Bureau International des Containers

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The International Container Bureau (French: Bureau International des conteneurs, BIC) oversees standards for intermodal containers, commonly referred to as "shipping containers".

The goal of the organization is to promote cooperations between corporations, government units and independent organizations relating to intermodal freight transport, the process of containerization, and the transport and handling of shipping containers.

It was originally established in 1933 under the auspices of the International Chamber of Commerce, and stopped its operations during World War II, with resumption again in 1948.[1]

BIC was elected by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in the late 1960s as the single registrar office in charge of the registration and protection of the containers owners and operators's identification code ("BIC code") later standardised as ISO 6346. This ensures a unique code number for every shipping container in the world, and these must be registered with BIC. The Customs Convention on Containers (CCC-1972) in a recent amendment enforced in 2008 also makes reference to the ISO 6346 and code registration with BIC to allow the free circulation of containers worldwide.

Its headquarters are located in Paris, France.


  1. ^ "INTERNATIONAL CONTAINER BUREAU.". The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954) (NSW: National Library of Australia). 18 April 1933. p. 13. Retrieved 27 October 2011. 

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