Foreign arbitration institutions can establish in new Shanghai FTZ area from 2020

Out-Law News | 26 Nov 2019 | 12:55 pm | 1 min. read

The Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Justice has said that foreign arbitration institutions can set up in the Lin-Gang pilot free trade zone (FTZ) in Shanghai from 1 January.

Permission for the institutions to establish themselves will come into force on 1 January 2020 and be valid for three years until 31 December 2022.

The measures apply to non-profit arbitration institutions from foreign countries and from other regions of China, such as Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. They also apply to

arbitration institutions established by international organisations which China is a member of. They should apply to the Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Justice to register and set up a business office in the new Shanghai FTZ area.

Arbitration expert Dr. Helena Chen of Pinsent Masons, the firm behind Out-Law, said, "Foreign arbitration institutions established under these measures are restricted to arbitration cases with foreign elements. A business office shall operate and conduct foreign-related arbitration activities in a centralised way in Shanghai and may not further establish any branches or agencies."

Arbitration organisations can apply to establish a business office in the Lin-Gang special area if they have been established for more than five years; if they have conducted substantial arbitration activities overseas and have good international reputations, and if the principal of a business office has not been convicted of a crime.

Organisations can offer services in civil and commercial disputes in the fields of international commerce, maritime affairs and investment. Services permitted include case acceptance, trial, hearing and rendering awards; case management and services;  consultation, guidance, training and discussion.