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):

Further information on obtaining log-in details or acquiring the hardcopy version of the Handbook is set out below under “Further access information”.  

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 (publically available), with further background information set out in Appendix B1 - Reader’s Guide (publically available). An overview of the content of the Handbook can be obtained from its Table of Contents (publically 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

The Handbook exists in loose-leaf hardcopy and online softcopy versions. An advantage of the online version is that it is updated in real time. Updates to the hardcopy version are distributed individually, to current ‘hardcopy update service’ subscribers, initially by e-mail at the time the online version is updated and then with hardcopy inserts following subsequently by post on an irregular basis (once sufficient updates have been aggregated to enable a print-run). The onus is therefore on hardcopy holders to ensure that their hardcopies are correctly updated.

The various access options and any related costs are set out on our product information page.

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:
Purchasing/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 / Charlotte Bellamy
Phone: +44 20 7213 0341



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