Accessing the Handbook – ICMA members and Handbook on-line subscribers can log-in to the online softcopy version of the Handbook here (log-in details required):

ICMA no longer maintains hard copies of the ICMA Primary Market Handbook. This decision has been taken in light of environmental considerations and more limited usage of hard copy materials in the context of flexible working arrangements.  

Background – Since its launch in 1985 (as the “IPMA Handbook”), the Handbook has grown from a few short pages to a comprehensive document, continuously responding to market developments when guidance or harmonisation is required. Oversight of the Handbook rests with the ICMA Executive Committee, acting on the advice of the ICMA Primary Market Practices Committee and/or the ICMA Legal and Documentation Committee.

Content / scope – The Handbook comprises ICMA Recommendations, guidance and standard language and documentation, generally relating to offers of syndicated international bonds in the primary market, to programmes under which such offers may be made and to euro-commercial paper programmes and trades made under them. The full scope of the Handbook is set out in its Chapter 1 - Scope (publicly available), with further background information set out in Appendix B1 - Reader’s Guide (publicly available). An overview of the content of the Handbook can be obtained from its Table of Contents (publicly available).

Amendments / archive

The ICMA Primary Market Handbook – Amendments/archive webpage sets out (i) the most recent amendments, (ii) notes of any pending amendments not noted in the Handbook itself and (iii) selected archived inserts and ‘snapshots’ relating to past editions of the Handbook. All Handbook amendments are notified to each ICMA member’s principal delegate by a formal ICMA circular to members (log-in details required).

Further access information

For ICMA non-members, you may access the Handbook via subscription:

Available online via an annual corporate subscription
Access for an unlimited number of users with a single institution-wide log in.
CHF 6,500 (+ VAT where applicable)

Click here to order the Primary Market Handbook or call +41 44 363 4222 to speak to a representative of the membership department.

Other ICMA primary market documentation

Informal ICMA primary market documentation that is not included in the ICMA Primary Market Handbook is available on this webpage. Available to ICMA members and ICMA Primary Market Handbook subscribers only.

Queries / contacts:

Relevant contact details for various types of query are set out below:

Query concerning: Relevant contact:
Subscribing and obtaining log-in details ICMA's Membership department
Phone: +41 44 363 4222
Technical difficulties accessing the online Handbook Siobhan Benrejdal
Phone: +44 20 7213 0326
Handbook substance and content Ruari Ewing
Phone: +44 20 7213 0341



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