With effect from 1 August 2019, the HKIAC has amended the Arbitration (Appointment of Arbitrators and Mediators and Decision on Number of Arbitrator) Rules, Cap 609C (the Rules), to enable it to waive its fees in certain Hong Kong seated arbitrations. The aim is to reduce a party’s costs in seeking an appointment or decision from the HKIAC under the Rules in low-value arbitrations and provide a stronger incentive for parties to choose Hong Kong as the seat of arbitration.
The HKIAC is the default statutory appointing authority for ad hoc arbitrations seated in Hong Kong and in that role performs the following functions under the Hong Kong Arbitration Ordinance (Cap 609) (Ordinance):
The Rules provide that the HKIAC may charge HK$8,000 for carrying out any of the above functions. The amended Rules allow the HKIAC to waive that fee if it considers it reasonable to do so in any particular case. The HKIAC has published details on its website of how it will exercise its discretion to waive fees. It says that unless it directs otherwise, the HKIAC will charge a one off fee of HK$8,000 to the party that submits the first request for the HKIAC’s decision or appointment in an arbitration where the total amount in dispute is less than HK$2.5 million and will not charge any further fee for subsequent requests by any party in the arbitration, unless it decides otherwise in appropriate circumstances.
Several other amendments are also made: