Enforcement of foreign arbitral award – arduous and fruitful

April 20, 2023

Recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards in a foreign jurisdiction have always been a daunting task, for both award creditors, and their in-house or servicing lawyers. As a member state of the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards 1958 (“NYC 1958”) since 1995, Vietnam has implemented, incorporated, and internalized the core value of the well-known convention, yet not without reservation. Moreover, for the foreign award creditors seeking recognition and enforcement in Vietnam, a young and developing jurisdiction, there are bounds to be hurdles to overcome, fights to take, and applications to file to get the fruit of the arbitral awards.

By virtue of the NYC 1958, in theory and on the pages, its member states “shall recognize arbitral awards as binding and enforce them in accordance with the rules of procedure of the territory where the award is relied upon […]”. Nevertheless, reality hits hard with the barriers put up not only by the local legal provisions, but also by the discrepancy in the legal views, progressive or not, of the local recognizing authorities.

Getting acquainted with the standing and mindset of the enforcing jurisdiction is the first step in the post-arbitration procedure recommended for the award creditors. Apart from the founding of NYC 1958, recognition and enforcement of a foreign arbitral award in Vietnam have been regulated under other local laws and legal instruments, including the Code of Civil Procedure 2015, the Law on Enforcement of Civil Judgments 2008, governmental decrees and other relevant regulations. Even though the regulations and clauses of the above-mentioned legal instruments are, basically, the adaptation and implementation of the NYC 1958, the local competent authorities may have their ways to consider, analyze and apply those regulations and laws as they deem appropriate.

All parties seeking for recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral award in Vietnam should have the time bar for application of recognition and enforcement in their minds thoroughly, as once the time bar expires, the unlikelihood of granting an extension and loss of right for recognition and enforcement is evident. Three years, counting from the date of the awards, is the time limit for award creditors to get their awards recognized and enforced in Vietnam.

enforcement of foreign arbitral award–arduous and fruitful

Supposed that the award creditors begin the post-award proceedings in Vietnam, an application for recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral award shall be submitted to the local courts, likely the provincial courts where the award debtors’ businesses are registered. These courts are the competent authority with the legislated power to conduct the review to recognize foreign arbitral awards within the territory of Vietnam. The court shall then consider the application, in accordance with the national legal instruments and the NYC 1958. Hearings shall be scheduled and after that, decisions shall be rendered, and an appeal may be commenced by the unsatisfied party.

The proceedings may sound linear and simplistic, yet in reality, things may not progress in the direction you wish for, for multiple obstacles are waiting ahead. First, the local courts may not be in favor of arbitration in general, and foreign arbitral awards in particular. Second, the grounds for invoking non-recognition and non-enforcement of foreign arbitral award are plentiful. Third, an appeal mechanism is available for the award debtors. Three of the above are the primary, well-known obstacles for foreign award creditors, among countless others.

To ease the perturbance of the concerned parties, we, ANHISA, offer first-class, valuable, and effective guidance and assistance to get your awards recognized and enforced in Vietnam. With our practical and experienced solutions, we have helped, and will be offering to help, all the award creditors to have a suitable route to get what you want – the fruit of the award. Or, as we are the experts in arbitration and ADR, we shall be able to advise you, from the start of your arbitration, how to mitigate the risks of your awards being rejected in the territory of Vietnam.

We have it in our services that getting your award recognized and enforced, as the “usual” route, may not be the only route you may expect to get your reward of arbitration. It seems and may sound appealing and suspicious at the same time, but it is actually the possibility you have not yet covered.
Our clients have expressed the joy, contentment, and appreciation much too frequently with our successful and fast-tracking service in recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards in Vietnam. Our lawyers are well-trained and specialized in the proceedings of recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards and will be the ones untangling all of your worries.

It is our pleasure to serve. For consultation, advice, or commencement of arbitral awards’ recognition and enforcement in Vietnam, kindly contact us at:
Mr. Dang Viet Anh
T: +84 28 5416 5873
M: +84 983 467070
Ms. Pham Ho Thanh Thao
T: +84 28 5416 5873
M: +84 905 621559