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How To Use This Guide

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Background to the guide

In 1987 the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Inc. developed a standard Master Agreement for use in risk management markets. The AFMA Guide to Australian OTC Transactions ("the Guide") was first published in 1990 as a guide to members of AFMA for using that document when the parties wanted to specify the governing law as the law in force in one of the Australian states or territories.

The options available to parties wanting to participate in risk management markets has expanded significantly since 1990, with the ISDA Master Agreement being updated with new 1992 and 2002 versions, new master agreements being released by other organisations, new products being introduced to the industry and significant changes to the regulatory structure affecting risk management products.

The Guide has been prepared and updated by King & Wood Mallesons (with the exception of 3.11 "Environmental products" and 3.12 "Gas Transactions" which have been prepared by and updated by Johnson Winter & Slattery) under instructions from the AFMA Documentation Committee ("the Committee"), member firms of which are elected every two years by AFMA Financial Markets members directly involved in documenting financial markets transactions. The Committee typically has representatives from domestic and international banks, state treasury corporations and funds managers. 

Help Topics


The Guide is separated into six parts

  1. "How to use this Guide" is an introduction on the use of the Guide.
  2. "Master Agreements" which is a commentary on the Master Agreements covered by the Guide.
  3. "Products". This part contains guidance on how to document particular types of risk management products using the ISDA Master Agreement. Included in this part are interest rate and currency products, credit and equity derivatives, securities lending, repos, electricity, commodities, environmental products, gas & carbon.
  4. "Issues" is commentary on selected issues facing market participants, including regulation, tax, netting, investment managers, novations, collateral and EMU.
  5. "Cases on derivatives" contains summaries, and links to published judgments, of cases dealing with derivatives.
  6. "History and Update" contains PDFs of prior versions of the Guide.
What This Guide Contains


The purpose of the Guide is to facilitate the use of the ISDA Master Agreement or, where appropriate, the other master agreements discussed in 2 "Master Agreements", in the Australian risk management products markets by having a recommended approach and to ensure that the amendments made to the master agreements for use under the law in force in one of the Australian states or territories are as uniform as possible.

It achieves this by providing legal commentary on the ISDA Master Agreement and, where appropriate, other master agreements, when the parties want to specify the governing law as the law in force in one of the Australian states or territories (other than South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory).



The Guide is divided into topics. Some topics contain multiple topics. There are several ways to find a topic in the Guide.
You can use:

  • the Navigation function;
  • the Site Map function; or
  • the Search function
How To Find a Topic


Once logged in to the Guide, using the first two icons on the accessibility tools shortcut bar you can now print straight to PDF either:

  • the contents of the current page you are browsing; or
  • the contents of the current page and all subpages. 
Page Controls


To navigate the Guide, click the topic from the top navigation menu.

The Contents are displayed in the left pane.

You use the Contents in the same way as you would use the Contents section of a book. When you find the topic that you want, click on it to display it in the right pane.

TIP: Use the breadcrumb navigation for a hierarchal view of a given topic or sub-topic. You can click on other hierarchal levels within the breadcrumb navigation to go directly to that topic.


Site Map

The Site Map function enables you to see a treeview of all topics in the Guide. To use the Site Map function, click the Site Map link at the bottom of the webpage.

The Site Map is displayed in the right pane.





The Search function allows you to find all topics in the Guide which contain a certain word or words. To use the Search function, click the Search button at the bottom of the webpage.

Type the word or words that you are looking for in the Search field and click the Go button or press Enter to display the results of your search. Searching for a term "between quotation marks" will further refine the search.

The results show in the right pane all topics which contain the word or words that you searched for. Click on a topic to display it in the right pane. Your searched term will be shown in bold in the search summary. Searches may display more than one page of results. Click the result page number to be shown multiple page results.

Search Results

Links in this Guide

The Guide contains links to related material. Links are in underlined red text. When you move your cursor over a link, the cursor changes to a hand.

If you click on a link it takes you to the related material.

Links in the Guide can:

Links in this Guide

Printing from this Guide

There are two ways you can print from this guide

  • Use the print icon from the accessibility toolbar on each page of the guide; OR
  • Use the print icon on the Internet browser toolbar. You must ensure that you have clicked in the topic you wish to print.
Printing from this Guide


** It is necessary for users of the Guide to determine in each case the suitability or otherwise of the agreements and other documents referred to in the Guide to the particular circumstances applicable to that case. The Guide is not intended to constitute a legal opinion or other professional advice on which users may rely in implementing actual transactions. Nor is it intended as a substitute for legal or other professional advice when documenting proposed transactions. In this regard, it is strongly recommended that intending users seek prior independent professional advice in respect of the legal, taxation, stamp duty, regulatory (including in relation to licensing, conduct and disclosure obligations) and other implications arising from the use of the agreements and other documents referred to in the Guide.

The Guide is intended as an aid in understanding issues which arise under Australian laws when various agreements and related documents are used.

Accordingly while every care has been taken in preparing this Guide, none of AFMA, the member organisations of AFMA, Mallesons Stephen Jaques nor any of their individual representatives accepts responsibility for any losses suffered by contracting in the manner suggested in the Guide or arising from any error or omission in this Guide. **

** Mallesons Stephen Jaques has prepared and updated the Guide, with the exception of 3.11 "Environmental products" and 3.12 "Gas" which have been prepared by and updated by Johnson Winter & Slattery. **

Updating the Guide

Each part of the Guide contains a reference to when it was last updated. This statement does not guarantee that the Guide, or that part of the Guide, has been comprehensively updated to that date as:

  • the AFMA Documentation Committee may have limited the scope of review to be undertaken; and
  • the edits may relate only to consequential amendments from reviews of other portions of the Guide.