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Rules of the Arbitration Court of the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (1999)

  • Approved by the decree of the Executive Committee of the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry of 03.03.1992; amended by the resolution of the Board of the ECCI 03.03.1995, 26.05.1995, 23.05.1996, 03.09.1998 and 30.09.1999

    Chapter 1

    GENERAL PROVISIONS

    Article 1. Jurisdiction of the Arbitration Court of the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

    (1) The Arbitration Court of the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (hereinafter the Arbitration Court), as a permanent arbitration court, settles disputes arising from contractual and other civil law relationships, including foreign trade and other international economic relations.

    (2) The Arbitration Court shall accept disputes for settlement if:

    1) There is a written agreement between the parties concerning the dispute already in existence or potentially arising to refer the case for settlement to the Arbitration Court.

    2) The claimant has expressed consent to the settlement of the dispute by the Arbitration Court by virtue having lodged a claim and if the respondent's actions bear witness to his voluntary intent to submit to the jurisdiction of the Arbitration Court.

    3) International conventions provide that the jurisdiction of the Arbitration Court extends to the dispute at hand.

    (3) The Board of the Arbitration Court shall decide whether a dispute belongs in the jurisdiction of the Arbitration Court.

    (4) The annulment of an accord providing that that a dispute be settled in the Arbitration Court in and of itself does not void the agreement of the parties of the accord to turn over the dispute for settlement to the Arbitration Court.

    (5) The term "Arbitration Court" herein refers to both an institution as well as a judicial assembly of persons.

    Article 2. Board of the Arbitration Court

    (1) To govern the activity of the Arbitration Court, the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry shall appoint for a period of one year a Board of the Arbitration Court of up to six members, which shall elect from amongst its members a Chairman and a Vice-Chairman. (Redaction approved 26.05.1995)

    (2) The Board shall convene as called for by need and shall settle disputes in accordance with the Rules of the Arbitration Court.

    (3) The Board has the authority to make a decision if at least three of its members participate in its activity. Decisions of the Board shall pass if approved by a simple majority.

    (4) The decisions of the Board become effective at the moment of their adoption, are final and cannot be appealed.

    Article 3. Conduct of the Business of the Arbitration Court

    The conduct of the Arbitration Court's business shall be overseen by the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. (Redaction approved 03.03.1995)

    Chapter 2

    APPOINTMENT OF THE ARBITRATION COURT

    Article 4. Appointment of Members to the Arbitration Court

    (1) The Arbitration Court shall be appointed in the sole manner set forth below:

    1) The parties involve shall designate one or several (an odd number of) arbitrators, including a Chairman.

    2) Either party shall designate an arbitrator and propose to him to designate, in co-operation with the arbitrator designated by the other party, a third arbitrator to preside over the settlement of the dispute in the Arbitration Court.

    3) Both parties shall designate one arbitrator and the parties shall call upon the Board of the Arbitration Court to appoint a third arbitrator to preside over the settlement of the dispute in the Arbitration Court.

    4) The parties shall appoint an Arbitration Court in an alternative consensual fashion.

    5) The parties shall call upon the Board of the Arbitration Court to appoint an Arbitration Court.

    (2) Should it appear at the time of the submission of a claim that no Arbitration Court has been appointed, the Board of the Arbitration Court shall recommend to the parties that an Arbitration Court be appointed in any one of the ways set forth in the present article. If the parties fail to appoint an Arbitration Court in the fashion elected by them by the deadline determined by the Board of the Arbitration Court, the Board of the Arbitration Court shall appoint the Arbitration Court.

    (3) An arbitrator may only be designated or appointed with his or her express consent.

    Article 5. Obligation of a Arbitrator to Disclose the Grounds for His Potential Disqualification

    A person invited to act as a arbitrator is obligated to disclose to the person extending the invitation any circumstances by the strength of which he might be disqualified. Should he be designated or appointed nonetheless, he is under obligation to inform the other party or the other arbitrators of such circumstances immediately.

    Article 6. Disqualification of a Arbitrator

    (1) If a party has doubts concerning the arbitrator's impartiality the party shall have the right, until the time a decision on the dispute is made, to submit, to the Board of the Arbitration Court, the arbitrator(s) and the other party involved, a written substantiated request for the disqualification of the arbitrator.

    (2) The disqualification of an arbitrator shall be decided by the Board of the Arbitration Court within 15 days of the receipt of the request.

    Article 7. Discharge of an Arbitrator

    (1) The Arbitration Court Board shall be entitled to, upon a prior consultation with the parties, to discharge a arbitrator, if he fails to fulfil his obligations properly or if he appears to be liable to the procedure set forth in section 2.

    (2) An arbitrator shall not have the right to unilaterally desist from the fulfilment of his obligations. In case of well-founded reasons, an arbitrator may present to the Board of the Arbitration Court a request to be exempted from his obligations as an arbitrator, which will be reviewed by the Board of the Arbitration Court.

    Article 8. Replacement of a Arbitrator

    (1) Upon the disqualification, discharge, or decease of an arbitrator, another will be designated or appointed in the same way as previous arbitrator.

    (2) After the replacement, arbitrators shall decide which of the proceedings in the settlement of a dispute need to be repeated.

    (3) If a dispute is arbitrated by one arbitrator only, who has been replaced, or if all the arbitrators arbitrating a dispute are replaced, all the proceedings completed in the settlement of a dispute must enacted anew.

    Chapter 3 COMMENCEMENT OF ARBITRATION IN THE ARBITRATION COURT

    Article 9. Filing of a Claim

    (1) The Arbitration Court settles disputes on the basis of claims.

    (2) The date of the filing a claim is considered to be the postmark date or the day of its delivery to the Arbitration Court.

    (3) The claimant shall submit the claim and the pertinent supporting material in quantities sufficient for the number of persons involved in the proceedings. The Arbitration Court Board shall forward to the respondent one copy of the claim along with the pertinent supporting material.

    Article 10. Claim

    (1) The statement of claim shall indicate:

    1) The names and addresses of the parties,

    2) The general nature of the claim and the amount involved,

    3) Particulars on which the claim and the supporting material rest,

    4) Evidence to the fact that the dispute belongs within the jurisdiction of the Arbitration Court.

    5) The names and occupations (addresses, telephone, telex and fax numbers) of the arbitrator or arbitrators (including the Chairman) designated by the parties or a statement to the effect that an Arbitration Court has not been appointed yet.

    (2) The following shall be included with the of claim statement:

    1) Evidence in support of the claim,

    2) Evidence that copies of the claim statement and the material in its support have been forwarded to the respondent,

    3) Evidence (an accord signed by the parties, letters, telegrams, etc.) about the appointment of an Arbitration Court in the manner indicated in Article 4.

    Article 11. Proceedings upon the Receipt of the Claim Statement

    (1) Upon the receipt of the claim, this will be made known to the Chairman or Vice-Chairman of the Board of the Arbitration Court, who will then convene the Board of the Arbitration Court to ascertain whether the dispute belongs within the jurisdiction of the Arbitration Court. (Redaction approved 03.03.1995)

    (2) The Board of the Arbitration Court shall adopt a resolution on whether to commence proceedings or to dismiss the claim due to failure to pay the registration fee or due to failure of the dispute to belong in the jurisdiction of the Arbitration Court.

    (3) Should it appear that the dispute does not belong in the jurisdiction of the Arbitration Court, the Board of the Arbitration Court shall return the claim with the pertinent supporting material to the claimant.

    Article 11'. Application of Interim Measures for Securing Action

    (1) The Board of Arbitration Court may apply to the county or city court for application of a measure for securing action pending the formation of an arbitral tribunal settling a dispute and for securing an action falling in the competence of the Arbitration Court of the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, if a party has submitted an appropriate petition to the Board of Arbitration Court.

    (2)The Board of Arbitration Court shall request cancellation of the award on securing an action by the county or city court if the Board of Arbitration Court of the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry returns the statement of claim to the claimant prior to submission of materials to the arbitral tribunal settling the dispute.

    (3) The application of the Board of Arbitration Court shall be submitted as a resolution of the Board of Arbitration Court, to which the statement of claim together with annexes shall be enclosed.

    (4) On the basis of an application by a party, the arbitral tribunal settling the dispute may apply the following measures for securing action:

    1) the entry of a transfer prohibition note, or the establishment of a judicial mortgage, on real property belonging to the respondent in the land register or the arrestment of movable property or money held by the respondent or other persons, taking account of the claim value;

    2) prevention of the respondent from conducting certain transactions and acts.

    (5) The arbitral tribunal settling the dispute may demand the depositing of money with the Arbitration Court prior to application of the measure for securing action in order to compensate for possible damage caused by reason of securing action. The arbitral tribunal settling the dispute shall demand the depositing of money with the Arbitration Court prior to application of the measure for securing action in order to compensate for possible damage caused by reason of securing action where a party applies for seizure of monies which are in the possession of the defendant or another person.

    Article 12. Payment of the Arbitration Fee

    1) The claim shall be submitted along with proof of the payment of the registration fee. In case of a failure to pay the registration fee the review of the claim will be suspended until the payment of the registration fee is made. In case of a refusal to pay the registration fee, the Board of the Arbitration Court shall return, by its resolution, the claim to the claimant.

    (2) Upon the receipt of the claim, in accordance with the rates specified in the guidelines attached to these rules, the Board of the Arbitration Court shall propose to the parties that they pay the arbitration fee in equal shares by the deadline set by the Board of the Arbitration Court.

    (3) Should the respondent fail to make payment, the Arbitration Court Board shall propose to the claimant that he pay the respondent's share as well. If the claimant fails to do this, the matter will forfeit review, and the claim will be returned to the claimant.

    (4) If the settlement of the dispute turns out to be more expensive than originally estimated or if the claimant increases the size of the claim, the Board of the Arbitration Court shall, on behalf of the arbitrator or arbitrators, propose to the parties that they pay an additional, supplementary, arbitration fee. The amount of the previously remitted arbitration fees and of the supplementary arbitration fees may not exceed the maximum arbitration fee prescribed by the guidelines in the appendix to the present rules. If the parties fail to do this pursuant to Paragraphs 1 and 2 of the present Article, the case will not be reviewed and the claim will be returned to the claimant. (Redaction approved 03.03.1995)

    Article 13. Referral of the Claim to the Arbitrator or Arbitrators

    If an arbitrator or arbitrators have been designated or appointed for the settlement of a dispute, the Board of the Arbitration Court shall refer to them the claim together with its appendices.

    Article 14. Reply to the Claim

    (1) The respondent shall have the right to file and the Arbitration Court shall have the right to require of the respondent a reply to the claim, wherein the respondent shall set forth his view on the jurisdiction of the Arbitration Court over the dispute and, if he agrees to the settlement of the dispute in the Arbitration Court, also set forth his opinion on the matter at issue in the dispute.

    (2) The respondent shall also send his reply together with any supporting material to the claimant.

    (3) Failure to produce such a reply shall not obstruct the settlement of the dispute.

    Article 15. Counterclaim

    (1) Until a decision is made regarding the dispute, the respondent shall have the right to file the counterclaim in accordance with the regulations governing the filing of claims.

    (2) Whether a counterclaim is accepted for review is decided by the Board of the Arbitration Court, who may refuse to accept it if the simultaneous review of the claim and the counterclaim will delay the settlement of the dispute.

    (3) Upon the filing of a counterclaim the arbitration fee shall be paid according to Article 12 of the present rules.

    Article 16. Applicable Legislation

    In settling a dispute the actions of the Arbitration Court shall be guided by the provisions of substantive law, the terms of the contract, common practice and the present rules.

    Article 17. Evidence

    (1) All information submitted in conjunction with the proceedings and on the basis of which the Arbitration Court will ascertain the existence or absence of circumstances corroborating the claims or counterclaims of the parties shall constitute evidence.

    (2) Either party must substantiate the circumstances that he invokes in support of his claims or counterclaims.

    (3) The Arbitration Court shall have the right, at the request of the parties or on its own initiative, to request evidence necessary to settle the dispute. If several arbitrators are involved in the settlement of the dispute they may appoint one from amongst themselves to collect the relevant evidence.

    (4) The Arbitration Court shall have the right to summon witnesses to a hearing.

    Article 17'. Application for Court's Assistance by Arbitral Tribunal

    (1) "Where a party applies for the submission or inclusion of evidence which requires a procedural step not in the competence of the arbitral tribunal, or where a party applies for another step in the proceedings, the arbitral tribunal settling the dispute may either on its own initiative or on the basis of an application by the party, apply for assistance to a county or city court for taking such steps."

    (2) The application of the arbitral tribunal shall be communicated to the court as an interim award of the arbitral tribunal.

    Article 18. Experts

    The Arbitration Court shall have the right to order expert assessment and to summon experts to a hearing.

    Chapter 4

    REVIEW PROCESS

    Article 19. Arbitration Court Hearings

    (1) The Arbitration Court, taking into account the wishes of the parties, shall determine the time and place for the review of the claim and shall inform the parties of these well in advance.

    (2) The claim shall be reviewed at a closed hearing by an arbitrator or arbitrators and the representatives of the parties. If the parties so desire, the Arbitration Court may review the claim without the participation of their representatives.

    (3) In case the parties have not request that the claim be reviewed without their representatives but fail to send their representatives to the hearing, the Arbitration Court shall suspend the review of the claim. If the parties do not send their representatives to the next hearing, the Arbitration Court will settle the case without the representatives.

    (4) The Arbitration Court may also suspend the review of the claim for a different reason.

    Article 20. Language Used in the Proceedings

    If the parties have not determined by mutual agreement the language of the arbitration proceedings, the Arbitration Court shall determine it, based, among other issues, on the language of the claim.

    Article 21. Minutes of the Hearing

    (1) Minutes of the hearing of the Arbitration Court shall be taken, including:

    1) The name of the Arbitration Court,

    2) The time and the place of the hearing,

    3) The names of the parties,

    4) The names of the arbitrators, representatives of the parties, witnesses and experts,

    5) A brief description of the hearing.

    (2) The arbitrator or arbitrators who reviewed the claim shall sign the minutes.

    Chapter 5

    RULING OF THE ARBITRATION COURT

    Article 22. Deadline for the Settling of the Dispute

    The Arbitration Court must settle the dispute as quickly as possible and not later than six months after the submission of the claim along with its appendices to the arbitrator or arbitrators. If necessary, the Board of the Arbitration Court may extend the deadline at the request of the arbitrator or arbitrators.

    Article 23. Adoption of the Ruling

    (1) Proceedings in a case shall conclude with a ruling by the Arbitration Court.

    (2) If the dispute is being reviewed by several arbitrators, the ruling is adopted by a majority of votes, with the minority arbitrator or arbitrators adding to the decision his or their written statement.

    (3) If no majority of votes is reached in the adoption of the ruling, the decision shall be made by the arbitrator presiding over the Arbitration Court.

    (4) If the parties reach an agreement in the settlement of the dispute, they shall draft to this effect a written accord the contents of which shall be referred to in the ruling of the Arbitration Court.

    (5) The ruling is pronounced immediately after it is made.

    Article 24. Recording and Dissemination of the Ruling

    (1) The ruling shall be recorded in writing and must include, in addition to the information prescribed by Paragraphs 1-4 of Article 21, the matter at issue in the dispute, the rationale behind the ruling, and the rulings regarding the demands of the claim and on the assignment of the arbitration fee. The resolution shall specify the awarded amount in Estonian kroons if the debtor is located Estonia.

    (2) If the ruling has been made by a sole arbitrator and he cannot sign it, he shall be replaced the same way he or she was designated or appointed, and the case shall be reviewed anew.

    (3) If the ruling has been made by several arbitrators and if even one of them is unable to sign it, the arbitrator or arbitrators unable to sign the ruling will be replaced in exactly the same way as they were designated or appointed. After the replacement the Arbitration Court shall decide which proceedings in the settlement of the dispute must be enacted anew.

    (4) The resolution shall bear the seal of the Arbitration Court of the ECCI.

    (5) The ruling shall be recorded and disseminated by the arbitrator (arbitrators) who reviewed the case within 30 days of its pronouncement. (Redaction approved 03.03.1995)

    Article 24'. Interim Award and Partial Award

    "The arbitral tribunal may adopt a partial award where the circumstances presented in the statement of claim enable this. The arbitral tribunal may adopt an interim award in procedural matters, including for application of measure for securing action or upon application for assistance to a county or city court for evidencing procedures or other court procedures which are not in the competence of the arbitral tribunal."

    Article 25. Amendment of a Ruling

    The Arbitration Court may on its own initiative or at the request of the parties, submitted no later than 30 days after the execution of the ruling, make an auxiliary ruling to rectify typographical or calculation errors.

    Article 26. Execution of a Ruling

    (1) The parties shall voluntarily carry out the ruling of the Arbitration Court by a set date. If no such date is set the ruling must be carried out immediately upon its delivery.

    (2) Rulings not carried out by the dates set shall be executed according to the law, other legislative acts and international conventions regulating the procedure of the execution of arbitration court rulings.

    Article 27. Maintenance of the Records of the Proceedings in a Case

    After a ruling has been recorded, all records are turned over to the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry for safekeeping. (Redaction approved 03.03.1995)

    Article 28. Disclosure of the Violations of Procedural Requirements

    The party alleging that procedural requirements have been violated must immediately submit its allegations and any concomitant potential claim to the Arbitration Court Board. If such allegations and claims are submitted after the adoption of a ruling, the Arbitration Court will not review them.

    Article 29. Arbitration Court Fees, the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Fees, and the Arbitrators' Fees

    Arbitration Court fees shall be defrayed and the arbitrator's fees shall be paid according to the guidelines in the appendix to the present rules. (Redaction approved 03.03.1995)

    Article 30. Disclosure of the Arbitration Court Ruling

    The ruling of the Arbitration Court may only be disclosed with the consent of both parties.