Arrangement on Interim Measures

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Hong Kong-Mainland China Arrangement on Interim Measures 

1. Overview

  1. The Arrangement Concerning Mutual Assistance in Court-ordered Interim Measures in Aid of Arbitral Proceedings by the Courts of the Mainland and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (the “Arrangement”) came into force on 1 October 2019 and applies to applications for interim measures made under the Arrangement on or after that date.
  2. The full text of the Arrangement in Chinese is available here. An English translation of the Arrangement is available here.
  3. On 26 September 2019, the Supreme People’s Court of the People’s Republic of China (the “SPC”) published a note regarding the interpretation and application of the Arrangement (the “SPC Note”) on People’s Court Daily. The full text of the SPC Note in Chinese is available here. HKIAC’s English translation of the SPC Note is available here.
  4. The SPC has prepared 12 template documents for the purposes of seeking interim measures before the Mainland Chinese courts under the Arrangement (the “SPC Templates”). They include applications for different purposes under the Arrangement as well as certificates to be issued by qualified Hong Kong arbitral institutions to facilitate those applications. Copies of the SPC Templates (in Chinese) are available here. HKIAC’s English translation of the SPC Templates is available here.

2. Applications to the Mainland Chinese Courts

  1. Prior to the issuance of the arbitral award, any party to arbitral proceedings seated in Hong Kong and administered by a qualified arbitral institution as defined in Article 2 of the Arrangement may apply to the Intermediate People’s Court of the place of residence of the party against whom the application is made or the place where the property or evidence is situated (the “IPC”), for interim measures in accordance with Civil Procedure Law of the People’s Republic of China, Arbitration Law of the People’s Republic of China and relevant judicial interpretations.
  2. HKIAC is an arbitral institution qualified under Article 2 of the Arrangement. A list of all arbitral institutions qualified under Article 2 of the Arrangement and their contact details are available here.

3. Applications to the Hong Kong High Court

  1. Prior to the issuance of the arbitral award, any party to arbitral proceedings administered by a Mainland arbitral institution may apply to the High Court of Hong Kong for interim measures in accordance with the Hong Kong Arbitration Ordinance (Cap 609) and the Hong Kong High Court Ordinance (Cap 4).  

4. Applications in relation to HKIAC-Administered Arbitrations

  1. Any party to arbitral proceedings seated in Hong Kong and administered by HKIAC under its Administered Arbitration Rules, other rules issued by HKIAC or the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules (“HKIAC Proceedings”) may apply to the IPC for interim measures in accordance with the Arrangement.
  2. In the HKIAC Proceedings, HKIAC may provide assistance in facilitating any applications for interim measures under the Arrangement before or after HKIAC accepts the arbitration
  3. HKIAC does not charge a fee for issuing a letter certifying HKIAC’s acceptance of an arbitration for the purposes of the Arrangement (“Letter of Acceptance”). However, HKIAC may charge fees for providing any additional assistance under the Arrangement.

    Applications before HKIAC accepts the arbitration 
     
  4. Where a party to the HKIAC Proceedings intends to apply to the IPC for interim measures before HKIAC accepts the arbitration, it shall submit its application to the IPC directly pursuant to Articles 3 to 5 of the Arrangement. 
  5. If the IPC grants the application, the requesting party must commence an arbitration at HKIAC and submit a Letter of Acceptance to the court within 30 days after the interim measure is issued, failing which the IPC will discharge the interim measure pursuant to Article 3 of the Arrangement.
  6. Where HKIAC has accepted an arbitration, HKIAC may issue a Letter of Acceptance upon a party’s request. When making such a request, the requesting party must provide the following documents and information to HKIAC:  

    (a)  a request for a Letter of Acceptance;
    (b)  a copy of the application to the IPC including any supporting materials;
    (c)  a copy of the IPC’s decision on the application;
    (d) an indication as to whether any other party to the arbitration should be copied on communications in relation to the request; and
    (e)  any other documents or information required by HKIAC.
     
  7. If HKIAC decides to issue the Letter of Acceptance, it will communicate copies of the Letter of Acceptance to:

    (a)  the requesting party only unless the requesting party requests HKIAC to also communicate copies to any other parties to the arbitration; and/or
    (b)  the IPC upon the IPC’s request at the address provided by the requesting party or the IPC.
     
  8. Where HKIAC communicates the Letter of Acceptance pursuant to paragraph 4.7(a) above, the requesting party may submit the Letter of Acceptance to the IPC directly in accordance with the SPC Note. 
  9. It is the responsibility of the requesting party to ensure compliance with the 30-day time limit specified in Article 3 of the Arrangement. HKIAC shall not be liable for any delay or failure to comply with this time limit.

    Applications after HKIAC accepts the arbitration
     
  10. Where a party to HKIAC Proceedings intends to apply to the IPC for interim measures after HKIAC has accepted an arbitration, the application shall be transferred by HKIAC to the IPC pursuant to Article 3 of the Arrangement.
  11. For the purposes of paragraph 4.10 above, the requesting party may submit its application, together with a Letter of Acceptance, to the IPC directly in accordance with the SPC Note. 
  12. Notwithstanding paragraph 4.11 above, HKIAC may communicate a copy of the application together with a Letter of Acceptance to the IPC upon request of the IPC.
  13. When making a request for a Letter of Acceptance, the requesting party must provide the following documents and information to HKIAC: 

    (a)  a request for the Letter of Acceptance;
    (b)  a copy of the application which the requesting party intends to submit to the IPC including any supporting materials;
    (c)  an indication as to whether any other party to the arbitration or the arbitral tribunal (if any) should be copied on communications in relation to the request; and
    (d)  any other documents or information required by HKIAC.
  14. If HKIAC decides to issue the Letter of Acceptance, it will communicate copies of the Letter of Acceptance to:

    (a)  the requesting party unless it requests HKIAC to also communicate copies to any other parties to the arbitration or the arbitral tribunal (if any); and/or
    (b)  the IPC upon its request at the address provided by the requesting party or the IPC.
  15. Where the IPC requests information in respect of the application or the arbitration from HKIAC pursuant to paragraph 5(1) of the SPC Note, HKIAC may provide the information requested to the extent that it is in a position to do so.

5. HKIAC Publications on the Arrangement

  1. HKIAC’s report on its responses to frequently asked questions under the Arrangement is available here.
  2. HKIAC’s press releases on the Arrangement are available here.
  3. HKIAC’s other published materials on the Arrangement are available here.

 

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