EIC Contracor's Guide to the FIDIC “Red Book”

Price: € 30,- 
(plus shipping via regular mail)

Year of Publication: 2002
Reprint in November 2008 with editorial amendments
ISBN: 3-9808257-2-8
Paperback cover; A4; 25 pages


EIC prepared a Contractor's Guide to the FIDIC Conditions of Contract for EPC Turnkey Contracts (the Silver Book) and published it in March 2000. EIC took this decision, not only due to the significant (in some instances unquantifiable) risks that the Contractor is required to carry under the Silver Book but also because it places the Contractor in a contractual environment that permits the Employer considerable scope for interference and unilateral action. It is this combination of high risk and limited freedom of action that concerns contractors. The Guide to the Silver Book was generally well received and whilst it did not receive a wholehearted endorsement from FIDIC they were kind enough to suggest that it provided a useful checklist for both employer and contractor. Feedback from contractors tells us that they find it useful; it highlights and discusses the risks confronting contractors within the restrictive contractual framework of the Silver Book and is a useful checklist, highlighting those clauses requiring careful thought.

As a FIDIC form the Silver Book was completely new to EIC contractors, whereas we are very familiar with the Fourth Edition of the Conditions of Contract for Works of Civil Engineering Construction and generally consider it an acceptable form of contract. Indeed, given the opportunity, contractors have recommended its use to employers. Throughout this Guide, it is referred to as the Fourth Edition. So, why publish a guide to its successor, the Conditions of Contract for Construction for Building and Engineering Works Designed by the Employer, hereinafter referred to as the Red Book? In contrast to contractors’ favourable impressions of the Fourth Edition, our study of the Red Book and discussions with FIDIC led us to the conclusion that whilst it does not present the same high degree of risk as the Silver Book it is more onerous than the Fourth Edition to the extent that the publication of a guide is justified. We have followed a format similar to our Guide to the Silver Book and comment only where we think that there is something important for contractors to consider and only at length where there are important issues at stake.

EIC wishes to make it clear that this document is not exhaustive and is intended for guidance only. Expert legal advice should always be obtained before submitting an offer or making any commitment to enter into a contract. Neither EIC nor the authors of this document accept any responsibility or liability in respect of any use made by any person or entity of this document or its contents which is and shall remain entirely at the user's risk.

To ensure that this Guide provides the maximum benefit to the industry at large, we would like to receive feedback from EIC member companies on its usefulness and relevance and we would particularly like to gather experience of any contracts carried out under the Red Book. All communications should be sent to the EIC Secretariat in Berlin.