Plaintiff China National Chartering Corp. (“CNCC”) petitioned the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to confirm an arbitration award rendered in its favor against defendant Pactrans Air & Sea, Inc. (“Pactrans”) by the China Maritime Arbitration Commission (“CMAC”). Pactrans opposed the motion and sought a stay of the proceedings on the grounds that it was challenging the arbitral award issued by the CMAC in the Tianjin Maritime Court in China. Both parties agreed that enforcement of the award was governed by the Federal Arbitration Act and the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (the “Convention”).
Though noting that it had discretion to adjourn CNCC’s motion to confirm under precedent in the Second Circuit, the Court granted the motion for several reasons. First, the Court found that confirming the arbitration award would advance the goals of the Convention, such as the expeditious resolution of disputes and avoidance of litigation, because the parties had already spent time and resources fully arbitrating their dispute (and Pactrans’ appeal was in its preliminary stages). Next, the Court found that the timing of Pactrans’ appeal weighed in favor of enforcing the subject award, as the appeal was not filed until four months after the award was issued and three months after payment was due to CNCC. Last, the Court noted that the balance of hardships weighed in favor of confirmation, as Pactrans would not have to do anything other than comply with an award issued against it. Thus, the Court ruled that Pactrans was not entitled to a stay pending outcome of its appeal to the Chinese court.
A copy of the District Court’s decision, captioned China National Chartering Corp. v. Pactrans Air & Sea Inc., No. 06-cv-13107 (S.D.N.Y., Nov. 13, 2009), can be found here.