NBS` survey of contracts and law shows that one of the areas that participants found challenging in international projects was the use of unknown contract forms. This article by Koko Udom, former Head of Contacts and Law at NBS, briefly presents FIDIC contracts, which are considered the main contracts in international engineering and construction projects. The FIDIC Red, Yellow and Silver books were published together in September 1999 in the FIDIC Rainbow Suite. FIDIC Rainbow Suite has been translated into a number of different languages to avoid the problems of unofficial and inaccurate translations. The languages into which the FIDIC Rainbow Suite has been translated include French, Chinese, Arabic, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Turkish and Vietnamese. The International Federation of Consulting Engineers, better known as FIDIC, was founded in Belgium in 1913. Today, FIDIC is the world`s largest international representative association, made up of national associations of consulting engineers from more than 100 countries around the world.  The first standard form of the FIDIC construction contract, known as the Red Book, first edition, was published in 1957. The first version of the FIDIC Red Book contract was based on a domestic contract developed itself on the basis of the terms of the ICE contract published by the Institution of Civil Engineers.  This explains the many common law features of the FIDIC suite of contracts that have sometimes been greeted with skepticism by civil lawyers. The FIDIC Red Book is the standard and most widely used construction contract form in all projects where the design is provided by the employer according to the traditional procurement path of design, tendering and construction. The entrepreneur is remunerated on the basis of a measure of the amounts of work actually performed. The amount of the contract accepted is based on estimated quantities.
The Red Book has evolved considerably since its first edition published in 1957. The Multilateral Development Bank`s (« MDB ») Pink Book is essentially an amendment to the Red Book published in 2005, which was developed for Development Projects financed by the Bank. The 2010 Pink Book replaced the previous editions of 2005 and 2007. Although the FIDIC family covers a wide range of contracts, there are some similarities: the FIDIC white paper or the client/consultant service agreement template is another important and well-known part of the FIDIC suite. The most recent version was released in 2017 and is now one of the most widely used forms of professional services contracts internationally. The second edition of the sub-consultation agreement accompanying the White Paper has also been published. Finally, in 2006, the lesser-known fidic Blue Book contract was published, which is a form of contract for dredging, re-cultivation and ancillary construction work with a variety of administrative agreements. As a rule, it is the employer who is responsible for the design, and the most important part of the Blue Book contract is the description of the activity itself, which is defined in detail in the specifications, drawings and design of the work. These orders were for the civil engineering sector, which is different from the mechanical/electrical engineering sector.
FIDIC published its first contract in 1957, entitled The Form of the Contract for Civil Engineering Construction Works. As its title suggests, this first order was aimed at the construction sector and quickly became known for the color of its cover and therefore the Red Book. If the engineer is too narrow so that he cannot exercise independent professional judgment, the problems of successful contract management, litigation avoidance and timely completion can be anticipated with confidence! Over the years, FIDIC has continuously improved its contracts. The organization added new forms of contracts, replaced previous ones, and updated important terms. The following table gives a brief overview of previous FIDIC contracts: The Red Book is suitable for contracts where most of the design is the responsibility of the employer. Other lesser-known FIDIC contracts include the « Green Paper », which is a short-form contract for relatively small projects of a repetitive nature or of short duration when the employer provides the design. According to FIDIC guidelines, $500,000 and 6 months are considered an appropriate capital and duration limit for projects that use Green Book forms. It has become a tradition for FIDIC contracts to be popularly known by the color of their envelope. The International Federation of Consulting Engineers (commonly known as FIDIC, acronym of its French name Fédération Internationale des Ingénieurs-Conseils) is an international standardization organization for consulting engineering and construction, best known for the FIDIC family of contract models. The fact that FIDIC has a French title testifies to its foundation in 1913 by three totally or partially French-speaking countries, Belgium, France and Switzerland.
Today, FIDIC has members in 104 countries.  The first and only edition of this treatise was published in 1995. For this reason, the basic principle of FIDIC contracts is the use of general conditions, which are considered appropriate in all cases and are based on thousands of successful projects worldwide. In most FIDIC forms, there is a standard hierarchy for the documents that make up the contract. The order of priority is as indicated below and in case of inconsistencies, the first of the list prevails: FIDIC organizes seminars and trainings of the World Consulting Engineering Conference. Practical guide to the FIDIC training manual – the activity of a professional services company is well known throughout the engineering profession. FIDIC also operates a bookshop and publishes international contracts and business practice documents that are used worldwide as guides and templates. FIDIC is best known for its range of contracts, which includes the dredging contract, the short form of the contract, the construction contract, the factory and the DB contract; BOD contract and EPC/turnkey contract. Details can be found in the FIDIC library. FIDIC publishes the model client/consultant services agreement as well as the sub-consulting agreement and the joint venture agreement. FIDIC publishes the harmonized edition of the BMD construction contract, which is used by the MDB (Multilateral Development Banks), including the World Bank, for their projects.
Since 1957, future FIDIC treaties have successfully adopted the principles of other legal systems, in particular the civil law system. However, the basic framework of English legal principles has survived. For example, the provisions on lump-sum compensation have been maintained. This is FIDIC`s first design-build and operation contract. FIDIC contracts provide guidance on project-specific sub-clauses in which specific conditions can be used. Other FIDIC family contracts include the FIDIC subcontract, the Blue Book, which deals with dredging and salvage work, and the White Paper, which is intended for the hiring of consultants by employers. Part II of the contract are the conditions of specific application and must be used to introduce project-specific clauses such as the language of the contract, the choice of law, the name of the person or company acting as an engineer or employer representative for the project, among others. The attachment usually contains a selection of documents to use for the procurement process. .