China: 中国法院在承认执行外国仲裁裁决时对公共利益的认定及保全申请的态度

Last Updated: 16 February 2018
Article by John Liu and Minli Tang

——以执行一例最新LMAA裁决为例

一、事实背景

本案是申请人大韩海运株式会社(Korea Line Corporation,以下简称"大韩海运")与被申请人海航集团有限公司(以下简称"海航集团")间就在我国承认与执行一英国仲裁裁决而产生的纠纷。

2008年8月5日,大韩海运作为船东与作为承租人的案外人大新华轮船(香港)有限公司(以下简称"大新华公司")签订了《租船合同》,约定由大韩海运将"K.DAPHNE"轮出租给大新华公司,同日,海航集团向大韩海运签发《履约保函》,对大新华公司在前述《租船合同》下的履约义务承担保证责任,并约定《履约保函》下的所有争议应根据伦敦海事仲裁员协会(LMAA)仲裁规则,由3名仲裁员组成仲裁庭进行仲裁、适用英国法。在《租船合同》履行期间,因大新华公司多次迟延支付或未付租金,大韩海运依据《履约保函》中的约定,提起仲裁。

2016年1月13日,仲裁庭作出裁决,裁定海航集团向大韩海运支付77,830,179.46美元及利息。

仲裁裁决作出后,因海航集团未履行裁决下的付款义务,大韩海运向海口海事法院申请承认与执行该裁决,并在法院就该裁决进行司法审查期间,提出了财产保全申请。对该两项申请,法院分别于2017年8月及2017年4月作出了裁定。

二、争议焦点

(一) 申请承认与执行仲裁裁决中进行财产保全是否存在法律依据

(二) 承认与执行该仲裁裁决是否违反中国公共政策

三、法院裁判

(一)申请承认与执行仲裁裁决中进行财产保全没有法律依据

大韩海运的财产保全申请在我国无法律依据。该财产保全属外国仲裁裁决在我国进行司法审查时由执行申请人提出的保全请求,属于国家之间的司法协助事项,应以中国与英国共同参加的国际条约或中国与英国之间存在的互惠原则作为依据(《民事诉讼法》第276条)。但中国与英国共同参加的《纽约公约》未对该司法审查期间能否进行财产保全作出规定,中国与英国就该问题也无相关司法协定。

其次,中国现有法律也未对外国仲裁裁决在申请承认与执行审查期间是否能申请财产保全作出具体规定。《民事诉讼法》100条所规定的保全仅适用于在中国进行的诉讼,不适用于在外国进行的诉讼和仲裁,也不适用于国家之间的司法协助。

由此,大韩海运的保全申请无法律依据。

(二) 承认与执行该仲裁裁决不违反中国公共政策

本案之初,海航集团曾辩称与大韩海运之间无有效的仲裁协议、仲裁程序不符合预定。然而,其后海航集团撤回了前述抗辩。因此,法院在审理时不再审查前述事项,而仅对承认执行该仲裁裁决是否违法我国的公共政策进行审查。

首先,中国现有法律并未明晰地界定公共政策,也没有规定其适用的标准和范围,但中国的司法实践一直秉持"有利于执行"的公约理念对《纽约公约》第5条第2款规定的公共政策采取慎用的态度。此外,最高法院也明确批复指出,违反中国法律的强制性规定不能完全等同于违反中国的公共政策。 1基于这些批复,可以认为,违反我国法律、行政法规、部门规章中的强制性规定并不当然构成对我国公共政策的违反,不得当然以此类违反为由拒绝承认与执行外国仲裁裁决。

其次,《纽约公约》中的公共政策不是仲裁所涉合同签订时或仲裁裁决作出时执行地国家的公共政策,而是仲裁裁决承认和执行时的公共政策。法院认为,海航集团未经批准即对外担保(对外担保时间为2008年8月5日)的行为确实违反了当时的《中华人民共和国外汇管理条例》、《境内机构对外担保管理办法》等行政法规和部门规章,也违反了《最高人民法院关于适用<中华人民共和国担保法>若干问题的解释》第六条的规定,但2014年6月1日起实施的《跨境担保外汇管理规定》已将对外担保由审批制改为登记制,并明确外汇管理部门对跨境担??合同的核准、登记或备案等管理要求不构成跨境担保合同的生效要件。

在此背景下,法院认为海航集团前述担保行为并不构成对中国公共政策的违反。

四、案件评析

本案中涉及的两个争议焦点也是实践中在申请承认与执行外国仲裁裁决时经常会遇到的事项。对于该两个问题,本文做一简述。

1. 承认与执行外国仲裁裁决是否违反公共利益

我国法院的普遍态度是限缩公共利益的适用范围,而并非将其作为一个拒绝承认与执行的兜底条款。基于现有的案例来看,我国法院在审查外国仲裁裁决过程中对于公共利益的态度可归纳为:

  • 事关公共利益的事项:
  • 违反我国法律基本原则(但并非为违反一般实体法原则,而必须是对我国根本性法律原则的违反,比如宪法级别的原则等)
  • 侵犯我国国家主权
  • 危害我国国家及社会公共安全
  • 违反我国社会的善良风俗
  • 与公共利益无关的事项
  • 违反我国法律、行政法规、部门规章中的强制性规定不能等同于违反我国的公共政策
  • 仲裁结果有失公平不能等同于违反我国的公共政策
  • 错误理解我国法律不能等同于违反我国的公共政策

2. 涉及仲裁的保全申请

就涉及仲裁(包括启动仲裁之前、仲裁进行中及申请执行的过程)的保全问题,在我国的现有法律框架内相关规定还未完全明确。已有条文主要规定了在仲裁程序中、仲裁程序开始之前针对财产及证据的保全申请。

  • 财产保全:

当事人在必要的时候可以申请财产保全。当事人既可以在仲裁程序中申请保全,也可以在仲裁程序开始前申请保全。需注意的是,若申请人在法院采取保全措施后三十天内没有申请仲裁的,法院将会解除保全。(《民事诉讼法》第101条)

当事人在仲裁程序中认为需要申请财产保全的,仲裁委员会应当将当事人的申请提交法院。(《仲裁法》第28条)若保全财产的申请有错误,申请人需要进行赔偿。

国内仲裁中,仲裁机构应将当事人的申请提交被申请人住所地或被申请保全的财产所在地的基层人民法院裁定并执行。 涉外仲裁中,仲裁机构应将当事人的申请提交被申请人住所地或被申请保全的财产所在地的中级人民法院裁定并执行(《最高人民法院关于人民法院执行工作若干问题的规定(试行)》第11条、第12条)。

  • 证据保全:

在证据可能灭失或者以后难以取得的情况下,当事人可以申请证据保全。

国内仲裁中,仲裁委员会应当将当事人的申请提交证据所在地的基层人民法院。(《仲裁法》第46条)。 涉外仲裁中,涉外仲裁委员会应当将当事人的申请提交证据所在地的中级人民法院。(《仲裁法》第68条)

  • 其他临时措施:

中国仲裁法下对财产及证据保全以外的临时措施并没有做出具体规定。当事人依据中国法律申请保全的(财产、证据保全),仲裁委员会应当依法将当事人的保全申请转交当事人指明的有管辖权的法院(仲裁庭无权自行决定)。而对于其他没有规定的临时措施,一般遵照仲裁机构的具体规则,可以由仲裁庭作出决定。

Footnotes

1 《最高人民法院在(2001)民四他字第12 号复函》:在日本三井物产株式会社申请承认与执 行瑞典斯德哥尔摩商会仲裁院060/1999 号仲裁裁决一案中,海南省纺织工业总公司作为国有企 业,在未经国家外汇管理部门批准并办理外债登记手续的情况下,对日本三井物产株式会社直 接承担债务,违反了我国有关外债审批及登记的法律规定和国家外汇管理政策,但是对于行政 法规和部门规章中强制性规定的违反,并不当然构成对我国公共政策的违反。

《最高人民法院在(2003)民四他字第3 号复函》:在ED&F 曼氏(香港)有限公司申请承认 和执行伦敦糖业协会第158 号仲裁裁决案中,中国糖业酒类集团公司未经批准,擅自从事境外 期货交易行为,依照中国的法律应当认定为无效,但违反我国法律的强制性规定不能完全等同 于违反我国的公共政策。

This article was previously published with Lexology, 8th February 2018

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