The BIE is an international and intergovernmental organisation created by the Convention of Paris in 1928. The BIE was established in 1931 with the mission of regulating the World and International Exhibitions. France is the Depositary Power of the Convention.
The BIE headquarters is located in Paris, at 34 avenue d'Iena, 75116.Tel : (33) 1 45 00 38 63 – Fax (33) 1 45 00 96 15e-mail: [email protected] – Web site : www.bie-paris.org
The naming of the BIE in 1931 derives from its initial role as a provider of an essentially administrative service (Bureau) to its member-states from around the world (International) in the domains concerning the organisation of, and participation in, World Exhibitions (Exhibitions). Today, the activities of BIE go beyond that of administration: the BIE brings its professional expertise in the subject matter; it actively participates in the promotion of Expos; it feeds and maintains the innovation at the heart of the Expos; and it ensures their relevance as a factor for dialogue and international cooperation.
The role of the BIE is to regulate the frequency of exhibitions under its jurisdiction, to ensure their quality and to guarantee that they are organised in compliance with international law. These exhibitions include all international exhibitions of a duration superior to three weeks (excluding fine arts exhibitions) and of non-commercial nature, organised by a state and for which the invitations are sent to other states by the diplomatic channel. Fairs are thus not included, and commercial activities are seriously regulated in the Expos organised under the auspices of the BIE.
The BIE is currently comprised of 170 member-states, who are represented at the BIE by one or more delegates. A country can officially appoint a maximum of three delegates. Any state can become a member of the BIE by adhering to the Convention of 1928 and to its successive protocols.
The Secretary manages all BIE activities. It operates under the direction of the Secretary-General.
The member-states participate in BIE activities through the intermediary of four Commissions.
The General Assembly, attended by the delegates of the member-states and by observers, meets twice a year. During the debates, led by the elected President of the General Assembly of the BIE, the delegates examine proposals for new projects and familiarize themselves with the reports presented by the Presidents of the four Committee concerning BIE activities and with the reports on the Exhibitions in progress.
The BIE has an office only in Paris.
The official language at the BIE is French. English is also widely used, and as such, has the status of a second language to facilitate international dialogue.
The BIE is financed by the membership fees of the member-states and by the Gate money of Expos (a royalty perceived on entry fees). The annual contribution of a new member is determined by the General Assembly of the BIE, in agreement with the applicant government.
Being a Member-State to BIE allows a State to take part in all discussions related to the organisation of the Expos and to express their views on the matter. The Member-States participate from the beginning in the discussions with the Expo organisers (a participants meeting), and they have the privilege of being heard in the organisation of events to which they intend to participate.
The General Commissioners College created at the time of, and even within, the Expos ensures the monitoring of this permanent dialogue between the organisers and the official participants.
Being a Member-State at the BIE also presents a number of specific advantages. The BIE allows member-governments to make certain savings because of the strict checks performed on the Expo organisers. In addition, the application examination fee received at the registration of an Expo is reduced by half when the application is for an Exhibition organised by a BIE member-state.
Likewise, a BIE member-state wishing to organise an Expo on a certain date is granted priority over another competing request by a non-BIE member-state.
It is clear that the more members the BIE has, the more effective its authority and the more substantial the savings for the members. It is thus in the interest of all governments of states likely to organise or participate in Exhibitions to adhere to the Convention of 1928 and become a member of the Bureau International des Expositions.
Any state may become a member of the BIE by adhering to the Convention of 1928 and to the successive protocols and amendments.
The process of adhesion is indicated in the Article 35 of the Paris Convention of 1928 as following:
"The present Convention is open to accession, in part, to all states, whether a member of the United Nations, a member of the UN who is a part of the International Court of Justice, a member of an institution specialised in the UN, or a member of the International Agency for Atomic Energy, and, in part, to all other states whose request for accession is approved by the two-third majority of the contracting parties possessing the right to vote at the General Assembly of the Bureau. The forms for accession are submitted to the Government of the French Republic and come into effect on the date of their deposit."
To obtain the documents relevant to the accession procedure to the BIE and necessary information, contact the BIE directly.
The registration of an International Exhibition at the BIE is inscribed in the Convention. It is less about the advantages as it is about the respect for texts signed by the member-states who do not want to derogate from them.
The registration of an International Exhibition concerned by the regulation of the Convention of Paris ensures the support, advice, and the serious monitoring by experienced professionals.