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Special Relief Arrangements for Business Entities

In the difficult times caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Shanghai International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (Shanghai International Arbitration Center, hereinafter referred to as “SHIAC”) promulgates the Special Relief Arrangements for Business Entities (hereinafter referred to as “Special Arrangements”) to alleviate the economically distressed market participants and to ensure no disruption to the just, efficient, professional and convenient services SHIAC has been providing. The Special Arrangements have drawn experiences from the “Arbitration Aids Aviation” program jointly organized by the China Air Transport Association and SHIAC, as well as the program of “Litigation-Mediation-Arbitration” co-hosted by the Second Intermediate People’s Court of Shanghai, the Shanghai State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, the Shanghai Federation of Industry and Commerce and SHIAC. The Special Arrangements have been reviewed and approved by the Chair’s Meeting of SHIAC in accordance with the Charter of SHIAC and are now released to the public.

Shanghai International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission

 (Shanghai International Arbitration Center)


Special Relief Arrangements for Business Entities


Section 1  15% Discount of Arbitration Fees in Newly-Registered Cases


For cases submitted for arbitration from the date of implementation of these Arrangements, the arbitration fees for the arbitration claims and the counterclaims shall be charged at 85% of the amounts originally calculated under the Fees Schedule annexed to the applicable arbitration rules promulgated by SHIAC and the arbitration fees shall not be charged for the part of the arbitration claims or counterclaims in a single case whose dispute amount exceeds RMB 2 billion Yuan. 


Section 2  75% Discount of Arbitration Fees in “Mid-Arb” Cases


(a) For cases where, from the date of implementation of these Arrangements, an application is submitted to SHIAC for appointing a sole arbitrator to render a settlement award in accordance with the settlement agreement reached before the application for arbitration pursuant to an arbitration clause reached before the dispute or an arbitration agreement reached afterwards, the arbitration fees shall be charged at 25% of the amounts originally calculated under the Fees Schedule annexed to the applicable arbitration rules promulgated by SHIAC.


(b) For cases where, from the date of implementation of these Arrangements, an application is submitted to SHIAC for appointing a sole arbitrator to render a settlement award in accordance with the settlement agreement concluded through the mediation services provided by the Council for the Promotion of International Trade Shanghai/Shanghai International Chamber Commerce Mediation Center or any other organizations recognized by SHIAC, the arbitration fees shall be charged at 25% of the amounts originally calculated under the Fees Schedule annexed to the applicable arbitration rules promulgated by SHIAC.


Section 3  Refund of Arbitration Fees in Successfully Mediated or Conciliated Arbitration Cases


The parties may negotiate a settlement in the arbitration proceedings on their own, or they may apply for mediation by a mediator or arbitral tribunal in accordance with the arbitration rules of SHIAC. If the parties apply to withdraw the case or apply to the arbitral tribunal to make a settlement award based on the settlement agreement after mediation by the mediator or arbitral tribunal, SHIAC will refund part of the arbitration fees to the parties on the basis of Section 1 of the Special Arrangements in the following circumstances:


(a) Where the arbitration case is withdrawn upon successful mediation by a mediator appointed by SHIAC before the constitution of the arbitral tribunal, 70% of the arbitration fees shall be refunded.


(b) Where the arbitration case is withdrawn before the first hearing upon successful mediation by the arbitral tribunal, 50% of the arbitration fees shall be refunded. 


(c) Where the arbitration case is withdrawn after the first hearing by the arbitral tribunal, 25% of the arbitration fees shall be refunded. 


(d) Where a settlement agreement is concluded upon successful mediation by the arbitral tribunal after the first hearing and the arbitral tribunal is requested to make a settlement award in accordance with the settlement agreement, 20% of the arbitration fees shall be refunded. 


Section 4  Refund of Arbitration Fees in Arbitration Cases Conducted through Online Means


Where an application for arbitration is submitted via SHIAC’s online case filing system and the arbitral proceedings including document exchange, oral hearing, etc. are conducted through online means in accordance with the applicable arbitration rules of SHIAC and its Guidelines for Online Hearings, upon written application by the parties, SHIAC may refund part of the arbitration fees on the basis of Section 1 of the Special Arrangements, and the refund proportion shall not exceed 15% of the arbitration fees.


Section 5  Arbitration Fees in Instalment under Exceptional Circumstances


(a) Where the parties are unable to pay the arbitration fees in one lump sum due to severe economic hardship or the high amount of arbitration fees, the parties may apply for payment in instalment. SHIAC shall decide whether to approve such an application or not.


(b) Where a party applies to pay the arbitration fees in instalment, it shall submit an application in written form. If SHIAC decides to approve the application, the first instalment of the arbitration fees shall not be less than 25% of the total amount, and the last instalment shall be paid before the first hearing of the arbitral tribunal. 


(c) If the parties fail to pay the arbitration fees in full and on time as requested and still fail to do so after notification, SHIAC or the arbitral tribunal, may decide not to accept the claims/counterclaims, to suspend the arbitral proceedings or to set aside the case.


Section 6  Application of the Special Arrangements


(a) The Special Arrangements apply to arbitration cases where an application for arbitration is submitted to SHIAC from the date of implementation until the expiration of the validity period.

 

(b) Except for arbitration fees mentioned above, the Special Arrangements shall not apply to any other fees payable by the parties under the SHIAC arbitration rules. 


(c) In addition to subsection (a) and (b) of this Section, the Special Arrangements shall not apply in any of the following circumstances:


(i) Where the arbitration fees are calculated in accordance with the standards set forth in the ninth Chapter “Small Claim Procedures” of the Shanghai International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (Shanghai International Arbitration Center) China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone Arbitration Rules.


(ii) Where the parties agree to apply arbitration rules other than the SHIAC arbitration rules. 


(iii) Other circumstances in which SHIAC deems the Special Arrangements inapplicable. 


(d) The refund of arbitration fees in accordance with the above Section 3 and Section 4 should be completed in time after the decision to set aside the case or the arbitral award is made, except for delays caused by the parties’ failure to provide financial invoice information, refund account numbers or by other objective reasons.


(e) The refund in the Section 3 and Section 4 shall not be applied concurrently. In the event of circumstances that can be applied at the same time, the higher proportion of the refund shall prevail. 


(f) The arrangement on refund in the Section 3 and Section 4 shall not apply to arbitration cases covered by Section 2 of the Special Arrangements.


(g) If the amount of the arbitration fees is less than RMB 5,100 Yuan after the application of the above Section 1, the arbitration fees shall be charged at RMB 5,100 Yuan.


Section 7  Interpretation and Implementation


(a) The Special Arrangements shall come into effect from the date of promulgation and shall be effective until December 31, 2022.


(b) The Special Arrangements are subject to interpretation of SHIAC.


Special Relief Arrangements for Business Entities

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