China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (“CIETAC”) issued an announcement on 31 December 2012 preventing the CIETAC Shanghai Sub-Commission and the CIETAC South China Sub-Commission from continuing to use CIETAC’s name or conducting any CIETAC arbitration activities.

CIETAC’s announcement

Below is a summary of CIETAC’s announcement of 31 December 2012 regarding its decisions on the issues concerning the CIETAC Shanghai Sub-Commission and the CIETAC South China Sub-Commission:

  • The two Sub-Commissions were not allowed to continue using the name, brand and logo of CIETAC, or to conduct any further arbitration activities in the names of CIETAC Shanghai sub-commission or CIETAC South China Sub-Commission.
  • The arbitration rules and panel of arbitrators established by the South China Sub-Commission in the name of South China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission without authorization from CIETAC were null and void.
  • Authorization given to the two Sub-Commissions for accepting and administering arbitration cases was terminated.
  • Where parties have agreed to submit their disputes for arbitration by either of the two Sub-Commissions, CIETAC requires the requests for arbitration to be submitted to CIETAC.  CIETAC has specified the place of arbitration and oral hearing to be Shanghai and Shenzhen where the arbitration agreement provides for arbitration by the Shanghai and the South China Sub-Commissions respectively, unless otherwise agreed by the parties.
  • Cases accepted and administered by the two Sub-Commissions before 1 August 2012 may be concluded in accordance with the CIETAC Arbitration Rules.

The full text of CIETAC’s announcement can be found on its website.

The Dispute

The above announcement has arisen as a result of a dispute between CIETAC and the two Sub-Commissions regarding CIETAC’s 2012 Arbitration Rules which were introduced by the main office of CIETAC in Beijing on 1 May 2012.  (See our earlier alert on the 2012 rules.)  The 2012 Rules were not adopted by the two Sub-Commissions, who jointly announced on 4 August 2012 that they would continue using the 2005 CIETAC Rules until their own rules were released.