Uzbekistan: Enforcement Of Foreign Judgments 2016

Last Updated: 12 January 2017
Article by Azizbek Akhmadjonov and Maxim Dogonkin

1 COUNTRY FINDER

1.1 Please set out the various regimes applicable to recognising and enforcing judgments in your jurisdiction and the names of the countries to which such special regimes apply.

Applicable Law/Statutory regime Relevant Jurisdiction(s) Corresponding Section Below
Treaty on Adjudication of Disputes Arising out of Commercial Activities dated March 20, 1992 (Kiev Convention) CIS countries, particularly Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Armenia Section 3
Convention on Legal Aid and Legal Relations in Civil, Family and Criminal Cases dated January 22, 1993 (Minsk Convention) CIS countries, particularly Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Armenia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Georgia Section 3
[International Bilateral Treaties on Legal Assistance with countries of former USSR Latvia (May 23, 1996), Georgia (May 28, 1996), Turkmenistan (November 27, 1996), Kyrgyzstan (December 24, 1996), Lithuania (February 20, 1997, Kazakhstan (June 2, 1997), Azerbaijan (June 18, 1997), Ukraine (February 19, 1998) Section 3
International Bilateral Treaties on Legal Assistance with other countries Turkey (June 23, 1994), People' Republic of China (December 11, 1997), Czech Republic (January 18, 2002, Bulgaria (November 24, 2003 Section 3

2 GENERAL REGIME

2.1 Absent any applicable special regime, what is the legal framework under which a foreign judgment would be recognised and enforced in your jurisdiction?

The Uzbek legislation does not provide for a general legal framework on recognition of foreign judgements and arbitration awards. In the absence of specific multilateral or bilateral international treaties providing for recognition and enforcement of foreign judgements and arbitration awards, such judgements and awards are not recognized in Uzbekistan.

2.2 What requirements (in form and substance) must a foreign judgment satisfy in order to be recognised and enforceable in your jurisdiction?

N/A

2.3 Is there a difference between recognition and enforcement of judgments? If so, what are the legal effects of recognition and enforcement respectively?

N/A

2.4 Briefly explain the procedure for recognising and enforcing a foreign judgment in your jurisdiction.

N/A

2.5 On what grounds can recognition/enforcement of a judgment be challenged? When can such a challenge be made?

N/A

2.6 What, if any, is the relevant legal framework applicable to recognising and enforcing foreign judgments relating to specific subject matters?

N/A

2.7 What is your court's approach to recognition and enforcement of a foreign judgment when there is: (a) a conflicting local judgment between the parties relating to the same issue; or (b) local proceedings pending between the parties?

N/A

2.8 What is your court's approach to recognition and enforcement of a foreign judgment when there is a conflicting local law or prior judgment on the same or a similar issue, but between different parties?

N/A

2.9 What is your court's approach to recognition and enforcement of a foreign judgment that purports to apply the law of your country?

N/A

2.10 Are there any differences in the rules and procedure of recognition and enforcement between the various states/regions/provinces in your country? Please explain.

N/A

2.11 What is the relevant limitation period to recognise and enforce a foreign judgment?

N/A

3 SPECIAL ENFORCEMENT REGIMES APPLICABLE TO JUDGMENTS FROM CERTAIN COUNTRIES

3.1 With reference to each of the specific regimes set out in question 1.1, what requirements (in form and substance) must the judgment satisfy in order to be recognised and enforceable under the respective regime?

1. Kiev Convention

The Kiev Convention is applicable to disputes arising from commercial relations, whether contractual or not, between business entities as well as relations between business entities, the state and other bodies. The Kiev Convention defines business entities as entities having a separate legal entity of any legal form, their associations as well as natural persons undertaking entrepreneurial activities.

The Kiev Convention covers recognition and enforcement of only the judgements of competent courts of the contracting states. Competent courts are defined as state courts of the contracting states that have authority to try commercial disputes provided for in the Kiev Convention. Recognition and enforcement of Interim/interlocutory orders are not covered by the Kiev Convention.

Pursuant to article 7 of the Kiev Convention recognition of foreign court judgements is done automatically without the need to undergo a special procedure for recognition of the foreign court judgment in the court of the state where enforcement is sought. An interested party may directly apply to the competent state body of the other contracting state responsible for enforcement of court judgements ("court enforcement officer") with a request to enforce the foreign court judgment.

Pursuant to article 8 of the Kiev Convention enforcement of a foreign court judgement may be refused by the claim of the party against whom the enforcement is sough to the Uzbek competent court only if:

  1. judgement is not final, i.e. has not entered into legal force in the territory of the contracting state where the judgement was made;
  2. there is a final and valid judgement of the Uzbek competent court over the same dispute between the same parties;
  3. there is a recognized judgement of the competent court of another contracting state or a third state over the same dispute between the same parties;
  4. judgement was made by incompetent court;
  5. the other party was not properly served;
  6. the 3-year limitation period for enforcement of a judgment has expired.

2. Minsk Convention

Minsk Convention is applicable to court judgements on compensation of damages under criminal law cases, to court judgements over civil law and family law disputes and to decisions of other state bodies competent to make decision on civil law and family law disputes. Recognition and enforcement of Interim/interlocutory orders are not covered by the Minsk Convention.

The Minsk Convention provides for a procedure, whereby a court decision or a decision of the competent state body needs to be recognized in the state where enforcement is sought and as the result of due recognition, the court of the state where enforcement is sought, issues enforcement order that is mandatory for enforcement in the territory of that state.

Pursuant to article 55 of the Minsk Convention recognition and enforcement of a foreign court judgement may be refused by the Uzbek competent court if:

  1. judgement is did not enter into legal force or is not subject to enforcement, unless the judgement shall be enforced prior to it entering into force;
  2. the defendant did not participate in the hearing due to not being property served;
  3. there is a recognized judgement of the Uzbek competent court or a third state over the same dispute between the same parties, or the Uzbek state body has commenced proceedings on this case;
  4. pursuant to the provision of the Minsk Convention, or, in case not provided by the Minsk Convention, under the legislation of Uzbekistan, the dispute falls under the exclusive jurisdiction of the state bodies of Uzbekistan;
  5. the document confirming agreement of the parties over contractual jurisdiction is absent;
  6. the limitation period for mandatory enforcement of the judgement set in Uzbekistan has expired.

3. Bilateral Treaties with Former USSR States

Bilateral treaties on legal assistance that Uzbekistan entered into with former USSR states are very similar to the Minsk Convention. Under these treaties court judgements over civil law and family law disputes as well as court judgements on compensation of damages under criminal law cases can be recognized and enforced in Uzbekistan.

The bilateral treaty with Latvia also include court judgements over employment law disputes.

Recognition and enforcement of Interim/interlocutory orders are not covered by the bilateral treaties.

Like with the Minsk Convention, court judgements under the bilateral treaties with former USSR states need to be recognized in order to be enforced in the territory of Uzbekistan.

Recognition and enforcement of a foreign court judgement may be refused by the court if:

  1. judgement did not enter into legal force or is not subject to enforcement, unless the judgement shall be enforced prior to it entering into force;
  2. the defendant did not participate in the hearing due to not being property served;
  3. there is a recognized judgement of the Uzbek competent court or a third state over the same dispute between the same parties, or the state body of Uzbekistan has commenced proceedings on this case;
  4. pursuant to the provision of the Bilateral Treaty, or, in case not provided by the Bilateral Treaty, under the legislation of Uzbekistan, the dispute falls under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Uzbek state bodies;
  5. the document confirming agreement of the parties over contractual jurisdiction is absent;
  6. the limitation period for mandatory enforcement of the judgement set in Uzbekistan has expired.

4. International Bilateral Treaties with Other States

The Bilateral Treaty with Bulgaria is applicable to court decisions on civil law disputes, including settlement agreements approved by the court, and criminal court decision in part of civil law claims.

The Bilateral Treaty with the Czech Republic is applicable to court judgements on compensation of damages under criminal law cases; court judgements over civil law disputes, including settlement agreements approved by the court; arbitration court judgements and court judgement as to court costs recovery.

The Bilateral Treaty with PRC is applicable to court judgements on compensation of damages under criminal law cases; court judgements over civil law disputes, including settlement agreements approved by the court and arbitration court judgements. Interim orders of such courts can also be recognized and enforced under the Bilateral Treaty with PRC.

The Bilateral Treaty with Turkey is applicable to court judgements regarding civil disputes, property claims and commercial disputes as well as court judgements on compensation of damages under criminal law cases. Arbitration awards on civil and commercial disputes also fall under the Bilateral Treaty with Turkey.

Like with the Minsk Convention, court judgements under the International Bilateral Treaties with other states need to be recognized in order to be enforced in the territory of Uzbekistan.

Recognition and enforcement of a foreign court judgement under the Bilateral Treaties with Bulgaria and the Czech Republic may be refused by the court under the same grounds as in the Minsk Convention.

In addition to the grounds for refusal of recognition and enforcement of a foreign court judgement that are provided for in the Minsk Convention, the Bilateral Treaty with PRC provides that the judgement may also be refused recognition and enforcement in case it may prejudice the sovereignty, the public safety and the public order of the state where enforcement is sought.

Recognition and enforcement of a foreign court judgement under the Bilateral Treaty with Turkey may be refused by the Uzbek court:

  1. judgement is not made in the territory of Turkey or did not enter into legal force or is not subject to enforcement;
  2. under the laws of Uzbekistan, Turkey does not have authorities to make such decisions;
  3. the defendant was not duly served to participate at the court hearing;
  4. the court judgement was made without conducting a hearing where the parties had a right to participate either directly or through representatives;
  5. there is a recognized judgement of the competent court or arbitration of Uzbekistan over the same dispute between the same parties, the state body of Uzbekistan has commenced proceedings on this case;
  6. under the laws of Uzbekistan, the court of Turkey (a) should have applied the laws of Uzbekistan, but failed to do so, or (b) when, instead of applying the laws of Uzbekistan, the Turkish court applied the laws of Turkey, which are incompatible with the laws of Uzbekistan;
  7. the judgement is against the public order of Uzbekistan.

In addition to the requirements listed above the arbitration awards under the Bilateral Treaty with Trukey shall also comply with the following requirements in order to be recognized and enforced in Uzbekistan:

  1. the arbitration award is issued over the dispute that can be subject to arbitration;
  2. the arbitration award was made over the dispute that is covered in the arbitration agreement agreed between the parties to the dispute;
  3. the composition of the arbitration tribunal is in accordance with the arbitration agreement;
  4. the parties are duly notified on appointment of the arbitrator or the arbitration hearing;
  5. the arbitration award is considered as final in the contracting state where it was issued.

3.2 With reference to each of the specific regimes set out in question 1.1, does the regime specify a difference between recognition and enforcement? If so, what is the difference between the legal effect of recognition and enforcement?

1. Kiev Convention

The Kiev Convention differentiates between recognition and enforcement of foreign court judgments. As stated above, the Kiev Convention does not distinguish recognition as a separate stage necessary for enforcement of the foreign court judgment. Such recognition is done automatically. Enforcement of foreign court judgements is done directly by a court enforcement officer, without involvement of the competent courts of the state where enforcement is sought.

2. Minsk Convention

The Minsk Convention does not differentiate between recognition and enforcement. These are two elements of the same concept. A court decision of a contracting state is submitted to the Uzbek competent court for recognition and enforcement, which is done by issuance of an enforcement order by such competent court.

3. Bilateral Treaties with Former USSR States

As with the Minsk Convention, recognition and enforcement are the two elements of the same concept.

4. International Bilateral Treaties with Other States

As with the Minsk Convention, recognition and enforcement are the two elements of the same concept.

3.3 With reference to each of the specific regimes set out in question 1.1, briefly explain the procedure for recognising and enforcing a foreign judgment.

1. Kiev Convention

To enforce the foreign court judgement an interested party shall apply to a court enforcement officer with a regular application. The application shall include:

  1. duly certified copy of the foreign court judgement;
  2. official document confirming that the court judgement entered into legal force, unless this is clear from the content of the court judgement itself;
  3. proof of proper serving of the other party;
  4. enforcement order of the competent state body of the state where judgment was made.

The documents shall be provided in the language of the state where decision is made or in Russian language. The court enforcement officer shall commence the enforcement procedure in accordance with the Uzbek laws.

2. Minsk Convention

To enforce the foreign court judgement an interested party shall apply to the Uzbek competent court. Alternatively, such application can be submitted through the court that made the judgment, which, in its turn, will send the application the Uzbek competent court. The application shall be submitted to the court at the place of residence or location of the debtor and, in case its residency or location is not known, at the place where the property of the debtor is located.

The application shall include:

  1. the foreign court judgement/decision of the competent foreign state body or its duly certified copy;
  2. official document confirming that the court judgement (state body decision) entered into legal force, unless this is clear from the content of the court judgement (state body decision) itself, or that the court judgement (state body decision) shall be enforced prior to entering into legal force;
  3. document confirming that the parties that did not attend (participate) in the proceedings was duly serviced and, in case of its procedural incapacity, that it was duly represented;
  4. document confirming partial performance of the judgement at the moment of its passing over;
  5. in case of contractual jurisdiction, a document confirming the parties' agreement in this regards.

In practice, Uzbek court also requests the following additional documents:

  1. document confirming signatory authority of a person submitting an application on behalf of the applicant to the court;
  2. document confirming that the debtor is provided with the copy of the application together with all the attached documents.

The documents shall be provided in Uzbek language or in Russian language.

Decision on recognition and enforcement of the foreign court judgement (state body decision) is made by hearing. All the relevant parties shall be duly informed on the date and place of such hearing.

Decision on recognition and enforcement of the foreign court judgement (state body decision) can be appealed under the appellate procedure.

3. Bilateral Treaties with Former USSR States

The Treaties with Latvia, Lithuania and Georgia provide that application for recognition and enforcement shall be submitted to the court that made the judgement, which will, in its turn, transfer this application to the Uzbek court, where enforcement is sought.

The Treaty with Azerbaijan provides that application for recognition and enforcement shall be submitted to the court where the judgement was made, which will, in its turn, transfers this application to the Uzbek court. However, if the applicant has its residency in Uzbekistan it may submit the application to the Uzbek court.

The Treaties with Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and the Ukraine provide an option for the applicant to submit its application either to the Uzbek competent court or to the court that made the judgement, the enforcement of which is sought in Uzbekistan.

Otherwise, the procedure is the same as in the Minsk Convention.

4. International Bilateral Treaties with Other States

The Bilateral Treaties with Bulgaria and the Czech Republic provide an option for the applicant to submit its application either to the Uzbek competent court or to the court that made the judgement, the enforcement of which is sought in Uzbekistan. Otherwise, the procedure is the same as is provided in the Minsk Convention.

The Treaty with PRC provides that application for recognition and enforcement shall be submitted to the court where the judgement was made, which will, in its turn, transfers this application to the Uzbek court. However, if the applicant has its residency in Uzbekistan it may submit the application directly to the Uzbek court.

Otherwise, the procedure is the same as in the Minsk Convention.

With regards to the Bilateral Treaty with Turkey the application for recognition and enforcement shall be submitted to the Ministry of Justice of Uzbekistan. The application shall include:

  1. notary certified copy of the court judgement as well as the certificate confirming that the judgment has entered into legal force, if this is not clear from the judgment itself;
  2. the certificate confirming that the party against which the judgment was made was duly served to the court hearing and had a chance to be represented by the representative;
  3. in relation to the arbitration awards, the duly certified translation of the arbitration agreement.

All document under the Bilateral Treaty with Turkey shall be provided in Uzbek, English or French language.

3.4 With reference to each of the specific regimes set out in question 1.1, on what grounds can recognition/enforcement of a judgment be challenged under the special regime? When can such a challenge be made?

1. Kiev Convention

Other than the formal grounds for refusal of enforcement of the foreign court judgements listed in article 8 of the Kiev Convention, which is the exhaustive list, there are no substantive grounds for refusal of enforcement.

2. Minsk Convention

Other than the formal grounds for refusal of enforcement of the foreign court judgements listed in article 55 of the Minsk Convention, which is the exhaustive list, there are no substantive grounds for refusal of recognition and enforcement.

3. Bilateral Treaties with Former USSR States

Other than the formal grounds for refusal of enforcement of the foreign court judgements provided in Section 3.1 of this Questionnaire, there are no substantive grounds for refusal of recognition and enforcement.

4. International Treaties with Other States

Other than the formal grounds for refusal of enforcement of the foreign court judgements provided in Section 3.1 of this Questionnaire, there are no substantive grounds for refusal of recognition and enforcement.

4 ENFORCEMENT

4.1 Once a foreign judgment is recognised and enforced, what are the general methods of enforcement available to a judgment creditor?

The Uzbek Laws provide for the following methods of enforcement:

  1. seizure of monetary assets and other property of the debtor;
  2. seizure of monetary assets and foreclosure of other property of the debtor that are with the third parties;
  3. foreclosure of claim rights of the debtor to third parties;
  4. foreclosure of separate property rights of the debtor;
  5. seizure of salary, stipend, pension payments and other incomes of the debtor;
  6. seizure of specific property of the debtors listed in the enforcement documents and their transfer to the creditor;
  7. other measures that are in compliance with the Uzbek Laws.

The enforcement officer shall seizure and foreclose the assets of the debtor in the following order of priority:

Firstly – assets that are not directly involved in the production activities (securities, monetary assets, foreign currency assets, light vehicles and etc.);

Secondly – ready products (goods) as well as other material assets that are not directly used in the production activities;

Thirdly – immovable assets as well as raw materials, equipment, machinery and other fixed assets directly used in the production. For state assets, in this stage the enforcement officer shall inform the State Committee on Management of the State Property on the seized assets of the debtor.

5 OTHER MATTERS

5.1 Have there been any noteworthy recent (in the last 12 months) legal developments in your jurisdiction relevant to the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments or awards? Please provide a brief description.

No. There have been no recent developments relevant to recognition and enforcement.

5.2 Are there any particular tips you would give, or critical issues that you would flag, to clients seeking to recognise and enforce a foreign judgment or award in your jurisdiction?

On 24 May 2013, the Plenum of the Higher Economic Court of Uzbekistan issued its decree providing an overview of recognition and enforcement of foreign court judgments and international arbitration awards. Though, the Higher Economic Court of Uzbekistan in its decree refers to the Kiev Convention in several occasions, it does not cover the cases when foreign court judgments are enforced in Uzbekistan directly without the need of their prior recognition, as it is provided in the Kiev Convention. In this regards, the procedures of the Kiev Convention as to direct enforcement of foreign court judgments are not applicable in practice.

It shall also be noted that in case Uzbekistan and the state, with which Uzbekistan concluded bilateral treaty, are both parties to multilateral treaty (Kiev, Minsk and New York Conventions) then the Uzbek court shall apply provisions of the bilateral treaties and in case such bilateral treaties do not regulate certain relations, the parties shall apply the relevant multilateral treaties.

On a separate note, it shall be noted that once the competent court makes a positive decision on recognition and enforcement of the foreign court judgement (state body decision) it shall immediately issue an enforcement order. Since under the Uzbek laws an enforcement order can be provided for enforcement within 3 years from the date of entrance of a decision into legal force, it is important for the enforcement order to include a date when the foreign court judgement (state body decision) has entered into legal force.

Originally published in the International Comparative Legal Guide to Enforcement of Foreign Judgments 2016 by Global Legal Group, London.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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