On 17 September 2020 on the request of the Presidiums of the ICAC and the UMAC at the UCCI, the Presidium of the UCCI approved the amendments to the Rules of the ICAC and the UMAC, coming into force on 1 November 2020. The Rules will be applied to resolving commercial disputes registered at the ICAC and the UMAC after 1 November, 2020, and, upon the mutual consent of the parties, to all disputes being considered by the institutions before 1 November, 2020.
The amendments to the Rules of the ICAC and UMAC aim at addressing impacts of the quarantine restrictions on business processes, which have been changed irreversibly around the world, and at enhancing the effectiveness of arbitrating disputes and the enforceability of arbitral awards. The amendments refer to four categories of issues:
- Amendments related to the improvement of arbitration proceedings.
- Amendments to regulate resorting to videoconferencing for oral hearings.
- Amendments aimed at gradual transition to 100% digitalization of arbitration.
- Amendments shaped by the recent court practice of challenging, acknowledging and enforcing of arbitral awards.
Full text of the decision of the Presidium of the UCCI on the amended Rules of the ICAC and the UMAC is available on this page. For the convenience of the users, the comparative table, highlighting the amendments is available here.
A brief overview of the adopted amendments is as follows.
Amendments related to improvement of arbitration proceedings, designed to increase the efficiency and comfort of arbitration for all parties.
- Amendments were made to Article 3 of the Rules of the ICAC and the UMAC, and Article 4 of the Rules was expanded with an additional part in correspondence with Part 3 of Article 22 of the Commercial Procedure Code of Ukraine. The amendments are driven by the reform of the Ukrainian procedural legislation and the regulations on the arbitrability of disputes not only by the special law “On International Commercial Arbitration” but also in the Commercial Procedure Code of Ukraine.
- Amendments were made to Article 36 of the Rules of the ICAC and UMAC, enabling parties to engage representative, including foreign nationals and representatives of foreign organizations; setting forth the terms, stipulating a replacement of the representative; and establishing the liability of representatives for violating procedural rules or arbitration Rules.
- Revision of Article 52 on evidence and discovery.
- Improvement of the process of taking Arbitration Award on review.
- Taking into account the best practices of international arbitration institutes, it was decided to change the approach to distribution of additional arbitration proceedings costs, in particular, the costs of appointment of a foreign arbitrator can be transferred to the losing party.
Considering the fact that the ICAC at the UCCI more often process cases that require bilingual administration, and, consequently, more human resources, longer time and higher costs of postal correspondence, the Presidiums of the ICAC and the UMAC determined that in situations when court hears the case in two or more languages, the arbitration fee is increased by an additional $400.
Amendments to regulate resorting to videoconferencing for oral hearings.
Improved legal regulation of oral hearings by means of video conferencing.
Thus, a part of Article 47 regulates participation of the Arbitration Court or one of the arbitrators in oral hearings by videoconference, making it possible to involve more arbitrators from foreign countries and save costs related to appointing of a foreign arbitrator.
Detailed procedure of participation in oral hearings by videoconference. The Arbitration Court was given jurisdiction to establish the procedure for oral hearings, including the date, duration, form, content, procedure, deadlines and venue, and choose the form of oral hearings (in person, online or a combination of two).
Amendments aimed at gradual transition of arbitration into a 100% digital environment.
To gradually transform arbitration proceedings to a fully digital form, it is mandatory for the parties to send documents in electronic form and set time frames when arbitration institutions must receive emails from the parties.
Amendments, shaped by the recent court practice of challenging, acknowledging and enforcing of arbitral awards.
The ICAC and the UMAC executes an ongoing monitoring of court practice relating to challenging, acknowledging and enforcing of arbitral awards issued by the ICAC and the UMAC. Based on such court practice, Article 11 of the Rules was amended in part of sending/delivering documents to a party; Article 22 of the Rules in part of the engagement of the third party; and Article 31 of the Rules in part of the procedure of composing the arbitration panel.
Timely reaction to the impact of external factors on arbitration as well as the focus on effectiveness of arbitration for the parties led to a 68% increase in the number of registered cases with the ICAC during H1 of 2020.
The efforts of the institution relating to amending the Rules of the ICAC and the UMAC is aligned with the strategic goals of the institutions stated in 2019 Annual Report.