NCAC of Cambodia updates its arbitration rules

Cambodia’s only not-for-profit arbitration organization, the National Commercial Arbitration Centre of Cambodia (NCAC) have announced its 2021 updated rules and fee’s structure which came into effect on June 28.

Some of the major amendments include expanding the scope of the NCAC to offer more services and the possibility for the parties to shorten the time limits if they so agree.

A provision has been included to further address the independence and impartiality of arbitrators by empowering the tribunal to take any measure necessary to avoid a conflict of interest of an arbitrator arising from a change in party representation. The new rules also set a new way of determining the commencement date of arbitration proceedings.

In addition, in responding to the growing demands of electronic communication the new rules allow the use of videoconference or similar means of communication technology in all arbitration proceedings.

The new rules further set the time limit for the tribunal in declaring arbitration proceedings closed so that parties can have better expectation in term of timeline toward to the award issuance.

Moreover, the 2021 NCAC Arbitration Rules introduce the Expedited Procedure and the Emergency Arbitrator features for the first time.

Any party may request for the expedited procedure if the sum in dispute does not exceed the equivalent amount of $3 million, if the parties so agree, or in case of exceptional urgency. Under this expedited procedure, the final award will be made within 270 calendar days from the date the tribunal is constituted.

It is hoped the changes will mean the arbitration process is a more flexible, efficient, and transparent process in resolving their disputes by the NCAC.

“With the adoption of this New Rules, NCAC has achieved an important milestone in its mission to improve effectiveness of the commercial dispute resolution through arbitration in accordance with international standard, NCAC President Bun Youdy said. “This will certainly contribute to the betterment of business environment in the Kingdom of Cambodia”

Cambodia Investment Review calculated that a $100,000 dispute will incur a total fee of $2,600 (consisting of an $1,500 tribunal fee and $1,100 fee). The NCAC was established under the 2006 Law on Commercial Arbitration and since its official commencement in 2013 had administered 27 cases with approximately $80 million in dispute.

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