The motto of both the Baltic Exchange and the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers is ‘Our Word Our Bond’, which embodies a very strong code of ethics. The need for a code of ethics comes from the fact that much of the business is based on ‘word of mouth’ and is only followed up later by written confirmation. The spoken word legally binds both principals to each other via the broker or brokers – this is a very powerful negotiating tool and is only useable by approximately 5,500 brokers world-wide, comprising 2,000 members of the Baltic Exchange and 3,500 Members and Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers. The value of this code is that it makes it possible to transact business from a position of trust, without which it would be very difficult to fix ships. BIMCO also recommend to their members various principles of chartering.