The Supreme People’s Court of China and the Department of Justice of Hong Kong SAR announced today that the Arrangement Concerning Mutual Assistance in Court-ordered Interim Measures in Aid of Arbitral Proceedings by the Courts of the Mainland and of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region will come into effect on 1 October 2019 in both Mainland China and Hong Kong. The SPC also released an explanatory memo setting out its understanding of key aspects of the Arrangement and its implementation.
The SPC and the DOJ signed the Arrangement on 2 April 2019. As reported in our posts of 2 April and 4 April, the Arrangement empowers Mainland Chinese courts to order interim measures in support of Hong Kong-seated arbitrations, making Hong Kong the only seat outside Mainland China to benefit from such support.
The SPC and DOJ also released a list of “qualified arbitral institutions” in Hong Kong. These are the only institutions whose arbitrations enjoy the benefit ofthe Arrangement. They include:
- Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre
- China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission Hong Kong Arbitration Center
- International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce – Asia Office
- Hong Kong Maritime Arbitration Group
- South China International Arbitration Center (HK)
- eBRAM International Online Dispute Resolution Centre
Among other things, the SPC memo confirms that the Arrangement will apply to arbitral proceedings commenced prior to, but not yet completed as of, 1 October 2019. As such, we anticipate that interim relief applications under the Arrangement are likely to emerge soon.