Western and Central Africa
Eastern and Southern Africa
Eastern Europe and Central Asia
In recent years both the volume and
complexity of international maritime disputes have increased
dramatically. To respond to the needs of maritime interests for a
viable alternative to costly litigation, the International Chamber
of Commerce (ICC) and the Comité Maritime International (CMI) have
jointly produced a set of appropriate rules for maritime
arbitration. The rules were prepared by experts from the ICC and
the CMI and were adopted by the Assembly of the CMI in March 1978,
and by the ICC Council in June 1978.
The ICC sand the CMI are uniquely positioned
to present these Rules to the international maritime community. The
CMI has long been known as one of the leading international
maritime organizations. From its inception the ICC International
Court of Arbitration has frequently been asked to handle disputes
arising in shipbuilding and maritime sectors.
Because of the overall cohesion of maritime
interests, a key feature of maritime arbitration, as compared to
commercial arbitration as a whole, is that it leaves the parties a
greater degree of freedom of action. Flexibility is encouraged by
the Rules throughout: they expressly request the parties themselves
to decide on the place of arbitration, the law applicable, the
number of arbitrators and the language to be used. Only if the
parties cannot reach agreement on these points or on other
questions that may arise during the proceedings does the Standing
Committee step in to reach the necessary decisions. Responsibility
for general administration of the new Rules lies with the ICC
The ICC and CMI are convinced that these
Rules will prove to be of great service to the international
(in force as from 1 January
The ICC-CMI Arbitral
The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)
and the Comité Maritime International (CMI) have jointly decided,
with a view to providing a service to the maritime world at large,
to issue rules for the conduct of arbitration disputes relating to
maritime affairs including inter alia contracts of chartering,
contracts of carriage by sea or of combined transport, contracts of
marine insurance, salvage, general average, shipbuilding and ship
repairing contracts, contracts of sale of vessels and other
contracts creating rights in vessels.
1. An institutional body known as the
"Standing Committee on Maritime Arbitration" (hereinafter referred
to as the Standing Committee) will have the duty of ensuring the
application of these Rules.
2. The Standing Committee shall be composed
of twelve members: six appointed by the ICC and six by the
The members of the Standing Committee shall
be appointed for three years.
3. The Chairman of the Standing Committee,
selected from among its members, shall be appointed jointly by the
ICC and the CMI.
Likewise from among the members of the
Standing Committee, two Vice-Chairmen shall be appointed: one by
the ICC and one by the CMI.
4. The Secretariat of the Standing Committee
shall be provided by the ICC and its costs shall be met by the
parties seeking arbitration under these Rules.
The seat of the Standing Committee will be 38
cours Albert 1er, 75008 Paris ( France), where the meetings of the
Standing Committee will be held unless otherwise agreed.
5. The Standing Committee shall have power to
deliberate when at least two of the members appointed by the ICC
and two of the members appointed by the CMI are present. Decisions
shall be taken within the Committee by a simple majority. If no
majority is attained, the Chairman of the meeting shall have a
Request for Arbitration and
1. Where the parties have agreed that
disputes between them shall be referred to arbitration under these
Rules, such disputes shall be settled in accordance with these
Rules subject to such modification as the parties may
2. A party wishing to have recourse to
ICC-CMI maritime arbitration shall submit its Request to the
Secretariat of the Standing Committee with a copy of it to the
The date when the Request is received by the
Secretariat shall be deemed, for all purposes, to be the date of
commencement of the arbitration proceedings.
3. The Request for arbitration shall contain
the following information:
a) names in full, description, and addresses
of the parties;
b) a summary of the claimant's points of
c) the document containing the arbitration
clause or the arbitration agreement;
d) such documents as are deemed relevant to
clarify the subject matter of the dispute;
e) all relevant particulars concerning the
number and appointment of arbitrators.
4. Disputes shall be settled by a sole
arbitrator or by three arbitrators if circumstances so require. In
the following Articles, the word "arbitrator" denotes a single
arbitrator or three arbitrators as the case may be.
1. The Defendant shall within 21 days from
the date on which he receives the Claimant's request for
arbitration state whether he agrees that the dispute be submitted
to arbitration according to these Rules and, if so, comment on the
proposals made concerning the number and appointment of arbitrators
and, where appropriate, nominate an arbitrator.
2. If the Defendant objects to submitting the
dispute to arbitration according to these Rules, the Claimant shall
have a period of 15 days from the day such objection is
communicated to him to comment on the Defendant's objection. If the
Claimant agrees that there is no agreement that the dispute be
submitted to arbitration under these Rules, the parties will be
informed by the Secretariat that the proceedings are discontinued.
If the Claimant maintains that there is a valid arbitration
agreement, the matter shall be referred to the Standing Committee
and resolved according to the provisions of Art. 5.
3. The Defendant's failure to reply within
the time mentioned above to the Claimant's request for arbitration
shall be considered as an objection to the request.
4. The Defendant shall have a period of 30
days from the date when he has notified the Secretariat of his
agreement to the Claimant's request for arbitration or, failing
such agreement, from the date when he has received notice of the
Standing Committee's decision that the arbitration shall proceed,
to file his defence and supply relevant documents.
5. Within the last-mentioned time limit the
Defendant may in his defence make a counterclaim to which the
Claimant may file a reply within 21 days from the date it was
communicated to him.
6. The time limits stipulated in this Article
may, upon the request of either party, be extended by the
Secretariat but not for more than an additional period of 30 days
unless the parties otherwise agree. If a longer extension is
requested, or failing such an agreement if the Secretariat refuses
to grant an extension, the request shall be submitted to the
Validity of the Arbitration
1. Should one of the parties raise one or
more pleas concerning the existence or validity of the agreement to
arbitrate, and should the Standing Committee be satisfied of the
prima facie existence of such an agreement, the Standing Committee
may, without prejudice to the admissibility or merits of the plea
or pleas, decide that the arbitration shall proceed. In such a case
any decision as to the arbitrator's jurisdiction shall be taken by
the arbitrator himself.
2. Unless otherwise provided, the arbitrator
shall not cease to have jurisdiction by reason of any claim that
the contract containing the arbitration agreement is null and void
or allegation that it is non-existent provided that he upholds the
validity of the agreement to arbitrate. He shall continue to have
jurisdiction, even though the contract itself may be non-existent
or null and void, to determine the respective rights of the parties
and to adjudicate upon their claims and pleas.
3. If one of the parties refuses or fails to
take part in the arbitration, the arbitration shall proceed
notwithstanding such refusal or failure.
Constitution of the Arbitral
1. Insofar as the parties have not themselves
appointed arbitrators, and unless the parties have otherwise
agreed, the Standing Committee shall appoint arbitrators in
accordance with the provisions of this Article.
2. Where the parties have agreed that the
disputes shall be settled by a sole arbitrator and fail so to
nominate him within 30 days from the date when the Claimant's
Request for Arbitration has been communicated to the other party,
the sole arbitrator shall be appointed by the Standing
3. Where the dispute is to be referred to
three arbitrators, each party shall nominate in the Request for
Arbitration and in the Answer thereto one arbitrator. Such person
shall be independent of the party nominating him. If a party fails
to nominate an arbitrator, the appointment shall be made by the
Standing Committee. The third arbitrator, who will act as chairman
of the arbitral tribunal, shall be appointed by the arbitrators
nominated by the parties (unless the parties have nominated such
third arbitrator) within a fixed time limit. Should the two
arbitrators fail, within the time limit fixed by the parties or the
Standing Committee, to reach agreement on the third arbitrator, he
shall be appointed by the Standing Committee.
4. Where the parties have not agreed upon the
number of arbitrators, the Standing Committee shall appoint a sole
arbitrator, save where it appears to the Standing Committee that
the dispute is such as to warrant the appointment of three
arbitrators. In such a case the parties shall each have a period of
21 days within which to nominate an arbitrator.
5. Where the Standing Committee is to appoint
a sole arbitrator or the Chairman of an arbitral tribunal, the sole
arbitrator or the chairman of an arbitral tribunal shall be chosen
from a country other than those of which the parties are nationals.
However, in suitable circumstances and provided that neither of the
parties objects, the sole arbitrator or the chairman of the
arbitral tribunal may be chosen from a country of which any one of
the parties is a national.
6. Should an arbitrator be challenged by one
of the parties, the Standing Committee, as sole judge of the
grounds of challenge, shall make a decision which shall be
7. If an arbitrator dies or is prevented from
carrying out his functions or has to resign consequent upon a
challenge or for any other reason, or if the Standing Committee,
after having considered the arbitrator's observations, decides that
the arbitrator is not fulfilling his functions in accordance with
the Rules or within the prescribed time limits, he shall be
replaced. In all such cases the procedure indicated in the
preceding paragraphs 2, 3 and 5 shall be followed.
When an arbitrator is replaced, prior
hearings may be repeated at the discretion of the new arbitral
Deposit of Costs
1. The Standing Committee shall fix the
amount of the deposit in a sum likely to cover the administrative
costs of arbitration of the claims which have been referred to it
and, after consulting the arbitrator, his fee and costs.
Where, apart from the principal claim, one or
more counterclaims are submitted, the Standing Committee may fix
separate deposits for the principal claim and the counterclaim or
2. It is for the Claimant or Counter-claimant
as the case may be to make the deposit(s) referred to in (1),
3. The Secretariat may make the transmission
of documents to the arbitrator conditional upon the payment by the
parties or one of them of the whole or part of the deposit to the
Secretariat of the Standing Committee.
4. Before proceeding to establish the facts
of the case, in accordance with the provisions of Article 11, the
arbitrator shall inquire of the Secretariat whether the requests
for deposit have been complied with.
The arbitrator shall only proceed in respect
of those claims for which he has received confirmation from the
Secretariat of the payment of the deposit.
Place of Arbitration, Procedure and
The place of arbitration shall be that agreed
by the parties. In the absence of such an agreement, the place of
arbitration will be fixed by the Standing Committee.
Unless otherwise agreed, the Rules governing
the proceedings before the arbitrator shall be those set out in
these Rules and, where these Rules are silent, any Rules which the
parties (or, failing them, the arbitrator) may settle.
1. The parties shall be free to determine the
law to be applied by the arbitrator to the merits of the dispute.
In the absence of any indication by the parties as to the
applicable law, the arbitrator shall apply the law designated as
the proper law by the rule of conflict of laws which he deems
2. The arbitrator shall assume the powers of
an amiable compositeur only if the parties have agreed to give him
1. All pleadings and written statements
submitted by the parties, as well as all documents annexed thereto,
shall be sent with one copy of each to the Secretariat, the other
party and the arbitrator. When the arbitrator has not yet been
appointed the copies intended for him shall be sent to the
Secretariat which, subject to the provisions of Art. 7 (3), shall
transmit them to the arbitrator when appointed.
All notifications or communications from the
parties, the Secretariat and the arbitrator shall be validly made
if they are delivered against receipt or forwarded by registered
post to the address or last known address of the party for whom the
same are intended.
Notification or communication shall be deemed
to have been effected on the day when it was received, or should,
if made in accordance with the preceding paragraph, have been
received by the party itself or by its representative.
2. The parties shall be at liberty to apply
to any competent judicial authority for such measures as are
outside the jurisdiction of the arbitrator and they shall not by so
doing be held to infringe the agreement to arbitrate or to affect
the relevant powers reserved to the arbitrator.
3. The arbitrator shall proceed within as
short a time as possible to establish the facts of the case. He may
fix time limits. After study of the written submissions of the
parties and of all documents relied upon, the arbitrator shall hear
the parties if one of the parties so requests; failing such a
request he may of his own motion decide to hear them.
In addition, the arbitrator may decide to
hear any other person in the presence of the parties or in their
absence provided they have been duly summoned.
4. The arbitrator may appoint one or more
experts, define their terms of reference, receive their reports
and/or hear them in person in the presence of the parties or in
their absence provided they have been duly summoned.
5. The arbitrator may decide the case on the
relevant documents alone if the parties so request or
6. At the request of one of the parties or if
necessary on his own initiative, the arbitrator, giving reasonable
notice, shall summon the parties to appear before him on the day
and at the place appointed by him and shall so inform the
7. If one of the parties,
although duly summoned, fails to appear, the arbitrator, if he is
satisfied that the summons was duly received and the party is
absent without valid excuse, shall have power to proceed with the
Such proceedings shall then be deemed to have
been conducted in the presence of all parties.
8. The arbitrator shall determine the
language or languages of the arbitration, due regard being paid to
all the relevant circumstances and in particular to the language of
9. The arbitrator shall be in full charge of
the hearings, at which all the parties shall be entitled to be
present. Save with the approval of the arbitrator and of the
parties, persons not involved in the proceedings shall not be
10. The parties may appear in person or
through duly appointed representatives. In addition, they may be
assisted by advisers.
1. If the parties reach a settlement the same
shall, if the parties so request and the arbitrators agree, be
recorded in the form of an arbitral award made by consent of the
2. The arbitrator shall make his award within
six months after the date for the constitution of the arbitral
tribunal. The Standing Committee may, if necessary, extend this
3. Where no such extension is granted and, if
appropriate, after application of the provisions of Art. 6 (7), the
Standing Committee shall determine the manner in which the dispute
is to be resolved.
4. When three arbitrators have been
appointed, the award is given by a majority decision. If there be
no majority, the award shall be made by the chairman of the
5. The arbitrator's award shall, in addition
to dealing with the merits of the case, fix the costs of the
arbitration and decide which of the parties shall bear the costs or
in what proportions the costs shall be borne by the
The costs of the arbitration shall include
the arbitrator's costs and fees, the fees and expenses of any
experts, the normal legal costs incurred by the parties, and the
administrative costs fixed by the Standing Committee.
6. The arbitrator shall, when fixing his fee,
take into account the complexity of the subject matter and the time
The arbitrator's decision on his own fees may
be appealed to the Standing Committee within 30 days after the
notification of the award.
The arbitral award shall be deemed to be made
at the place of the arbitration proceedings and on the date when it
is signed by the arbitrator.
1. Once an award has been made, the
Secretariat shall notify to the parties the text signed by the
arbitrator, provided always that the costs of the arbitration have
been fully paid by the parties or by one of them.
2. Additional copies certified as true by the
Secretariat shall be made available, on request and at any time, to
the parties but to no one else.
3. By virtue of the notification made in
accordance with (1) of this Article, the parties waive any other
form of notification or deposit of the award.
1. The arbitral award shall be
2. By submitting the dispute to the ICC-CMI
International Maritime Arbitration Rules, the parties shall be
deemed to have undertaken to carry out the resulting award without
delay and to have waived their right to any form of appeal insofar
as such waiver can validly be made.
An original of each award made in accordance
with the present Rules shall be deposited with the
The Secretariat and, when requested by the
Secretariat, the arbitrator, shall assist the parties in complying
with whatever further formalities may be necessary.
In all matters not expressly provided for in
these Rules, the Standing Committee and the arbitrator shall act in
the spirit of these Rules and shall make every effort to make sure
that the award is enforceable at law.