1. The New York Convention

Is your state a party to the New York Convention? Are there any noteworthy declarations or reservations?

Yes. The reservations made upon accession are as follows:

  • the Convention applies only to differences considered commercial under Romanian legislation; interestingly, the term "commercial" is no longer used under existing legislation, being replaced by the concept of "relationships between professionals"; the new concept does not entirely correspond to the former scope of "commercial" matters as previously defined, but recent court decisions concerning arbitration matters equate the two concepts;
  • the Convention applies to the recognition and enforcement of awards made in another contracting state; as to awards made in non-contracting states, the Convention applies only on reciprocity basis.

2. Other treaties

Is your state a party to any other bilateral or multilateral treaties regarding the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards?

Romania is also a party to:

  • the European Convention on International Commercial Arbitration adopted in Geneva on 21 April 1961, ratified by Romania in 1963;
  • the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States, Washington, 1965, to which Romania adhered in 1975.

3. National law

Is there an arbitration act or equivalent and, if so, is it based on the UNCITRAL Model Law? Does it apply to all arbitral proceedings with their seat in your jurisdiction?

Romanian provisions regarding arbitration are found in the Civil Procedure Code (CPC), Book IV, articles 541 to 621 regarding domestic arbitration, Book VII, Title IV, articles 1111 to 1122 regarding international arbitration and articles 1123 to 1132 regarding recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards.

The said provisions are not based on the UNCITRAL Model Law, but rather drawing inspiration from the French arbitration law and the international practice, with certain specificities.

The CPC applies to international arbitrations with their seat in Romania only if the parties did not agree otherwise. The CPC allows thus the parties' choice for a foreign procedural law, provided such law observes the equal treatment and adversarial procedure principles. 

4. Arbitration bodies in your jurisdiction

What arbitration bodies relevant to international arbitration are based within your jurisdiction? Do such bodies also act as appointing authorities?

There is a fairly high number of national and regional arbitration bodies that handle international arbitration. The national bodies include:

  • the Court of International Commercial Arbitration attached to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania (CCIR);
  • Bucharest International Arbitration Court established under the auspices of the American Chamber of Commerce in Romania (AmCham Romania);
  • Permanent Court of Arbitration attached to the Romanian-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AHK).

The CPC allows such bodies to act as appointing authorities.

5. Foreign institutions

Can foreign arbitral providers operate in your jurisdiction?

Yes, foreign arbitral providers are permitted to operate in Romania.

6. Courts

Is there a specialist arbitration court? Is the judiciary in your jurisdiction generally familiar with the law and practice of international arbitration?

As per the CPC, the Court of Appeal in whose territorial jurisdiction the arbitration took place will hear an action for annulment of the award.

Therefore, there is no specialist arbitration court in Romania, but there is a juge d'appui (a party may refer to the second degree court with jurisdiction at seat of the arbitration to overcome obstacles that may arise in arbitration) and the relevant courts are generally in favour of arbitration. As there is no specialist arbitration court, how familiar a court is with the practice of international arbitration may differ from a judge to another. 

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Originally published by Global Arbitration Review .

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.