International Commercial Arbitration and Maritime Arbitration in Ukraine in 2013
International commercial and maritime arbitration in the Ukraine are administered by the International Commercial Arbitration Court (ICAC) and Maritime Arbitration Committee at the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UCCI). These are independent permanent arbitration institutions (third-party tribunals) whose activities and the proceedings conducted by them are regulated by the Law of Ukraine on International Commercial Arbitration of 24 February, 1994, Rules of the International Commercial Arbitration Court at the UCCI, and the Statute on the Maritime Arbitration Commission at the UCCI. The ICAC and UCCI report for 2013 reveals several important developments in maritime and international commercial arbitration in the Ukraine, the most prominent of which are discussed below.
First, in 2013 arbitrations began to use in full an electronic document management system, implemented at the end of 2012 which, in addition to ensuring the registration of incoming and outgoing documents, parties to a dispute, status of arbitral proceedings as of specific date and for particular case and control of the duration of such proceedings, will eventually enable putting into operation electronic version of an arbitral case.
Second, the number of arbitrations in the Ukraine is on the rise. During the period from 1 January till 31 December 2013 the ICAC at the UCCI registered 428 cases, which is 122 cases more than in 2012. Moreover, during the year 2013 the ICAC at the UCCI considered and rendered awards in 297 cases, of which 152 cases (51.18%) were considered by the Arbitral Tribunal composed of three arbitrators and 145 cases (48.82%) – by the Arbitral Tribunal composed of a sole arbitrator.
Third, ICAC arbitrations at the UCCI have been conducted with the participation of foreign arbitrators from Austria, Belarus, Czech Republic, Germany, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Norway, Poland, Russian Federation, Serbia, Slovakia and Switzerland. Ukrainian residents were the respondents in 55 cases (12.85% of the total amount of cases) and the claimants in 366 cases (85.51%). Ten disputes between foreign parties were referred to the ICAC at the UCCI as to international arbitration of a neutral state, including: disputes between Cyprus and the Netherlands, Cyprus and Moldova, Seychelles and Germany, Cyprus and Slovakia, Russian Federation and Slovakia, Hong Kong and China (2 cases), Switzerland and Georgia, Switzerland and the Netherlands, British Virgin Islands and Denmark).
Fourth, the majority of disputes submitted to the ICAC in 2013, as in previous years, concerned international purchase and sale (delivery) of goods (almost 88%). The majority of these matters concerned the breach of contractual obligations as to the opportune payment or delivery of goods. To a lesser extent the disputes involved construction contracts, transportation and carriage of goods, leasing and loan.
The duration of cases (from the date of initiation of the arbitral proceedings till rendering of the award) was as follows:
from 3 till 4 months - 136 cases;
from 5 till 6 months - 104 cases;
from 7 till 9 months - 39 cases;
from 10 till 12 months - 9 cases;
over 12 months - 9 cases.
In 2013 there were 16 cases in the Maritime Arbitration Commission at the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, including 13 cases registered during the reporting period and 3 cases left from the year 2012. If we compare the above to 2012, we will see a slight rise of claims. In 2012 there were 10 cases in the Maritime Arbitration Commission at the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, including 4 cases registered during the reporting period and 6 cases left from the year 2011.
Claims registered by the MAC in 2013 arise out of relationships concerning the following matters:
affreightment - 5 cases;
agency - 4 cases;
repair of vessel - 4 cases.
The categories of claims are not changed from year to year.
Awards are executed by the parties voluntarily in the stipulated period and under the terms of refusal to execute the latters voluntarily they are carried into effect in the way of forced procedures, abroad including, on the basis of the New York Convention provisions dated 1958 "On Foreign Arbitration Awards Acknowledgement and Enforcement".
Ukraine significantly has developed its attitude to the enforcement of arbitral awards during recent years though the approach of some courts still remains sometimes unfriendly to arbitration.
In general we may presume that every year a number of international disputes are solved by the said arbitrations and they factually become intensively growing modern arbitration points serving international business needs.
Published in gmaa.deAuthors: Arthur Nitsevych, Nikolay Melnykov