China: 担保合同纠纷主合同仲裁条款效力的实践分析

Last Updated: 3 June 2019
Article by Junqi Wang and Yucheng Hu
Most Read Contributor in China, July 2019

在现代商务往来中,为主合同所涉债务设定担保已成为普遍的商务实践。虽然我国合同法并未就担保合同单列一章,但随着经济大环境下债务纠纷的不断增多,作为主合同的商业合同和作为从合同的担保合同的组合,已成为许多商业往来中最为常见的合同组合。

在许多商事往来中,由于主合同与担保合同并非同时订立,极易发生主合同约定仲裁条款而担保合同未约定;或由于合同条款本身约定不明,主合同仲裁条款之效力是否及于担保合同暧昧不明的情形。此种情况下,究竟担保合同下纠纷是否可根据主合同约定的仲裁条款确定管辖,本文将通过结合相应立法与司法实践,逐步分析并给出结论:

一、主合同约定仲裁条款,其效力是否当然约束作为从合同的担保合同

实践中,"主合同约定仲裁条款"的情形往往会与"主合同约定诉讼管辖法院"的情形进行对比。根据《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129条规定:"主合同和担保合同发生纠纷提起诉讼的,应当根据主合同确定案件管辖。"同时,"主合同和担保合同选择管辖的法院不一致的,应当根据主合同确定案件管辖。"也即是说,如主合同约定通过诉讼方式解决相关争议,则依照我国法律,在作为从合同的担保合同约定管辖不明或与主合同发生冲突的情形下,应当根据主合同的约定确定管辖法院。

需要注意的是,上述司法解释的适用的前提为"主合同和担保合同发生纠纷提起诉讼的"。换言之,该司法解释是否能够类推适用于约定仲裁的情形,该法条本身并未作出具体规定。事实上,根据司法实践,同为主合同约定争议解决条款而从合同未约定的情形,涉及仲裁与涉及诉讼所产生的法律后果是截然不同的。

在"惠州纬通房产有限公司与惠州市人民政府履约担保纠纷案"中,最高人民法院明确:"本案系履约担保纠纷,与债权人和债务人之间的承包工程合同纠纷系两个不同的民事关系,债权人与惠州市人民政府之间形成的履约担保民事关系不受债权人与债务人在承包合同中约定的仲裁条款的约束,双方当事人在所签订的《履约确认书》中并未选择仲裁方式解决纠纷。"据此,最高人民法院最终裁定,担保合同所涉纠纷,不受主合同所约定的仲裁条款的约束。

上述观点,在《最高院关于成都优邦文具有限公司、王国建申请撤销深圳仲裁委员会(2011)深仲裁字第601号仲裁裁决一案的请示的复函》得到了进一步明确。在该复函中,最高人民法院认为:"案涉担保合同没有约定仲裁条款,仲裁庭关于主合同有仲裁条款,担保合同作为从合同受到主合同中仲裁条款约束的意见缺乏法律依据"。

综合最高人民法院在上述案件中的裁判精神,可以归纳我国司法实践中对于该问题的倾向性意见为:仲裁是建立在当事人有真实有效的仲裁协议的基础上的,如果没有仲裁协议,则仲裁庭不享有管辖权,其不得对纠纷进行仲裁。故与诉讼争议管辖不同,在双方没有明确约定的前提下,主合同所约定的仲裁条款并不能约束作为从合同的担保合同。

但是,需要注意的是,上述案例中,存在一个共通情节,即担保人与债务人并非同一人。针对债务人与担保人为同一人的情形,最高人民法院对此的裁判思路似乎又有所不同。根据最高人民法院法官的著述,对于债务人自身提供的担保合同的情形,如主合同有仲裁条款而担保合同没有规定仲裁条款,也没有明确提出适用主合同中的仲裁条款的,除非当事人明确约定排除主合同的仲裁条款适用,可以认为主合同的仲裁条款对担保合同具有约束力。但担保合同中已经约定有仲裁条款的,则主合同的仲裁条款不得约束担保合同。

换言之,虽然大原则为主合同仲裁条款之约束力不当然约束担保合同,但是如主合同债务人与从合同担保人为同一人,则除非当事人间另有约定,否则司法实践中,主合同仲裁条款在此种情况下有被认定效力及于未约定争议解决条款之担保合同的可能。

二、当事人是否可在担保合同中明确约定并入或者排除适用主合同约定的仲裁条款?

如上文所引述的司法观点及实践判例,如担保合同明确约定不适用主合同中的仲裁条款,则无论主合同与担保合同当事方是否相同,主合同仲裁条款都很难被认定为有及于作为从合同的担保合同的效力。

与之相反,当事人亦可能在合同中约定,某些权利义务关系适用其他合同中的有关规定,比如合同中常见的在某条款下约定"本合同的未尽事项适用⋯⋯合同的有关规定","本合同权利义务适用......合同中的...约定"等等,在法律上称为合同条款的并入。顾名思义,当债权人和担保人在担保合同中约定其争议解决条款适用主合同的仲裁条款的约定时,即产生所谓仲裁条款的并入的问题 。

在此种情况下,《最高人民法院关于适用〈中华人民共和国仲裁法〉若干问题的解释》第十一条明确规定:"合同约定解决争议适用其他合同、文件中的有效仲裁条款的,发生合同争议时,当事人应当按照该仲裁条款提请仲裁。"也即是说,如果作为从合同的担保合同中,明确约定担保合同的争议解决适用主合同中约定的仲裁条款,则该约定的法律效力应得到支持。

三、担保合同仅约定概括性地并入主合同中的有关约定是否足以并入主合同约定的仲裁条款?

与上文的情形相区别,实践中有时会出现担保合同概括性约定当事人的权利义务适用主合同有关约定,但又未明确指明适用主合同中的"仲裁条款"的情形。此种情形下,担保合同往往没有明确约定其是否并入主合同约定的仲裁条款,而往往仅仅是约定"未尽事宜,适用主合同的有关约定"等较为笼统的条款。那么,是否此种笼统的条款可以产生并入主合同的仲裁条款的效力呢?通常观点认为,在合同中概括性约定当事人的权利义务适用其他合同有关约定的表述,大原则往往是不发生仲裁条款并入的效力。除非当事人能够证明其对仲裁条款的并入尽了合理的提醒义务,或者能够证明对方当事人明知或应知仲裁条款的并入。

这一点,最高人民法院在《辽宁省沈阳市公路建设开发总公司起诉中国黑龙江国际经济技术合作公司、河北省秦皇岛市秦龙国际实业有限公司建设工程合同纠纷一案》中的判决值得借鉴,该案中,涉及的两份合同分别为总承包商与蒙古国政府签订的总包合同以及分包商与总承包商签订的分包合同。总包合同约定有仲裁条款而分包合同未约定争议解决条款。根据分包合同的约定,其认可总包合同的所有条款。后由于分包合同当事人间纠纷,产生是否总包合同仲裁条款可适用于分包合同之争议。

就本案,最高人民法院经审理作出(2014)民四终字第43号民事裁定认为:涉案纠纷是分包合同下的纠纷,并非总包合同下的纠纷,不在总合合同下仲裁条款约定的仲裁事项范围内。分包合同主体未就案涉纠纷订有仲裁条款,事后也没有达成书面仲裁协议,故一审法院认定将本案移送仲裁的理由不能成立,并无不当。

最高人民法院上述裁定,符合其在此类案件中的一贯思路。在《张凯钧、山东中凯不锈钢有限公司、淄博中凯再生资源有限公司、山东中铭铜业有限公司、山东中普铜业有限公司、山东汇盈新材料科技有限公司与立盛有限公司保证合同纠纷》等案中,最高人民法院明确提出"仲裁协议意思自治原则",即"仲裁条款不能约束仲裁协议以外的当事人,也不能约束仲裁条款约定的仲裁事项以外的其他事项"。事实上,担保合同目的旨在保证主合同的履行,即便并入主合同条款,其所涉及的主体与法律关系与主合同势必不尽相同,故很难认为主合同所约定之仲裁条款包含担保合同下的纠纷。据此而论,如担保合同中无明确并入条款,则仅凭模糊地概括性并入条款,确实难以认为双方已约定扩展主合同仲裁条款的效力范围至担保合同所涉事项,故此种情况下主合同仲裁条款难以约束担保合同。

四、结论

综上所述,我国司法实践中,对于主合同约定之仲裁解决条款是否可约束作为从合同之担保合同,裁判机关据以裁判的思路可做如下归结:

  1. 首要审核对象为担保合同是否有明确条款排除或适用主合同约定的仲裁条款;
  2. 如担保合同中存在明确约定适用主合同中约定的仲裁条款,则此种情况下主合同仲裁条款较易被认定为可约束担保合同;
  3. 如担保合同中存在明确约定排除主合同中约定的仲裁条款,则此种情形下主合同仲裁条款很难被认定为可约束担保合同;
  4. 如担保合同虽概括性约定适用主合同条款,但并未明确是否并入仲裁条款,则实践中此种概括性并入的约定较难被认为可使得主合同仲裁条款约束担保合同;
  5. 如担保合同未约定争议解决条款,则主合同约定之仲裁条款其效力不当然及于作为从合同的担保合同,除非担保合同当事人系主合同下债务人且双方未明确约定排除仲裁条款的效力。

因此,实践中,为避免主合同与担保合同裁判机关不同所造成的无端诉累与额外诉讼成本。如双方当事人有意选择仲裁作为争议解决方式,则在合同订立之时,双方当事人即应在担保合同中亦明确相应的争议解决条款,以免造成不必要的不确定性与变数。

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