The SYNCIBE of the 1970s and today’s OSCI are remote descendants of the Chambre Syndicale des Négociants-Commissionnaires et du Commerce Extérieur (association of trader-forwarders and external trade) created in Paris in 1876 and the Fédération Nationale des Syndicats des Sociétés de Commerce Extérieur (FNSCE, the national federation of external trade associations and companies), created in 1968 and located at the CNPF offices in Paris (16th arrondissement).

Since 1998, the SNCI  (Syndicat des Négociants et Commissionnaires à l’international, a union of international traders and export agents) and OSCI have been working together in all their actions.

In the 1970s, under Jacques Chirac’s government, Jean Pierre Fourcade had the Syndicat des Sociétés de Commerce Internationale ayant des Bureaux à l’Etranger (SYNCIBE, Association of international trading companies with offices abroad) set up at the offices of the CNPF (Conseil national du patronat français, or the national council of French employers) – today’s MEDEF (Mouvement des entreprises françaises, or French companies movement). For the first time, the major external trading companies (few in number) and the major external trade banks were brought together in a single organization.

As head of the association known as CGI-SAI (SAI, signifies Sociétés d’Accompagnement à l’International, or International Business Support Companies, IBSC), Gilles REMY, who had become the MD of CIFAL in 1995, noted the weakness of the SYNCIBE on the one hand and, on the other, the membership of the various other organizations concerned by international trade with the CGI (Confédération du commerce de Gros et International, or confederation of international wholesale trading) and therefore proposed to create an organization that would represent OSCI, (Opérateurs Spécialisés du Commerce International, or specialized international trade operators), including in particular the ITCs and IBSCs.

An Extraordinary General Meeting was convened on 4 January 2006 to merge all the federations, which included international trading companies, into a single organization. This General Meeting was attended by directors or representatives of Louis Dreyfus Négoce, Devexport, Unis Industrie, Mitsubishi France, Groupe CIFAL, CFAO, Natexis Pramex International, Denis Frères, Serex Alliance Santé and representatives of the CGI.

OSCI’s constitutive meeting was held 22 February 2006, and Gilles REMY became its President.

In November 2013, Gilles REMY proposed that Etienne VAUCHEZ should succeed him as President of OSCI.

Etienne VAUCHEZ was re-elected in February 2017.

Since January 2020, Chloé BERNDT and Hervé DRUART have been Co-presidents of OSCI.

To consult the history of French external trade companies, drafted by Jean-Claude Abeillon, click here.