zhuzijun / 2019-03-28

Introduction of CIETAC

The China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC) is one of the major permanent arbitration institutions in the world.

Formerly known as the Foreign Trade Arbitration Commission, CIETAC was set up in April1956 under the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) in accordance with the Decision Concerning the Establishment of A Foreign Trade Arbitration Commission Within the China Council For the Promotion of International Trade adopted on May 6, 1954 at the 215th session of the Government Administration Council. To meet the needs of China’s ever-developing economic and trade relations with foreign countries after the adoption of the "reform and opening-up" policy, the Foreign Trade arbitration was first renamed as Foreign Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission in 1980 pursuant to the State Council’s Notice Concerning the Conversion of the Foreign Trade Arbitration Commission Into the Foreign Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission, and then as the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission in 1988 pursuant to the State Council’s Official Reply Concerning the Renaming of the Arbitration Commission as the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission and Amendment of Its Arbitration Rules. Since 2000, CIETAC is also known as the Arbitration Court of the China Chamber of International Commerce (CCOIC).

CIETAC independently and impartially resolves economic and trade disputes by means of arbitration.Headquartered in Beijing, CIETAC has South Sub-Commission in Shenzhen, Shanghai Sub-Commission, Tianjin International Economic and Financial Arbitration Center (Tianjin Sub-Commission) and Southwest Sub-Commission in Chongqing. CIETAC set up its Hong Kong Arbitration Center in September 2012.

CIETAC and its sub-commissions/arbitration centers constitute a single arbitration institution. They adopt the same set of Arbitration Rules and the same Panel of Arbitrators. It is explicitly stipulated in CIETAC’s Articles of Association that sub-commissions/arbitration centers are branches of CIETAC which accept arbitration applications and administer arbitration cases with CIETAC’s authorization.

In order to meet the needs of the development of its arbitration practices, CIETAC also successively established 29 liaison offices in different regions and specific business sectors to provide parties with convenient arbitration advice. Throughout the past 60 years, CIETAC has made prominent contributions to the legislation of the Chinese Arbitration Law and the development of the arbitration practice in China, has maintained positive relations and cooperation with major arbitration institutions across the world, and has gained reputation at home and abroad as an independent, impartial and efficient arbitration institution.

CIETAC has constantly updated its arbitration rules to keep in line with the latest developments in international arbitration practice and to better accommodate the needs of the parties. Its current arbitration rules are effective as from January 1, 2015.

In accordance with the New York Convention, CIETAC awards are recognized and enforced 155 countries. CIETAC’s over 20,000 concluded arbitration cases have involved parties from more than 70 countries and regions outside the Chinese mainland, and its awards have been recognized and enforced in more than 60 countries and regions. Since 1990, CIETAC’s caseload has been one of the heaviest among the world’s major arbitration institutions. In recent years, on average, CIETAC handled as many as 1,300 cases annually, involving parties from more than 50 countries and regions outside the Chinese mainland.

● The main business functions of CIETAC include:

1.Accepting international, foreign-related and domestic cases involving natural persons, legal persons, and other organizations that are treated as equal subjects under the law;

2.Offering other dispute resolutions services in accordance with the agreement of the parties;

3.Accepting cases on the authorization of governments, international organizations and other institutions at home and abroad;

4.Providing services on demand, such as appointing arbitrators for institutional or non-institutional arbitration in accordance with the agreement and request of the parties;

5.Providing to the legislature for its reference legal opinions and advice on relevant legislation and amendments to the law;

6.Making researches in and promoting commercial arbitration and other alternative dispute resolution;

7.Fostering domestic and international exchange and cooperation in arbitration and participating arbitration activities at home and abroad;

● Highlights of CIETAC’s arbitration services.

Broad jurisdiction and internationalized procedures

CIETAC accepts foreign-related and international cases, as well as domestic ones. Its scope of accepting cases is not limited by the nature of the parties’ business or their nationalities. The domestic cases filed with CIETAC are typically multi--industry, trans-regional and interdisciplinary, with a trend towards an increase in those related to the new economy.

CIETAC is gradually developing into one of the major arbitration institutions in the world dealing with complicated, large-claim, or foreign-related disputes.

Independence and impartiality

CIETAC is independent of the administrative organs, and free from any administrative interference in handling cases. All parties have equal opportunities to present their cases during the arbitral proceedings.


It generally takes between one and three days to conduct an oral hearing and most CIETAC arbitrations can be concluded within six months after the formation of the arbitral tribunal. The time typically taken by CIETAC to render an award in international and foreign-related cases is significantly shorter than that of other international arbitration institutions.


As an international arbitration institution, CIETAC’s arbitration fees for international and foreign-related cases are relatively low. Its arbitration fees for domestic cases are at the same level as those of other arbitration institutions in China. Because of its finality and efficiency, arbitration is also more economical than litigation. Over 90% of CIETAC’s arbitral awards are promptly honored by the parties. Fewer than one in a thousand of CIETAC’s awards have been annulled or their enforcement rejected. Thus the parties save both time and money.

Combination of arbitration with conciliation

A salient feature of CIETAC arbitration is the combination of arbitration with conciliation, a practice which is internationally known as the "Oriental Model". It not only encourages dispute resolution but also helps to maintain friendship and cooperation between the parties. It’s an example that more and more foreign arbitration institutions are following.

Sector-specific dispute resolution services

Expert adjudication is a major advantage of arbitration. To best use this advantage, CIETAC was the first institution in China to provide tailor-made dispute resolution services for parties in different trades. CIETAC has set up special committees on construction, finance, grain, leather, and commerce, and it offers tailor-made services for dispute resolution in specific trades to satisfy the particular needs. At the same time, CIETAC also engages in actively in developing alternative dispute resolution mechanisms in addition to arbitration.

In 2000, CIETAC Domain Name Dispute Resolution Center was established to provide dispute resolution services with regard to .com, .org, .net, .cn and other top-level domain names. In 2009, CIETAC’s Online Arbitration Rules came into effect to facilitate the resolution of online disputes such as e-commerce disputes. In 2010, CIETAC formulated its Construction Dispute Review Rules to provide efficient expert services for a quick fix of construction disputes.

With its emphasis on commercial arbitration, CIETAC has fostered a diversified, dynamic and interdependent service system for multiple dispute resolution.

Professional administration of arbitration proceedings

Since its establishment nearly 60 years ago, CIETAC has accumulated a wealth of experience in case administration and has developed unique, rigorous and efficient administrative procedures. In addition, CIETAC’s professional case managers guarantee its high quality service.

Arbitration cannot be better than its arbitrators

CIETAC maintains a Panel of Arbitrators composed of 1,212 professionals, all of whom are renowned experts in arbitration or in a particular trade either at home or abroad. Among them, there are more than 300 arbitrators coming from 41 foreign jurisdictions. With both profound professional knowledge and a high standard of professional ethics, these CIETAC arbitrators along with the well-trained case managers at the CIETAC’s secretariats, are able to offer high-quality, efficient arbitration services.

CIETAC has earned a good reputation for its independence, impartiality and efficiency, and the quality of its awards has won wide acclaim from Chinese as well as foreign parties.

Pioneering spirit and ceaseless development

CIETAC’s unique 60 years of arbitration practice, renowned as the "Oriental Model", is considered a great contribution and enrichment of the theory and practice of international commercial arbitration. Experts from CIETAC have taken an active part in the drafting and amendment of the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration, the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Conciliation and the UN Convention on International Sale of Goods. As the earliest and largest arbitration institution in China, CIETAC has made tremendous contributions to the legislation and development of China’s arbitration law, and plays a leading role among Chinese arbitration institutions in the practice and theoretical research on arbitration. Several CIETAC publications have been widely recognized and used in the domestic and international arbitration circles.

In line with the latest development in international commercial arbitration, CIETAC’s Arbitration Rules fully respect the principle of party autonomy within the framework of China’s Arbitration Law. CIETAC’s extensive publication list of legal books and periodicals, such as Compilation of Arbitral Awards, Selection of Arbitral Awards, Arbitration and Law, and Arbitration and Jurisdiction, demonstrates its role as a leading and pioneering flag-bearer in the theory and practice of arbitration.

As an international arbitration institution, CIETAC endeavors to promote international communication. Over the decades, CIETAC has engaged in friendly cooperation with major international organizations, leading arbitration institutions and other institutions, maintaining its voice and its capacity in guiding the theoretical development in international arbitration. CIETAC has also earned a good reputation and recognition in the international arbitration circles through the activities and conferences it has taken part in, hosted or sponsored. In its endeavor to promote arbitration globally and especially in the Asia-Pacific region, CIETAC has formed partnerships, based on cooperation agreements, with arbitration institutions from more than 40 countries and regions. Each year, CIETAC receives numerous visits by foreign governments, arbitration institutions and other dispute resolution organizations, law firms, universities and colleges for exchanges and discussions.

In response to the development and growth of international trade and in order to satisfy the ever-increasing demands of social economy and the needs of various parties, CIETAC will remain pragmatic, innovative and pioneering. It will continue taking the initiatives to increase the diversification and quality in its services and to promote efficiency and credibility in its operations. CIETAC’s goal is to become a major international commercial dispute resolution center that meets international standards and norms, and to provide parties with impartial, independent, professional and efficient multiple dispute resolution services.

 Introduction of CMAC

 China Maritime Arbitration Commission (CMAC) set up by China Chamber of International Commerce (CCOIC) in Beijing. It consists of one chairman, several of vice-chairmen and a number of Commission members who are recognized specialists, scholars and noted personages in the field of dispute resolution, such as the Chinese legislature, judicial organs and shipping, insurance and other departments and companies, are selected and appointed by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT).

China Maritime Arbitration Commission (CMAC) independently and impartially resolves, by means of arbitration, contractual and non-contractual maritime disputes arising from, or in the process of, transportation, production and navigation by or at sea, in coastal waters and other waters adjacent to sea, with a view to protect the legitimate rights and interests of the parties concerned.

In order to improve efficiency for arbitration, sub-commission and liaison offices found by CMAC respectively, Shanghai sub-commission,Tianjin sub-commission, Southwest sub-commission, HongKong Arbitration Center, Tianjin, Ningbo, Dalian,      Qingdao, Guangzhou and Liaoning liaison office.

In addition, the Arbitration Rules are enacted by CMAC. The arbitrators are appointed by CMAC from among professionals with special knowledge and practical experience in navigation, insurance, maritime law and other fields. CMAC maintains a Panel of Arbitrators as ready reference for parties to choose their arbitrators.

CMAC accepts cases as following, based on an agreement of the parties:

1. Disputes arising from charter party, contract of multi-model transport, bill of lading, waybill or any other transport documents in connection with carriage of goods by sea or waters, or carriage of passengers;

2. Disputes arising from the sale, construction, repair, chartering, financing, towage, collision, salvage or raising of ships or other offshore mobile units, or from the sale, construction, charting, financing of containers;

3. Disputes arising from marine insurance, general average and ship’s protection and indemnity;

4. Disputes arising from the supply or security of ship’s stores or fuel, ship’s agency, seamen’s labor service or port’s handling;

5. Disputes arising from exploitation and utilization of marine resources or pollution damage to marine environment;

6. Disputes arising from freight forwarding, non-vessel operating common carriage, transport by road, rail or air, transport, consolidation and devanning of containers, express delivery, storing, processing, distributing, warehouse distributing, logistics information management, or from construction, sale and leasing of tools of transport, tools of carrying and handling, storage facilities, or from logistics center and distribution center, logistics project planning and consulting, insurance related to logistics, tort or others related to logistics;

7. Disputes arising from fishery production or fishing; and

8. Other disputes submitted for arbitration by agreement between parties.


The first step: the application for arbitration

The Claimant shall submit to CMAC Beijing headquarter/Shanghai Sub-Commission/Tianjin Sub-Commission/Southwest Sub-Commission the Application for Arbitration in 5 copies. Under Summary Procedure, the Claimant shall submit the Application in 3 copies.

The application shall include the following items:

(a) the name and address of the Claimant and those of the Respondent (including the zip code, telephone number, telex number and fax numbe, if any);

(b) the arbitration agreement relied upon by the Claimant; which may be an arbitration clause in the contract concluded between the parties or any other form of written agreement providing for settlement of dispute by arbitration after the occurrence of the disputes;

(c) the facts of the case and the main points of dispute;

(d) the Claimant's claim and the facts and evidence on which his claim is based. The application for Arbitration shall be signed and/or stamped by the Claimant and/or the attorney authorized by the Claimant.

 When an Application for Arbitration is submitted to the Arbitration Commission, the relevant documentary evidence in 5 copies on which the Claimant’s Claim is based shall accompany the application. Under Summary Procedure, the Claimant shall submit the above documents in 3 copies.

The Claimant shall pay an arbitration fee in advance to the Arbitration Commission in accordance with the Arbitration Fee Schedule.

The Respondent shall, within 30 days (20 days under Summary Procedure) from the date of receipt of the Notice of Arbitration, submit his written defense and relevant documentary evidence to the Secretariat of the Arbitration Commission. The Respondent shall, at the latest within 30 days (20 days under Summary Procedure) from the date of receipt of the Notice of Arbitration, lodge with the Secretariat of the Arbitration Commission his counterclaim in writing, if any. Also the Respondent must state in his written statement of counterclaim his specific claim and facts and reasons upon which his claim is based, and attach to his written statement of counterclaim any relevant documentary evidence, and pay an arbitration fee in advance.

The second step: selection of the arbitrator

Each of the parties shall appoint one arbitrator from among the Panel of Arbitrators of the Arbitration Commission or entrust the Chairman of the Arbitration Commission to make such appointment within 15 days from the date of receipt of the Notice of Arbitration. The presiding arbitrator shall be jointly appointed by the parties. In case the both parties fail to jointly appoint or fail to jointly entrust the Chairman of the Arbitration Commission to appoint a presiding arbitrator within 15 days from the date on which the Respondent receives the Notice of Arbitration, the presiding arbitrator shall be appointed by the Chairman of the Arbitration Commission.

Under Summary Procedure, both parties shall jointly appoint or jointly entrust the Chairman of the Arbitration Commission to appoint one sole arbitrator within 10 days from the date on which the Respondent receives the Notice of Arbitration. Should the parties fail to make such appointment or entrustment within the time limit, one sole arbitrator shall be appointed by the Chairman of the Arbitration Commission to form the Arbitral Tribunal.

The third step: hearing

The arbitration tribunal shall hold oral hearings when examining a case; however the arbitration tribunal may examine a case and render an award only on the basis of documentary evidence provided both parties request for or consent to it whilst the arbitration tribunal may also considers an oral hearing as unnecessary. Under Summary Procedure, it is up to the arbitration tribunal to decide whether the case shall be heard orally based on the facts of the case. When the case is heard in a close session, the parties shall further state the facts on which their claim, defense of counterclaim are based, and answer the tribunal’s inquiries. The parties may also argue with each other about the legal matters.

The parties shall submit their supplementary evidence within time limit ordered by the arbitration tribunal after the hearing.

The arbitration tribunal shall render an arbitral award within 6 months from the date on which the arbitration tribunal is formed. Under Summary Procedure, the arbitral award shall be made within 30 days from the date of the final oral hearing; and where a case is examined on the basis of documents only, the arbitral award shall be made within 90 days from the date of the formation of the arbitration tribunal.


The arbitrators of CMAC are selected and appointed by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT)/ China Chamber of International Commerce (CCOIC) from among the Chinese citizens and the foreign citizens with special knowledge and practical experience in shipping, insurance, law and other fields. Besides law, the special knowledge of the arbitrators covers carriage of goods by sea, maritime insurance, chartering and purchasing a vessel, ship-repairing and ship-building, inspection of ship, shipping agency, navigation engineering, harbor superintendence, harbor administration, pilotage, environmental protection at sea, collision, salvage, towing vessels, raising ship-wreck, average adjustment, etc., which has laid a solid foundation for ensuring fair and impartial hearing of all kinds of cases. All the backgrounds of the arbitrators have been on line in web-site: http: //

The Logistics Dispute Resolution Center of CMAC

Logistics Center

For the purpose of promoting arbitration in the field of logistics, facilitating the parties to resolve their disputes by arbitration, and accelerating the regulated development of logistics in China, China Maritime Arbitration Commission (CMAC) established the Logistics Dispute Resolution Center (LDRC) on Feb. 1st, 2004. LDRC is a platform for CMAC to provide dispute resolution service, including arbitration, mediation and legal research and consultancy service, for logistics enterprises and other entities in the logistics industry.

With over 40 years of professional experience in maritime arbitration, CMAC is an ideal place to settle logistics disputes. It has many experts who are familiar not only with the logistics business and technique but also with the relevant laws and regulations as well as trade customs. After the establishment of LDRC, CMAC has further enlisted logistic specialists in the Panel of Logistic Arbitrators. Arbitrating disputes by professionals makes the arbitral proceeding authoritative, flexible and the award easy to be enforced. Through this way, parties can also save time and costs on the dispute resolution. Furthermore, logistics relates to a wide range of business such as shipping, land and air transportation, the storage, loading, discharging and processing of goods, information management, agency and insurance, etc., which results in scattered court jurisdiction. In addition, logistics is a relatively new and highly specialized industry, which is not favorable for the proper settlement of logistics disputes. The establishment of CMAC Logistics Dispute Resolution Center ensures centralized jurisdiction of such disputes and it is a one-stop dispute resolution method, which will effectively avoid uncertainty in jurisdiction and in the results of the arbitration process as well as the unnecessary procedural delay.

Under the approval of the China Chamber of International Commerce (CCOIC), the CMAC Logistics Dispute Resolution Center is entitled to accept all cases arising from or in connection with logistics, including but not limited to ocean shipping, land (highway, railway) and air transportation, multi-model transport, container transport, LCL, FCL, express service, storage, processing, allocated delivery, storage distribution, agency, management of logistics information, transportation, handling, loading and discharging, construction, sale and lease of the storage equipment and establishment, logistics designing and consultation, insurance relating to the logistics and enterprises concerned and tort in respect of the logistics service, etc.

To enjoy the service of LDRC, parties engaging in logistics activities only need to write an arbitration clause in their contracts or enter into an arbitration agreement at any other stage.

Fishery Dispute Resolution Center

Fishery Dispute Resolution Center of China Maritime Arbitration Commission

In order to impartially and fairly resolve disputes arising from fishery, by means of arbitration, and promote development of the fishery production, CMAC set up the Fishery Dispute Resolution Center within its Shanghai Sub-Commission in January 2003.

CMAC Fishery Dispute Resolution Center takes cognizance of cases relating to disputes arising from recovery of marine traffic accident, fishing and cultivating, and fishing nets; and disputes arising from ship-building, repairing, sale, insurance, leasing, mortgage and loan of fishing vessels; and the disputes arising from the contract and management of foreland; and other disputes involving fishery.

CMAC selects and appoints experts from fishery and other relevant fields as arbitrators of CMAC Fishery Dispute Resolution Center, maintaining a special Panel of Arbitrators in Fishery. According to the features of fishery disputes, CMAC has formulated Special Provisions on Fishery Disputes Cases of CMAC Arbitration Rules, simplifying the arbitration procedure, and reducing the arbitration fee.


Contact us

China Maritime Arbitration Commission (CMAC)

Tel: (86-10) 82217788

Fax: (86-10) 82217766/64643500



Add: 6/F, CCOIC Building, No.2 HuapichangHutong, Xicheng District, Beijing, 10035, P.R. China