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CISG CASE PRESENTATION

China November 2006 CIETAC Arbitration proceeding (Monkfish case) [translation available]
[Cite as: http://cisgw3.law.pace.edu/cases/061100c2.html]

Primary source(s) of information for case presentation: Case text

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Case identification

DATE OF DECISION: 20061100 (November 2005)

JURISDICTION: Arbitration ; China

TRIBUNAL: China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission [CIETAC] (PRC)

JUDGE(S): Unavailable

DATABASE ASSIGNED DOCKET NUMBER: CISG/2006/12

CASE NAME: Unavailable

CASE HISTORY: Unavailable

SELLER'S COUNTRY: People's Republic of China (claimant)

BUYER'S COUNTRY: France (respondent)

GOODS INVOLVED: Monkfish tail


Classification of issues present

APPLICATION OF CISG: Yes [Article 1(1)(a)]

APPLICABLE CISG PROVISIONS AND ISSUES

Key CISG provisions at issue: Article 53

Classification of issues using UNCITRAL classification code numbers:

Unavailable

Descriptors: Unavailable

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Editorial remarks

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Citations to case abstracts, texts, and commentaries

CITATIONS TO ABSTRACTS OF DECISION

(a) UNCITRAL abstract: Unavailable

(b) Other abstracts

Unavailable

CITATIONS TO TEXT OF DECISION

Original language (Chinese): Unavailable

Translation (English): Text presented below

CITATIONS TO COMMENTS ON DECISION

Unavailable

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Case text (English translation)

Queen Mary Case Translation Programme

China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission
CIETAC (PRC) Arbitration Award

Monkfish case (November 2006)

Translation [*] by Wenwen LIANG [**]

Edited by Sean Pratt [***]

PARTICULARS OF THE PROCEEDING

The China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (hereinafter CEITAC) accepted this case (Case number G2006___) according to:

   -    The arbitration clause in the Supplemental Agreement to the Contract (hereinafter the "Contract") concluded by Claimant [of the People's Republic of China] (hereinafter the "[Seller]") and Respondent [of France] (hereinafter the "[Buyer]") on 23 December 2005; and
 
   -    The Arbitration Application submitted by the [Seller] on 24 March 2006.

The arbitration procedure is governed by the Arbitration Rules of CIETAC 2005 (hereinafter the "Arbitration Rules") which took effect as of 1 May 2005. Pursuant to Article 50 of the Arbitration Rules, the provisions of Chapter 4 (Fast Track Procedure) of the Arbitration Rules shall apply as the amount in dispute did not exceed RMB 500,000. Matters not governed by Chapter 4 are to be regulated by the provisions in other chapters of the Arbitration Rules.

On 14 April 2006, the Secretariat of CIETAC (hereinafter the "Secretariat") forwarded to the [Buyer] by express mail the Notice of Arbitration, the Arbitration Application and its Appendix, the Arbitration Rules and the List of Arbitrators.

Since the [Seller] and the [Buyer] failed to appoint or authorize CIETAC to appoint a sole arbitrator in the specified period, Ms. Shi Hong was appointed as the sole arbitrator by the Director of CIETAC in accordance with the Arbitration Rules on 25 May 2006. On the same day the Secretariat forwarded to both parties the Statement signed by Ms. Shi Hong.

On 16 May and 18 May 2006, the [Buyer] sent to CIETAC a challenge to the jurisdiction of CIETAC. The challenge was sent by fax and express mail, respectively. The [Buyer] stated:

"... We consider CIETAC in Beijing as incompetent. Indeed, you will find enclosed an agreement dated 12 December 2005 done by this company and gives as competent the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission in Hong Kong.

Therefore, in accordance with this agreement, our case should not have been submitted to you. Moreover, by an official letter dated 23 March 2006 enclosed, we informed Laiyang Fulongkang Foodstuffs Co., Ltd that the commercial court of Marseille was the only jurisdiction competent ..."

On 25 May 2006, this challenge was forwarded by the Secretariat to the [Seller]. In response, the [Seller] pointed out that according to the arbitration clause which stipulated: "If settlements still cannot be reached, the disputes shall be submitted to the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission in Hong Kong," CIETAC was expressly designated as the arbitral institution and Hong Kong simply as the place of arbitration, which cannot be the basis for challenging the jurisdiction of CIETAC. It is the [Seller]'s position that the objection raised by the [Buyer] that "CIETAC is incompetent" is not sound.

Based on the written arguments and the attached documents advanced by both parties, CIETAC agreed with the [Seller] and ruled that it is competent over the present case for the following reasons:

1. First, the arbitration clause in the Supplemental Agreement concluded by the parties on 23 December 2005 stipulated:

"Arbitration: The seller and the buyer agree to invite SGS to do the Bacteria Test for the above products. If the buyer can not get the written inspection report which shows the products can not reach EU standard before Jan 08 2006, the buyer must pay the total amount: US $25,455.00 to the seller within 3 days and agree to afford all the inspection fee and demurrage charge. If inspection proves the products can not match EU standard, the seller has to deal with the products by himself and pay the demurrage charge and inspection fees. Buyer shall not have any obligation of payment. The seller and the buyer agree to settle through negotiation. If settlements still cannot be reached, the disputes shall be submitted to the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission in Hong Kong."

In light of the parties' stipulation that "... the disputes shall be submitted to the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission in Hong Kong," CIETAC held that Hong Kong was chosen as the place of arbitration, and hence the validity of the arbitration clause should be governed by the law of Hong Kong.

According to Article 2(1) of the Arbitration Ordinance of Hong Kong, the phrase arbitration agreement has the same meaning as in article 7(1) of the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration which provides that:

" 'Arbitration agreement' is an agreement by the parties to submit to arbitration all or certain disputes which have arisen or which may arise between them in respect of a defined legal relationship, whether contractual or not. An arbitration agreement may be in the form of an arbitration clause in a contract or in the form of a separate agreement."

CIETAC held that the arbitration clause is in compliance with the above rules of Hong Kong and thus valid given that the arbitration clause between the parties indicates their express intention to submit to arbitration disputes which are eligible for arbitration and stipulates the subject matter for arbitration and the arbitral institute, and there is no dispute on the authenticity of the arbitration clause between the parties.

2. As to the challenge by the [Buyer] regarding the stipulation "... the disputes shall be submitted to the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission in Hongkong," CIETAC held that the designation of "Hong Kong" as the place of arbitration does not affect the validity of the arbitration clause and the jurisdiction of CIETAC.

Based on the aforesaid analysis and pursuant to Article 6(1) of the Arbitration Rules, CIETAC gave the following ruling on the jurisdiction issue on 14 July 2006:

"1. The arbitration clause in the Supplement Agreement concluded between the [Seller] and the [Buyer] on 22 December 2005 is valid and CIETAC has jurisdiction in this case.

"2. This arbitration proceeding shall continue."

The Secretariat forwarded the above ruling on jurisdiction to both parties and the Arbitration Tribunal on 14 July 2006.

On 27 July 2006 CIETAC notified both parties by letter that the Arbitral Tribunal will commence proceedings on the basis of documents only and requested both parties to present written documents and evidence.

The [Buyer] submitted "Procedural Objections and Request for the Arbitrator to Withdraw" on 8 August 2006 and "Procedural Objections and Defenses" on 21 August 2006 both of which were forwarded to the [Seller] by the Secretariat without delay.

Given the complex procedures, the Arbitral Tribunal did not reach a ruling before the deadline. A new deadline was set for 30 November 2006 with the consent of the Director of CIETAC, pursuant to Article 56(2) of the Arbitration Rules.

The [Buyer] raised challenges to the arbitration procedures on the following points in the "Procedural Objections and Request for the Arbitrator to Withdraw":

1. CIETAC decided the place of arbitration in violation of the law of the place of arbitration, i.e., the law of Hong Kong.

2. The Arbitral Tribunal is not competent to decide to commence proceedings in Beijing which, as far as the [Buyer] is concerned, is a denial of and impairment upon the rights of the [Buyer].

3. The designation of Hong Kong as the place of arbitration by the [Seller] and [Buyer] is an express indication of a choice of proceedings which cannot be based on documents alone. Under the law of Hong Kong, if parties opt for proceedings not based on documents alone or the parties have not decided to choose proceedings based on documents alone, it will be regarded as though the parties have agreed to choose proceedings not on the basis of documents alone. Thus the ruling of the Arbitral Tribunal to commence proceedings on the basis of documents alone is illegal.

4. The Claimant [Seller] submitted the Arbitration Application in Chinese and seven items of evidence in English. As the Respondent [Buyer] does not speak Chinese the Arbitral Tribunal should have requested that the Arbitration Application be translated into French (or English) by the [Seller]. Meanwhile, the evidence produced by the [Seller] should at least have been translated into Chinese as Chinese is the designated arbitration language. Under the law of Hong Kong, evidence in languages other than the agreed language of arbitration should be translated into the agreed language of arbitration. The negligence and/or carelessness on the part of the Arbitral Tribunal might have caused the situation that the [Buyer] "was not given notice of the arbitration proceedings in sufficient time to enable him to assemble evidence or present his case, as provided in the Arbitration Ordinance of Hong Kong, thus denying the [Buyer] the rights to present counterclaims and defenses.

The aforesaid practices of the Arbitral Tribunal are a matter of procedural justice without which substantive justice cannot be guaranteed. Considering the inconsistent practices and decisions of the Arbitrator with international conventions and the law of Hong Kong, which have made the Arbitrator unreliable for justice and fairness, and the absence of proof that the Arbitrator is an expert in commercial law English, the law of Hong Kong and international conventions, the [Buyer] requests that Arbitrator Shi Hong withdraw, pursuant to Article 26 of the Arbitration Ordinance of Hong Kong.

In the 'Procedural Objections and Defenses" the [Buyer] raised further challenges on the following points:

1. The submission to arbitration agreement is invalid. The agreed place of dispute resolution as Hong Kong and the arbitral institution in mainland China constitute a de-national arbitration trying to deviate from the control of procedural laws of China and designating as the governing law the law of a third country with no direct or internal relation to the parties. The agreement is invalid under either the law of mainland China or Hong Kong.

2. Under the law of equity of Hong Kong as a continuance of English law and according to Lord Wright of the UK Privy Council, the implied governing law of the contract should be English law.

3. Under the law of equity and the Arbitration Ordinance of Hong Kong, the ruling of CIETAC that Beijing is the place of arbitration and the decision of the Arbitral Tribunal to commence proceedings on the basis of documents are serious violations of the arbitration rules and regulatory laws of Hong Kong.

4. A de-national arbitration is not recognized under the law of either Hong Kong or mainland China. If the Arbitral Tribunal still continues with the arbitral proceeding, the award will not be recognized or enforced in courts of mainland China, in the High Court of Hong Kong, or in French courts.

After an examination of the [Buyer]'s request for the sole Arbitrator to withdraw, CIETAC held that CIETAC had made the ruling on 14 July 2006 that the arbitration clause is valid and that CIETAC has jurisdiction. As to the [Buyer]'s request for the Arbitrator to withdraw and other procedural issues, CIETAC, after carefully examining the grounds of the [Buyer]'s request, held that:

1. As to the place of arbitration, pursuant to the agreed arbitration clause the place of arbitration is Hong Kong and CIETAC has never recognized Beijing as the place of arbitration.

2. As to arbitration procedures, given that the parties agreed to submit to CIETAC for arbitration without agreeing on arbitration rules: Pursuant to Article 4(2) of the Arbitration Rules, the procedures in this case are governed by the Arbitration Rules unless wherever inconsistent with the mandatory laws of Hong Kong as the place of arbitration.

3. As to the arbitration proceeding in the form of a hearing or on the basis of written documents alone, Article 54 of the Arbitration Rules provides that "the Arbitral Tribunal may examine the case in the manner it considers appropriate. The Arbitral Tribunal may in its full discretion decide to examine the case only on the basis of the written materials and evidence submitted by the parties or to hold oral hearings." Pursuant to the above provision, the Arbitral Tribunal decided to examine the case on the basis of written documents as the parties did not expressly stipulate an oral hearing and the monies in dispute were minor. The Tribunal made the decision to examine written documents in order to save cost. The decision of the Arbitral Tribunal is consistent with Article 54 of the Arbitration Rules and there is nothing inappropriate. Now that the [Buyer] has challenged the decision to examine the case on the basis of written documents alone, CIETAC holds that the Arbitral Tribunal can change this decision in order to guarantee the [Buyer]'s right of sufficient presentation, after consultation with the Arbitration Tribunal.

4. As to the language of the arbitration, Article 67(1) of the Arbitration Rules provides that "where the parties have agreed on the arbitration language, their agreement shall prevail. Absent such agreement, the Chinese language shall be the official language to be used in the arbitration proceedings." Given the absence of agreement on the arbitration language, Chinese is the official language in the arbitration proceedings. This, however, does not entail that there must be a Chinese version of all evidence produced by the parties. Under Article 67(3) of the Arbitration Rules, the Arbitral Tribunal or the Secretariat of CIETAC may request the parties to submit a corresponding version of the documents or evidence by the parties in Chinese or in other languages only if it considers necessary.

In conclusion, CIETAC held the grounds of the objection raised by the [Buyer] that the arbitration procedures are unfair and illegal are rejected.

Under Article 26(6) and Article 2(5) of the Arbitration Rules, the Director of CIETAC made the following decision:

The request by the [Buyer] that the Arbitrator Ms Shi Hong withdraw is rejected and Ms Shi Hong continues the power and duty as the Arbitrator in this case and the arbitration proceeding shall continue.

The Secretariat forwarded this ruling to both parties on 4 September 2006.

The Secretariat forwarded to the [Buyer] on 8 September 2006 the "Objection to the Procedural Objections and Defenses dated 18 August 2006 of the [Buyer]" sent by the [Seller] on 6 September 2006.

As the [Buyer] challenged the decision of the Arbitral Tribunal to examine the case on the basis of written documents, the Arbitral Tribunal notified the [Buyer] on 8 September 2006 through the Secretariat of the expenses to be paid in advance relating to oral hearings. The notice covers the following: As both parties only agreed on the place of arbitration without agreeing on the place of oral hearing, pursuant to Article 32 of the Arbitration Rules, oral hearings can be held in Beijing. Oral hearing may be held elsewhere if the Arbitral Tribunal thinks it necessary and the Director of CIETAC gives consent. If the [Buyer] requests oral hearings to be held elsewhere than the domicile of CIETAC, pursuant to Article 69(3), the [Buyer] is asked to deposit the expenses of travel and accommodation to be incurred by the Arbitrator of RMB 30,000 as an advance payment. The Arbitral Tribunal will rule on which party shall finally incur the expense in the arbitral award. The [Buyer] is required to pay the monies to CIETAC within ten working days after receipt of the notice. In case the [Buyer] fails to do so within the specified period, oral hearings will be held in Beijing.

The [Buyer] failed to pay the expenses within the specified period. Pursuant to Article 69(3) of the Arbitration Rules, the Arbitral Tribunal decided to hold oral hearings in Beijing on 30 October 2006. The Secretariat notified on 11 October 2006 both parties of the oral hearings.

The Arbitral Tribunal held an oral hearing in Beijing on 30 October 2006 as planned. The [Seller]'s counsel attended. The [Buyer] was absent without giving explanations to the Arbitral Tribunal. Pursuant to Article 34(2) of the Arbitration Rules, the Arbitral Tribunal proceeded with the hearing without the presence of the [Buyer]. During the hearing, the [Seller] presented the factual and legal issues to the Arbitral Tribunal, produced evidence and answered questions raised by the Arbitral Tribunal.

After the hearing the Secretariat forwarded to the [Buyer] the Attendance Signature Form, the Outline of Oral Hearing, the Power of Attorney of the [Seller] and the receipts of travel and accommodation expenses produced by the [Seller] after the oral hearing.

The proceeding is now closed. The Arbitral Tribunal hereby rules on the basis of evidence available:

FACTS AND POSITION OF THE PARTIES

[Seller]'s position

The [Seller] alleges that:

The [Seller] concluded Contract No. 824/FULONCN7 with the [Buyer] on 18 October 2005 for exporting monkfish tail, CAD (cash against payment). The [Seller] exported refrigerated monkfish as agreed, totalling US $25,455.00.

The goods arrived at the port as agreed on 16 December 2005. According to the Contract, the [Buyer] should have made the payment before taking delivery of the goods. However, the [Buyer] asked to take delivery of the goods before making the payment, to which the [Seller] agreed.

On 23 December 2005, the [Seller] and the [Buyer] concluded a Supplemental Agreement amending CAD to a T/T (telegraphic transfer) payment, totalling US $25,455.00, with an arbitration clause. The parties also agreed that the [Buyer] shall make payment of the price of the goods of US $25,455.00 and bear the expense of inspection and damages for loss if the [Buyer] cannot produce an official inspection report certifying lack of compliance of the goods with EU standards issued by a SGS institution before 8 January 2006.

The [Buyer] did not comply with its obligation to make payment long after taking delivery of the goods and after numerous requests from the [Seller] by fax, letter and telephone. Therefore, the [Seller] applied for arbitration. The claims of the [Seller] are:

      1.  The [Buyer] should make the payment of US $25,455.00 (RMB 204,912.75 at the exchange rate of 1 : 8.05)
 
      2.  The [Buyer] should reimburse the [Seller] the expense of travel and accommodation for the purpose of this case.
 
      3.  The [Buyer] should bear the arbitration fees.

[Buyer]'s position

The [Buyer] responded that:

      The products provided by the [Seller] are not in compliance with the applicable EU standards. The products provided by the [Seller] were ranked as inappropriate for human health and detrimental to public interests and were destroyed for non-compliance with the mandatory law on food hygiene of France. There is no ground for the [Buyer] to pay the money. The [Buyer] presented an inspection reported dated 17 January 2006 issued by Chemiphar N.V.

[Seller]'s response

In response to the [Buyer]'s allegations, the [Seller] argues that:

      The parties have agreed that the [Buyer] shall make payment for the goods of US $ 25,455.00 and bear the expense of inspection and compensate for loss if the [Buyer] cannot produce an official inspection report certifying non-compliance of the goods with EU standards issued by a SGS institution before 8 January 2006. The [Buyer] did not produce any inspection report certifying product defects before 8 January 2006. Thus the statement that "the product provided by the [Seller] does not conform to EU standards" is ungrounded.

OPINION OF THE ARBITRATION TRIBUNAL

A. Applicable law

Although the parties did not choose the applicable law in their contract for the sale of goods, both China and France are Contracting States of the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (hereinafter the "CISG"), and the parties did not opt out of the CISG. The Tribunal holds that the CISG is applicable as here, when there is no choice or no express choice of the applicable law. As the parties have designated Hong Kong as the place of arbitration, the applicable procedural law is the law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the PRC.

B. Language of the arbitration

Article 67(1) of the Arbitration Rules provides that "where the parties have agreed on the arbitration language, their agreement shall prevail. Absent such agreement, the Chinese language shall be the official language to be used in the arbitration proceedings". As the parties did not agree on the arbitration language, the official language of the arbitration proceedings is Chinese.

C. Substantive scope of hearing and issues in dispute

The [Seller] submits that the basis for submission to arbitration is an agreement between the parties (the Supplemental Agreement) which is a supplementary agreement between the parties on the terms of payment and quality inspection after delivery by Claimant, who is identified in the orginal sales contract as the [Seller]. The Arbitral Tribunal holds that the substantive scope for examination in this case should be all disputes as provided in this Supplemental Agreement.

There is no dispute between the parties over the fact that [Seller] has delivered the goods to the port of destination. As expressed in Article 1 of the Supplemental Agreement "... [Seller]'s products reached port Zeeburgge, Belgium on Dec 16th." Throughout the arbitration proceedings, the [Buyer] has never questioned the fact that the [Seller] has delivered the goods.

The main defense raised by the [Buyer] is that the [Buyer] did not pay the money due because the [Seller] had delivered defective goods. The Arbitral Tribunal notes that there are stipulations on quality inspection and payment in the Supplemental Agreement as follows:

"The seller and the buyer agree to invite SGS to do the Bacteria Test for the above products. If the buyer can not get the written inspection report which shows the products can not reach EU standard before Jan 08 2006, the buyer must pay the total amount: US $25,455,00 to the seller within 3 days and agree to afford all the inspection fee and demurrage charge. If inspection proves the products can not match EU standard, the seller has to deal with the products by himself and pay the demurrage charge and inspection fees. Buyer shall not have any obligation of payment."

On the basis of the above stipulations in the Supplemental Agreement and the presentation of the parties during the arbitration proceeding, the Arbitral Tribunal holds that the issue in dispute in this case is whether the [Buyer] can provide an inspection report issued by SGS before 8 January 2006 certifying that the goods delivered by the [Seller] were not in compliance with EU standards. [Buyer] should thus be exempt from the obligations to pay the money.

D. Whether the [Buyer] can provide an inspection report issued by SGS before 8 January 2006 certifying that the goods delivered by the [Seller] were not in compliance with EU standards and whether the [Buyer] should thus be exempt from the obligations to pay the money

According to the stipulations on the quality inspection of the goods in the Supplemental Agreement, the standards of quality are the EU standards and the inspector is SGS and the deadline to produce inspection reports is 8 January 2006. The [Buyer] can be exempt from the obligation of payment only if the [Buyer] can provide an inspection report issued by SGS before 8 January 2006 certifying that the goods delivered by the [Seller] were not in compliance with EU standards, absent which the [Buyer] should pay the [Seller] the amount of US $25,455.00.

During the hearing of this case, the [Buyer] submitted to the Arbitral Tribunal an Inspection Report dated 17 January issued by Chemiphar N.V. in order to certify that the goods delivered by the [Seller] were not in compliance with the Contract's quality standards. However:

   -    This report was not issued by the Institution SGS as agreed in the Supplemental Agreement;
 
   -    This report is dated 17 January 2006 which is later than the deadline 8 January 2006 as agreed in the Supplemental Agreement; and
 
   -    The Inspection Report did not reach an express conclusion that the goods in this case were not in compliance with EU standards.

During the proceedings, the [Buyer] and the attorney thereof did not give detailed explanations on the relevance of the Inspection Report in this case and how the Inspection Report proved the non-compliance of the goods with EU standards. Thus the Arbitral Tribunal holds that the Inspection Report issued by Chemiphar N.V. that was submitted by the [Buyer] does not satisfy the condition of exempting the [Buyer] from the payment obligation as agreed in the Supplemental Agreement. The Arbitral Tribunal rejects the defense raised by the [Buyer] that the payment obligation is exempt by the delivery of defective goods.

E. [Seller]'s claims

There has been an international sale of goods relationship between the [Seller] and the [Buyer] with a Supplemental Agreement on quality and payment. As the [Seller] has delivered the goods to the [Buyer] in time as agreed, the [Buyer] should make payment to the [Seller] under the condition that the [Buyer] cannot produce an inspection report issued by SGS certifying defects in the goods as agreed in the Supplement Agreement.

Pursuant to Article 53 of the Convention ("The buyer must pay the price for the goods and take delivery of them as required by the contract and this Convention.") the [Buyer] is obliged to pay the price of the goods.

In conclusion, the first claim of the [Seller] is approved that the [Buyer] pay the price of the goods of US $25,455.00.

As this arbitration proceeding is caused by the [Buyer]'s refusal to pay the price of the goods and the oral hearing is caused by the objection of the [Buyer] to examination on the basis of written documents, the [Buyer] should compensate the [Seller] for the proper expense of travel and accommodation for the purpose of this case and attending the oral hearing.

The second claim that the [Buyer] bear the travel and accommodation expense of RMB 4,350 is also approved.

F. Arbitration fees

The Arbitral Tribunal confirms that the [Buyer] bears all of the arbitration fees

AWARD

The Arbitral Tribunal renders the following award:

      1.    The [Buyer] shall pay the [Seller] the price of the goods of US $25,455.00;
 
      2.    The [Buyer] shall pay the [Seller] the travel and accommodation expenses of RMB 4,350 for the purpose of this arbitration proceeding;
 
      3.    The [Buyer] shall bear all the arbitration fee of RMB 20,000. The deposit of RMB 20,000 by the [Seller] has been used to pay the arbitration fee. Thus the [Buyer] shall pay the [Seller] the arbitration fee of RMB 20,000.
 
      4.    The [Buyer] shall pay the above monies within 45 days after this arbitral award is made.

This award is final and takes effect from the date it is made.


FOOTNOTES

* All translations should be verified by cross-checking against the original text. For purposes of this translation, Claimant of the People's Republic of China is referred to as [Seller]; Respondent of France is referred to as [Buyer]. Amounts in the currency of the United States (dollars) are indicated as [US $]; amounts in the currency of the People's Republic of China (renminbi) are indicated as [RMB].

** Wenwen LIANG, Ph.D. candidate, University of Manchester, UK; LL.M., Wuhan University, China.

*** Sean Pratt: J.D., Hamline University School of Law, 2011; M.A. Chinese, University of Minnesota, 2002; B.A., University of Minnesota, 1999.

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