The Shanghai International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (Shanghai International Arbitration Center. “SHIAC”) was established in 1988 and is regarded as a leading Chinese arbitration institution dealing with domestic and foreign arbitration cases.
Parties from 85 countries and regions have participated in SHIAC arbitration. SHIAC’s arbitral awards have been recognized and enforced under the New York Convention in 50 countries and regions.
Latest statistics for 2022
- SHIAC accepted 2,576 new cases: the total amount in dispute reached RMB 62,876 million yuan, and the average amount in dispute for an individual SHIAC case exceeded 24.4 million yuan.
- Over 40% of the cases involve foreign investment and trade element, and about 10% of the cases are international cases.
- Participants of 147 legal entities or individuals from countries and regions other than mainland China joined in the proceedings.
- The top three types of disputes are: (1) international trade and sale of goods, with 712, accounting for 27.64% of all cases; (2) construction and engineering, with 703 cases, accounting for 27.29% of all cases; and (3) finance, with 316, accounting for 12.27% of all cases.
- The governing law clauses between the parties provide more choice, including the law of German, Thailand, HK SAR and the UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods.
- SHIAC made 2,650 arbitrator appointments.
SHIAC adheres to the strategy of internationalization and professionalism. Since 2013, it has consecutively established the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ) Court of Arbitration and the Shanghai International Aviation Court of Arbitration (SIACA), which respectively represented the leading practice in Chinese FTZ areas and the world’s first permanent aviation arbitration institution. Up to the end of 2022, the FTZ Court of Arbitration had accepted more than 1,400 cases.
In 2015, SHIAC also established two other platforms: the BRICS Dispute Resolution Shanghai Center and the China–Africa Joint Arbitration Shanghai Center. In November 2021, SHIAC established the Data Arbitration Centre, which is a supporting legal service mechanism for the Shanghai Data Exchange.
To mitigate the impact of the covid-19 pandemic, SHIAC launched its Arbitration Aid measures in 2022 for all new cases after the “Arbitration Aids Aviation” project in 2020. Over 2,100 cases have received arbitration fees reduction for RMB 179 million yuan. To administrate cases efficiently amid the pandemic, SHIAC keeps enhancing its capability of virtual hearing and other online procedural management to avoid unnecessary delays in pending cases.
SHIAC keeps focus on emerging business models like digital transaction, data protection and compliance, MCN industry, aviation industry, etc. Legal issues arising in connection with emerging market including the RCEP and DEPA have also raised concern in SHIAC’s vision. Traditional economy like finance, international trade, and engineering and construction are still main target field. Various events, seminars, symposiums covering all the above areas took place in 2022 organized by SHIAC with other partners. SHIAC’s provides a quarterly publication named as Shanghai International Arbitration Observation with detail information regarding the major events.
Structure (Committee and Secretariat)
SHIAC is governed by the Board Committee. SHIAC’s Fourth Committee, which comprises 13 experts in the field of economy, trade, and law, was renewed in July 2021. The Committee includes three overseas professionals.
SHIAC provides professional secretarial services. Currently, there are 30 case managers with an average age of 34.6. All of them graduated from prestigious domestic and foreign universities, and their average work experience is 10.28 years. About 83% of the case managers have post-graduate degree, and 50% have overseas study backgrounds. The arbitration can be administered bilingually.
Arbitrators and mediators
SHIAC has a panel of arbitrators that is made up of 1,160 arbitrators from 80 countries and regions. In mainland China, there are 799 arbitrators, while the remaining 361 are from the Hong Kong SARS, Macau SARS, the Taiwan region and foreign countries and regions.
SHIAC introduced a panel of mediators in line with the Mechanism of Mediation by Mediator under the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone Arbitration Rules. There are 29 members in the current panel, including 27 from China and 2 from foreign countries.
Facilities and fees
Centrally located in Shanghai, SHIAC provides prime facilities to support daily operation, including consultations, registrations, hearings, and conferences. In addition to the headquarters, SIACA lies in Hongqiao Airport Economic Park, adjacent to Shanghai Hongqiao Transport Hub and the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai). The FTZ Court of Arbitration is in the Shanghai International Dispute Resolution Center in 2019, which is also the premise of the Shanghai Arbitration Association, the Shanghai representative office of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre and the Shanghai representative office of the International Chamber of Commerce.
SHIAC’s arbitration fee is collected based on the amount of the dispute. SHIAC adopts a cumulative declining system: as the amount of the dispute increases, the arbitration fee charged by SHIAC becomes more cost-effective.