Under the old PRC regime, parties were given one year to enforce arbitral awards against individuals and six months against companies. This short timeline often resulted in difficulties given the considerable paperwork and translations that were often necessary for filing the application. With effect from 1 April 2008 this time limit has been extended to two years, for enforcement against both individuals and companies.

In addition, as a result of the same set of amendments, parties can now apply to a higher level court for enforcement if the people’s court where enforcement is originally sought has not ruled to effect the enforcement within six months. The higher level court may order the people’s court to take enforcement action within a certain time limit, take the enforcement action by itself or designate another court to take enforcement action. This also assists in dealing with cases where local courts fail to take appropriate enforcement action promptly.