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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Specific Instance Process: Procedures for Filing

Below is a brief summary of: (1) the information that requestors should provide when raising concerns to the NCP; and (2) the specific instance process itself. For a more detailed description of the U.S. NCP specific instance procedures, please click the relevant below link:

How to Request Assistance from the NCP:

In order to seek the assistance of the NCP, the interested party should submit a written request that includes the following information:

  • Requestor’s name, interest in the matter, and contact details
  • Name (and if possible contact information) of the MNE
  • Description of the activity of concern, including any supporting or documentary evidence
  • Location and time when the activity of concern occurred
  • Chapter(s) and specific part(s) of the Guidelines that are at issue
  • Whether the requestor/affected parties have raised the matter with the MNE, either directly or in any other venue, and the status of those efforts
  • Description or explanation of the resolution sought
  • Whether the NCP may share the information supplied by the requestor with the MNE

As a general rule, the NCP will transmit any information provided to the NCP to the other party [ies] to the specific instance, unless the providing party expressly requests that the information, or any part of the information, not be disclosed to any other party. In such circumstances, the party must provide a compelling reason for nondisclosure.

What Happens Once a Request is Received by the NCP?

Receipt of a request

When the NCP receives a request, it takes the following first steps:

  • Informs the requestor of receipt of the inquiry, and contacts the party whose activities are in question, to inform it of the inquiry;
  • Provides the incoming request and related materials to relevant U.S. agencies and offices, as well as other relevant NCPs (e.g., in the country where the activity took place, or where the multinational enterprise is headquartered);
  • Reviews information from the parties and other sources, such as other NCPs or others with relevant information regarding the issues or the means to assist the parties in resolving them.

Initial assessment

The NCP, in consultation with relevant U.S. agencies, makes an initial assessment to determine whether: (1) the issue is bona fide and relevant to the implementation of the Guidelines; (2) the issue merits further examination; and (3) it would be appropriate for the NCP to offer to assist the parties in resolving the issues.

In determining whether the issue is bona fide and relevant to the implementation of the Guidelines, the NCP takes into account:

  • Identity of the party making the request, and its interest in the matter
  • Whether the issue is substantiated
  • Whether there appears to be a link between the MNE’s activities and the issue(s) raised
  • Relevance of applicable law and procedures
  • How similar issues have been, or are being, treated in other domestic or international proceedings
  • Whether consideration of the specific issue would contribute to the purposes and effectiveness of the Guidelines

Once completed, the NCP will forward its initial assessment in writing to all parties involved.

  • If the NCP decides the specific instance merits further examination, and that it would be appropriate to offer its good offices to assist the parties in resolving the issues, it will offer its good offices to both parties and consult with them on how to proceed. This may, with the agreement of the parties involved, include facilitating their access to consensual and non-adversarial means of dispute resolution, such as conciliation or mediation.
  • If the NCP decides the issues raised do not merit further consideration or that offering its good offices would not contribute to a positive resolution of the issues, the NCP informs the parties and issues a public statement, to be posted on the NCP website.


In circumstances where the NCP determines it would be appropriate to offer its good offices, the NCP will encourage and offer mediation to the parties. If both parties agree to participate in efforts to arrive at a consensual resolution, the NCP would assist with mediation or otherwise facilitate third-party mediation. The NCP anticipates working closely with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, an independent U.S. federal agency specializing in alternative dispute resolution, to assist parties in addressing their concerns.

Mediation or conciliation is a completely voluntary step, providing an opportunity for a neutral third-party to assist parties in reaching their own resolution of concerns. In mediation, the parties are completely responsible for designing their own solution, and the process is designed to create an environment for cooperative problem-solving between the parties.

Conclusion of proceedings

At the end of the process, after consultation with the parties, the NCP will, in accordance with the procedural guidance, make the results publicly available on the NCP website. For further information on NCP specific instance public statements, click here.

Contact info:

U.S. National Contact Point
Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20520
Tel: (202) 647-5686
Fax: (202) 647-5713


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