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GENERAL REGULATIONS OF THE CONSOLAT DE MAR

RULES OF ARBITRATION

REGULATIONS CONCERNING THE PROCEDURE FOR CONSENSUAL CONFLICT RESOLUTIONS

 

 

RULES OF ARBITRATION

I. GENERAL ISSUES

1. Sphere of application

Among other functions, the Official Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Shipping of Barcelona performs an arbitration role through the Consulate of the Sea, and in particular by means of its governing body, the Council of Twenty.

These regulations apply to arbitration processes administered by the Consulate of the Sea.

The Council of Twenty does not settle arbitration issues directly, but is responsible for their administration and supervision in accordance with these regulations.

The Council of Twenty is governed by its own regulations approved by the Official Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Shipping of Barcelona.

2. Rules of interpretation

References to the "arbitration tribunal" should be understood as referring to the arbiters, whether one single individual or more than one.

References in the singular cover the plural where there is more than one party.

References to contact details cover any of the following: registered office, fixed abode, establishment, postal address, telephone or fax number or e-mail address.

References to the "arbitration award" cover both the final award and any partial awards or interlocutories.

References to "arbitration law" should be understood as referring to the applicable arbitration legislation in force at the time when the application for arbitration is filed.

Acceptance of the arbitration regulations is understood to be covered by the regulations in force on the date of commencement of the arbitration, unless the parties should have expressly agreed to be bound by the regulations in force on the date of the arbitration agreement.

3. Notification

All notices served by a party, in addition to accompanying documentation, must be accompanied by as many hard copies as there are parties involved, plus one additional copy for each arbiter and for the Council of Twenty, plus one copy in digital format. The Council of Twenty may, at the behest of the parties or ex officio in accordance with the circumstances of the case, waive presentation of the digital format copy.

Likewise, all notices and rulings of the arbitration tribunal served on the parties or any of them must also simultaneously be copied to the other party and the Consulate of the Sea Secretary's Office.

In its first written submission each party must designate an address for service.

Should a party fail to designate an address for service, and if such an address has not been specified in the arbitration agreement or contract, notices must be served on that party at the corresponding registered office, establishment or regular abode.

Should it prove impossible to ascertain, following reasonable enquiries, any of the locations referred to above, notices to be served on that party must be addressed to the last known registered office, regular abode, establishment or address of the recipient.

It is the responsibility of the party applying for arbitration to notify the Consulate of the Sea Secretary's Office of any contact details for the respondent parties which it is may have or be aware of, until such time as the said party should appear or designate an address for service.

Notices may be served by means of delivery with receipt, registered mail, courier, fax or electronic communication providing confirmation of dispatch and receipt. An attempt shall be made to favour electronic communication.

Notices shall be deemed to have been received on the date when:

- Delivered in person to the recipient.

- Delivered at the corresponding registered office, regular abode, establishment or known address.

- An attempt to make delivery has been made pursuant to the terms of paragraph 4 of this article.

4. Deadlines

Unless otherwise established, for all deadlines specified in days calculated from a given date, that date shall be excluded from the calculation, which shall commence with the following day.

All notices shall be deemed to have been received on the date when delivered or whether an attempt to make delivery has been made pursuant to the terms of the above article.

Calculation of the deadlines does not include non-working days, although if the final day on which the deadline falls is a non-working day in the place where notification or service is deemed to be made, the deadline shall be understood to be extended until the next working day.

The month of August is in general considered to be a non-working period, unless the parties should decide otherwise.

In accordance with the circumstances of the case, the deadlines established in these regulations are open to modification (including extension, reduction or suspension) by the Council of Twenty, until such time as the arbitration tribunal has been established, and by the said body from that time onwards, unless otherwise expressly agreed by the parties.

II. COMMENCEMENT OF ARBITRATION

5. Application for arbitration

The arbitration application must at least contain the following information:

The full name, address and other relevant details in order to identify the applicant party or parties and the respondent party or parties for contact to be made. In particular, addresses for service of notices on all the said parties must be provided, pursuant to article 3.

The full name, address and other relevant details in order to identify the persons representing the applicant for arbitration in order for them to be contacted.

A brief description of the dispute.

The petitions presented and the total involved.

The document, contract or legal business giving rise to the dispute or connected therewith.

The arbitration agreement or agreements cited.

A proposal regarding the number of arbiters, the language and place of arbitration, should there be no prior agreement in this regard, or where the intention is to modify this.

If the arbitration agreement provides for the appointment of a three-member tribunal, designation of the arbiter which the applicant party is entitled to select, giving the full name and contact details, along with the declaration of independence and impartiality referred to in article 12.

The arbitration application may likewise contain an indication of the regulations applicable to the matter of the dispute.

The arbitration application must be accompanied by at least the following documents:

A copy of the arbitration agreement or correspondence providing confirmation of this.

Where applicable, a copy of the contract giving rise to the dispute.

Written appointment of the individuals to represent the party before arbitration, signed by the latter.

Confirmation of payment of the registry fee.

If the arbitration application is incomplete, the required number of copies or attachments are not presented, or the registry fees not paid, the Consulate of the Sea Secretary's Office may set a deadline of no more than 10 days for the applicant to rectify the omission or make payment of the fee. Following rectification of the omission or payment of the said sum, the arbitration application shall be deemed to have been validly presented.

Following valid presentation of the arbitration application, the Consulate of the Sea Secretary's Office must without delay serve a copy of the application on the respondent parties.

6. Response to the arbitration application

The respondent party must reply to the arbitration application within a period of 15 days of receipt.

The response to the arbitration application must contain at least the following information:

The full name of the respondent, an address and further relevant identification and contact details, and in particular designation of the individual and the address for the service of any notices required during arbitration.

The full name, address and other relevant identification and contact details for the individuals to represent the respondent in the arbitration process.

Brief arguments as to the applicant's petitions.

If arbitration is opposed, the party's position as to the existence, validity or applicability of the arbitration agreement, or the grounds for this.

The party's position as to the applicant's proposal regarding the number of arbiters, the language and place of arbitration, should there be no prior agreement or if the intent is to modify this.

If the arbitration agreement provides for the appointment of a three-member tribunal, designation of the arbiter which the respondent party is entitled to select, giving the full name and contact details, along with the declaration of independence and impartiality referred to in article 12.

The response to the arbitration application may likewise contain an indication of the rules applicable to the matter of the dispute.

The response to the arbitration application must at least be accompanied by written appointment of the individuals to represent that party in arbitration, signed by them.

If the response to the arbitration application is incomplete, or the required number of copies or attachments are not presented, the Consulate of the Sea Secretary's Office may set a deadline of no more than 10 days for the applicant to rectify the omission. Following rectification of the omission, the arbitration application is deemed to have been validly presented on the date of initial presentation.

Following receipt of the response to the arbitration application, with all documents and copies, the Consulate of the Sea Secretary's Office must serve a copy on the applicant.

A failure to respond to the arbitration application within the deadline granted shall suspend neither the procedure nor the appointment of arbiters.

7. Counterclaim

If the respondent intends to present a counterclaim, notice must be given in the written submission in response to the arbitration application itself.

Notice of a counterclaim must at least contain the following information:

A brief description of the dispute.

The petitions presented and the total involved.

Reference to the arbitration agreement or agreements applicable to the counterclaim.

Indication of the regulations applicable to the matter of the counterclaim.

If notice of a counterclaim is served, the applicant must respond to this within a period of 10 days from receipt thereof.

The response to the notice of counterclaim must at least contain the following information:

Brief arguments as to the description of the counterclaim presented by the respondent counterclaimant.

Its position as to the petitions of the respondent counterclaimant.

Its position as to the applicability of the arbitration agreements to the counterclaim, in the event of objection to the inclusion of the counterclaim within the arbitration proceedings.

Its position as to the regulations applicable to the matter of the counterclaim, if this issue has been raised by the respondent counterclaimant.

8. Prima facie review of existence of arbitration agreement

In the event that the respondent parties should fail to reply to the arbitration application, should refuse to accept arbitration or present one or more demurs as to the existence, validity or scope of the arbitration agreement, the following outcomes may apply:

In the event that the Council of Twenty should reach a prima facie conclusion as to the existence of an arbitration agreement entrusting administration of arbitration to the Consulate of the Sea, it shall continue with the arbitration proceedings, notwithstanding the admissibility or basis of any demurs which may be raised. In this case the arbitration tribunal is responsible for adopting all decisions as to its own competency.

If the Council of Twenty should reach a prima facie conclusion that there is no arbitration agreement entrusting the administration of arbitration to the Consulate of the Sea, it must serve notice on the parties that arbitration may not continue.

The rules set out in the above paragraph shall apply likewise to counterclaims, it being deemed that the petitioner is the counterclaimant and the respondent the party on which the counterclaim is served.

9. Deposits of funds

At the first possible opportunity, following the prima facie review of the existence of an arbitration agreement, the Consulate of the Sea Secretary's Office must establish the funds to be deposited, in accordance with the rates approved and published in the Official Gazette of the Regional Government of Catalonia, attached as an annex to these regulations, the sum being sufficient in order to cover the fees of the arbiters, the administrative costs of arbitration corresponding to the main claims and counterclaims presented by the parties.

This deposit of funds, normally coinciding with the total final cost of arbitration, may be readjusted at any time during the proceedings, in particular in order to take into consideration any change made to the sum of the dispute by the parties, or a request by the parties for expert witnesses or other procedures not initially foreseen.

The deposit of funds covers initial, administrative and procedural costs of the procedure, the fees and expenses of the arbiters, notarisation of the arbitration award, if required, along with notice thereof.

In the event that, in addition to the main claim, one or more counterclaims are presented, the Council of Twenty may establish separate deposits of funds for the main claim and for the counterclaim or counterclaims.

The funds thus established must be lodged by the parties within the deadlines granted by the Consulate of the Sea, which shall under no circumstances be less than 10 days.

Any advance paid by either of the parties shall be deemed a partial payment towards the said funds.

Should either of the parties fail to make payment, the Consulate of the Sea Secretary's Office shall inform the other party thereof in order that it might, should it deem so fit, make the pending payment within 15 days.

Should neither of the parties make the pending payment, the Council of Twenty may at its own discretion refuse to administer the arbitration or to conduct the procedures for the purpose of which the pending funds were requested. In the case of a rejection of arbitration, following deduction of the sum corresponding to administrative costs and, where applicable, the arbiters' fees, the Consulate of the Sea Secretary's Office shall reimburse each party with the remainder of any sums paid over.

Should the Council of Twenty establish separate deposits of funds in accordance with the terms of the third paragraph of this article, each party must lodge the funds corresponding to its claims. Should any counterclaimant fail to lodge the requested deposits of funds, the arbitration tribunal will not rule as to that counterclaim.

If during the process of arbitration payment of a supplementary deposit of funds is agreed, pursuant to the terms of the second paragraph of this article, and should this not be fulfilled within the deadline established for this purpose, the Council of Twenty, having first consulted with the arbiters, may rule that their activities should be suspended and set a deadline of no less than 15 days, upon expiry of which the main claim or the corresponding counterclaim shall be deemed to have been withdrawn, while not depriving the party concerned of the right subsequently to present the same main claim or counterclaim under other proceedings.

10. Joinder and involvement of third parties

If a party presents an arbitration application regarding a legal relationship already covered by an arbitration process governed by these regulations and pending between the parties, the Council of Twenty may, at the behest of either of the parties, and following consultation with all of them and, where relevant, with the arbitration tribunal, joinder the application with the pending proceedings, provided that the part has lodged the required funds corresponding to the new arbitration application.

For the joinder of cases, the Council of Twenty must take into consideration, among other circumstances, the nature of the new claims, their connection with those presented in the process already commenced and the state reached in the proceedings. In those cases where the Council of Twenty decides to joinder the new application with a pending procedure where the arbitration tribunal is already established, it shall be assumed that the parties waive their right to appoint an arbiter with regard to the new application. The decision of the Council of Twenty as to joinders shall be binding.

The arbitration tribunal may, at the behest of either of the parties, and once audience has been granted to all, accept the involvement of one or more third parties as parties to arbitration.

11. Consensual resolution of the dispute

At the behest of either of the parties or on the initiative of the Council of Twenty, the Consulate of the Sea Secretary's Office may, during the progress of proceedings, arrange hearings or telephone conferences with the parties and their representatives in order to discuss the possibility of commencing a consensual dispute resolution procedure in accordance with the corresponding regulations of the Consulate of the Sea, either with suspension of the arbitration proceedings or otherwise in parallel to the pursuit thereof.

Should all the parties agree to commencement of such a procedure, no registry fee of any kind shall apply to its instigation.

The arbiters in the case may not act as neutral third parties in the consensual dispute resolution procedure.

III. APPOINTMENT OF ARBITERS

12. Independence and impartiality

The arbiters must be impartial and must remain independent of the parties to arbitration. By accepting their appointment, the arbiters undertake to perform their role in accordance with the regulations and to maintain the strictest confidentiality regarding all matters of which they may learn in performing their duties.

Prior to appointment, the individual proposed as an arbiter must sign the declaration of independence and confidentiality. He or she must likewise inform the Consulate of the Sea Secretary's Office in writing of any facts or circumstances liable to jeopardise his or her independence. The Secretary's Office shall pass this latter declaration on to the parties in order that they might, within a period of 10 calendar days, present such remarks as they should deem relevant.

The arbitration tribunal must immediately notify in writing both the Secretary's Office and the parties of any facts or circumstances of a similar nature which may arise during arbitration.

By accepting their appointment the arbiters undertake to perform their role up until conclusion thereof with diligence and in accordance with the terms of these regulations.

13. Number of arbiters and procedures for appointment

Once the deposits of funds referred to in the first paragraph of article 9 have been lodged, should the parties not have agreed the number of arbiters the Council of Twenty shall decide whether one single arbiter or an arbitration tribunal of three members should be appointed, in accordance with all the circumstances.

As a general rule, the Council of Twenty will decide that one single arbiter should be appointed, unless the complexity of the case or the sum involved in the dispute should justify the appointment of three arbiters.

If the parties have so agreed, or if they have not done so and the Council of Twenty decides that one single arbiter should be appointed, the Council of Twenty shall then proceed to appoint this individual.

If the parties agreed prior to commencement of arbitration as to the appointment of three arbiters, each of them shall, in its written submission regarding the arbitration application and the response to the arbitration application, propose an arbiter. The third arbiter, to act as chairman of the arbitration tribunal, must be proposed by the other two arbiters, to which end they shall be given a period of 15 days to appoint this arbiter by common consent. Following expiry of the said period, should no notice have been served of an appointment made by common consent, the third arbiter shall be appointed by the Council of Twenty within the following 15 days. Should either of the parties not propose its arbiter in the aforementioned written submissions, the Council of Twenty shall make an appointment in their stead, and also without further delay appoint the third arbiter.

If, through a lack of agreement between the parties, the Council of Twenty decides that a tribunal of three members should be appointed, the parties shall be granted a joint period of 15 days in order for each to appoint the arbiter corresponding to it. If upon expiry of this deadline a party should have failed to serve notice of its appointment, the arbiter corresponding to that party shall be appointed by the Council of Twenty. The third arbiter must be appointed in accordance with the terms set out in the above paragraph.

The arbiters must accept within a period of 10 days of receipt of the notice of the appointment served by the Council of Twenty.

14. Confirmation or appointment by the Council of Twenty

In appointing or confirming an arbiter, the Council of Twenty must take into consideration the nature and circumstances of the dispute, the nationality, location and language of the parties, in addition to the availability and aptitude of the individual to conduct arbitration in accordance with the regulations.

The Council of Twenty must confirm the arbiters designated by the parties unless, in its sole judgement, given the relationship with the dispute of the individual designated doubts may arise among the parties or their representatives as to the suitability, availability, independence or impartiality of the arbiters.

If an arbiter proposed by the parties or by the arbitration tribunal does not receive confirmation from the Council of Twenty, the party or arbiters proposing that individual shall be given a new period of 10 days to propose another arbiter. If the new arbiter is likewise not confirmed, the Council of Twenty must proceed to make an appointment.

In international arbitration, unless the parties should otherwise agree, and where the parties are of different nationalities, the sole arbiter or the arbitration chairman must be of a different nationality from the parties, unless the circumstances should advise otherwise and neither of the parties should register objections within the deadline established by the Council of Twenty.

Decisions as to the appointment, confirmation, challenge or substitution of arbiters are binding.

15. Multiple parties

If there are various plaintiff or respondent parties and it is appropriate to appoint three arbiters, the plaintiffs must jointly propose one arbiter, and the respondents jointly propose another.

In default of such a joint proposal, and in the event of a lack of agreement as to the method for establishing the arbitration tribunal, the Council of Twenty must appoint the three arbiters and shall designate one of them to act as chairman. The Council of Twenty shall proceed to appoint the arbitration tribunal in accordance with the terms of article 13 above.

16. Challenge to arbiters

A challenge to an arbiter, based on a lack of independence or impartiality, or any other grounds, must be presented before the Council of Twenty in a written submission specifying and demonstrating the circumstances on which the challenge is based.

Challenges must be presented within a period of 15 days from receipt of notification of the appointment or confirmation of the arbiter or from the date, if later, when the party learnt of the circumstances on which the challenge is based.

The Council of Twenty shall serve a copy of the written challenge on the arbiter challenged and the remaining parties. If within the 10 days following notification the other party or the arbiter accepts the challenge, the challenged arbiter shall cease in his or her functions and an alternative shall be appointed in accordance with the terms of article 17 of these regulations regarding substitutions.

If neither the arbiter nor the other party should accept the challenge, this must be registered in a written submission presented before the Council of Twenty within the same period of 10 days, the Council of Twenty to rule as to the challenge raised.

17. Substitution of arbiters; consequences

The substitution of an arbiter applies in cases of death or resignation, if a challenge is upheld or if so requested by all parties.

Substitution of an arbiter shall likewise apply on the initiative of the Council of Twenty or the other arbiters, following prior audience granted to all parties and the arbiters within one single period of 10 days, should the arbiter not perform his or her functions in accordance with the regulations or within the established deadlines, or in the event of any circumstance seriously impeding performance thereof.

Whatever the reason for appointment of a new arbiter, this shall be performed in accordance with the rules governing the procedure for appointment of the substitute arbiter. If applicable, the Council of Twenty shall set a deadline for the party involved to propose a new arbiter. Should this party fail to propose a substitute arbiter within the deadline granted, the individual shall be appointed by the Council of Twenty pursuant to the terms of article 13 above.

In the event of the substitution of an arbiter, as a general rule arbitration proceedings shall be resumed at the point at which the substituted arbiter ceased in his or her functions, unless the arbitration tribunal or the Council of Twenty, in the case of a single arbiter, should decide otherwise.

If the examination of evidence has already concluded in the proceedings, rather than substituting an arbiter the Council of Twenty may, having first granted audience to the parties and the other arbiters within one single period of 10 days, rule that the remaining arbiters should continue the arbitration without appointment of a substitute.

IV. GENERAL ASPECTS OF THE ARBITRATION PROCEDURE

18. Place of arbitration

It is to be understood that the place of arbitration is the city of Barcelona, unless the parties should otherwise have agreed.

As a general rule, hearings and meetings shall be held in the place of arbitration, although the arbitration tribunal may hold meetings, for debate or for any other purpose, at any other location it may deem appropriate. It may likewise, with the consent of the parties, hold hearings away from the place of arbitration.

The arbitration award shall be deemed to have been issued in the place of arbitration.

19. Language of arbitration

The languages of arbitration may equally be either Catalan or Spanish, unless the parties should have otherwise agreed.

The arbitration tribunal made require that any documents presented during proceedings in their original language be accompanied by a translation into the language of arbitration, unless the parties should have agreed that documents originally drawn up in the language in question need not be translated into the language of arbitration.

20. Representation of the parties

The parties may appear by representation or advised by individuals of their choice. For such purposes, the parties need simply state in the corresponding written submission the name of the representatives or advisers, their contact details and the capacity in which they act. The arbitration tribunal or the Council of Twenty may require reliable corroboration of the powers of representation granted.

21. Procedural rules

As soon as the arbitration tribunal has been formally constituted, and provided that the required advances and deposits of funds have been lodged, the Consulate of the Sea Secretary's Office shall present the arbitration tribunal with the case dossier.

Subject to the terms of these regulations, the arbitration tribunal may administer arbitration in the manner it should deem fit, abiding at all times by the principle of equality among the parties, and granting each sufficient opportunity to defend its rights.

22. Regulations applicable to the matter at hand

The arbitration tribunal shall rule in accordance with the legal regulations chosen by the parties or, should none have been designated, in accordance with the legal regulations it deems appropriate.

The arbitration shall issue an equitable judgement based on the ex aequo et bono principle, or acting as an amicable conciliator, should this be laid down in the arbitration agreement or if the parties should so request by common consent.

In all cases the arbitration tribunal shall rule in accordance with the stipulations of the contract and shall take into consideration commercial practice of relevance to the case.

23. Tacit waiver of challenge

Should a party, despite being aware of a violation of any principle of these regulations, continue with arbitration without making prompt objection to the violation, this shall be understood as a waiver of the right of challenge.

V. CONDUCT OF PROCEEDINGS

24. Hearing to administer arbitration proceedings or initial procedural order

As soon as the arbitration tribunal has been constituted, the Consulate of the Sea Secretary's Office or the individual delegated shall call the parties and the arbitration tribunal to an arbitration hearing to be attended by the Secretary of the Consulate of the Sea or the individual delegated and, wherever possible, a member of the Council of Twenty.

This hearing shall, at least, settle the following issues:

The full name of the arbiters and of the parties, and the address designated by them for service during arbitration.

The means of communication to be employed.

Definition of the sums involved in the procedure.

The language and place of arbitration.

The legal regulations applicable to the matter at dispute or, where applicable, if it is to be resolved on an ex aequo et bono basis.

The procedural calendar.

A deadline must likewise be set for the arbitration award to be issued, along with the corresponding form and date of notification.

Minutes shall be drawn up of all the above, to be signed by the arbitration tribunal, the parties appearing, the Secretary of the Consulate of the Sea or the individual delegated thereby and, as applicable, the member of the Council of Twenty present.

In the event that this hearing should be held with one of the parties being absent, a copy of the minutes must be served in order to give notice of the proceedings and allow the party involved to present any arguments and evidence it may deem relevant, subject to the established calendar.

This hearing to administer arbitration proceedings may be replaced by an initial procedural order by agreement among all the parties or if the circumstances should, in the judgement of the Council of Twenty, make this advisable.

In such cases, as soon as it should receive the arbitration case dossier from the Council of Twenty, and in any case within 30 days of receipt, the arbitration tribunal shall, having first consulted with the parties, issue a procedural order establishing, at the least, the same issues as would have been established had the hearing to administer the arbitration proceedings been held.

25. Examination of the case

The arbitration tribunal shall examine the case in the briefest period possible by any suitable means.

The arbitration tribunal enjoys full discretion in accepting or rejecting any evidence put forward by the parties, and also examining any it may deem necessary.

The arbitration tribunal may rule as to the examination of witnesses, expert witnesses appointed by the parties or any other individual, in the presence of the parties or in their absence, provided that they have been duly called.

The arbitration tribunal, having first consulted with the parties, may appoint one or more expert witnesses (who must be and must remain independent of the parties and impartial during the process of arbitration), define their mission and receive their reports, which they shall then pass on to the parties as appropriate. The parties shall, upon request, be granted the opportunity to question any expert witness appointed by the arbitration tribunal at a hearing.

The arbitration tribunal may at any time throughout the arbitration process require any of the parties to submit additional evidence.

The arbitration tribunal may rule on the dispute on the basis solely of the documents submitted by the parties, should they so agree.

The arbitration tribunal may order any measures it may deem appropriate in order to maintain commercial or industrial secrecy or any other confidential information.

The parties must be given sufficient advance notice of any examination of evidence or hearings.

The arbitration procedure is confidential and is open only to the parties and to their representatives.

26. New claims

None of the parties may bring any new main claims or counterclaims lying outside the boundaries established at the hearing to administer the arbitration proceedings or in the alternative procedural order, except by authorisation of the arbitration tribunal, which must take into consideration the nature of the new claims, the stage reached in the arbitration process and any other relevant circumstances.

27. Challenge to the competency of the arbitration tribunal

The arbitration tribunal is empowered to rule as to its own competency, and even as to any challenges regarding the existence or validity of the arbitration agreement or any others issues which, if upheld, would prevent it from examining the matter of the dispute.

For these purposes, an arbitration agreement forming part of a contract shall be deemed an agreement severable from the remaining clauses of the contract. A decision by the arbitration tribunal that the contract is null and void does not in itself presuppose the non-validity of the arbitration agreement.

As a general, challenges to the competency of the arbitration tribunal must be presented in the response to the arbitration application or, at the latest, in the response to the claim or, where applicable, the counterclaim, and shall not suspend the progress of proceedings.

As a general rule, challenges to the competency of the arbitration tribunal must be resolved as a prior issue by means of an arbitration award, with prior audience granted to all the parties, although they may be resolved in the final award following conclusion of all proceedings.

28. Abstention and inaction by the parties

Should the plaintiff fail to present the claim within the deadline without providing sufficient cause, the proceedings shall be shelved.

Should the respondent not respond within the deadline, the proceedings shall be ordered to proceed.

Should either of the parties, having been duly summonsed, failed to appear at a hearing without providing reasonable grounds, the arbitration tribunal is empowered to continue with the arbitration.

If either of the parties, having been duly required to submit documents, should fail to do so within the specified deadlines without providing reasonable grounds, the arbitration tribunal may make its award on the basis of the evidence available to it.

29. Interim remedies and provisional measures

Unless the parties should agree otherwise, the arbitration tribunal may, at the behest of either of the parties, adopt such interim remedies or provisional measures as it should deem appropriate, having considered the circumstances of the case and, in particular, the appearance of sound legal standing, and the risk in delay and the consequences which could be derived from the adoption or rejection thereof. The remedies must be proportional to the intended aim, and achieve this purpose with the least encumbrance.

The arbitration tribunal may demand sufficient surety of the applicant, including by means of a counter-guarantee deemed by the arbitration tribunal to have sufficient substance.

The arbitration tribunal shall rule as to the measures requested having first granted an audience to all parties concerned.

The adoption of interim remedies or provisional measures shall take the form of an arbitration award.

V. CONCLUSION OF THE PROCEDURE AND ISSUING OF THE AWARD

30. Deadline for issuing of the award

Should the parties not have arranged otherwise, the arbitration tribunal shall rule as to the petitions presented within 6 months of presentation of the response to the claim or expiry of the deadline for its presentation or, as applicable, the response to the counterclaim or expiry of the deadline for presentation thereof.

The deadline for the award to be made may be extended by the Council of Twenty with the prior consent of all parties. Likewise, in the event of exceptional circumstances in the case, the Council of Twenty may, upon reasoned request by the arbitration tribunal, extend the deadline for the award to be made by an additional period of no more than two months.

In the event that an arbiter is substituted within the final month prior to the deadline for the award, it shall be automatically extended for a further 30 days.

31. Form, content and notification of the award

The arbitration tribunal shall rule on the dispute in one single award, or as many partial awards as it should deem necessary. Each award shall be deemed to have been issued in the place of arbitration.

In the event of a collegiate tribunal, the award must be passed by the majority of the arbiters. In the absence of a majority, the chairman shall decide.

The award must be set down in writing and be signed by the arbitration tribunal, which may register any reservations. In the event of a collegiate tribunal, the signature of the majority of the arbiters is sufficient, or in the absence of a majority that of the chairman, provided that the reason for the absence of signatures should be recorded.

The award must be reasoned, unless the parties should have agreed otherwise, or in the event of an award by consensus of the parties.

The arbitration tribunal shall in its award rule as to the costs of arbitration.

The award shall be issued in as many original documents as there are parties involved in the arbitration plus one additional original, to be filed in the archive held for this purpose by the Consulate of the Sea.

The arbitration award may be notarised if so requested by any of the parties, the requesting party bearing all costs involved therein.

The arbitration tribunal shall serve notice of the award of the parties by presentation to each party of a signed document, in the manner established at the hearing to administer the arbitration proceedings or the alternative procedural order. The same rule applies to any corrections, clarifications or supplements to the arbitration award.

32. Award by agreement of the parties

If during the arbitration procedure the parties should reach an agreement bringing an end to the dispute, in whole or in part, the arbitration tribunal shall deem proceedings to be concluded with reference to the circumstances agreed and, if so requested by all the parties, and if the arbitration tribunal sees no reason to object, this agreement shall be set down in the form of an arbitration award under the terms agreed by the parties.

33. Prior examination of the award by the Council of Twenty

The arbitration tribunal shall prior to signature of the award submit its ruling before the Council of Twenty, which may make strictly formal modifications.

The Council of Twenty may likewise, while respecting the freedom of decision of the arbitration tribunal, call its attention to aspects connected with the matter at dispute, in addition to the definition and breakdown of costs.

Prior examination of the arbitration award by the Council of Twenty in no case constitutes the acceptance of any liability by the Council of Twenty as to the contents of the award.

34. Corrections, clarifications and supplements to the award

Within 10 days of notification of the award, unless the parties should have agreed any other period, any of them may request of the arbitration tribunal:

Correction of any error in calculation, copying, typography or of a similar nature.

Verification of any point or a specific part of the award.

A supplement to the award regarding petitions presented and not resolved.

Following a period of audience of 10 days for the other parties, the arbitration tribunal shall issue the corresponding ruling in an arbitration award within a period 20 days.

Within the deadlines set out in the above paragraph, the arbitration tribunal may proceed ex officio to correct errors of calculation, copying, typography or of a similar nature.

35. Enforceability of the arbitration award

The award is binding on the parties, which undertake to comply without delay.

If in the place of arbitration it is possible to lodge any appeal as to the matter or any aspect of the dispute, it is understood that, by accepting these arbitration regulations, the parties waive such appeals, provided that such a waiver is legally applicable.

36. Other forms of conclusion

The arbitration procedure may likewise be concluded:

Through abandonment by the plaintiff, except in the event of an objection by the respondent, and if the arbitration tribunal acknowledges on the part of the latter a legitimate interest in obtaining definitive resolution of the dispute.

If so agreed by the parties by common consent.

If, in the judgement of the arbitration tribunal, continuance of the proceedings should prove unnecessary or impossible.

37. Custody and preservation of the arbitration case dossier

The Consulate of the Sea is responsible for custody and preservation of the arbitration case dossier, once the award has been made.

Following a period of one year from notice of the award being served on all the parties, the parties or their representatives having first been advised in order that they might, within a period of 15 days, request the separation and return at their expense of any documents presented by them, the obligation to preserve the case dossier and corresponding documents shall lapse, except for a copy of the arbitration award and the decisions and notifications of the Council of Twenty regarding the procedure, which shall be maintained in the digital archive established by the Consulate of the Sea for this purpose.

For as long as the obligation of custody and preservation of the arbitration case dossier incumbent on the Consulate of the Sea should remain in force, any of the parties may request the separation and return at their expense of any original documents presented by them.

38. Costs

The costs of arbitration are settled in the final award and, in all cases, include the following:

- The Consulate of the Sea's administrative charges.

- The fees and expenses of the arbiters.

Where applicable:

- The rental cost of facilities and equipment for arbitration.

- The fees of expert witnesses called by the parties and/or appointed by the arbitration tribunal.

In establishing the reasonable expenses incurred by the parties in their defence, the arbitration tribunal may request of the parties, following conclusion of the final procedures, a list of the expenses incurred by them, along with proof of these expenses. The arbitration tribunal is empowered to exclude any expenses it deems inappropriate, or to moderate those it may deem excessive.

If, as a result of the ruling as to costs, one party should prove to be in the debt of the other, the sum of the credit rights enjoyed by the creditor party shall be expressly set down in the arbitration award.

39. Confidentiality

Unless the parties should agree otherwise, the Consulate of the Sea and the arbitration tribunal are obliged to maintain confidentiality as to the arbitration and the award.

The deliberations of the arbitration tribunal are confidential.

An arbitration award may be published under the following conditions:

That the Consulate of the Sea is presented with the corresponding request for publication, or if it itself should deem that it is of theoretical interest.

That all references to the names of the parties and any details which could identify them are deleted.

That none of the parties to the arbitration should object to publication within the deadline established for this purpose by the Consulate of the Sea.

40. Liability

The Official Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Shipping of Barcelona, its representatives belonging to the Consulate of the Sea, the members of the Council of Twenty and the arbiters shall under no circumstances bear any liability for actions or omissions connected with arbitration proceedings administered by the Consulate of the Sea, unless culpable negligence can be demonstrated on their part.

First additional provision

These regulations shall enter into force on the day following their publication in the Official Gazette of the Regional Government of Catalonia, henceforth superseding for all purposes the prior arbitration regulations of the Consulate of the Sea, notwithstanding the terms of the sole transitory provision.

Sole transitory provision

Procedures commenced prior to the entry into force of these regulations shall continue to be governed until their final conclusion by the previous regulations.

RATES

The rates applicable to arbitration procedures are those approved by the Council of Twenty of the Consulate of the Sea of Barcelona, the arbitration and alternative dispute resolution body of the Official Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Shipping of Barcelona, at its meeting held on 22 February 2005, published in the Official Gazette of the Regional Government of Catalonia number 4389, of 23 May 2005.

 

 

 

CORPORATE DATE | LEGAL NOTE