Frequently Asked Questions
Beihai Arbitration Commission, headquartered in Beihai, Guangxi Province. Established in 2003, the Beihai Arbitration Commission has set up hearing centres to provide parties with convenient access to domestic arbitration services in 29 cities in China such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Chongqing, Tianjin, Hangzhou, Chengdu, Kunming, Xi'an, Lanzhou, Yinchuan, Xining, Urumqi, Dalian, Zhengzhou, Haikou, Foshan and Dongguan. Last year, the Beihai Arbitration Commission recorded over 58,000 cases and for the first-half of 2019, recorded over 47,000 cases in China.
For interesting information, Beihai is a port city located in the province of Guangxi, China. As China's gateway to Asean, Guangxi plays a key role in the development of the (New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor under the Chongqing Connectivity Initiative). In addition, Guangxi is recently in 2019 designated as a Free Trade Zone (FTZ).
BAIAC aims to provide lower-cost and efficient international arbitration for small to medium value disputes. With increasingly more small and medium enterprises doing cross-border trades, disputes also regularly occur. Consequently, BAIAC would like to fill a gap in the current arbitration industry.
In addition, Chinese parties entering into international contracts with foreign parties may choose to conduct their arbitration in a neutral third party location, such as Singapore; and administered by an international arbitration centre, using rules accustomed to international arbitration users. Finally, with deepening China-Asean trade relations, BAIAC hopes to promote people-to-people exchange to develop regional arbitration capabilities, particularly in promoting gender, generational and geographical diversity.
BAIAC's Rules are based on UNCITRAL Rules of Arbitration with modifications. We have incorporated two key features namely: "Small Claims Procedure" (SCP) and "Expedited Procedure" (EP). The SCP is for claims which do not exceed S$100,000 whereas the EP is for claims of above S$100,000 but do not exceed S$6,000,000. Among others, the respective procedures provide for swift and economical conduct of arbitration.
We believe in cooperation as we were not established to compete and just to be 'another arbitration institution' in the industry. We also believe that there is a gap to fill in the arbitration industry. Using the example of low-cost carriers in the aviation sector, options and choices are constructive for the market because every user is different and have their own specific needs.
Gender diversity means that no one should be precluded from the opportunity of being appointed as an arbitrator. The current arbitration industry is often cricitised for being male centric hence such conception or misconception need to change. As for generational diversity, many young people have been drawn into the arbitration scene (e.g. Vis Moot competition) but they less likely arbitrator candidate for large and/or complex cases due to their professional experience. Hence BAIAC intends to involve more young and new entrant arbitrators particularly for small and less complex disputes. Finally, with the population of Asia accounts for 60% of the world's population, more can be done to promote participation of arbitrators and arbitration lawyers from developing countries.
You will need to incorporate BAIAC's arbitration clause in your contract or alternatively, enter into a post-dispute arbitration agreement with the other party. Basically, you cannot arbitrate your dispute unless there is a valid arbitration clause or consensus with the other party to submit your future arising or existing dispute to arbitration.
Litigation is a process where you 'sue' someone in a national court. Arbitration is widely used in cross-border disputes because of New York Convention which allows the decisions of arbitrators known as "Arbitral Awards" to be enforced in almost all the countries in the world - such feature is not available with court litigation. Put simply, for example, a court decision made in Indonesia cannot be enforced in Ghana because there is no system of enforcement or recognition between both countries.
As for mediation, it is increasingly popular partly due to high cost and complex procedures in arbitration. However mediation is largely voluntary whereas at times, parties may walk out from mediation in favour of arbitration. The same cannot be said for arbitration because a party's refusal to participate in the arbitral proceedings does not mean that the proceedings will be disrupted. Mediation tend to be conciliatory, fast and economical unlike arbitration.