ARE FOREIGN ARBITRAL AWARDS RECOGNIZED AND ENFORCED IN VIETNAM?

With the deepening of international economic integration, more and more foreign partners are doing business with Vietnamese enterprises in many business fields. In the process of cooperation, it is inevitable that there will be disputes that may arise between the parties. Therefore, in the event of a business or commercial contract dispute, which is resolved by a foreign arbitral award, can foreign partners have the right to request recognition and enforcement of such foreign arbitral award in Vietnam to protect their legitimate rights and interests? Let’s find out some information related to the request for recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards in Vietnam with KAV Lawyers in this article.

1. Prescription for requesting recognition and enforcement

According to Article 432 of the 2015 Civil Procedure Code, the prescription for requesting recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards is 3 years from the effective date of these foreign arbitral awards, unless the applicant can prove that because of a force majeure event or an objective obstacle, the applicant cannot submit the application within the above time limit, the time of such force majeure event or objective obstacle does not count towards the application deadline.

2. Conditions for recognition and enforcement

According to the provisions of clause 1, Article 424 of the 2015 Civil Procedure Code, the following foreign arbitral awards will be considered for recognition and enforcement in Vietnam:

– A foreign arbitral award of which that country and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam are both parties to an international treaty on the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards;

– Foreign arbitral awards not falling into the above cases are based on the principle of reciprocity.

According to the provisions of clause 2, Article 424 of the 2015 Civil Procedure Code, the foreign arbitral award considered for recognition and enforcement in Vietnam is the final award of the arbitral tribunal to settle the entire dispute content, terminate the arbitration proceedings and take effect.

Article 459 of the 2015 Civil Procedure Code provides for cases in which foreign arbitral awards are not recognized as follows:

 “1. The Court shall not recognize a foreign arbitral award when deeming that the evidences provided by the judgment debtors to the Court for appealing against the application for recognition are well-grounded and the foreign arbitral award falls within one of the following cases:

a) The parties of the arbitration agreement do not have capacity to conclude such agreement according to law applicable to each party;

b) The arbitration agreement is not legally effective according to the law of a country which is chosen to be applied or according to the law of where the award is made in case the parties cannot choose a law to be applied to such agreement;

c) The judgment debtors being agencies, organizations and individuals are not promptly and conformably notified of the appointment of arbitrator and of procedures for processing the disputes at foreign arbitration, or due to other plausible reasons, such agencies, organizations and individuals cannot exercise their procedure rights;

d) The foreign arbitral award over a dispute is not requested to be settled by any parties or exceeds the request of parties of the arbitration agreement. If it is able to separate the parts of the decision on the matter which are requested and not requested to be settled at foreign arbitration, the decision on the matter requested to be settled may be recognized and enforced in Vietnam;

dd) Compositions of foreign arbitrator and/or procedures for settlement of disputes conducted by foreign arbitrator is not conformable to the arbitration agreement or to the law of the country where the foreign arbitral award has been made, in case the arbitration agreement does not provide for such matters;

e) The foreign arbitral award has not taken compulsory legal effect on parties;

g) The enforcement of the foreign arbitral award has been canceled or terminated by a competent agency of the country where such award is made or the home country of the law that is applied.

2. A foreign arbitral award is also not recognized, if the Vietnamese court finds that:

a) According to Vietnam’s law, the dispute shall not be settled according to arbitral procedures;

b) The recognition and enforcement in Vietnam of foreign arbitral award are contrary to basic principles of law of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam”.

3. Competent court to recognize and enforce

According to the provisions of clause 1, Article 451 of the 2015 Civil Procedure Code, within 3 years from the date on which the foreign arbitral award takes legal effect, the judgement creditor, the person with the relevant rights and interests or their lawful representatives have the right to submit an application to the Ministry of Justice of Vietnam in accordance with the provisions of an international treaty to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a contracting party or a competent court of Vietnam according to the provisions of this Code in case an international treaty to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a signatory does not provide for or does not have a relevant treaty to request the Court to recognize and enforce that foreign arbitral award in Vietnam.

Pursuant to clause 5, Article 31; point c, clause 2, Article 35, point b, clause 1, Article 37 and point e, clause 2, Article 39 of the 2015 Civil Procedure Code, the Court is competent to accept and handle the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards in Vietnam is the provincial People’ s Court where the Vietnam enterprise – the person who must enforce the foreign arbitral award is headquartered or the provincial People’ s Court where the assets related to the enforcement of the foreign arbitral award are located.

Above is some information related to the request for recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards in Vietnam that KAV Lawyers would like to share with Clients. KAV Lawyers is a Vietnamese law firm based in District 4, Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), Viet Nam. With a team of experienced lawyers and associates in the field of litigation and arbitration in Vietnam, Vietnam lawyers from KAV Lawyers can help and support the Clients in this field.

In case Clients have questions or need legal advice regarding the request for recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards in Vietnam, please contact KAV Lawyes with the following information:

Email: [email protected] or [email protected]

Tel.: (+84) 28 6270 7075 or (+84) 949 761 861

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