CIPS has formulated viewpoints on countertrade as it is becoming increasingly
prevalent due to today's greater ease of global sourcing.
CIPS would identify three key areas in particular where purchasing and supply
management professionals can be of assistance to their organisations:
• assessing product value;
• developing the supply base; and
• exploiting reverse countertrade when appropriate.
CIPS believes that purchasing and supply management
professionals should be familiar with countertrade, like other
aspects of international trading, and should provide guidance
to their organisations when faced with the prospect of
countertrade. Reference should also be made to the CIPS
Knowledge Summary document on Ethical Business
Practices, in particular Reciprocal Trading, which is a form of
countertrade. The relevant paragraph reads:
“Reciprocal Trading, which makes being a customer of an
organisation, a condition of being a supplier is generally
unacceptable business practice. It is acceptable only when:
• There is no coercion
• Both parties are in agreement
• There is mutual benefit and transparency.”
CIPS believes that countertrade arrangements can be
professional and ethically acceptable provided that all parties
involved enter into such arrangements freely and
transparently, without any form of coercion and are to the
mutual satisfaction of both parties.
CIPS Positions on Practice
CIPS views are stated throughout this document but the key
statements are summarised below:
• CIPS believes that purchasing and supply management
professionals should be familiar with the principles of
countertrade and be able to provide guidance to their
organisation when the occasion demands.
• CIPS takes the view that countertrade arrangements are
only ever an acceptable aspect of a buyer/seller
relationship when neither party has been coerced into
entering into such a relationship.
• CIPS warns against underestimating the often very