Grain News

New NGFA Trade and Arbitration Rules Booklet Now Available

Date Posted: May 6, 2013

Washington—A new booklet containing the latest version of the National Grain and Feed Association’s (NGFA) Trade Rules and Arbitration Rules now is available.

For more than 110 years, NGFA’s trade rules and arbitration rules have been used to facilitate trade and provide an efficient way to resolve disputes involving grain, feed, barge and barge freight, secondary rail freight, and certain transactions with railroads.

NGFA Vice President and General Counsel Charlie Delacruz said the new booklet incorporates recently ratified changes approved by the association’s membership.

“Over the years, NGFA’s trade and arbitration rules have facilitated the resolution of thousands of cases, which when challenged in court have been continually upheld,” Delacruz said.

“We have a history of providing a fair and effective way to resolve disputes involving grain and feed transactions, and our trade rules and arbitration booklet provides the guidance.”

The NGFA has five sets of trade rules:

Grain Trade Rules: Adopted in 1902, these rules govern all transactions of a financial, mercantile or commercial nature involving grain. Grain, as defined by the U.S. Grain Standards Act, includes corn, wheat, rye, oats, barley, flaxseed, grain sorghum, soybeans, mixed grain and any other food grains, feed grains and oilseeds for which standards are established under that law (7 U.S.C. Section 76).

Feed Trade Rules: Adopted in 1921, these rules govern transactions of all feedstuffs (including mill products or byproducts). Users of these rules should note that references are made to American Association of Feed Control Officials’ ingredient definitions.

Barge Trade Rules: Adopted in 1964, these rules supplement the Grain Trade Rules and Feed Trade Rules whenever such shipments are designated by contract to be transported by barge.

Barge Freight Trading Rules: Adopted in 1981, these rules govern all disputes of a financial, mercantile or commercial character involving transactions in the purchase and/or sale of barge transportation.

Secondary Rail Freight Trading Rules: Adopted in 2007, these rules govern all disputes of a financial, mercantile or commercial character involving transactions between non-railroad parties in the purchase and/or sale of secondary rail freight transportation.

The rules are reviewed on a regular basis to ensure they reflect current trade practices, as well as current technologies.

Proposed changes are developed by the NGFA’s Trade Rules Committee, the Arbitration Rules Panel or the NGFA Rail Arbitration Rules Committee, and are submitted to the NGFA membership for adoption.

The most recent review resulted in the following changes:

• The NGFA’s Rail Arbitration Rules were expanded to apply to the following new commodities: peanuts meal, cottonseed oil, molasses, malt flour or sprouts, soapstock, limestone, biodiesel, glycerin, dical and monocal phosphate, salt, distillate (fatty acids) and millrun.

• Provisions in the NGFA’s Grain and Feed Trade Rules that referred to “sessions” and trading hours were amended to provide further clarity and avoid potential disputes between application of the range of trading floor open outcry sessions and hours for electronic trading that followed the Chicago Board of Trade’s merger with the CME Group.

• A broad set of amendments focused on electronic methods of contracting, which affect numerous provisions throughout the rules.

Copies of the rules may be downloaded at

Printed copies of the booklet are available to NGFA members for $10 each for one to five copies, and $8 each for six or more.

Nonmembers may receive the booklet for $55 each; there is no quantity discount.

For additional information, contact the NGFA at 202-289-0873.

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