The Asia Office (Hong Kong) of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) International Court of Arbitration has been confirmed by the Supreme People’s Court of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Hong Kong SAR Government as a qualified institution for the purposes of the Arrangement concerning Mutual Assistance in Court-ordered Interim Measures in Aid of Arbitral Proceedings by the Courts of the Mainland and of the HKSAR (“Arrangement”).
The announcement was made on 25 September 2019.
Under the Arrangement, parties to arbitral proceedings seated in Hong Kong may apply for interim measures related to such arbitral proceedings before the Mainland China courts under the relevant PRC civil procedural and arbitration law provisions.
This remedy is only available to certain Hong-Kong seated arbitrations, including those administered by dispute resolution institutions or permanent offices set up in Hong Kong which satisfy certain criteria set by the Hong Kong Government.
The ICC Court’s Asia office in Hong Kong has been notified that it satisfies said criteria and is now included in the list of arbitral institutions published by the Hong Kong Department of Justice which qualify under the Arrangement. Accordingly, cases administered by the ICC Court’s Asia Office in Hong Kong will benefit from the provisions of the Arrangement.
The Supreme People’s Court made available further information on the application of the Arrangement on 26 September 2019, which included the jurisdictions of Chinese courts, the detailed procedures for the parties to make the applications, the role that the institutions will play to support the applications, etc.
The Arrangement, signed between the PRC and HKSAR on 2 April 2019, entered into force on 1 October 2019. It applies to requests for interim measures made before the courts as of that date. It also allows parties to arbitral proceedings in Mainland China to apply for similar interim measures before the Hong Kong courts under section 45 of the Hong Kong Arbitration Ordinance.
Alexis Mourre, President of ICC International Court of Arbitration said:
“This development will further increase the attractiveness of ICC Arbitration in cases involving Chinese parties.”
The ICC Court will shortly provide guidance on the practice arising out of the implementation of the Arrangement.