CIETAC has enacted its new arbitration rules after the split of its previous Shanghai sub- committee and Shenzhen sub-committee. The New Rules introduce the following important changes:

  • The New Rules establish CITEAC’s arbitration court in Beijing, which will replace CITEAC’s previous secretariat and take over its role.
  • Under the New Rules, after the arbitral proceedings has  been  initiated,  the parties can ask CIETAC to allow an additional party to join the proceeding if the requesting party can establish a prima facie case that the additional party is also bound by the arbitration agreement.
  • The New Rules adopt the Emergency Arbitrator Procedure mechanism, to be consistent with other leading worldwide international arbitration institutions.
  • Under the Emergency Arbitrator Procedure, the parties can appoint and apply to an emergency arbitrator for urgent interim relief before the arbitral tribunal is  established. The emergency arbitrator’s powers will end as soon as the arbitral tribunal is formed.
  • The New Rules add a chapter specifically for Hong Kong arbitration, setting out the scope of acceptance, choice of law, interim measures, emergency relief and other matters relating to the proceedings handled by CIETAC’s Hong Kong Arbitration Center established in 2012.
  • Under the New Rules, unless the parties agree otherwise, where the arbitration venue is Hong Kong, the arbitration law will be the Arbitration Ordinance of Hong Kong, and the arbitral award will be considered a foreign award and can be enforced under the reciprocal enforcement arrangement between Mainland China and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China.
  • The New Rules allow the parties to start a single arbitration for disputes arising from multiple contracts. This is useful for parties that have signed complementary contracts related to a single transaction. This mechanism can be initiated whe n all of the following conditions are met: (i) the contracts consist of a principal contract and its ancillary contracts or the contracts involve the same parties with the same type of legal relationships; (ii) the disputes arise from the same trans- action or the same series of transactions; and (iii) the arbitration agreements are identical or compatible.
  • The New Rules increase the threshold for applying the summary arbitration procedure from RMB 2 million to RMB 5 million.
  • To avoid any ambiguity regarding the choice of arbitration institution arising from the CIETAC split, the New Rules clarify that CIETAC Beijing will administer the proceeding if an arbitration agreement is ambiguous or if "the sub- commission/arbitration center” agreed no longer exists or its authorization has been terminated.

Date of issue: November 4, 2014. Effective date: January 1, 2015.