5 notes on the recognition and permission for enforcement of the foreign arbitral award in Vietnam that a foreign party should extremely pay attention

In recent years, the request for recognizing and enforcing in Vietnam the business, commercial awards of the foreign Arbitration (“FAA”) has gradually increased due to the impaction of economic integration. Thus, clearly understanding the regulations of the laws of Vietnam on the recognition and permission for enforcement of FAA is necessary to properly prepare and proceed with the procedure for the recognition and permission for enforcement of FAA. 

Through this article, BLawyers Vietnam will present 05 notes on the above-mentioned issue.

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1. Conditions for the FAA to be considered for the recognition and permission for enforcement

  1. The FAA under the request of recognition and enforcement in Vietnam shall be the final award/ decision of the Arbitration tribunal which has settled the entire contents of the dispute, terminated the arbitration proceedings, and came into force.
  2.  The judgment debtor of the FAA shall be the individual being resident, working in Vietnam or the organization whose head office located in Vietnam; or the assets related to the enforcement of FAA are in Vietnam at the time of requesting for the recognition and enforcement.

It should be noted that the investment capital of the foreign investors can also be considered as assets in Vietnam. For example, the judgment debtor is a foreign company but owns 100% of the contributed capital in a Vietnamese company.

2. The timeline for submitting the request for the recognition and permission for enforcement

The time limit for requesting for the recognition of FAA in Vietnam shall be 03 years from the effective date of FAA. In excess of the timeline of 3 years, the request for recognizing the FAA shall only be considered if the requesting party can prove that the request for recognizing and enforcing the FAA is not able to be submitted punctually due to the objective obstacle or the force majeure.

3. The Vietnamese competent authorities for receiving the request for the recognition and permission for enforcement of FAA

In case the international treaty in which Vietnam is a member stipulates that the request for recognition and permission for enforcement of FAA must be submitted to the Ministry of Justice, the competent authority receiving the request shall be the Ministry of Justice. If the international treaty has no provisions on this matter or there is no relevant international treaty, the competent authority receiving the request shall be the competent Court.

The competent Court for settling the request for recognition and enforcement of FAA shall be the provincial-level People’s Court where the judgment debtor of FAA resides, works, or has the head office or where the asset related to the enforcement of FAA is located.

4. Requirements regarding the request and application dossiers for the recognition and enforcement of FAA

The written request for recognition and permission for enforcement of FAA shall contain the main contents as prescribed by the Civil Procedure Code of Vietnam.

In addition to the written request, the application dossiers shall include the documents and papers as prescribed in the international treaties in which Vietnam is a member. In case of having no applicable international treaty or the international treaty has no regulations, the application dossiers shall include: The original or certified-as-true copy of FAA; and the original or certified-as-true copy of arbitral agreement.

Of note:

  1. In case the requesting party authorizes another person in Vietnam to submit the request, the authorization letter shall be required.
  2. The documents and papers enclosed with the written request made in foreign languages shall be translated into Vietnamese and legally notarized, and certified.
  3.  In practice, the party requesting the recognition and permission for enforcement of FAA may be requested by the Court to additionally submit other documents such as the foreign laws related to the request, the arbitration rule of the foreign arbitration center, and the certification showing that the FAA has come into force.

5. The procedure for enforcing the FAA after being recognized and permitted to enforce in Vietnam

Upon the decision on recognizing and permitting for enforcement in Vietnam the FAA issued by Vietnamese competent Court comes into force, the FAA is entitled to be enforced in accordance with the procedure for civil judgment enforcement. Thus, the organizations and individuals should submit the request for enforcing the FAA to the competent civil judgment enforcement agency to proceed with the procedure for civil judgment enforcement.

The above are the basic contents that organizations and individuals need to pay attention to when intending to request the recognition and enforcement of FAA in Vietnam.

The above is not official advice from BLawyers Vietnam. If you have any questions or suggestions about the above, please contact us at consult@blawyersvn.com. We would love to hear from you.

Date: 17 February 2023

Writer: Trinh Nguyen

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