IRTA’s Purpose and Role


IRTA’s Purpose and Role: An Advocate for The Barter & Complementary Currency Industries Since 1979

The International Reciprocal Trade Association (IRTA),, was founded on August 31, 1979 to foster the common interests of the commercial barter industry in the United States and worldwide, and to uphold high standards of ethical business practice. IRTA works with governmental agencies, the media and barter and complementary currency organizations across the globe to preserve, protect and enhance the industry. IRTA conducts research into contracts, securities and tax laws and accounting principles applicable to the barter and complementary currency industries. Through its subsidiary, the Universal Currency Clearinghouse, Inc. (UC), IRTA provides a global inter-exchange trading platform for its members. IRTA also provides a consumer protection program via its Ethics Complaint and resolution process, which is available to both IRTA members and non-IRTA members alike.

As of 2013, IRTA has over 100 members in the commercial barter and complementary currency sectors. Members of IRTA are from the U.S., Canada, Great Britain, Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, Italy, Poland, Portugal, France, Holland, Brazil, Mexico, Jamaica, Turkey, Puerto Rico and Sardinia. Membership is open to any individual or firm who subscribes to the aims of IRTA and who has not been convicted of a felony or the subject of a civil judgment involving fraud. International trading firms, barter exchanges, corporate barter companies, counter-trade organizations, and complementary currency groups are all welcome to apply for membership in IRTA.

IRTA is governed by a 13-person Global Board of Directors which meets regularly to review IRTA’s progress and set goals for the future. An Annual Meeting of IRTA is held each year at the annual convention in September. The 2013 IRTA Convention will be held from September 19th through 21st, 2013 at the five-star Las Vegas Venetian Resort. The convention will include two days of speakers and seminars aimed at educating and increasing the competency of those serving the barter and complementary currency sectors. IRTA also offers their Certified Trade Broker (CTB and Registered Trade Broker (RTB) training and accreditation programs at the convention.

IRTA regularly sends out digital NewsFlashes and Advisory Memos to the barter industry on important topical matters that are of concern to the industry. Recent Advisory Memos covered Management of Exchange Deficits, Franchise and Licensing Requirements and PCI Compliance. IRTA also maintains an active social media program in an ongoing effort to increase awareness of the benefits of barter both for IRTA members and the public at large.

IRTA was responsible for the passage in 1982 in the U.S. of provisions in the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act (TEFRA) which established barter exchanges on an equal footing with banks, savings institutions and credit card companies as third-party record keepers of financial transactions of taxpayers. The law imposed a requirement upon barter exchanges to submit information returns (1099B Forms) to the IRS for the annual barter sales made by their clients. IRTA retains a close relationship with the IRS to assure any potential new legislation is favorable to the barter industry and to assure the highest level of barter industry compliance with TEFRA.

For more information on IRTA, contact IRTA’s Executive Director, Ron Whitney at