Since the introduction of MR cholangiography (MRC) diagnostic imaging of the biliary tract has been significantly improved. While percutaneous ultrasonography is still the primary examination, computed tomography (CT), conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), as well as the direct imaging modalities of the biliary tract--i.v. cholangiography, endoscopic-retrograde-cholangiography (ERC), and percutaneous-transhepatic-cholangiography (PTC) are in use. This article discusses the clinical value of the different diagnostic techniques for the various biliary pathologies with special attention to recent developments in MRC techniques. An algorithm is presented offering a rational approach to biliary disorders. With further technical improvement shifts from ERC(P) to MRC(P) for biliary imaging could be envisioned, ERCP further concentrating on its role as a minimal invasive treatment option.