A Host Country Agreement (HCA) between the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) and Argentina is due to enter into force on 21 September 2013. Initially signed on 12 May 2009, Argentina recently fulfilled all its internal and legal requirements paving the way for the HCA to enter into force.
The PCA — an intergovernmental organization seated in The Hague — was established in 1899 to facilitate the resolution of international disputes, in particular those involving a State party. Although the PCA does not itself hear disputes, it provides registry services and secretariat support to ad hoc arbitral tribunals.
In recent years, the PCA has entered into a number of HCAs, which are intended to make the PCA’s services more widely available by creating the legal framework for the conduct of PCA-administered arbitrations in the host State. These agreements address both practical aspects of an arbitration, such as securing meeting space, as well as legal aspects, such as the grant of certain privileges and immunities to the participants in an arbitration.
The HCA with Argentina comes at a time when the PCA is administering an increasing number of disputes involving a Latin American party. The PCA reports that over 10 percent of its current cases involve a Latin American State.
In addition to Argentina, the PCA has signed HCAs with Costa Rica, Lebanon, Mauritius, Singapore, South Africa, India and Chile