China: 简论PPP 项目的各类风险及 实例分析

Last Updated: 11 December 2017
Article by Allbright Law Office

 一、PPP基本概念及特点

政府和社会资本合作模式(Public-PrivatePartnership,下简称"PPP"),是政府与社会资本基于各自优势建立的一种长期合作关系。PPP具有三个核心价值:一是伙伴关系;二是利益共享;三是风险共担。可应用领域包括能源、交通、环保、农林、科技、保障房建设、科教文卫等等。

国务院办公厅转发财政部发展改革委人民银行《关于在公共服务领域推广政府和社会资本合作模式指导意见》的通知(国办发〔2015〕42号)文中给出了PPP最新定义:"政府和社会资本合作模式是公共服务供给机制的重大创新,即政府采取竞争性方式择优选择具有投资、运营管理能力的社会资本,双方按照平等协商原则订立合同,明确责权利关系,由社会资本提供公共服务,政府依据公共服务绩效评价结果向社会资本支付相应对价,保证社会资本获得合理收益。政府和社会资本合作模式有利于实现公共利益最大化。"

二、PPP模式的项目风险汇总

1.法律变更风险

主要是指由于采纳、颁布、修订、诠释法律或规定而导致项目的合法性、市场需求、收费、合同协议的有效性等元素发生变化,从而对项目的正常建设和运营带来损害,甚至直接导致项目的中止和失败的风险。PPP项目涉及的法律法规比较多,加之我国PPP项目还处在起步阶段,相应的法律法规不够健全,很容易出现这方面的风险。

例如江苏某污水处理厂采用PPP融资模式,原先计划于2002年开工,但由于2002年9月《国务院办公厅关于妥善处理现有保证外方投资固定回报项目有关问题的通知》的颁布,项目公司被迫与政府重新就投资回报率进行谈判。上海的大场水厂和延安东路隧道也遇到了同样的问题,均被政府回购。

2. 政府风险

政府风险主要包括政府审批延误风险、政治风险、政策决策风险、政府信用风险和腐败风险等。具体情况如下。

审批延误风险主要是指由于项目的审批程序过于复杂、花费时间过长和成本过高,且批准之后,对项目的性质和规模进行必要商业调整非常困难,给项目正常运作带来威胁。根据我国《价格法》和《政府价格决策听证办法》规定,公用事业价格等政府指导价、政府定价,应当建立听证会制度,征求消费者、经营者和有关方面的意见,论证其必要性、可行性,这一复杂的过程很容易造成审批延误的问题,进而增加了过多成本,导致成本价格倒挂现象。

政治风险主要是指由于各种原因导致公众利益或国家利益得不到保护或受损,从而引起政治甚至公众反对项目建设所造成的风险。以城市水业为例,水价低于成本的状况表明水价上涨势在必行,但是各地的水价改革均遭到不同程度的公众阻力和审批延误问题。例如,2003年的南京水价上涨方案在听证会上未获通过;上海人大代表也提出反对水价上涨的提案,造成上海水价改革措施迟迟无法落实实施。因此出现了外国水务公司从中国市场撤出的现象。比较引人注目的是,泰晤士水务(ThamesWater)出售了其大场水厂的股份,英国AnglianWater公司从北京第十水厂项目中撤出。由于关系到公众利益,因此遭到了来自公众的阻力,政府为了维护社会安定和公众利益也反对涨价。

政策决策风险,是指由于政府的决策程序不规范、缺乏PPP的运作经验和能力、前期准备不足和信息不对称等造成项目决策失误和过程冗长。例如青岛威立雅污水处理项目由于当地政府对PPP的理解和认识有限,政府对项目态度的频繁转变导致项目合同谈判时间很长。而且污水处理价格是在政府对市场价格和相关结构不了解的情况下签订,价格较高,后来政府了解以后又重新要求谈判降低价格。此项目中项目公司利用政府知识缺陷和错误决策签订不平等协议,从而引起后续谈判拖延,面临政府决策冗长的困境。

政府信用风险,是指政府不履行或拒绝履行合同约定的责任和义务而给项目带来直接或间接的危害。例如在长春汇津污水处理厂项目中,汇津公司与长春市排水公司于2000年3月设立长春汇津污水处理有限公司,同年长春市政府制定《长春汇津污水处理专营管理办法》。2000年底,项目投产后合作运行正常。然而,从2002年年中开始,排水公司开始拖欠合作公司污水处理费。长春市政府于2003年2月28日废止了2000年制定的管理办法,2003年3月起,排水公司开始停止向合作企业支付任何污水处理费。经过近两年的法律纠纷,2005年8月最终以长春市政府回购而结束。

腐败风险主要是指政府官员或代表在项目前期谈判和后续进展中谋取私利,导致不合理的合同条款、成本增加、项目质量不过关、高政府违约可能等等。例如"沈阳水务黑幕"中由于地方官员的腐败,而导致对外商承诺的回报率虚高,最终导致了项目的亏损。

3. 市场风险

市场风险包括融资风险、收费变更风险、市场收益不足风险、项目负外部性风险、配套设施不到位风险、市场需求变化风险等。具体情况如下。

融资风险,是指由于融资结构不合理、金融市场不健全、融资的可及性等因素引起的风险,其中最主要的表现形式是资金筹措困难。PPP项目的一个特点就是在招标阶段选定中标者之后,政府与中标者先草签特许权协议,中标者要凭草签的特许权协议在规定的融资期限内完成融资,特许权协议才可正式生效,否则将会被取消资格并没收投标保证金。在湖南某电厂的项目中,发展商就因没能完成融资而被没收了投标保函与保证金。

收费变更风险,是指由于PPP产品或服务收费价格过高、过低或者收费调整不弹性、不自由导致项目公司的运营收入不如预期而产生的风险。例如,由于电力体制改革和市场需求变化,山东中华发电项目的电价收费从项目之初的0.41元/度变更到了0.32元/度,使项目公司的收益受到严重威胁。

除上述市场风险以外,还有诸如市场收益不足风险、项目负外部性风险、配套设施不到位风险、市场需求变化风险等。

4. 其他风险

由于本文篇幅所限,其他风险不再赘述。此处仅举其中一例简述之。例如不可抗力风险,是指合同一方无法控制,在签订合同前无法合理防范,情况发生时,又无法回避或克服的事件或情况,如自然灾害或事故、战争、禁运等。在江苏某污水处理厂项目关于投资回报率的重新谈判中,因遇到非典而被迫中断了项目公司和政府的谈判,即为一典型事例。

三、PPP项目争议解决之难点——民事行为或行政行为?

PPP项目一旦遭遇纠纷,在争议解决过程中,当事人首先面临的问题很可能是该类争议的法律属性不明。PPP项目,其究竟是民事关系还是行政关系?该问题也一直是理论和实务界的关注焦点。

由于PPP项目是由政府与市场主体之间就政府有义务提供的公共服务在各个方面进行合作,合作需要借助商业合同来规范合作者的行为,同时合作标的却是政府负有法定义务必须去提供的公共服务,因此造成了PPP项目行政与民事法律属性的天然混合。

所以不能简单地将PPP项目的法律属性界定为民事或行政法律关系。因为如果将PPP单一界定为民事法律关系,则人为限制了政府法定行政权力的行使(例如对于一些排除政府行政权力行使的合同约定应认定为无效);如果将PPP单一地界定为行政法律关系,则市场主体作为合同的一方当事人之契约权利将很难获得保护与救济(例如政府以行使行政权力为由公然违约或随意解除合同而不承担任何赔偿责任)。

1. 国家与政府发布指导意见,保护 PPP投资者产权,并允许采用商事仲裁的方式来解决 PPP项目中的争议

2016年11月27日,中共中央、国务院发布《关于完善产权保护制度依法保护产权的意见》,强调不得以政府换届、领导人员更替等理由违约毁约。政府违约,要依法赔偿社会资本的损失。因国家利益、公共利益或者其他法定事由需要改变政府承诺和合同约定的,要严格依照法定权限和程序进行,并对企业和投资人因此而受到的财产损失依法予以补偿。对因政府违约等导致企业和公民财产权受到损害等情形,进一步完善赔偿、投诉和救济机制,畅通投诉和救济渠道。建立健全政府失信责任追究制度及责任倒查机制。当项目遇到争议时,社会资本一方可以将争议提交商事仲裁来解决。因此国务院似乎认为PPP的特许经营类合同属于民事合同的性质。然而对于这一点,实践中依然存在争议。

2. 司法实践中认定民事与行政混合并就具体问题加以区分的传统思路

从法院实际裁判规则中可以看出,法院仍然坚守民事纠纷与行政纠纷的传统理论界分,认为特许经营协议中交织着两种性质不同的法律关系,特许经营合同是兼具民事合同和行政合同性质的混合合同——应区分纠纷本身的性质,考虑法律关系的范畴,而不应仅仅以协议的名字或协议中行政机关主体的存在而简单将争议的性质认定为行政争议。如果仅涉及行政机关在特许经营中的具体行政行为的纠纷则属于行政诉讼范畴,如果纠纷本身不涉及具体行政行为,则不属于行政诉讼范畴。

最高人民法院在北京北方电联电力工程有限公司与乌鲁木齐市交通运输管理局其他合同纠纷一案【(2014)民二终字第40号】中,支持了上述观点。最高法院在相关裁定中认为,一审法院认为作为当事人一方的行政机关在合同订立、解除等方面享有单方优越主导地位,合同履行与行政许可紧密关联,协议不属于平等主体之间的民事合同,本案属于行政诉讼的观点,混淆了协议履行过程中涉及的行政行为与协议终止后的回购款支付行为的性质,没有法律依据。各方当事人在回购款的支付问题上,处于平等的法律地位,应当将此认定为民事法律关系;因此就协议终止后支付回购款一事不能排除民事法律规范的运用。

3. 区分民事与行政的关键在于是否与具体行政行为有关

关键是判断争议是否与行政主体行使行政职权有关,如果与具体行政行为有关,则应认定为行政纠纷。例如最高人民法院在(2014)民二终字第12号判决中认定特许经营权解除行为在性质上属于行政行为,由此产生的纠纷属于行政纠纷;在(2015)民申字第256号判中指出,在行政机关未明确案涉城市规划区域范围的情况下,直接认定原告所享有特许经营权的区域范围超出人民法院民事裁判的范畴。如果与行政主体具体行政行为无关,则可认定为民事纠纷;最高人民法院在(2014)民二终字第40号中指出,当事人间就回购款支付依据发生的争议不涉及具体行政行为,属于民事纠纷;在投资人与政府就赔偿问题发生纠纷时,河南省高级人民法院和广东省高级人民法院分别在(2015)豫法民一初字第1-1号判决和(2010)粤高法民二终字第43号判决中认可了特许经营合同的民商事合同性质。

是否与行政机关的具体行政行为密切相关也是我国法院判断行政纠纷与民事纠纷的通常标准。有学者通过大量行政裁判案例实证研究发现:进入行政审判庭视野的行政合同,大多具备行政职权行使的特征。

4. 最高人民法院于2015年发布司法解释允许当事人基于政府特许经营协议提起行政诉讼

相关各部门发布的相关规范性文件甚至相关法律征求意见稿,大多规定的是公用事业以及基础设施特许经营项目纠纷可以通过民事争议解决机制,即允许选择民事诉讼或商事仲裁方式解决纠纷。然而,2015年4月27日,最高人民法院公布的《关于适用〈中华人民共和国行政诉讼法〉若干问题的解释》第11条明确规定当事人可就政府特许经营协议提起行政诉讼1,再次使大家关注特许经营协议的法律性质:实务界对该条款规定给PPP项目纠纷解决机制带来的影响充满担忧。

鉴于在我国行政诉讼胜诉率极低,这种担忧不无道理。不过,尽管2015年该司法解释出台,但就该司法解释在实践中的具体适用尚未明朗,实务中仍旧存在法院坚持对PPP项目纠纷中的具体争议区分民事与行政不同属性的传统做法。

四、PPP争议解决法律风险防范的实务建议

在结合以上有关PPP争议解决的不确定性风险的分析,现行法律框架下,PPP私有投资者在与政府签订各类合作协议时,应注意做好以下防范措施:

1. 在协议的前言部分写明协议各方是本着平等、自愿、诚实守信的原则,在平等民事主体间签订的协议。

2. 对于政府在其义务履行、解除合同、变更合同条款等方面的违约行为,要明确约定具有可操作性的违约金,并写明政府对此放弃其行政主体的身份,不得以行使法定行政管理职权为由拒绝支付相应的违约金或赔偿守约方的直接损失。

3. 可以写明协议的争议解决应提交民商事仲裁,并写明具体争议的范围及选定的仲裁机构。

免责声明

本文内容仅为提供信息之目的由作者/锦天城律师事务所制作,不应视为广告、招揽或法律意见。阅读、传播本文内容不以建立律师-委托人关系为目的,订阅我们的文章也不构成律师-委托人关系。本文所包含的信息仅是作为一般性信息提供,作者/锦天城律师事务所不对本文做日常性维护、修改或更新,故可能未反映最新的法律发展。读者在就自身案件获得相关法域内执业律师的法律意见之前, 不要为任何目的依赖本文信息。作者/锦天城律师事务所明确不承担因基于对本文任何形式的使用(包括作为或不作为)而产生的一切责任、损失或损害。

Footnotes

1 第十一条:行政机关为实现公共利益或者行政管理目标,在法定职责范围内,与公民、法人或者其他组织协商订立的具有行政法上权利义务内容的协议,属于行政诉讼法第十二条第一款第十一项规定的行政协议。

公民、法人或者其他组织就下列行政协议提起行政诉讼的,人民法院应当依法受理:

(一)政府特许经营协议;

(二)土地、房屋等征收征用补偿协议;

(三)其他行政协议。

Originally published by Lexology, November 3 2017

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Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions