association in North America MANA helps funding. This advertorial in “Fortune Magazine”, read by corporate executives from all over the worldwide, contained an excellent and still up to date overview of the benefits attached to the recruitment of commercial agents by manufacturers.
Cooperation with other Organisations
With a view to representing, protecting and promoting the common interests of commercial agents worldwide, IUCAB participates in the activities of and cooperates with trade and lobbying organisations. In line with its mission to be the voice for the commercial agency profession worldwide, close relations exist between IUCAB Member Associations and both national and international trade organisations, manufacturers organisations, Chambers of Commerce and lobbying organizations.
Promotion & Education
Globalisation and technological communication tools require ongoing adaptation of commercial agents to their constantly changing function and making use of available educational opportunities in order to be well equipped for reaching the highest level of performance.
Education Programs of the highest quality are provided for by the IUCAB Member Associations. Examples of such Education Programs are the courses at the Business School of Lyon, the CPMR courses in Arizona, the courses at the Summer Academy in Germany and the courses at the WIFI Academy in Austria.
IUCAB’s Future Mission
IUCAB’s mission for the future years is to voice, through the strength of numbers united under the IUCAB Alliance, the interests of the commercial agency profession worldwide towards Governmental and non-Governmental Institutions, trade associations and manufacturers associations and to advocate the commercial agency profession and the benefits attached to working with commercial agents.