The Arrangement Concerning Mutual Assistance in Court-Ordered Interim Measures in Aid of Arbitral Proceedings by the Courts of the Mainland and of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (Arrangement) took effect on 1 October 2019.
As reported in our previous article, the Supreme People’s Court of the PRC (SPC) and the Department of Justice of Hong Kong (DOJ) signed the Arrangement on 2 April 2019, allowing Hong Kong to apply to Mainland courts for interim relief in aid of Hong Kong arbitration proceedings for the purpose of property preservation, evidence preservation and conduct preservation. Hong Kong is the first jurisdiction to have this arrangement with the Mainland.
The SPC and DOJ have now issued a list of “qualified arbitral institutions”, confirming that arbitrations in the following six arbitral institutions will benefit from the Arrangement:
- Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC);
- China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission – Hong Kong Arbitration Center;
- International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce – Asia Office;
- Hong Kong Maritime Arbitration Group;
- South China International Arbitration Center (HK); and
- eBRAM International Online Dispute Resolution Centre.
The SPC has also published a judicial interpretation and explanatory memo setting out key aspects of the Arrangement and its implementation. The explanatory memo confirms that the Arrangement applies to arbitral proceedings initiated but not yet completed before 1 October 2019.
It was reported by the HKIAC on 11 October 2019 that since the commencement of the Arrangement, the HKIAC has received five applications made in ongoing arbitrations for interim measures. Out of the five applications, one of the applications, which was submitted to the HKIAC on 1 October 2019, was granted on 8 October 2019 and the remaining applications are pending.