In the disputes and commercial disagreements that may arise between business people, the Official Barcelona Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Navigation provides arbitration services and alternative systems for settling disputes through the Consulate of Sea.
THE CONSULATE OF THE SEA REGULATIONS
The Consulate of the Sea’s headquarters are: Casa Llotja de Mar, in Barcelona, Passeig d’Isabel II, number 1.
The Consulate of the Sea performs its functions through the Council of Twenty, composed of the President of the Chamber and twenty consuls:
a) nineteen consuls appointed by the Chamber’s Plenary Session, on the motion of the Executive Committee, all individuals of acknowledged repute in the industrial, business and services fields, ensuring that its representation encompasses the largest number of business sectors
b) a twentieth consul who shall be the President of the Cereals Market, given its historical cooperation with the Consulate of the Sea
The Council of Twenty shall be chaired by the President of the Chamber of Commerce or, by his/her delegation, by the Senior Consul, chosen by the President from among the members of the Council of Twenty.
The Consulate of the Sea’s secretarial functions shall be performed by the General Secretary of the Chamber of Commerce or one of the Chamber’s employees, provided that such person is a member of the legal profession, who has been designated beforehand by the Executive Committee on the motion of the President.
The consuls shall hold office for four years and they may be re-elected.
The term of office may be brought to an early end by resignation, incapacitation or removal by a resolution of the Chamber of Commerce’s Plenary Session. In such case, the term of office of the replacement shall expire at the end of the four-year period corresponding to the person replaced, who may also be replaced before the expiration of this term.
The Council of Twenty is convened by its President or the Senior Consul, at least once every quarter, at least 5 days in advance, by communication, preferably by electronic means, letter sent to its members to their address or other alternatives that they have stipulated to this end. In cases where the President or the Senior Consul deems that there are circumstances that require an urgent meeting to be held, he/she may convene one at least 2 days in advance by any means that allow for acknowledgement of receipt.
The Board shall be constituted at the first call if at least half of the effective members attend the meeting. Failing such attendance, it shall be constituted at a second call, even if this has not been expressly provided for, if at least one third of the effective members attend.
In the absence of the Senior Consul, the attendees shall designate the person who shall be required to perform the Senior Consul’s functions at the meeting.
The Council of Twenty may hold its sessions and pass resolutions online, or by other electronic means, provided that the identity and participation of the consuls who attend are recorded.
Resolutions shall be passed by majority vote, and the President, if he/she is in attendance, shall have the casting vote, if required. In any case, the Senior Consul shall have the casting vote.
The Secretary, having obtained approval from the President or the Senior Consul, shall draw up the corresponding minutes, which may be approved immediately or at the next meeting.
At the end of each session, the Council of Twenty shall appoint a Select Committee, composed of the Senior Consul and up to four more consuls, to whom shall be delegated, during the interim between meetings of the Council of Twenty, the latter’s functions in the administration of arbitrations and alternative dispute resolution systems.
The Select Committee may meet as long as a majority of its members are present, always attended by the Secretary, without having to be convened a specific period of time beforehand.
The resolutions passed by the Select Committee must be unanimous and it shall report on its activities at the next Council of Twenty meeting.
The Select Committee may hold its sessions and pass resolutions online, or by other electronic means, provided that the identity and participation of the members attending are recorded.
In any case, the Senior Consul shall have the casting vote.
DISPUTE RESOLUTION PROCESSES
Disagreements that arise between employers on business issues can be submitted to the Consulate of the Sea:
a) for national and international arbitration at law or in equity
b) for any procedure included in what are termed alternative dispute resolution systems established by the Consulate of the Sea
The proceedings shall be conducted in a flexible manner, seeking the consensual resolution of the dispute and fostering the personal relationship between the interested parties.
In any case, the principles of hearing, rebuttal, equality between the parties and confidentiality shall be scrupulously observed.
The arbitrators and neutral third parties involved in the proceedings shall act with total impartiality, independence and fairness to the parties, and shall maintain the strictest confidentiality with respect to any direct or indirect reference to their involvement therein. Whenever they accept the role of designated arbitrator or neutral third party, they must sign the corresponding document to this effect.
In particular, in alternative dispute resolution systems, neutral third parties must agree in writing not to make use of:
a) the views expressed by the parties during the proceedings with a view to a possible resolution of the dispute
b) the documents, reports or statements drawn up or provided during the proceedings
c) any acceptance or admission of the parties during the proceedings
d) the neutral third party’s oral or written proposals
e) the fact that one party has been willing to accept the neutral third party’s proposal
The Council of Twenty shall regulate the scale used to calculate the costs for each proceeding.
The costs of the proceedings, including the arbitrator or neutral third party fees, shall be borne by the parties.
At the commencement of the proceedings, the Council of Twenty or the Select Committee shall inform the parties of the calculated amount of the costs and how much is to be paid by each of them.
If, at the commencement of the proceedings, the initial provision is insufficient, the Council of Twenty or the Select Committee shall also communicate the additional amount to be paid.
If, within 30 days of communication thereof, the parties have not paid the corresponding amounts, the proceedings shall be deemed closed or suspended, at the Council of Twenty or the Select Committee’s discretion; the parties shall be notified and the corresponding statement of record shall be issued.
The documentation concerning the proceedings shall be submitted to the Consulate of the Sea’s Secretary’s Office, in the custody of the Council of Twenty’s Secretary.
The Council of Twenty’s Secretary’s Office shall issue the documents set forth in these regulations and sign them and, in accordance with the type of proceeding, they shall also be signed by consuls, the arbitrator, the neutral third party and the parties.
The Council of Twenty’s Secretary shall issue the corresponding statements of record.
The communications that must be sent by the arbitrators or the neutral third parties in relation to the proceedings may be sent through the Chamber of Commerce’s General Register or by any other means that provides proof of issue and receipt thereof.
The parties may be represented in all proceedings by a person with powers of attorney to engage in arbitration or to consent, in general or on the issue raised, in arbitration and alternative dispute resolution systems.
Powers of attorney may be granted before a notary or apud acta, before the Council of Twenty’s Secretary.