Created April 12, 1994 the International Arbitration Court at the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (hereinafter – IAC at the BelCCI) is a permanent international court of arbitration, carrying out their activities in accordance with the Law of the Republic of Belarus of July 9, 1999 “On International Arbitration court”.
According to Article 1 of the named Act, an International Arbitration Court is a permanent arbitral institution or arbitral body created to review the relevant dispute. It also may be a specifically formed by agreement of the parties of the dispute International Arbitration Court for consideration of a particular dispute ad hoc.
The permanent acting International Arbitration Court has the status of a non-governmental, non-commercial organization operating on a reimbursable basis, which is created by a non-commercial organization, the main purpose of which is to assist external economic relations with foreign legal entities and individual entrepreneurs (Articles 6 and 7 of the Law “On International Arbitration court “).
The permanent acting International Arbitration Court is a legal entity, has its own charter and is subject to state registration in the order established by the legislation of the Republic of Belarus.
According to the decision of the Council of Ministers, dated 27 December, 1999 № 2013 state registration of permanent international arbitration courts is realized by the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus, which by its decision of 25 February 200 № 41 approved the Regulations on the state registration of permanent international arbitration courts.
International Arbitration Court at the BelCCI, being a permanent international arbitration court established by the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce, April 12, 1994, received the status of a legal entity August 9, 2000.
In accordance with the Charter of the IAC at the BelCCI its structure includes: the arbitrators, the Presidium, the Chairman and subdivisions.
Set of rules governing the organization of IAC at the BelCCI and the dispute resolution process are contained in its regulations.
Currently, there are regulations, approved by Decree of the Presidium of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry dated 17 March 2011, entered into force on 5 April 2011.
Specificity of the IAC at the BelCCI is its competence both international disputes in the presence of an arbitration agreement (ie civil disputes between subjects of law arising in the course of foreign trade and other forms of international economic relations, if the registered office or place of residence of at least one of them is abroad), and between the subjects of the Republic of Belarus.
Among the features of the consideration in IAC at the BelCCI both international and domestic disputes are the following.
1. Participation of parties to disputes in the formation of the court.
Parties have the opportunity to participate in the formation of considering their dispute by determining the composition of the court as the number of members of the court, and the selection of specific individuals as a main and a reserve arbitrator.
In accordance with Article 16 of the Law of the Republic of Belarus “On International Arbitration court,” the number of members of the International Arbitration Court for settlement of disputes is determined by agreement of the parties or, failing such agreement includes three arbitrators.
Rules of the IAC at the BelCCI contain specific rules on the matter. So in accordance with Article 5 of the Rules of IAC at the BelCCI, the dispute may be settled in the court consisting of one or three arbitrators. The quantitative composition of the court is determined by agreement of the parties or failing such agreement – three arbitrators.
According to Article 6 of the Rules of IAC at the BelCCI if the parties agreed to resolve the dispute by a sole arbitrator, they name elected persons as a main and a reserve arbitrator.
If an agreement on the main and reserve sole arbitrator within 30 days of the receipt by the respondent a copy of the complaint wasn’t reached, they are appointed by the chairman of the IAC at the BelCCI.
In disputes between subjects of the Republic of Belarus without changing the simplified procedure, the deadline for the parties to achieve an agreement is 15 days. When there is a failure of the parties at reaching an agreement within the specified time the main and reserve sole arbitrator appoints IAC at the BelCCI.
Article 7 of the Rules of IAC at the BelCCI provides that in case of a collegiate composition of the court the claimant in the lawsuit calls the main and reserve arbitrator on its part the respondent announce the election of their main and reserve arbitrator on its part within 30 days of receipt of a copy of the statement of claim, and in disputes between the subjects of the Republic of Belarus without changing the simplified procedure – within 15 days from the date of receipt of the copy of the statement of claim.
If the main and reserve arbitrators in these terms are not elected by the parties, they shall be appointed by the chairman of the IAC at the BelCCI.
2. Choice of a particular person as an arbitrator.
Court is like its arbitrators.
In accordance with Article 17 of the Law “On International Arbitration court” no one may be deprived of the right to become an arbitrator because of his nationality or citizenship, unless the parties agree otherwise.
In the IAC at the BelCCI exists Advisory Panel of Arbitrators, which appear 73 arbitrators, 39 of them – are well-known Belarusian lawyers, scientists, and practices, as well as arbitrators from Austria, Great Britain, the Republic of Lithuania, the Republic of Kazakhstan, Republic of Moldova, the Republic of Poland, the Russian Federation, Ukraine, Germany, France and the Czech Republic.
In accordance with paragraph 3 of Article 5 of the Rules of IAC at the BelCCI to resolve disputes claimants and respondents may choose arbitrators from the Advisory Panel of Arbitrators IAC at BelCCI.
However, this norm states that the parties shall have the right to choose as arbitrators persons who are not included in the advisory in the IAC list of arbitrators at the BelCCI.
However, to resolve disputes between the subjects of the Republic of Belarus as an arbitrator may be appointed only person included in the Advisory Panel of Arbitrators IAC at BelCCI. A similar requirement is established for the presiding arbitrator.
Arbitrator, a reserve arbitrator, as well as primary or reserve presiding arbitrator may be elected (appointed) only with the consent of a competent individual with adequate training and the necessary personal qualities (article 5, paragraph 2 of the Rules of IAC at the BelCCI).
In this case the arbitrator may be elected as a citizen of the Republic of Belarus, and the foreigner, but the election of a foreign is possible only in case if the elected party in 10 days period from the date of the election payed the advance on costs related to the participation of such arbitrator in the case.
So it depends on the parties of the dispute, which person will consider the dispute. At the same time, however, the party of the dispute must understand that elected arbitrator is not a representative of the parties in the process, and elected party has chosen him only for professional and moral qualities of such a person is really capable of impartially and legally appropriate to consider the dispute.
3. Impartiality and objectivity of the arbitrators.
One and the principles that guides the IAC with the BelCCI in its activity, is the principle of equality of parties.
The implementation of the principle of equality of the parties is reached by impartially and objectively consider the dispute by the arbitrator.
Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Rules of IAC at the BelCCI provides that the arbitrators are independent of parties chosen them.
If circumstances exist that give rise to justifiable doubts as to the arbitrator’s impartiality or independence, the party may challenge such arbitrator.
The relevant right is regulated by article 18 of the Law of the Republic of Belarus “On International Arbitration court”, and paragraph 1 of Article 9 of the Rules of IAC at the BelCCI.
In addition, as stated in the same article 18 of the Law “On International Arbitration court”, and paragraph 1 of article 9 of the Rules of IAC at the BelCCI person informed about the possible election (appointment) as an arbitrator must report on the circumstances that might give rise to justifiable doubts to his impartiality, independence or competence. If the arbitrator did not do this before the election (appointment), he is obliged to inform the parties of any such circumstances as soon as possible in the course of the proceedings.
4. Choice of applicable law.
The first part of Article 36 of the Law of the Republic of Belarus “On International Arbitration court”, and paragraph 1 of article 36 of the Rules of IAC at the BelCCI provides that the Court shall decide the dispute in accordance with the law, which was chosen by the parties as applicable to dispute.
In this case of any reference to the law or legal system of a State shall be construed as a direct reference to the substantive law of that State and not to the conflict of laws rules.
Thus, the parties in a dispute at the IAC at the BelCCI are not only bound by the law of the Republic of Belarus, they are able to apply to their relations the rules of international trade law (Lex Mercatoria), as well as international trade customs.
5. Ability to select the place of arbitration.
When considering the dispute to the IAC at the BelCCI, the parties are free to agree on the venue of the hearings.
The relevant right is stated in Part 1 of Article 26 of the Law “On International Arbitration court”.
In the absence of such agreement, the place of the court proceedings is determined by the court compound in the circumstances of the case and the parties’ opinion.
According to Article 27 of the Rules of IAC at the BelCCI if the parties have agreed otherwise, the arbitration proceedings shall be conducted, as a rule, in a room of the IAC at the BelCCI addressed:
Kommunisticheskaya Street 11, Room 320, 220029, Minsk.
Tel / Fax: (0172) 88-20-76; Tel: (0172) 88-29-67.
6. Choice of language of the arbitration.
Paragraph 15 of the Rules of IAC at the BelCCI contains a provision stating that the language of the proceedings is determined by agreement between the parties taking into account the capabilities of the arbitrators. If agreement is not reached, the case is considered in the Belarusian or Russian language.
The first part of Article 27 of the Law of the Republic of Belarus “On International Arbitration court” also regulates the possibility of agreement on the language of the hearing.
If a party or its representative does not speak the language in which the case is heared, the court, at its request and at its expense, provide translation services (Part 2 of Article 15 of the Rules of IAC at the BelCCI).
7. Confidentiality of cases.
In contrast to the principle of publicity of consideration of disputes in accordance with Article 3 of the Law of the Republic of Belarus “On International Arbitration court” the confidentiality of cases is one of the principles of the IAC at the BelCCI.
As a general rule, this principle is understood as the proceedings in a closed court session (no public process if the composition of the court at the request of or with the consent of the parties decided to review it publicly.
Thus, in accordance with paragraph 1 of Article 16 of the Rules of IAC at the BelCCI case proceedings conducted in private. When considering the dispute of the court with the consent of the parties may prevent the court session and other persons other than the parties and their representatives.
Participants of the closed meetings are obliged to keep confidential all information obtained in the case, which is notified by a sole arbitrator or the presiding arbitrator (article 16, paragraph 3 of the Rules of IAC at the BelCCI).
Thus, if the actors for various reasons, and above all, the preservation of his name on the relevant market, do not wish to draw attention to their disputes, the “softly procedure” in the IAC with the BelCCI is the most preferred.
8. The ability to determine the order of proceedings.
In contrast to the detailed procedures for handling disputes regulated in state courts, the parties are free to agree on the order of proceedings in the IAC at the BelCCI subject to the provisions of the Law “On International Arbitration court”.
In the absence of such agreement, the composition of the court is hearing in order to recognize the need to ensure the removal of legal and informed decision, taking into account the opinion of the parties (paragraph 2 of Article 25 of the Law “On International Arbitration court”).
A similar provision is contained in paragraph 2 of Article 31 of the Rules of IAC at the BelCCI.
As part 1 of Article 32 of the Law “On International Arbitration court”, and paragraph 2 of Article 28 of the Rules of IAC at the BelCCI provides the right of parties to agree to hear the case only on the basis of documents and other written materials.
However, it should be noticed that if in the course of the proceedings the court comes to the conclusion that the available documentary evidence is insufficient to make an informed decision, it cancels its ruling on the proceedings only on the basis of written materials and conducts oral proceedings (paragraph 3 of Article 28 Rules of the IAC at the BelCCI).
Thus, in the IAC at the BelCCI any procedural aspects do not interfere with either the parties or the court properly considered the dispute.
9. The term for consideration of the case and making award
According to Article 14 of the Rules of the IAC at the BelCCI the IAC composition shall consider a case and make an award not later than 6 months upon the date of its establishment.
The IAC Chairman can extend the mentioned period upon a valid application of the sole arbitrator or presiding arbitrator.
An award of a dispute between entities of the Republic of Belarus without the simplified procedure shall be made not later than 3 months upon the date when the IAC composition has been established.
An award of a dispute between entities of the Republic of Belarus under the simplified procedure shall be made within three months from the date of formation of the composition of the court.
10. Flexible system of payment of the arbitration fee.
The arbitration fee in the IAC at the BelCCI is one of the lowest compared with the rates of other international arbitration courts.
The scale of the arbitration fee for the consideration of the disputes of international nature and for the consideration of internal disputes contained in Article 50 of the Rules of IAC at the BelCCI.
The minimum rate of the arbitration fee in a dispute of the international nature with the price of the claim up to € 5,000 is € 700.
With the price of the claim in the range from € 5001 to € 10 000 the size of the arbitration fee is calculated as follows: € 700 + 5.5% of the amount exceeding € 5,000.
With the price of the claim in the range of 10 001 to € 25 000 the size of the arbitration fee is € 975 + 5.5% of the amount exceeding €10,000.
With the price of the claim in the range of 25 001 to EUR 50 000 the size of the arbitration fee is €1800 + 5% of the amount exceeding € 25 000.
Article 50 of the Rules of IAC at the BelCCI has a separate scale of the arbitration fee for internal disputes.
For example, if the price of the claim up to 1 000 base values arbitration fee is equal to 50 basic values.
In case when the sole arbitrator considers the case the amount of the arbitration fee shall be reduced by 30 percents.
When disputes are considering according to the simplified procedure the size of the arbitration fee shall be reduced by 30 percent (as the case is considering by a sole arbitrator), and shall be reduced by 10 percent (paragraphs 3 and 4 of Article 50 of the Rules of the IAC at the BelCCI).
However, in any case the amount of the arbitration fee may not be less than 50 basic values.
The size of the arbitration fee shall be increased by the rate of value added tax provided for by the legislation of the Republic of Belarus in case of consideration of both internal disputes and of disputes of the international nature.
11. The finality of the awards of the International Arbitration Court at the BelCCI.
The award of the IAC at the BelCCI is not subject to revision on the merits.
According to the third part of Article 41 of the Law of the Republic of Belarus “On International Arbitration court” awards of the IAC at the BelCCI are final. These awards enter into force from the date of issuance and may be appealed only by request an application to the Economic Court of Minsk city for cancellation on the grounds enumerated in article 43 of the Law of the Republic of Belarus “On International Arbitration court”.
12. The presence of the international legal and regulatory framework for the recognition and / or enforcement of decisions of IAC at the BelCCI outside the Republic of Belarus.
In accordance with the UN Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (New York, 1958) awards of the IAC at the BelCCI recognized and enforced in more than 140 foreign countries.
Unlike awards of the IAC at the BelCCI decision of the state courts of the Republic of Belarus are executed in foreign countries only in the presence of international agreements between the Republic of Belarus and the concerned state or in accordance with the principle of international comity and reciprocity which is not always respected by the courts.
13. A national legislation for the execution of the IAC at the BelCCI awards on the territory of the Republic of Belarus.
The awards of the IAC with the BelCCI shall be executed in order which is established by Chapter 29 of the Economic Procedural Code of the Republic of Belarus, as well as by the Resolution of the Plenum of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus of December 23, 2014 № 18 “On the application of the law by the courts on the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments and foreign arbitral awards”.