1 § Duties of the Board
The Board of Business Practice of the Finland Chamber of Commerce is tasked with issuing opinions as to whether given conduct engaged in or envisioned in business shall be deemed to be in violation of fair trading practices or otherwise constitute an unfair business practice.
The Board may also issue opinions on whether a respondent’s conduct is in violation of the ICC Code of Advertising and Marketing Communication Practice.
2 § Board composition
The Board shall consist of a chair, two vice-chairs and a maximum of six other ordinary members as well as five deputy members. All members shall be appointed by the Finland Chamber of Commerce. They are required to enjoy the trust of the general public and to have familiarity with business. They shall represent the broadest possible expertise in law, marketing and commerce as well as the various sectors of industry and consumers.
The chair, vice-chairs and at least two other members shall hold a higher university degree in law.
The term of office of the Board members is three years. A member may serve no more than three consecutive terms of office.
A Board member may be dismissed by the Finland Chamber of Commerce in the event of the member’s conduct demonstrating that the member no longer enjoys the trust required for the position.
3 § Secretary
The Finland Chamber of Commerce shall appoint a secretary for the Board and he/she is responsible for the administrative tasks related to the duties of the Board.
The secretary shall hold a higher university degree in law and possess the requisite experience.
4 § Quorum
The Board constitutes a quorum in the presence of at least four other members in addition to the chair or a vice-chair.
In the event that both the chair and vice-chairs are prevented from attending or are disqualified, the Board shall constitute a quorum in the presence of at least five other members who shall elect from among their number a member holding a higher university degree in law to serve as the chair.
5 § Disqualification
Board members are disqualified from considering matters which concern a party that is their employer. The provisions of the Finnish Code of Judicial Procedure concerning the disqualification of judges shall additionally apply, mutatis mutandis.
A disqualified member may not take part in any discussion or decision-making. A disqualified member must inform the secretary of the Board without delay of his or her disqualification
6 § Consideration of matters and decision-making
The Board considers matters in written procedure.
For a compelling reason, the Board may decide not to issue an opinion in a matter.
Meetings of the Board and the meeting agendas are non-public.
7 § Votes
Decisions at Board meetings are taken by simple majority vote. In the event of a tie, the chair casts the deciding vote.
8 § Minutes
Meetings of the Board shall be minuted. The minutes shall record those in attendance, the matters considered, the votes and the decisions. Minutes are confidential.
The minutes shall be signed by the chair and the secretary.
9 § Requesting party
A request for the Board’s opinion may be submitted by an individual entrepreneur, a body competent to initiate legal proceedings and established for the purpose of safeguarding the interests of entrepreneurs, or an authority (“requesting party”).
By submitting a request for the Board’s opinion the requesting party undertakes to comply with the Rules of the Board.
10 § Request for opinion
The request for opinion inclusive of enclosures shall be submitted to the Board in writing in duplicate.
The request shall include:
1. the names and contact details of the parties and their attorneys or other representatives;
2. a detailed claim regarding the conduct addressed in the request for opinion;
3. the facts on which the claim is based;
4. the materials put forward by the requesting party in support of the claims; and
5. any required authorisation.
11 § Consultation of respondent
The Board shall reserve for the respondent an opportunity to respond to the request for opinion.
By submitting a response the respondent undertakes to comply with the Rules of the Board.
The response shall include:
1. a detailed commentary on the contents of the request for opinion;
2. the materials invoked by the respondent in support of the response; and
3. any required authorisation.
The Board will forward the response to the requesting party.
12 § Continued consideration
The Board shall take a matter under consideration immediately upon submission of the respondent’s response or expiration of the deadline for submitting the response. The Board may obtain additional information in the matter on its own initiative as it deems fit.
When necessary, the Board may also request additional information from the requesting party or the respondent.
13 § Board opinions
Board opinions are issued in writing, one copy for each party concerned and one for the Board’s archives.
Board opinions are confidential.
14 § Publication permission
A party may ask the Board for permission to publish an issued opinion.
The Board may grant the permission when:
1. the respondent fails to comply with the opinion;
2. the permission is requested for the purpose of legal proceedings;
3. a party wishes to rectify incorrect information provided about it; or
4. there is another compelling reason.
The Board shall reserve for the opposing party an opportunity to respond to the publication permission request.
For a compelling reason, the publication permission may be granted without consulting the party or parties concerned. However, in such a case the Board shall immediately notify them of the permission.
The Board may publish an opinion on its own initiative in the event of a need to rectify information presented about the opinion.
The Board may grant an authority permission to publish an opinion requested by the authority.
15 § Copy advice
Entrepreneurs may ask the Board to provide a copy advice on an envisioned trading practice.
The request for a copy advice shall be made in writing. The information required for a copy advice shall be submitted to the Board at the same time.
Copy advice is provided on a confidential basis.
The Board is empowered to publish a request for a copy advice when this is necessary to rectify information provided about it.
16 § Summaries of opinions
The Board may publish summaries of opinions. The summaries shall not disclose the names and trade secrets of the parties concerned.
17 § Confidentiality
The members and secretary of the Board shall keep confidential all matters considered by the Board concerning opinions and preliminary opinions.
18 § Guidelines and regulations
The Board may issue more detailed guidelines and regulations concerning the consideration of matters by the Board.
19 § Fees
The fee charged for opinions shall be determined by the Finland Chamber of Commerce.
20 § Entry into force
These Rules enter into force on 1 July 2015.
Adopted by the Delegation of the Finland Chamber of Commerce on 3 June 2015.