The Secretariat recommends, in accordance with Article 8(2) of the CEPANI Arbitration Rules, to submit your Request for Arbitration and Exhibits in electronic form and in one hard copy.

Download the CEPANI Arbitration Rules (2013)

Download the previous CEPANI Arbitration Rules (2007)

Download the previous CEPANI Arbitration Rules (2005)

Download the CEPANI Arbitration Rules in Turkish

Download the CEPANI Arbitration Rules in Spanish

The Rules are in force as from January 1, 2013

PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS

Article 1. – Belgian Centre for Mediation and Arbitration
The Belgian Centre for Arbitration and Mediation (« CEPANI ») is an independent body which administers arbitration proceedings in accordance with its Rules. It does not itself resolve disputes and it does not act as an arbitrator.

Article 2. – Definitions
In the following provisions:

(i) « Secretariat » means the CEPANI secretariat.

(ii) « President » means the President of CEPANI.

(iii) « Appointments Committee » means the CEPANI Appointments Committee.

(iv) « Challenge Committee » means the CEPANI Challenge Committee.

(v) « arbitration agreement » means any form of mutual agreement to have recourse to arbitration and, in the case of an investment dispute, when the authorities have agreed to arbitration.

(vi) « Arbitral Tribunal » means the arbitrator or arbitrators.

(vii) « Claimant » and « Respondent » shall be deemed to refer to one or more claimants or respondents.

(viii) « Award » means, inter alia, any interim, partial or final arbitration award.

(ix) « Order » means the decisions of the Arbitral Tribunal relating to the conduct of the arbitration proceedings.

(x) « days » means calendar days.

(xi) « Rules » means the CEPANI Arbitration Rules.

COMMENCEMENT OF THE PROCEEDINGS

Article 3. – Request for Arbitration
1. A party wishing to have recourse to arbitration under the CEPANI Rules shall submit its Request for Arbitration to the secretariat.

The Request for Arbitration shall include, inter alia, the following information:

a) name, first name, corporate name, function, address, telephone and fax numbers, e-mail address and VAT-number, if any, of each of the parties;

function, address, telephone and fax numbers, e-mail address of the person or persons representing the Claimant in the arbitration;

c) a succinct recital of the nature and circumstances of the dispute giving rise to the claim;

d) a statement of the relief sought, a summary of the grounds for the claim, and, if possible, a financial estimate of the amount of the claim;

e) all relevant information that may assist in determining the number of arbitrators and their choice in accordance with the provisions of Article 15 and any nomination of an arbitrator required thereby;

f) any comments as to the place of the arbitration, the language of the arbitration and the applicable rules of law.

Together with the Request, Claimant shall provide copies of all agreements, in particular the arbitration agreement, the correspondence between the parties and other relevant documents.

The Request for Arbitration and the documents annexed thereto shall be supplied in a number of copies sufficient to provide one copy for each arbitrator and one for the secretariat.

2. Claimant shall attach to the Request for Arbitration proof of the dispatch to Respondent of the Request and the documents annexed thereto.

3. The date on which the secretariat receives the Request for Arbitration and the annexes thereto and the payment of the registration costs such as determined under point 2 of Schedule I shall be deemed to be the date of commencement of the arbitral proceedings. The secretariat shall confirm this date to the parties.

Article 4. – Answer to the Request for Arbitration and Filing of a Counterclaim
1. Within one month from the date of the commencement of the arbitral proceedings, Respondent shall send its Answer to the Request for Arbitration to the secretariat.

The Answer shall include, inter alia, the following information:

a) name, first name, corporate name, function, address, telephone and fax numbers, e-mail address and VAT-number, if any, of Respondent;

b) name, first name, corporate name, function, address, telephone and fax numbers, e-mail address of the person or persons representing the Respondent in the arbitration;

c) the Respondent’s succinct comments on the nature and circumstances of the dispute that gives rise to the claim;

d) its response to the relief sought;

e) its comments concerning the number of arbitrators and their choice in the light of Claimant’s proposals, as well as the nomination of any arbitrator that the Respondent has to make;

f) any comments as to the place of the arbitration, the language of the arbitration and the applicable rules of law.

The Answer and the documents annexed thereto, if any, shall be supplied in a number of copies sufficient to provide one copy for each arbitrator and one for the secretariat.

2. Respondent shall attach to the Answer proof of the dispatch, within the same time limit of one month, to Claimant of the Answer and the documents annexed thereto.

3. Any counterclaim made by Respondent shall be filed with its Answer and shall include:

a) a succinct recital of the nature and circumstances of the dispute that gives rise to the counterclaim.

b) an indication of the object of the counterclaim and, if possible, a financial estimate of the amount of the counterclaim.

4. All useful documents will be enclosed with the counterclaim.

Claimant may submit written observations on the counterclaim within a period of one month from receipt of the counterclaim communicated by the secretariat.

Article 5. – Extension of the Time Limit for Filing the Answer 
The time limit mentioned in Article 4 of these Rules may be extended, pursuant to a reasoned request of one of the parties or on its own motion, by the secretariat.

Article 6. – Prima facie lack of an Abitration Agreement 
In the event that, prima facie, there is no arbitration agreement, the arbitration may not proceed should Respondent not answer within the one-month period mentioned in Article 4, or should Respondent refuse arbitration under the CEPANI Rules.

Article 7. – Effect of the Arbitration Agreement
1. When the parties agree to resort to CEPANI for arbitration, they thereby submit to the Rules, including the Schedules, which are in effect on the date of the commencement of the arbitral proceedings, unless they have agreed to submit to the Rules in effect on the date of their arbitration agreement.

2. If, notwithstanding the presence of a prima facie arbitration agreement, one of the parties refuses to submit to arbitration, or fails to take part in the arbitration, the arbitration shall nevertheless proceed.

3. If, notwithstanding the presence of a prima facie arbitration agreement, a party raises one or more pleas concerning the existence, validity or scope of the arbitration agreement, the arbitration shall proceed without CEPANI deciding on the admissibility or merits of the pleas. In such case the Arbitral Tribunal shall itself rule on its jurisdiction.

4. Unless otherwise agreed, the Arbitral Tribunal shall not cease to have jurisdiction by reason of the nullity or non-existence of the contract, provided that the Arbitral Tribunal upholds the validity of the arbitration agreement.

Article 8. – Written Notifications or Communications and Time Limits
1. The memorials and written submissions and other written communications presented by the parties, as well as all annexed documentary evidence and documents, shall be sent by each of the parties simultaneously to all the other parties and to each of the arbitrators. The secretariat shall receive a copy of all the said communications and documents as well as of the communications of the Arbitral Tribunal to the parties.

2. The Request for Arbitration, the Answer to the Request for Arbitration, the memorials and written submissions and the nomination of the arbitrators shall be validly notified if remitted by courier service against receipt, sent by registered letter, letter, fax or in electronic form which allows for proof of the sending. Without prejudice to Article 31.2, all other notifications and communications made pursuant to these Rules shall be validly effected by any other means of written communication.

3. The Arbitral Tribunal may decide that other notification and communication rules shall apply.

4. If a party is represented by counsel, all notifications or communications shall be made to the latter, unless the said party requests otherwise. All notifications or communications shall be valid if dispatched to the last address of the party to whom they are addressed, as notified either by the party in question or, as the case may be, by the other party.

5. A notification or communication, made in accordance with paragraph 2, shall be deemed to have been made when it is received, or should have been received, by the party itself or by its counsel.

6. Periods of time specified in these Rules, shall start to run on the day following the date a notification or communication is deemed to have been made in accordance with paragraph 5. If the last day of the relevant period of time granted is an official holiday or a non-business day in the country where the notification or communication has to be made the period of time shall expire at the end of the first following business day.

A notice or communication shall be treated as having been timely notified if it is dispatched in accordance with paragraph 2 prior to, or on the date of, the expiry of the time limit.

MULTIPLE PARTIES, MULTIPLE CONTRACTS, INTERVENTION AND CONSOLIDATION

Article 9. – Multiple Parties
1. An arbitration may take place between more than two parties when they have agreed to have recourse to arbitration under the CEPANI Rules.

2. Each party may make a claim against any other party, subject to the limitations set out in Article 23.8 of the Rules.

Article 10. – Multiple Contracts
1. Claims arising out of various contracts or in connection with same may be made in a single arbitration.

This is the case when the said claims are made pursuant to various arbitration agreements:

a) if the parties have agreed to have recourse to arbitration under the CEPANI Rules and

b) if all the parties to the arbitration have agreed to have their claims decided within a single set of proceedings.

2. Differences concerning the applicable rules of law or the language of the proceedings do not give rise to any presumption as to the incompatibility of the arbitration agreements.

3. Arbitration agreements concerning matters that are not related to one another give rise to a presumption that the parties have not agreed to have their claims decided in a single set of proceedings.

4. Within a single set of proceedings each party may make a claim against any other party, subject to the limitations set out in Article 23.8 of the Rules.

Article 11. – Intervention
1. A third party may request to intervene in the proceedings and any party to the proceedings may seek to have a third party joined.

The intervention may be allowed when the third party and the parties to the dispute have agreed to have recourse to arbitration under the CEPANI Rules.

2. No intervention may take place after the Appointments Committee or the President has appointed or confirmed each of the members of the Arbitral Tribunal, unless all the parties, including the third party, have agreed otherwise.

3. The Request for Intervention shall be addressed to the secretariat and, if it is already constituted, to the Arbitral Tribunal. The party requesting intervention shall enclose with its Request proof of the notification of the Request to the parties to the proceedings, as the case may be, to the third party whose joinder is requested and, if it is already constituted, to the Arbitral Tribunal.

4. The Request for Intervention shall inter alia include the following information:

a) name, first name, corporate name, function, address, telephone and fax numbers, e-mail address and VAT number, if any, of the party requesting the intervention, of each of the parties and, if it is not the party requesting the intervention, of the third party.

b) name, first name, corporate name, function, address, telephone and fax numbers, e-mail address of the person or persons representing the party requesting the intervention in the arbitration;

c) a succinct recital of the nature and circumstances of the circumstances giving rise to the Request;

d) information concerning the place and language of the pending arbitration proceedings as well as concerning the applicable rules of law;

e) a statement of the relief sought by the Request for Intervention, a summary of the grounds for the Request, and, if possible, of the financial effect of the Request for Intervention on the amounts claimed.

A copy of the agreements entered into and in any event of the arbitration agreement that binds the parties and the third party and any other useful documents shall be enclosed with the Request for Intervention.

5. The intervening third party may make a claim against any other party, subject to the limitations set out in Article 23.8 of the Rules.

Article 12. – Jurisdiction of the Arbitral Tribunal
1. The Arbitral Tribunal shall rule on all disputes in connection with Articles 9 to 11 of the Rules, including disputes as to its own jurisdiction.

2. Any decisions of the Appointments Committee or the President as to the appointment or the acceptance of the members of the Arbitral Tribunal shall not prejudice the above-stated power to determine jurisdiction.

Article 13. – Consolidation
1. When one or more contracts containing an arbitration agreement providing for the application of the Rules give rise to separate arbitrations, which are related or indivisible, the Appointments Committee or the President may order their consolidation.

This decision is taken either, prior to any other plea, at the request of the most diligent party, or, at the request of the Arbitral Tribunals or any one of them.

In any event no decision is taken without the parties and the Arbitral Tribunal or, as the case may be, the Arbitral Tribunals being invited to present their written observations within the time limit determined by the secretariat.

2. The application for consolidation shall be granted when it is presented by all the parties and they have also agreed on the manner in which the consolidation shall occur.

If this is not the case, the Appointments Committee or the President may grant the application for consolidation, after having considered,

inter alia:

a) whether the parties have not excluded consolidation in the arbitration agreement;

b) whether the claims made in the separate arbitrations have been made pursuant to the same arbitration agreement;

c) or, where the claims have been made pursuant to more than one arbitration agreement, whether they are compatible and whether the proceedings involve the same parties and concern disputes arising from the same legal relationship.

The Appointments Committee or the President shall take account,

inter alia :

a) of the progress made in each of the arbitrations and,

inter alia, of the fact that one or more arbitrators have been appointed or confirmed in more than one of the arbitrations and, as the case may be, of the fact that the persons appointed or confirmed are the same;

b) of the place of arbitration provided for in the arbitration agreements.

In coming to its decision the Appointments Committee or the President shall have regard to Article 15.

3. Except if agreed otherwise by the parties with regard to the principle of consolidation and the manner in which it shall occur, the Appointments Committee or the President may not order consolidation of arbitrations in which a decision has already been rendered with regard to preliminary measures, admissibility or as to the merits of a claim.

THE ARBITRAL TRIBUNAL

Article 14. – General Provisions
1. Only those persons who are independent of the parties and of their counsel and who comply with the Rules of Good Conduct set out in Schedule III, may serve as arbitrators in arbitration proceedings organized by CEPANI.

Once he has been appointed or confirmed the arbitrator undertakes to remain independent until the end of his appointment. He is impartial and undertakes to remain so and to be available.

2. Prior to his appointment or confirmation the arbitrator whose appointment is being proposed shall sign a statement of availability, acceptance and independence. He shall disclose in writing to the secretariat any facts or circumstances which might be of such a nature so as to call into question the arbitrator’s independence in the eyes of the parties. The secretariat shall provide such information to the parties in writing and fix a time limit for any comments from them.

3. An arbitrator shall immediately disclose in writing to the secretariat and to the parties any facts or circumstances of a similar nature as those mentioned in paragraph 2 which may arise during the arbitration.

4. The decisions of the Appointments Committee or the President as to the appointment, confirmation or replacement of an arbitrator shall be final. The reasons for the decision shall not be communicated.

5. By accepting to serve, the arbitrator undertakes to carry out his duties until the end of his appointment in accordance with these Rules.

Article 15. – Appointment of Arbitrators
1. The Appointments Committee or the President shall appoint or confirm the nomination of the arbitrators in accordance with the following rules. It shall take account,

inter alia, of the availability, the qualifications of the arbitrator and his ability to conduct the arbitration in accordance with these Rules.

2. Where the parties have agreed to settle their dispute through a sole arbitrator, they may nominate him by mutual consent, subject to confirmation by the Appointments Committee or the President.

Should the parties fail to agree within one month of the notification of the Request for Arbitration to Respondent, or within such additional time as may be allowed by the secretariat, the sole arbitrator shall be automatically appointed by the Appointments Committee or by the President.

Where the Appointments Committee or the President refuses to confirm the nomination of the arbitrator, it or he shall proceed with the replacement within one month of the notification of this refusal to the parties.

3. When three arbitrators are foreseen, each party shall nominate its arbitrator in the Request for Arbitration or in the Answer to the Request, subject to the confirmation of the Appointments Committee or the President. Where a party refrains from nominating its arbitrator or if the latter is not confirmed, the Appointments Committee or the President shall automatically appoint the arbitrator.

The third arbitrator, who will act by right as chair of the Arbitral Tribunal, shall be appointed by the Appointments Committee or by the President, unless the parties have agreed upon another procedure for such appointment, in which case the appointment shall be subject to confirmation by the Appointment Committee or the President. Should such procedure not result in an appointment within the time limit fixed by the parties or the secretariat, the third arbitrator shall be automatically appointed by the Appointments Committee or the President.

4. Where the parties have not agreed upon the number of arbitrators, the dispute shall be settled by a sole arbitrator.

However, at the request of one the parties or on its or his own motion, the Appointments Committee or the President may decide that the case shall be heard by a Tribunal of three arbitrators.

In this case, Claimant shall nominate an arbitrator within a period of fifteen days from the receipt of the notification of the decision of the Appointments Committee or the President, and Respondent shall nominate an arbitrator within a period of fifteen days from the receipt of the notification of the nomination made by Claimant.

5. Where there are multiple parties and where the dispute is referred to three arbitrators, the multiple Claimants, jointly, and the multiple Respondents, jointly, shall each nominate one arbitrator for confirmation pursuant to the provisions of the present article.

In the absence of such a joint nomination and where all parties are unable to agree on a method for the constitution of the Arbitral Tribunal, the Appointments Committee or the President shall appoint each member of the Arbitral Tribunal and shall designate one of them to act as chair.

6. Where three arbitrators are foreseen and a Request for Intervention has been addressed to the secretariat in accordance with Article 11.3, before the Appointments Committee or the President has appointed or confirmed each of the members of the Arbitral Tribunal the intervening third party may nominate an arbitrator jointly with the Claimant(s) or with the Respondent(s).

Where there is a sole arbitrator and a Request for Intervention has been addressed to the secretariat before the Appointments Committee or the President has appointed or confirmed the sole arbitrator, the Appointments Committee or the President appoints the sole arbitrator taking into account the Request for Intervention.

7. Where the parties to the proceedings have agreed that a Request for Intervention may be made after the Appointments Committee or the President has appointed or confirmed the members of the Arbitral Tribunal, the Appointments Committee or the President has the choice of either confirming the nominations and confirmations that have occurred or of terminating the appointments of the members of the Arbitral Tribunal that have been previously nominated or confirmed and then appointing the new members of the Arbitral Tribunal and appointing one of them as chair. In such event the Appointments Committee or the President is free to determine the number of arbitrators and to appoint any person they may choose.

8. When, pursuant to Article 13.1, the Request for Intervention is granted the Appointments Committee or the President appoints each of the members of the Arbitral Tribunal and appoints one of them as chair.

Article 16. – Challenge of Arbitrators
1. A challenge for reasons of any alleged lack of independence or for any other reason, shall be communicated to the secretariat in writing and shall contain the facts and circumstances on which it is based

2. In order to be admissible the challenge must be communicated by a party either within one month of the receipt by that party of the notification of the arbitrator’s appointment, or within one month of the date on which that party was informed of the facts and circumstances which it invokes in support of its challenge, whichever date is the later.

3. The secretariat shall invite the arbitrator concerned, the other parties and the members of the Arbitral Tribunal, as the case may be, to present their written observations within a time period fixed by the secretariat. These observationss shall be communicated to the parties and to the arbitrators. The parties and arbitrators may respond to these observations within the time period fixed by the secretariat.

The latter then transmits the challenge and the comments received to the Challenge Committee. The Committee decides on the admissibility and on the merits of the challenge.

4. The Challenge Committee shall decide without any recourse on the challenge of an arbitrator. The reasons for the decision shall not be communicated.

Article 17. – Replacement of Arbitrators
1. In the event of an arbitrator’s death, challenge, accepted withdrawal, or if there is a cause preventing him from fulfilling his duties, or upon request of all parties, the arbitrator shall be replaced.

2. An arbitrator shall also be replaced when the Appointments Committee or the President finds that the arbitrator is prevented de jure or de facto from fulfilling his duties in accordance with these Rules or within the allotted time limits.

In such event, the Appointments Committee or the President shall decide on the matter after having invited the arbitrator concerned, the parties and any other members of the Arbitral Tribunal, as the case may be, to present their obsevations in writing to the secretariat within the time limit allotted by the latter. Such observations shall be communicated to the parties and to the arbitrators.

3. When an arbitrator has to be replaced, the Appointments Committee or the President shall have discretion to decide whether or not to follow the original appointment process.

Once reconstituted, and after having invited the parties to present their observations, the Arbitral Tribunal shall determine if, and to what extent, prior proceedings shall be repeated.

THE ARBITRAL PROCEEDINGS

Article 18. – Transmission of the File to the Arbitral Tribunal 
Provided that the advance on arbitration costs set out in Article 35 has been fully paid, the secretariat shall transmit the file to the Arbitral Tribunal as soon as the latter has been constituted.

Article 19. – Proof of Authority 
At any time after the introduction of the arbitration, the Arbitral Tribunal or the secretariat may require proof of authority to act from any representative of any party.

Article 20. – Language of the Arbitration
1. The language or languages of the arbitration shall be determined by mutual agreement between the parties.

Failing such an agreement, the language or languages of the arbitration shall be determined by the Arbitral Tribunal, due regard being given to the circumstances of the case and, in particular, to the language of the contract.

2. The Arbitral Tribunal shall have full authority to decide which of the parties shall bear the translation costs, if any, and to what extent.

Article 21. – Place of the Arbitration
1. The Appointments Committee or the President shall determine the place of the arbitration, unless the parties have agreed otherwise.

2. Unless otherwise agreed by the parties and after having consulted with them, the Arbitral Tribunal may decide to hold its hearings and meetings at any other location that it considers appropriate.

3. The Arbitral Tribunal may deliberate at any place that it considers appropriate.

Article 22. – Terms of Reference and Procedural Timetable
1. Prior to the examination of the file, the Arbitral Tribunal shall, on the basis of documents received or in the presence of the parties and on the basis of their latest statements, draw-up a document defining its Terms of Reference.

The Terms of Reference shall contain the following information:

a) the name, first name, corporate name, function, address, telephone and fax numbers and e-mail address of each of the parties and of any person(s) representing any party in the arbitration as well as, if applicable, the VAT number of each of the parties;

b) the addresses of the parties to which notifications or communications arising in the course of the arbitration may be validly made;

c) a succinct recital of the circumstances of the case;

d) a statement of the parties’ claims with an indication, to the extent possible, of the amounts claimed or counterclaimed;

e) unless the Arbitral Tribunal deems it to be inappropriate, a determination of the issues that are in dispute;

f) the full names, first names, descriptions and addresses of each member of the Arbitral Tribunal;

g) the place of the arbitration;

h) any other particulars that the Arbitral Tribunal may deem to be useful.

2. The Terms of Reference must be signed by the parties and the members of the Arbitral Tribunal. The Arbitral Tribunal shall send these terms of reference to the secretariat within two months of the transmission of the file to the Arbitral Tribunal.

This time limit may be extended pursuant to a reasoned request of the Arbitral Tribunal or on its own motion by the secretariat.

If one of the parties refuses to take part in the drawing up of the Terms of Reference or to sign them, in spite of being bound by a CEPANI arbitration agreement, the proceedings shall continue after the time limit granted by the secretariat to the Arbitral Tribunal for the obtaining of the missing signature has expired. The Arbitral Award following the refusal of a party to sign the Terms of Reference or to participate in the arbitration shall be deemed to conform to rules of due process.

3. When drawing up the Terms of Reference, or as soon as possible thereafter, the Arbitral Tribunal, after having consulted the parties, shall establish in a separate document a procedural timetable that it intends to follow for the conduct of the arbitration and shall communicate same to the parties as well as to the secretariat. Any subsequent modifications of the procedural timetable shall be communicated to the parties as well as to the secretariat.

4. The provisional procedural timetable may be drawn-up at any conference with the parties organized by the Arbitral Tribunal, either of its own motion or at the request of any party. The purpose of the conference shall be to consult with the parties on the procedural measures required in accordance with Article 23 as well as on any other measure capable of facilitating the management of the proceedings. The conference may be organized via any means of communication.

5. The Arbitral Tribunal shall have the power to decide on an ex aequo basis only if the parties have authorised it to do so. In such event,the Arbitral Tribunal shall nevertheless abide by these Rules.

Article 23. – Examination of the Case
1. In the conduct of the proceedings the Arbitral Tribunal and the parties shall act in a timely manner and in good faith. In particular, the parties shall abstain from any dilatory acts as well as from any other action having the object or effect of delaying the proceedings.

2. The Arbitral Tribunal shall proceed within as short a time as possible to examine the case by all appropriate means.

Unless it has been agreed otherwise by the parties, the Arbitral Tribunal shall be free to decide on the rules as to the taking of evidence.

It may, inter alia, obtain evidence from witnesses and appoint one or more experts.

3. The Arbitral Tribunal may decide the case solely on the basis of the documents submitted by the parties, unless the parties or one of them requests a hearing.

4. At the request of the parties, any party or upon its own motion, the Arbitral Tribunal, subject to the giving of reasonable notice, may summon the parties to appear before it on the day and at the place that it specifies.

5. If any of the parties, although duly summoned, fails to appear, the Arbitral Tribunal shall nevertheless be empowered to proceed, provided it has ascertained that the summons was duly received by the party and that there is no valid excuse for its absence.

In any event, the Award shall be deemed to conform to rules of due process.

6. The hearings shall not be public. Save with the approval of the Arbitral Tribunal and the parties, persons not involved in the proceedings shall not be admitted.

7. The parties shall appear in person or through duly authorized representatives or counsel.

8. New claims or counterclaims must be presented in writing. The Arbitral Tribunal may refuse to examine such new claims if it considers that they might delay the examination of, or the ruling on, the original claim, or that they are beyond the limits of the Terms of Reference. It may also consider any other relevant circumstances.

Article 24. – Closing of the Proceedings
1. As soon as possible after the last hearing or the filing of the last admissible documents the Arbitral Tribunal shall declare the proceedings closed.

2. If it deems it necessary, the Arbitral Tribunal, at any time prior to the rendering of the Award, may decide, on its own motion or at the request of any party, to re-open the proceedings.

Article 25. – Confidentiality of the Arbitration Proceedings
Unless it has been agreed otherwise by the parties or there is a legal obligation to disclose, the arbitration proceedings shall be confidential.

Article 26. – Interim and Conservatory Measures Prior to the Constitution of the Arbitral Tribunal
1. Except if the parties have agreed otherwise, each party may request interim and conservatory measures which cannot await the constitution of the Arbitral Tribunal. The Request is made in the agreed language or, in the absence of same, in the language of the arbitration agreement.

2. The party requesting the interim and conservatory measures shall send a copy of the Request to the secretariat.

3. The Request for interim and conservatory measures includes,

inter alia, the following information :

a) name, first name, business name, function, address, telephone and fax numbers, e-mail address and VAT-number, if any, of each of the parties;

b) name, first name, business name, function, address, telephone and fax numbers, e-mail address of the person or persons representing the applicant;

c) a succinct recital of the nature and circumstances of the dispute giving rise to the application;

d) a statement of the relief sought,

e) the reasons for which the applicant requests the interim and conservatory measures which may not await the constitution of the Arbitral Tribunal;

f) information as to the place and the language of the arbitration as well as to the applicable rules of law;

g) all relevant agreements and all other useful documents and in any event the arbitration agreement;

h) proof of the payment of the procedural expenses provided for in paragraph 11 of the present Article.

4. The Appointments Committee or the President appoints an arbitrator who shall provisionally decide on the measures urgently requested. The said appointment shall take place in principle within two working days of the receipt of the request by the secretariat. Immediately upon his appointment, the arbitrator shall receive the file from the secretariat. The parties shall be informed and as of such moment shall communicate directly with the arbitrator, with copy to the other party and to the secretariat.

5. The arbitrator deciding on the interim and conservatory measures must be independent and remain so throughout the proceedings. He must also be impartial and remain so. For this purpose, he shall sign a declaration of independence, acceptance and availability.

6. The arbitrator deciding on the interim and conservatory measures may not be appointed as arbitrator in an arbitration which is related to the dispute at the origin of the Request.

7. A challenge may be made against an arbitrator deciding on the interim and conservatory measures.

In order not to be inadmissible as out of time, the challenge of the arbitrator deciding on the interim and conservatory measures must be sent within three days, either of receipt of the notification of the appointment of the arbitrator deciding on provisional measures by the party making the challenge or, of the date at which the said party was informed of the facts and circumstances that it relies on in support of its challenge if said facts and circumstances occur after the receipt of the above mentioned notification.

The secretariat advises the arbitrator deciding on the interim and conservatory measures and the other party of the time limit for the filing of their observations.

The latter then transmits the challenge and the comments received to the Challenge Committee. The Committee decides on the admissibility and on the merits of the challenge in principle within three working days of its receipt of the file. The Challenge Committee shall decide on the challenge of an arbitrator without any recourse. The reasons for the decision shall not be communicated.

8. The arbitrator deciding on the interim and conservatory measures shall draw-up a procedural calendar, in principle within three working days of receipt of the file. He shall transmit to the secretariat a copy of all his written communications with the parties.

9. The arbitrator deciding on the interim and conservatory measures organizes the proceedings in the manner which he deems to be the most appropriate. In any event he conducts the proceedings in an impartial manner and ensures that each party has sufficient opportunity to present its case.

10. In principle, the arbitrator deciding on the interim and conservatory measures renders his decision at the latest within fifteen days of his receipt of the file. The decision shall be in writing and shall include the reasoning upon which the decision is based. The decision shall be in the form of a reasoned Order or, if the arbitrator deciding on provisional measures deems it appropriate, in the form of an Award. The arbitrator sends his decision to the parties, with copy to the secretariat, via any means of communication which is authorized by Article 8.2.

11. The applicant for interim and conservatory measures in accordance with Article 26 shall be required to pay a fixed sum to cover the fees of the arbitrator deciding on the provisional measures as well as the administrative expenses. The sum in question is fixed in accordance with point 7 of Schedule I.

The Request for Interim and Conservatory measures is only transmitted to the Appointments Committee or the President when the secretariat has received the above-mentioned amount.

If the proceedings do not take place in accordance with the present article or if the proceedings are terminated before any decision is rendered the secretariat determines the amount, if any, to be reimbursed to the applicant.

In any event, the amount covering the administrative expenses fixed in accordance with point 7 of Schedule I is not refundable.

Article 27. – Interim and Conservatory Measures After the Constitution of the Arbitral Tribunal
1. Provided that the advance to cover arbitration costs in accordance with Article 35 has been paid, each party may ask the Arbitral Tribunal, as soon as it has been appointed, to order interim and conservatory measures, including the provision of guarantees or security for costs. Any such measure shall take the form of an Order, setting out the reasons for the decision, or, if the Arbitral Tribunal considers it appropriate, an Award

2. All interim and conservatory measures ordered by the ordinary courts in relation to the dispute must be communicated immediately to the Arbitral Tribunal and to the secretariat.

THE ARBITRAL AWARD

Article 28. – Time Limit for the Rendering of the Arbitral Award
1. The Arbitral Tribunal shall render the Award within six months of the date of the Terms of Reference mentioned in Article 22.

2. This time limit may be extended pursuant to a reasoned request

from the Arbitral Tribunal, or upon its own motion, by the secretariat.

Article 29. – Making of the Award
1. Where there is more than one arbitrator, the Award shall be made by a majority decision. If no majority can be reached, the chair of the Arbitral Tribunal shall have the deciding vote.

2. The Award shall state the reasons upon which it is based.

3. The Award shall be deemed to be made at the place of the arbitration and on the date stated therein.

Article 30. – Award by consent
Should the parties reach a settlement after the appointment of the Arbitral Tribunal, the settlement shall be recorded in the form of an Award made by consent of the parties if so requested by the parties and if the Arbitral Tribunal agrees to do so.

Article 31. – Notification of the Award to the Parties – Deposit of the Award
1. Once the Award has been made, the Arbitral Tribunal shall transmit it to the secretariat in as many original versions as there are parties involved, plus one original version for the secretariat

2. Provided that the arbitration costs have been fully paid, the secretariat shall notify to each party, by registered letter or by courier service against receipt an original copy of the Award signed by the members of the Arbitral Tribunal as well as, by e-mail, a copy of same. The date of the sending by registered letter or by courier service against receipt shall be deemed to be date of notification.

3. When the place of arbitration is in Belgium and solely if one of the parties so requests the secretariat within a period of three months from the notification of the Award, the Award shall be filed at the registry of the Civil Court of the place of the arbitration.

Article 32. – Final Nature and Enforceability of the Award
1. The Award is final and is not subject to appeal. The parties undertake to comply with the Award without delay.

2. By submitting their dispute to arbitration under CEPANI Rules and except where an explicit waiver is required by law, the parties waive their right to any form of recourse insofar as such a waiver can validly be made.

Article 33. – Correction and Interpretation of the Award – Remission of the Award
1. On its own initiative, within one month of the notification of the Award to the parties, the Arbitral Tribunal may correct any clerical, computational or typographical error or any errors of a similar nature.

2. Within one month of the notification of the Award a party may file with the secretariat an application for the correction of an error of the kind referred to in paragraph 1. The application must be made in as many copies as stated in Article 3.1.

3. Within one month of the notification of the Award a party may file with the secretariat an application for the interpretation of a point or specific section of an Award.

The application must be made in as many copies as stated in Article 3.1.

4. After receipt of an application referred to in paragraphs 2 and 3, the Arbitral Tribunal shall grant the other party a short time limit which shall not exceed one month from the date of the application in order submit any comments.

5. A decision to correct or interpret an Award shall take the form of an addendum and shall constitute an integral part of the Award. The provisions of Articles 28, 29 and 31 shall apply mutatis mutandis.

6. When a jurisdiction remits an Award to the Arbitral Tribunal the provisions of Articles 28, 29 and 31 as well as the present Article 33 shall apply

mutatis mutandis to any addendum or any other Award rendered in accordance with the decision to remit. CEPANI may take all necessary measures in order to allow the Arbitral Tribunal to comply with the decision to remit and may determine an advance payment for the purposes of recovering all additional arbitration fees and expenses of the Arbitral Tribunal as well as the additional administrative expenses of CEPANI.

ARBITRATION COSTS

Article 34. – Nature and Amount of the Arbitration Costs – Parties’ Costs
1. The arbitration costs shall include the fees and expenses of the arbitrators, as well as the administrative expenses of CEPANI. They shall be fixed by the secretariat on the basis of the amount of the principal claim and of any counterclaim, according to the Scale of Costs for Arbitration in effect on the date of the commencement of the arbitration.

2. The parties’ costs include the expenses of the parties such as the expenses incurred for their defence and the expenses relating to the presentation of evidence by experts or witnesses. Schedule II sets out a recommendation with regard to the said costs.

3. The secretariat may fix the arbitration costs at a higher or lower figure than that which would result from the application of the Scale of Costs for Arbitration, should this be deemed necessary due to exceptional circumstances.

4. If the amount in dispute is not specified, totally or partially, the secretariat may determine, taking into account all available information, the amount in dispute on the basis of which the arbitration costs will be calculated.

5. The secretariat may adjust the amount of the arbitration costs at any time during the proceedings if the circumstances of the case or if new claims reveal that the scope of the dispute is greater than originally considered.

Article 35. – Advance on Arbitration Costs
1. The arbitration costs, as determined in accordance with Article 34 shall be paid to CEPANI prior to the transmittal of the file by the secretariat to the Arbitral Tribunal.

2. Further advance payments may be required if and when any adjustments are made to the arbitration costs in the course of the proceedings.

3. The advance on arbitration costs, as well as the additional advance on arbitration costs, shall be payable in equal shares by Claimant and Respondent. However, any party shall be free to pay the whole of the advance on arbitration costs should the other party fail to pay its share.

4. Where a counterclaim or a Request for Intervention is filed, the secretariat may, at the request of the parties or one of them, or on its own motion, fix separate advances on arbitration costs for the principal claim, the counterclaim and the Request for Intervention.When the secretariat has set separate advances on arbitration costs, each of the parties shall pay the advance on arbitration costs corresponding to its principal claim, counterclaim or Request for Intervention. The Arbitral Tribunal shall proceed only with respect to those claims or counterclaims in regard to which the advance on arbitration costs has been fully paid.

5. When the advance on arbitration costs exceeds € 50.000,00 an irrevocable first demand bank guarantee may be posted to cover such payment.

6. When a request for an additional advance on arbitration costs has not been complied with, and after consultation with the Arbitral Tribunal, the secretariat may direct the Arbitral Tribunal to suspend its work and set a time limit, which must be not less than fifteen days, on the expiry of which the relevant claims or counterclaims on the basis of which the additional advance was calculated shall be considered as withdrawn. A party shall not be prevented on the grounds of such a withdrawal from reintroducing the same claim or counterclaim at a later date in another proceeding.

Article 36. – Decisions on Arbitration Costs and Parties’ Costs
1. The arbitration costs shall be finally fixed by the secretariat.

2. The final Award shall decide which of the parties shall finally bear the arbitration costs, as definitively determined by the secretariat, or in what proportion they shall be borne by the parties.

3. The final Award may also decide which of the parties shall finally bear the parties’ costs or in what proportion they shall be borne by the parties.

When the parties have reached an agreement on the allocation of the arbitration costs and parties’ costs, the Award shall record such agreement.

FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 37. – Limitation of liability
1. Except in the case of fraud, the arbitrators shall not incur any liability for any act or omission when carrying out their functions of ruling on a dispute.

2 For any other act or omission in the course of an arbitration proceeding, the arbitrators, CEPANI and its members and personnel shall not incur any liability except in the case of fraud or gross negligence.

Article 38. – Residual provision 
Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, for all issues that are not specifically provided for herein the Arbitral Tribunal and the parties shall act in the spirit of the Rules and shall make every reasonable effort to make sure that the Award is enforceable at law.

Annexes

Annex I: Scale of costs for arbitration

Annex II: Parties’ costs

Annex III: Rules of good conduct for proceedings organized by CEPANI

Annex IV: Belgian Judicial Code Provisions relating to arbitration

The Secretariat recommends, in accordance with Article 8(2) of the CEPANI Arbitration Rules, to submit your Request for Arbitration and Exhibits in electronic form and in one hard copy.

Download the Arbitration Rules for disputes of limited financial importance (2013)

Download the previous Rules (2007)

The Rules are in force as from January 1, 2013

PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS

Article 1. – Belgian Centre for Mediation and Arbitration

The Belgian Centre for Arbitration and Mediation (« CEPANI ») is an independent body which administers arbitration proceedings in accordance with its Rules. It does not itself resolve disputes and it does not act as an arbitrator.

Article 2. – Definitions

In the following provisions:

(i) « Secretariat » means the CEPANI secretariat.

(ii) « President » means the President of CEPANI.

(iii) « Appointments Committee » means the CEPANI Appointments Committee.

(iv) « Challenge Committee » means the CEPANI Challenge Committee.

(v) « arbitration agreement » means any form of mutual agreement to have recourse to arbitration.

(vi) « Arbitral Tribunal » means the sole Arbitrator.

(vii) « Claimant » and « Respondent » shall be deemed to refer to one or more claimants or respondents.

(viii) « Award » means, inter alia, any interim, partial or final arbitration award.

(ix) « Order » means the decisions of the Arbitral Tribunal relating to the conduct of the arbitration proceedings.

(x) « days » means calendar days.

(xi) « Rules » means the CEPANI Arbitration Rules for disputes of limited financial importance.

Article 3. – Scope

1. The CEPANI Arbitration Rules for disputes of limited financial importance shall apply if the principal claim and the counterclaim, if any, together do not exceed the amount of € 25,000,00.

2. In the event that the principal claim and the counterclaim together exceed € 25,000,00 in the course of the proceedings, the CEPANI Arbitration Rules for disputes of limited financial importance of the Rules shall still apply, unless otherwise agreed by the parties, in which case the proceedings shall be governed by the Arbitration Rules set out in Section I of these Rules.

COMMENCEMENT OF THE PROCEEDINGS

Article 4. – Request for Arbitration of disputes of limited financial importance

1. A party wishing to have recourse to arbitration of disputes of limited financial importance under the CEPANI rules shall submit its Request for Arbitration to the secretariat.

The Request for Arbitration shall include, inter alia, the following information:

a) name, first name and the name in full, description, address, telephone and fax numbers, e-mail addresses and VAT-number, if any, of each of the parties;

b) name, first name, corporate name, function, address, telephone and fax numbers, e-mail address of the person or persons representing the Claimant in the arbitration;

c) a succinct recital of the nature and circumstances of the dispute giving rise to the claim;

d) a statement of the relief sought, a summary of the grounds for the claim, and, if possible, a financial estimate of the amount of the claim;

e) any comments as to the place of the arbitration, the language of the arbitration and the applicable rules of law.

Together with the Request, Claimant shall provide copies of all agreements, in particular the arbitration agreement and other relevant documents.

The Request for Arbitration and the documents annexed thereto shall be supplied in two copies, one for the arbitrator to be appointed and the other for the secretariat.

2. Claimant shall also attach to the Request for Arbitration proof of the dispatch to Respondent of the Request and the documents annexed thereto.

3. The date on which the secretariat receives the Request for Arbitration of disputes of limited financial importance and the annexes thereto and the payment of the registration costs such as determined under point 2 of the Schedule I, shall be deemed to be the date of commencement of the arbitral proceedings. The secretariat shall confirm this date to the parties.

Article 5. – Answer to the Request for Arbitration and filing of a counterclaim

1. Within twenty-one days from the date of the commencement of the arbitral proceedings, Respondent shall send its Answer to the Request for Arbitration to the secretariat.

The Answer shall include, inter alia, the following information:

a) name, first name and the name in full, description, address, telephone and fax numbers, e-mail address and VAT-number, if any, of Respondent;

b) name, first name, corporate name, address, telephone and fax numbers, e-mail address of the person or persons representing the Respondent in the arbitration;

c) the Respondent’s succinct comments as to the nature and circumstances of the dispute that gives rise to the claim;

d) its response to the relief sought;

e) a ny comments as to the place of the arbitration, the language of the arbitration and the applicable rules of law.

The Answer and the documents annexed thereto shall be supplied in two copies, one for the arbitrator to be appointed and the other for the secretariat.

2. Respondent shall also attach to the Answer proof of the dispatch, within the same time limit of twenty-one days, to Claimant of the Answer and the documents annexed thereto.

3. Any counterclaim made by Respondent shall be filed with its Answer and shall include:

a) a succinct recital of the nature and circumstances of the dispute that gives rise to the counterclaim.

b) an indication of the object of the counterclaim and, if possible, a financial estimate of the amount of the counterclaim.

4. All useful documents will be enclosed with the counterclaim.

5. The time limit mentioned in paragraph 1 may be extended pursuant to a reasoned request of Respondent, or on its own motion, by the secretariat.

Article 6. – Exchange of memoranda

1. Within twenty-one days from the date on which Respondent submits its Answer and the annexes thereto to the secretariat, Claimant shall submit a Reply to the secretariat and transmit said Reply at the same time to Respondent.

2. Within twenty-one days from the date on which Claimant has submitted its Reply and the annexes thereto to the secretariat, Respondent shall submit a Second Reply to the secretariat and transmit said Second Reply at the same time to Claimant.

3. Subsequently, Claimant shall have a period of fourteen days from the date on which Respondent has submitted its Second Reply to the secretariat during which it may itself submit a Second Reply to the secretariat and transmit said Second Reply at the same time to Respondent.

4. Finally, Respondent shall have a period of fourteen days from the date on which Claimant has submitted its Second Reply to the secretariat during which it may submit a Last Reply to the secretariat and transmit said Last Reply at the same time to Claimant.

5. These time limits may be extended pursuant to a reasoned request of the parties or one of them. Any demand for extension shall be directed to the Arbitral Tribunal, if constituted, or to the secretariat. If necessary, the secretariat may extend these time limits upon its own motion.

Article 7. – Prima facie lack of an Arbitration Agreement

In the event that, prima facie, there is no arbitration agreement, the arbitration may not proceed should Respondent not answer within the one-month period mentioned in Article 5, or should Respondent refuse arbitration under the CEPANI Rules.

Article 8. – Effect of the arbitration agreement

1. When the parties agree to resort to CEPANI for arbitration, they thereby submit to the Rules, including the Schedules, which are in effect on the date of the commencement of the arbitral proceedings, unless they have agreed to submit to the Rules in effect on the date of their arbitration agreement.

2. If, notwithstanding the presence of a prima facie arbitration agreement, one of the parties refuses to submit to arbitration, or fails to take part in the arbitration, the arbitration shall nevertheless proceed.

3. If, notwithstanding the presence of a prima facie arbitration agreement, a party raises one or more pleas concerning the existence, validity or scope of the arbitration agreement, the arbitration shall proceed without CEPANI deciding on the admissibility or merits of the pleas. In such case the Arbitrator shall itself rule on its jurisdiction.

4. Unless otherwise agreed, the Arbitral Tribunal shall not cease to have jurisdiction by reason of the nullity or the non-existence of the contract, provided that the Arbitrator upholds the validity of the arbitration agreement.

Article 9 . – Written Notifications or Communications and Time Limits

1. The memorials and written submissions and other written communications presented by the parties, as well as all annexed documentary evidence and documents, shall be sent by each of the parties simultaneously to all the other parties and to the arbitrator. The secretariat shall receive a copy of all the said communications and documents as well as of the communications of the Arbitrator to the parties.

2. The Request for Arbitration, the Answer to the Request for Arbitration, the memorials and written submissions and the nomination of the arbitrator shall be validly notified if remitted by courier service against receipt, sent by registered letter, letter, fax or in electronic form which allows for proof of the sending. Without prejudice to article 24.2, all other notifications and communications made pursuant to these Rules shall be validly effected by any other means of written communication.

3. The Arbitrator may decide that other notification and communication rules shall apply.

4. If a party is represented by counsel, all notifications or communications shall be made to the latter, unless the said party requests otherwise. All notifications or communications shall be valid if dispatched to the last address of the party to whom they are addressed, as notified either by the party in question or, as the case may be, by the other party.

5. A notification or communication, made in accordance with paragraph 2, shall be deemed to have been made when it is received, or should have been received, by the party itself or by its counsel.

6. Periods of time specified in these Rules, shall start to run on the day following the date a notification or communication is deemed to have been made in accordance with paragraph 5. If the last day of the relevant period of time granted is an official holiday or a non-business day in the country where the notification or communication has to be made the period of time shall expire at the end of the first following business day. A notice or communication shall be treated as having been timely notified if it is dispatched in accordance with paragraph 2 prior to, or on the date of, the expiry of the time limit.

THE ARBITRAL TRIBUNAL

Article 10. – General provisions

1. Only those persons who are independent of the parties and of their counsel and who comply with the Rules of Good Conduct set out in Schedule III, may serve as arbitrators in arbitration proceedings organized by CEPANI.

Once he has been appointed or confirmed the arbitrator undertakes to remain independent until the end of his appointment. He is impartial and undertakes to remain so and to be available.

2. The Appointments Committee or the President shall appoint or confirm the nomination of the Arbitral Tribunal. The parties may nominate the Arbitral Tribunal by mutual consent, subject to the confirmation of the Appointments Committee or the President.

3. Prior to his appointment or confirmation the arbitrator whose appointment is being proposed shall sign a statement of acceptance, independence and availability. He shall disclose in writing to the secretariat any facts or circumstances which might be of such a nature so as to call into question the arbitrator’s independence in the eyes of the parties. The secretariat shall provide such information to the parties in writing and fix a time limit for any comments from them.

4. An arbitrator shall immediately disclose in writing to the secretariat and to the parties any facts or circumstances of a similar nature as those mentioned in paragraph 3 which may arise during the arbitration.

5. The decisions of the Appointments Committee or the President as to the appointment, confirmation or replacement of an arbitrator shall be final. The reasons for the decision shall not be communicated.

6. By accepting to serve, every arbitrator undertakes to carry out his responsibilities until the end in accordance with these Rules.

Article 11. – Appointment of the Arbitrator

The Appointments Committee or the President appoints or confirms the nomination of the Arbitrator within a period of eight days from the payment by the parties, or by one of them, of the advance on arbitration costs in accordance with the provisions of Article 28. It will thereby take into account more particularly the availability, the qualifications and the ability of the Arbitrator to conduct the arbitration in accordance with these Rules.

Article 12. – Challenge of the arbitrator

1. A challenge for reasons of any alleged lack of independence or for any other reason, shall be communicated to the secretariat in writing and shall contain the facts and circumstances on which it is based

2. In order to be admissible the challenge must be communicated by a party, either within one month of the receipt by that party of the notification of the arbitrator’s appointment, or within one month of the date on which that party was informed of the facts and circumstances which it invokes in support of its challenge, whichever date is the later.

3. The secretariat shall invite the arbitrator concerned and the other parties to present their written observations within a time period fixed by the secretariat. These observations shall be communicated to the parties and to the arbitrator. The parties and arbitrators may respond to these observations within the time period fixed by the secretariat.

The latter then transmits the challenge and the comments received to the Challenge Committee. The Committee decides on the admissibility and on the merits of the challenge.

4. The Challenge Committee shall decide without any recourse on the challenge of an arbitrator. The reasons for the decision shall not be communicated.

Article 13. – Replacement of the arbitrator

1. In the event of an arbitrator’s death, challenge, accepted withdrawal, resignation, or if there is a cause preventing him from fulfilling his duties, or upon request of all parties, the arbitrator shall be replaced.

2. An arbitrator shall also be replaced when the Appointments Committee or the President finds that the arbitrator is prevented

de jure or de facto from fulfilling his duties in accordance with these Rules or within the allotted time limits. In such event, the Appointments Committee or the President shall decide on the matter after having invited the arbitrator and the parties to comment in writing to the secretariat within the time limit allotted by it. Such comments shall be communicated to the parties and to the arbitrator.

3. When an arbitrator has to be replaced, the Appointments Committee or the President shall have discretion to decide whether or not to follow the original appointment process. Once appointed, and after having invited the parties to comment, the Arbitrator shall determine if, and to what extent, prior proceedings shall be repeated.

THE ARBITRAL PROCEEDINGS

Article 14. – Transmission of the file to the Arbitral Tribunal

Provided that the advance on arbitration costs set out in Article 28 has been fully paid, the secretariat shall transmit the file to the Arbitrator as soon as the latter has been constituted.

Article 15. – Proof of Authority

At any time after the introduction of the arbitration, the Arbitrator or the secretariat may require proof of authority to act from any representative of any party.

Article 16. – Language of the arbitration

1. The language or languages of the arbitration shall be determined by mutual agreement between the parties. Failing such an agreement, the language or languages of the arbitration shall be determined by the Arbitrator, due regard being given to the circumstances of the case and, in particular, to the language of the contract.

2. The Arbitrator shall have full authority to decide which of the parties shall bear the translation costs, if any, and to what extent.

Article 17. – Place of the arbitration

1. The Appointments Committee or the President shall determine the place of the arbitration, unless the parties have agreed otherwise.

2. Unless otherwise agreed by the parties and after having consulted with them, the Arbitrator may decide to hold its hearings and meetings at any other location that it considers appropriate.

3. The Arbitrator may deliberate at any place that it considers appropriate.

Article 18. – Examination of the case

1. In the conduct of the proceedings the Arbitrator and the parties shall act in a timely manner and in good faith. In particular, the parties shall abstain from any dilatory acts as well as from any other action having the object or effect of delaying the proceedings.

2. The Arbitrator shall proceed within as short a time as possible to examine the case by all appropriate means. Unless it has been agreed otherwise by the parties, the Arbitrator shall be free to decide on the rules as to the taking of evidence.
It may, inter alia, obtain evidence from witnesses and appoint one or more experts.

3. The Arbitrator may decide the case solely on the basis of the documents submitted by the parties, unless the parties or one of them requests a hearing.

4. Either at the request of a party or upon its own motion, the Arbitrator, subject to the giving of reasonable notice, may summon the parties to appear before it on the day and at the place that it specifies.

5. If any of the parties, although duly summoned, fails to appear, the Arbitrator shall nevertheless be empowered to proceed, provided it has ascertained that the summons was duly received by the party and that there is no valid excuse for its absence.
In any event, the Award shall be deemed to be contradictory.

6. The hearings shall not be public. Save with the approval of the Arbitrator and the parties, persons not involved in the proceedings shall not be admitted.

7. The parties shall appear in person or through duly authorized representatives or counsel.

8. New claims or counterclaims must be presented in writing. The Arbitrator may refuse to examine such new claims if it considers that they might delay the examination or the ruling on the original claim. It shall consider any other relevant circumstances.

Article 19. – Confidentiality of the Arbitration Proceedings

Unless it has been agreed otherwise by the parties or there is a legal obligation to disclose the arbitration proceedings shall be confidential.

Article 20. – Interim and conservatory measures

1. Provided that the advance to cover arbitration costs in accordance with Article 28 has been paid, each party may ask the Arbitrator, as soon as it has been appointed, to order interim and conservatory measures, including the provision of guarantees or security for costs. Any such measure shall take the form of an Order, setting out the reasons for the decision, or, if the Arbitrator considers it appropriate, an Award

2. All interim and conservatory measures ordered by the ordinary courts in relation to the dispute must be communicated immediately to the Arbitrator and to the secretariat.

THE ARBITRAL AWARD

Article 21. – Time limit for the Arbitral Award

1. The Arbitrator shall render the Award within twenty-one daysof the date on which the Last Reply was submitted to the secretariat or, if the proceedings are not based solely on documents, of the date of the last hearing.

2. This time limit may be extended pursuant to a reasoned request from the Arbitrator, or upon its own motion, by the secretariat.

Article 22. – Making of the Award

1. The Award shall state the reasons upon which it is based.

2. The Award shall be deemed to be made at the place of the arbitration and on the date stated therein.

Article 23. – Award by consent

Should the parties reach a settlement after the appointment of the Arbitrator, the settlement shall be recorded in the form of an Award made by consent of the parties if so requested by the parties and if the Arbitrator agrees to do so.

Article 24. – Notification of the Award to the parties – Deposit of the Award

1. Once the Award has been made, the Arbitrator shall transmit it to the secretariat in as many original versions as there are parties involved, plus one original version for the secretariat

2. Provided that the arbitration costs have been fully paid, the secretariat shall notify to each party, by registered letter or by courier service against receipt an original copy of the Award signed by the members of the Arbitral Tribunal as well as, by e-mail, a copy of same. The date of the sending by registered letter or by courier service against receipt shall be deemed to be date of notification.

3. When the place of arbitration is in Belgium and solely if one of the parties so requests the secretariat, within a period of three months from the notification of the Award, the Award shall be filed at the registry of the Civil Court of the place of the arbitration.

Article 25. – Final nature and enforceability of the Award

1. The Award is final and is not subject to appeal. The parties undertake to comply with the Award without delay.

2. By submitting their dispute to arbitration under CEPANI Rules and except where an explicit waiver is required by law, the parties waive their right to any form of recourse insofar as such a waiver can validly be made.

Article 26. – Correction and Interpretation of the Award – Remission of the award

1. On its own initiative, within one month of the notification of the Award to the parties, the Arbitral Tribunal may correct any clerical, computational or typographical error or any errors of a similar nature.

2. Within one month of the notification of the Award a party may file with the secretariat an application for the correction of an error of the kind referred to in paragraph 1. The application must be made in as many copies as stated in Article 4.1.

3. Within one month of the notification of the Award a party may file with the secretariat an application for the interpretation of a point or specific section of an Award. The application must be made in as many copies as stated in Article 4.1.

4. After receipt of an application referred to in paragraphs 2 and 3, the Arbitral Tribunal shall grant the other party a short time limit which shall not exceed one month from the date of the application in order submit any comments.

5. A decision to correct or interpret an Award shall take the form of an

addendum and shall constitute an integral part of the Award. The provisions of Articles 22 and 24 shall apply mutatis mutandis.

6. When a jurisdiction remits an Award to the Arbitrator the provisions of Articles 22 and 24 shall apply

mutatis mutandis to any addendum or any other Award rendered in accordance with the decision to remit. CEPANI may take all necessary measures in order to allow the Arbitral Tribunal to comply with the decision to remit and may determine an advance payment for the purposes of recovering all additional arbitration fees and expenses of the Arbitrator as well as the additional administrative expenses of CEPANI.

ARBITRATION COSTS

Article 27. – Nature and Amount of the Arbitration Costs – Parties’ Costs

1. The arbitration costs shall include the fees and expenses of the Arbitrator, as well as the administrative expenses of the secretariat. They shall be fixed by the secretariat on the basis of the amount of the principal claim and of any counterclaim, according to the Scale of Costs for Arbitration in effect on the date of the commencement of the arbitral proceedings.

2. The parties’ costs include the expenses of the parties such as the expenses incurred for their defence and the expenses relating to the presentation of evidence by experts or witnesses. Schedule II sets out a recommendation with regard to the said costs.

3. The secretariat may fix the arbitration costs at a higher or lower figure than that which would result from the application of the Scale of Costs for Arbitration, should this be deemed necessary due to the exceptional circumstances of the case.

4. Should the total amount in dispute exceed € 25.000,00 in the course of the proceedings, the secretariat may increase the amount of the arbitration costs in accordance with the Scale of Costs for Arbitration.

Article 28. – Advances on arbitration costs

1. The arbitration costs, as determined in accordance with Article 27.1 shall be paid to CEPANI prior to the transmission of the file by the secretariat to the Arbitral Tribunal.

2. Further advance payments may be required if and when any adjustments are made to the arbitration costs in the course of the proceedings.

3. The advance on arbitration costs, as well as the additional advance on arbitration costs shall be payable in equal shares by Claimant and Respondent. However, any party shall be free to pay the whole of the advance on arbitration costs should the other party fail to pay its share.

4. Where a counterclaim is filed, the secretariat may, at the request of the parties or one of them, or upon its own motion, fix separate advances on arbitration costs for the principal claim and the counterclaim.

When the secretariat has set separate advances on arbitration costs, each of the parties shall pay the advance on arbitration costs corresponding to its principal or counterclaim. The Arbitral Tribunal shall proceed only with respect to those claims or counterclaims in regard to which the advance on arbitration costs has been fully paid.

5. When a request for an additional advance on arbitration costs has not been complied with, and after consultation with the Arbitral Tribunal the secretariat may direct the Arbitral Tribunal to suspend its work and set a time limit, which must be not less than fifteen days, on the expiry of which the relevant claims or counterclaims on the basis of which the additional advance is calculated shall be considered as withdrawn. A party shall not be prevented on the grounds of such a withdrawal from reintroducing the same claim or counterclaim at a later date in another proceeding.

Article 29. – Decisions on Arbitration Costs and Parties’ Costs

1. The arbitration costs shall be finally fixed by the secretariat.

2. The final award shall mention the arbitration costs, as determined by the secretariat, and decide which of the parties shall bear them or in what proportion they shall be borne by the parties.

3. The final Award may also decide which of the parties shall finally bear the parties’ costs or in what proportion they shall be borne by the parties.

When the parties have reached an agreement on the allocation of the arbitration costs and parties’ costs, the Award shall record such agreement.

FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 30. – Limitation of liability

1. Except in the case of fraud, the arbitrators shall not incur any liability for any act or omission when carrying out their functions of ruling on a dispute.

2. For any other act or omission in the course of an arbitration proceeding, the arbitrators, CEPANI and its members and personnel shall not incur any liability except in the case of fraud or gross negligence.

Article 31. – Residual provision

Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, for all issues that are not specifically provided for herein the Arbitrator and the parties shall act in the spirit of the Rules and shall make every reasonable effort to make sure that the Award is enforceable at law.

ANNEXES

Annex I: Scale of costs for arbitration

Annex II: Parties’ costs

Annex III: Rules of good conduct for proceedings organized by CEPANI

Annex IV: Belgian Judicial Code Provisions relating to arbitration

Download the Mediation Rules

The Rules are in force as from the 1st of January 2018.

The numbers of the legal provisions referred to in these Rules, are the provisions in force when the Rules were approved.

STANDARD MEDIATION CLAUSE

“The Parties hereby undertake to apply the CEPANI Mediation Rules to all disputes arising out of or in connection with this agreement.”

The following provisions may be added to this clause:

“The place of the mediation shall be [          ]”.

The proceedings shall be conducted in the [            ] language”.

“Should the mediation fail, the dispute shall be finally settled under the CEPANI Rules of Arbitration by one or more Arbitrators appointed in accordance with the said Rules. The place of the arbitration shall be [            ], the arbitration shall be conducted in the [ ] language”.

INTRODUCTION

These Rules shall apply if one or more Parties wish to settle their dispute through mediation organized by CEPANI. It is not required that the Parties have concluded a mediation agreement prior to the dispute nor that a mediation clause be inserted in an agreement between Parties concerning which the dispute has arisen.

These Rules shall also apply to disputes arising out of contracts referring to CEPANI’s Mediation Rules for Information and Communications Technology, which are abrogated and replaced by these Rules.

Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution method whereby Parties Request a Third Person (the Mediator) to assist them in their attempt to reach an amicable settlement of their dispute arising out of, or relating to, a contractual or other legal relationship of whatsoever nature.

When the nature of the dispute requires complementary specializations (e.g. legal and technical), several Mediators may be appointed. In this case, the word ”Mediator” shall be read as Mediators.

When more than two Parties are involved in the dispute, the word “Requesting Party”, or “other Party” shall be read and understood as involving several Parties.

Article 1. Unilateral or joint Request for mediation

1.1 A Party wishing to have recourse to mediation under the CEPANI Rules shall submit its Request for Mediation to the Secretariat, in person or via its authorized Representative or Counsel. The Request must be submitted in electronic form and in one hard copy and must be signed in both cases by the Party wishing to have recourse to mediation or by its authorized Representative  or Counsel.

Upon receipt of the Request, CEPANI shall send a copy of the Request by e-mail to the other Party or Parties involved.

If no valid e-mail address is known for the other Party(ies) involved, the unilateral Request submitted shall be supplied in a number of original and signed copies sufficient to provide one copy for the other Party(ies) and one copy for the Secretariat.

1.2 The Request for Mediation may also be submitted jointly by all Parties involved in the dispute.

The Request and the documents annexed thereto must be submitted in electronic form and in one hard copy. In both cases, it must be signed by all Parties or by their authorized Representative or Counsel.

1.3 The Request shall contain, inter alia, the following information:

  1. name, address, registered office, telephone and fax number, valid e-mail address, and company registration number, if any, of the Requesting Party and the identity of any Representative or Counsel having the capacity to act on behalf of the Requesting Party;
  2. a unique electronic communication method chosen for the exchange of all communications during the proceedings (including the name of the contact person and a valid e-mail adress);
  3. in case of a unilateral Request for Mediation in accordance with Article 1.1 : the name of the other Parties, along with all the information the Requesting Party has for contacting the other Parties or their authorized Representatives or Counsel, such as a postal or valid e-mail address, telephone and fax numbers, company registration number and any information obtained from previous contacts;
  4. a brief recital of the dispute;
  5. the proof of payment of the registration costs as fixed under Article 4 of Schedule I.A of these Rules.

1.4 In the case of a unilateral Request for Mediation, as mentioned in Article 1.1 of these Rules, and if the Request contains a claim to a right, the Requesting Party who introduced the Request shall comply with the formalities set out in Article 1730 of the Belgian Judicial Code in order for the Request to suspend the limitation period and to have the effect of a formal notice.

In the case of a joint Request as mentioned in Article 1.2 of these Rules, the Parties accept that, if their joint Request contains a claim to a right, it shall suspend the limitation period of the claim related to the said right during one month and shall have the effect of a formal notice.

Article 2. Answer to the Request for Mediation

Within two weeks after the Request has been sent as mentioned in Article 1.1, the other Party shall inform the CEPANI Secretariat whether or not it wishes to participate in the mediation. This deadline may be extended with Parties’ consent.

If no positive answer is given within the said time limit, the Request for Mediation shall be deemed to have been rejected by the said other Party.

A disagreement on the conditions set out by the Requesting Party is also considered as a refusal to take part in the mediation, unless the Requesting Party accepts in writing the conditions proposed by the other Party or if both Parties inform CEPANI of the conditions they have both agreed on.

Article 3. Effect of the mediation agreement

When the Parties agree to resort to CEPANI for mediation, they thereby submit to these Rules, including the Schedules, in effect on the date of the receipt by the CEPANI Secretariat of the Request for Mediation.

THE MEDIATIOR

Article 4. Appointment of the Mediator(s)

4.1 The CEPANI Appointments Committee or the President of CEPANI shall appoint a Mediator within two weeks following receipt of the positive response as mentioned in Article 2. In doing so, the Mediator(‘) s(‘) availability, qualifications and ability to carry out the mediation in accordance with these Rules shall be taken into account.

The Parties may also propose by mutual consent the name of a Mediator to the Appointments Committee or to the President of CEPANI

4.2  When it notifies the identity of the Mediator the CEPANI Secretariat shall also communicate simultaneously to the Parties:

  • the administrative expenses of CEPANI;
  • the amount of the advance for mediation costs;
  • the conditions for the payment of these costs;
  • the date and the place of the mediation.

4.3 Provided that the advance for mediation costs has been fully paid, the CEPANI Secretariat shall transmit the file to the Mediator as soon as the latter has been appointed.

4.4 When several Mediators are appointed, they will act as a body.

Article 5. Independence of the Mediator

The Mediator shall be independent. Prior to his/her appointment, the Mediator shall sign a statement of acceptance, availability and independence and shall undertake to comply with the Rules of Good Conduct set out in Schedule II.

The Mediator shall disclose in writing to the Secretariat any facts or circumstances which might be of such a nature so as to call into question his/her independence in the eyes of the Parties. The Secretariat shall provide such information to the Parties in writing and fix a time limit for the receipt of their comments.

The Mediator and/or the Parties shall immediately disclose to CEPANI any facts or circumstances which might be of such a nature as to call into question the Mediator’s independence and which may occur during the mediation. In such event, CEPANI may, if the Parties or one of them so Requests, replace the Mediator.

Article 6. Mediation Protocol

6.1 The Mediator is free to organize the mediation as he/she sees fit in accordance with these Rules.

Before starting the mediation, in accordance with Article 1731 of the Belgian Judicial Code, the Mediator shall sign a Mediation Protocol with the Parties which shall state inter alia:

  • the scale of fees or the method of determining the fees of the Mediator;
  • the way in which the mediation costs will be divided among the Parties and the amount of the advance foreseen to cover these costs, as determined in accordance with Article 12 of these Rules;
  • the method(s) of communication, if any, agreed by the Parties and the Mediator.

An original copy of the Mediation Protocol, duly signed by the Mediator and by the Parties or their authorized Representative or Counsel, shall be transmitted to the CEPANI Secretariat.

Article 7. Powers of the Mediator

7.1 The Mediator shall ensure that the proceedings are properly conducted. He/She shall create a favourable climate in which Parties themselves can find a solution to their dispute.

7.2 The Mediator shall ensure that the Parties are always treated on a balanced basis.

7.3 If Parties agree during a mediation that it would be useful for the Mediator to be made aware of the documentary evidence or of certain documents, or if the Mediator himself/herself finds it useful, they will be communicated accompanied with a list of the documents. This communication must not necessarily be made to the other Party(ies).

7.4 The Mediator shall not have the power to impose a solution on the Parties.

7.5 If nothing else is foreseen before or during the mediation, the Mediator’s approach will mainly consist in facilitating the search for a settlement between the Parties. On Parties’ Request the Mediator may however, insofar he/she judges it appropriate and being exclusively guided by the effectiveness of the procedure, give an opinion and express views regarding the Parties’ positions, both from a legal and a factual point of view. This opinion shall not bind the Parties or the Mediator. The opinion shall be construed as exclusively designed to give the Parties an informed analysis provided by a neutral and independent Third Party with the aim of helping them to find a solution to their dispute.

7.6 In the context of, and for the benefits of, his/her mission, the Mediator may, with the consent of the Parties, hear third Parties if they accept to be heard or, when it appears useful in the search for a solution, consult an Expert in one or more specific fields with a view to aiding the Parties.

7.7 After having consulted the Parties, the Mediator may decide to hold meetings at any location that he/she considers appropriate.

Article 8. Replacement of the Mediator

8.1 In the event of the Mediator’s death, resignation, if there is a cause preventing him/her from fulfilling his/her duties, or upon Request of all Parties, the Mediator shall be replaced.

8.2 The Mediator shall also be replaced when the Appointments Committee or the President decides that the Mediator is prevented de jure or de facto from fulfilling his/her duties in accordance with these Rules or within the allotted time limits.

Article 9. Secrecy obligation of the Mediator, the Parties, their authorized Representatives and  Counsel.

The Mediator, the Parties, their authorized Representatives and Counsel, as well as the Experts or third Parties that have been involved in the proceedings, have a duty of secrecy in accordance with Article 1728 of the Belgian Judicial Code.

Save with the approval of the Mediator and the Parties, the meetings held within the context of mediation are not open to persons not involved in the mediation. However, if all Parties agree, other Parties may participate in the mediation.

Parties shall appear in person, as the case may be via one or more Representatives, with or without Counsel. Their Representatives must have a good knowledge of the dispute and the necessary decision-making power to settle it.

Article 10. Confidentiality of communications

All communications between the Parties and/or the Mediator as from his/ her appointment or by the latter for the purposes of the mediation, are confidential. The Parties undertake to refrain from making any reference whatsoever to the mediation outside the context of the mediation.

Unless otherwise agreed by the Parties, this shall however not apply to the Mediation Protocol, or to the notification of the end of the mediation as mentioned in Article 11 herein, nor to any settlement reached by the Parties at the end of the mediation.

Pre-existing documents or documents obtained by a Party outside of the context of the mediation and which are communicated in the context and for the purposes of the mediation between the Parties, to the Mediator or by the Mediator to the Parties or to one of the Parties are not covered by this confidentiality rule. As the case may be, said documents may subsequently be used by the Parties for other purposes than the mediation, unless they were specifically communicated as confidential documents as part of the mediation.

However, unless otherwise agreed by all Parties to the mediation, the Parties undertake to refrain from in any way referring to the fact that the documents have been communicated as a part of the mediation.

Article 11. Settlement / Non-settlement and end of the mediation

Settlement / Non-settlement

11.1 Should the mediation lead to a settlement between the Parties, the agreement shall be set forth in writing, dated and signed by the Parties and, when Requested by the Parties, by the Mediator. This document shall set out the precise undertakings of each Party as well as the allocation of the mediation costs, if this differs from what was agreed in the Mediation Protocol.

The Mediator shall send an original copy of the settlement to CEPANI.

11.2 In the event that the mediation fails to produce a settlement, or if the Mediator considers that the mediation should not be pursued, he/she shall inform the CEPANI Secretariat and the Parties thereof.

End of the mediation

11.3 When an agreement is reached, the mediation shall end when a copy of the settlement, signed by the Parties and, if needed, by the Mediator, is sent to the CEPANI Secretariat. Parties may however agree, by so indicating in their settlement that the mediation will end only later, for example to allow the Mediator to remain in office until the settlement is carried out.

11.4 At any time, either Party may refuse to continue the mediation. If no agreement is reached, the Parties and the Mediator acknowledge the lack of agreement and the Mediator or one of the Parties notifies the CEPANI Secretariat that no settlement has been reached, with a copy of the said notification to the Parties.

11.5 In the event that the mediation fails, the Mediator shall not act as an arbitrator, Representative or Counsel of a Party in arbitral or judicial proceedings relating to the dispute which was the subject of mediation, unless otherwise agreed by the Parties.

Article 12. Mediation costs

12.1 The mediation costs shall include the fees and expenses of the Mediator, as well as the CEPANI administrative expenses and all costs related to the mediation as have been agreed by the Parties. The advance required to cover the mediation costs shall be paid to CEPANI prior to the appointment of the Mediator by the Appointments Committee or the President. The said advance shall be fixed by the Secretariat on the basis of the total value of the sum of the principal claims and counterclaims, in accordance with the scale of fees in force at the time of the commencement of the mediation.

12.2 Other costs and expenses relating to the mediation, such as the expenses incurred by a Party, are not included in the mediation costs and are borne by the said Party, unless otherwise agreed by Parties, such agreement to be in writing.

12.3 If CEPANI decides in the course of the mediation, after having consulted the Mediator, that the initial advance for mediation costs must be adjusted, the Parties shall be Requested to make a further advance payment.

Unless otherwise agreed by the Parties, the initial advance on mediation costs, as well as any additional advance(s) on mediation costs, shall be payable in equal shares by the Parties.

When a Request for an additional advance on mediation costs has not been complied with, and after consultation with the Mediator, the Secretariat may direct the Mediator to suspend his/her work until the advance is fully paid.

12.4 At the end of the mediation, the mediation costs are deducted from the advance on mediation costs received. The outstanding balance, if any, is reimbursed to the Parties, as may be agreed between them.

FINAL PROVISION

Article 13. Limitation of liability

For any act or omission in the course of a mediation, the Mediator, CEPANI and its members and personnel shall not incur any liability except in the case of fraud or gross negligence.

SCHEDULE I: Scale of Fees for Mediation 

SCHEDULE II: Rules of Good Conduct

SCHEDULE III: Parties’ Costs

SCHEDULE IV: Bepalingen van het Belgisch gerechtelijk wetboek (zoals gewijzigd op 18 juni 2018) /  Dispositions du Code judiciaire belge relatives à la médiation  (Telles qu’amendées par la loi du 18 juin 2018)

Download the Mini-Trial Rules

The Rules are in force as from Januray 1st, 2018

STANDARD MINI-TRIAL CLAUSE

The Parties who wish to refer to the CEPANI mini-trial Rules are advised to insert the following clause in their contracts:

“The Parties hereby undertake to apply the CEPANI mini-trial Rules for all disputes arising out of or in relation with this agreement.”

The following provisions may be added to this clause:

“The seat of the mini-trial shall be [           ]”.

“The proceedings shall be conducted in the [            ] language”.

“Should the mini-trial fail, the dispute shall be finally settled under the CEPANI Rules of Arbitration by one or more Arbitrators appointed in accordance with those Rules”.

PRELIMINARY   PROVISIONS

Article 1. Belgian Centre for Mediation and Arbitration

The Belgian Centre for Arbitration and Mediation (“CEPANI”) is an independent body which administers mini-trial proceedings in accordance with its Rules. It does not itself resolve disputes and it does not act as President of the Mini-trial Committee.

GENERAL  PROVISIONS

Article 2. Scope

A mini-trial agreement may be set forth in a clause of the contract or entered into after the dispute has arisen.

COMMENCEMENT OF THE PROCEEDINGS

Article 3. Request for Mini-trial

  1. A Party wishing to have recourse to Mini-trial under the CEPANI Rules shall submit its Request for Mini-trial to the Secretariat.

The Request for Mini-trial shall include, inter alia, the following information:

  1. name, first name and the name in full, function, address, telephone and fax numbers, valid e-mail addresses and VAT-number, if any, of each of the Parties;
  2. a succinct recital of the nature and circumstances of the dispute giving rise to the claim;
  3. a statement to the relief sought, a summary of the grounds for the claim, and, if possible, a financial estimate of the amount of the claim;
  4. name, first name and the name in full, function, address and valid e-mail address, telephone and fax numbers of the assessor appointed by Claimant to sit on the Mini-trial Committee;
  5. any comments as to the place of the Mini-trial, the language of the Mini-trial and the applicable Rules of law.

Together with the Request, Claimant shall provide copies of all agreements, in particular the Mini-trial agreement, the correspondence between the Parties and other relevant documents.

The Request for Mini-trial and the documents annexed thereto must be submitted in electronic form and in one hard copy.

  1. Claimant shall also attach to the Request for Mini-trial proof of the dispatch to Respondent of the Request and the documents annexed thereto.
  2. The date on which the Secretariat receives the Request for Mini-trial and the annexes thereto and the payment of the registration costs such as determined under Article 4 of the annex I.B shall be deemed to be the date of commencement of the Mini-trial proceedings. The Secretariat shall confirm this date to the Parties.

Article 4. Answer to the Request for Mini-trial and filing of a counterclaim

  1. Within twenty-one days from the date of the commencement of the mini-trial proceedings, Respondent shall send its Answer to the Request for Mini-trial to the Secretariat.

The Answer shall include, inter alia, the following information:

  1. name, first name and the name in full, function, address, telephone and fax number, valid e-mail address and VAT-number, if any, of Respondent;
  2. its comment on to the nature and circumstances of the dispute that gives rise to the claim;
  3. its response to the relief sought;
  4. name, first name, function, address and valid e-mail address, telephone and fax number of the assessor nominated by the Respondent to sit in the Mini-trial Committee;
  5. any comments as to the place of the Mini-trial, the language of the Mini-trial and the applicable Rules of law.

​Together with the Answer, a general or specific grant of authority of the assessor and any other relevant document must be filed.

The Answer and the documents annexed thereto must be submitted in electronic form and in one hard copy.

  1. Respondent shall also attach to the Answer proof of the dispatch, within the same time limit of twenty-one days, to Claimant of the Answer and the documents annexed thereto.
  2. Any counterclaim made by Respondent shall be filed with its Answer and shall include:
  1. a recital of the nature and circumstances of the dispute that gives rise to the counterclaim;
  2. an indication of the object of the counterclaim and, if possible, a financial estimate of the amount of the counterclaim;
  1. This time limit may be extended pursuant to a reasoned Request of Respondent, or on its own motion, by the Secretariat.

Article 5. Lack of a prima facie Mini-trial agreement

In the event that there is no prima facie Mini-trial agreement, the Mini- trial may not proceed should Respondent not answer within the period of twenty-one days mentioned in Article 4, or should Respondent refuse Mini-trial in accordance with the CEPANI Rules.

Article 6. Effect of the Mini-trial agreement

  1. When the Parties agree to resort to CEPANI for a Mini-trial, they thereby submit to the Rules, including the annexes which are in effect on the date of the commencement of the mini-trial proceedings, unless they have agreed to submit to the Rules in effect on the date of their Mini-trial agreement.
  2. Unless otherwise agreed by the Parties, the Mini-trial shall proceed in accordance with the provisions of these Rules.
  3. If necessary, and after having consulted with his/her Assessors, the President of the Mini-trial Committee may depart from the Rules set forth herein.

Article 7. Written notifications or communications and time limits

  1. The Request for Mini-trial, the Answer to the Request for Mini-trial, all pleadings and the appointment of the Mini-trial Committee shall be valid if it the notification or communication is made in electronic form to a valid e-mail address, which allows proof of the sending. If no valid e-mail address is known for a Party, the notification or communication shall be validly made if it is remitted by courier service against receipt, sent by registered mail or by fax.
  2. If a Party is represented by Counsel, all notifications or communications shall be made to the latter, unless that Party Requests otherwise.

All notifications or communications shall be valid if dispatched to the last address of the Party to whom they are addressed, as notified either by the Party in question or by the other Party.

  1. A notification or communication, made in accordance with paragraph 1, shall be deemed to have been made when it is received or should have been received by the Party itself, by its Representative or its Counsel.
  2. Periods of time fixed under the present Rules shall start to run on the day following the date a notification or communication is deemed to have been made in accordance with paragraph 1. If the last day of the relevant period of time granted is an official holiday or a non-business day in the country where the notification or communication has to be made, the period of time shall expire at the end of the first following business day.

A notice or communication shall be treated as having been sent timely if it is dispatched in accordance with paragraph 1 prior to, or on the date of, the expiry of the time limit.

Article 8. Judicial or arbitral proceedings

  1. During the Mini-trial, the Parties undertake not to initiate or continue any judicial or arbitral proceedings relating to the same dispute or part of it, except as a conservatory measure.
  2. Notwithstanding paragraph 1 hereinabove, the Parties may present to the Court or to the Arbitral Tribunal a Request for conservatory or provisional measures. Such a Request shall not entail a waiver of the right to continue with the Mini-trial.

THE MINI-TRIAL COMMITTEE

Article 9. General provisions

  1. Only those persons who are independent of the Parties and of their Counsel and who comply with the Rules of good conduct for proceedings organized by CEPANI, may serve as President of the Mini-trial Committee in Mini-trials organized by CEPANI.
  2. The Appointments Committee or the Chairman shall appoint the President of the Mini-trial Committee. The Parties may nominate the President of the Mini-trial Committee by mutual consent, subject to the approval of the Appointments Committee or the Chairman.
  3. Prior to his/her appointment or confirmation, the President of the Mini-trial Committee whose appointment is being proposed shall sign a statement of availability, acceptance and independence. He/she shall disclose in writing to the Secretariat any facts or circumstances which might be of such a nature to call into question the President of the Mini- trial Committee’s independence in the eyes of the Parties. The Secretariat shall provide such information to the Parties in writing and fix a time limit for any comments from them.
  4. The President of the Mini-trial Committee shall immediately disclose in writing to the Secretariat and to the Parties any facts or circumstances of a similar nature as those mentioned in paragraph 2 which may arise during the Mini-trial.
  5. The decisions of the Appointments Committee or the President as to the appointment or replacement of the President of the Mini-trial Committee shall be final. The reasons for the decision shall not be communicated.
  6. By accepting to serve, every President of the Mini-trial Committee undertakes to carry out his/her responsibilities until the end in accordance with these Rules.
  7. Unless otherwise agreed by the Parties, the President of the Mini-trial Committee shall not act as an arbitrator, Representative or Counsel of a Party in arbitral or judicial proceedings relating to the dispute which was the subject of a Mini-trial.

Article 10. Composition and Task of the Mini-trial Committee

  1. The Mini-trail Committee shall be composed of a President of the Mini- trial Committee and two Assessors appointed by and empowered to bind each Party on the basis of a general or specific grant of authority.
  2. Should more than two Parties be involved in the mini-trial, then each Party shall appoint one assessor to sit on the Mini-trial Committee, unless otherwise agreed.
  3. The Appointments Committee or the President appoints or confirms the President of the Mini-trial Committee after the payment by the Parties, or by one of them, of the advance on Mini-trial costs in accordance with the provisions of Article 21. It will thereby take into account more particularly the availability, the qualifications and the ability of the President of the Mini-trial Committee to conduct the Mini-trial in accordance with these Rules.
  4. The President of the Mini-trial Committee is empowered to assist the Parties in their attempt to reach an amicable settlement of their dispute. He/she shall attempt to reach this agreement by consulting with his/her Assessors.
  5. The Assessors are senior officials nominated by each Party and whose task is to attempt to reach an amicable settlement on the dispute in the name and on behalf of the Parties who nominated them and under the guidance of the President of the Mini-trial Committee. The assessor may be the chief executive of the company or a senior executive, or he/she may be a Third Party, such as a lawyer or any other person of trust authorized by the Party concerned to enter into commitments on its behalf.

Article 11. Replacement of the President of the Mini-trial Committee

  1. In the event of the President of the Mini-trial Committee’s death, challenge, accepted withdrawal, or if there is a cause preventing him/her from fulfilling his/her duties, or upon Request of all Parties, the President of the Mini-trial Committee shall be replaced.

2.The President of the Mini-trial Committee shall also be replaced when the Appointments Committee or the President finds that the President of the Mini-trial Committee is prevented de jure or de facto from fulfilling his/her duties in accordance with these Rules or within the allotted time limits.

In such event, the Appointments Committee or the President shall decide on the matter after having invited the President of the Mini-trial Committee, the Assessors and the Parties to comment in writing to the Secretariat within the time limit allotted by the latter. Such comments shall be communicated to the Parties and to the Mini-trial Committee.

THE MINI-TRIAL PROCEEDINGS

Article 12. Transmission of the file to the Mini-trial Committee

Provided that the advance on Mini-trial costs set out in Article 21 has been fully paid, the Secretariat shall transmit the file to the Mini-trial Committee as soon as the latter has been appointed.

Article 13. Language of the Mini-trial

  1. The language of the Mini-trial shall be determined by mutual agreement between the Parties. Failing such an agreement, the language or languages of the Mini-trial shall be determined by the President of the Mini-trial Committee, due regard being given to the circumstances of the case and, in particular, to the language of the contract.
  2. The President of the Mini-trial Committee, having consulted with his/ her Assessors, shall have full authority to decide which of the Parties shall bear the translation costs, if any, and to what extent.

Article 14. Place of the Mini-trial

  1. The Appointments Committee or the President shall determine the place of the Mini-trial, unless the Parties have agreed this.
  2. Unless otherwise agreed by the Parties and after having consulted with them, the Mini-trial Committee may decide to hold its hearings and meetings at any other location that it considers appropriate.
  3. The Mini-trial Committee may deliberate at any place that it considers appropriate.

Article 15. Examination of the case

1.The President of the Mini-trial Committee, having consulted with his/her Assessors, may ask the Parties to provide additional information and exhibits.

  1. fter consultation with his/her Assessors, the President of the Mini- trial Committee shall determine the day, time and place of a meeting with the Parties.
  2. The President of the Mini-trial Committee shall chair the meeting and offer the Parties an opportunity to put forth their views.
  3. The hearings shall not be public. Save with the approval of the Mini-trial Committee and the Parties, persons not involved in the proceedings shall not be admitted.
  4. The Parties shall appear in person or through duly authorized Representatives or Counsel.
  5. After the meeting, the President of the Mini-trial Committee shall consult with his/her Assessors and attempt to reach a consensus. In this respect, the President of the Mini-trial Committee shall have the broadest powers to undertake whatever, in his/her opinion, may reasonably bring about a settlement. To this end, he/she may consult, inter alia, with each of his/her Assessors separately.

Article 16. Confidentiality of the Mini-trial Proceedings

Unless it has been agreed otherwise by the Parties or there is a legal obligation to disclose, the mini-trial proceedings shall be confidential.

Article 17. Confidentiality of communications

All communications between the Parties and/or the President of the Mini-trial Committee as from his/her appointment or by the latter for the purposes of the Mini-trial, are confidential. The Parties undertake to refrain from making any reference whatsoever to the Mini-trial outside the context of the Mini-trial. Unless otherwise agreed by the Parties, this shall however not apply to the notification of the end of the Mini-trial as mentioned in Article 19 herein, nor to any settlement reached by the Parties at the end of the Mini-trial.

Pre-existing documents or documents obtained by a Party outside of the context of the Mini-trial and which are communicated in the context and for the purposes of the Mini-trial between the Parties, to the President of the Mini-trial Committee or by the President of the Mini- trial Committee to the Parties or to one of the Parties are not covered by this confidentiality rule. As the case may be, said documents may subsequently be used by the Parties for other purposes than the Mini-trial, unless they were specifically communicated as confidential documents as part of the Mini-trial.

SETTLEMENT AND END OF THE MINI-TRIAL

Article 18. Settlement

  1. Should these consultations lead to a settlement, the agreement shall be set forth in writing and signed by the Assessors in the name and on behalf of the Parties. This document sets out the precise undertakings of each of the Parties.

Subsequently, the President of the Mini-trial Committee shall record in a set of minutes the fact that the Parties have reached an agreement. The said minutes shall be signed by the President of the Mini-trial Committee and the Assessors, in the name and on behalf of the Parties. A copy of the minutes is sent to the Secretariat.

  1. In the event that the consultations fail to bring about a settlement, the President of the Mini-trial Committee shall record this fact in the minutes, which he/she shall sign and immediately notify to the Secretariat.

Article 19. End of the Mini-trial

  1. When an agreement is reached, the Mini-trial shall end when the Assessors, in the name and on behalf of the Parties and the President of the Mini-trial Committee, the minutes stating that an agreement has been reached.
  2. If no agreement is reached, the Mini-trial shall end as soon as the President of the Mini-trial Committee notifies to the Secretariat the minutes stating that no agreement has been reached.
  3. Should one of the Parties fail to appear in the proceedings after having been duly summoned, the Mini-trial shall end as soon as the President of the Mini-trial Committee informs the Secretariat in writing of this fact.
  4. At any time, either Party may refuse to continue the Mini-trial. In such event, the Mini-trial ends when written notification of that Party’s refusal is sent to the President of the Mini-trial Committee, if already constituted, and to the Secretariat.
  5. The President of the Mini-trial Committee may also decide, after consultation with his/her Assessors, that there is no further justification for continuing with the Mini-trial. In such event, the Mini-trial ends as soon as the President of the Mini-trial Committee informs the Secretariat in writing of this fact.

COSTS OF MINI-TRIAL

Article 20. Nature and amount of the Mini-trial costs

  1. The Mini-trial costs shall include the fees and expenses of the President of the Mini-trial Committee, as well as the administrative expenses of the Secretariat. They shall be fixed by the Secretariat on the basis of the amount of the claims, according to the Scale of Mini-trial costs in effect on the date of the commencement of the mini-trial proceedings.

2.The costs of the assessor nominated by a Party shall be borne by this Party. Other costs and expenses relating to the Mini-trial, such as the expenses incurred by a Party for their defence and the expenses relating to the presentation of evidence by Experts or witnesses, are not included in the Mini-trial costs and are borne by this Party.

  1. The Secretariat may fix the Mini-trial costs at a higher or lower figure than that which would result from the application of the Scale of Mini- trial Costs, should this be deemed necessary due to the exceptional circumstances of the case.
  2. If the amount in dispute is not specified, totally or partially, the Secretariat, may determine, taking into account all available information, the amount in dispute on the basis of which the Mini-trial costs will be calculated.
  3. The Secretariat may adjust the amount of the Mini-trial costs at any time during the proceedings if the circumstances of the case or if new claims reveal that the scope of the dispute is greater than originally considered.

Article 21. Advance on Mini-trial costs

  1. The advance required to cover the Mini-trial costs as determined in accordance with Article 20, paragraph 1 shall be paid to CEPANI prior to the appointment of the President of the Mini-trial Committee by the Appointments Committee or the President.
  2. Further advance payments may be required if and when any adjust- ments are made to the Mini-trial costs in the course of the proceedings.
  3. The advance on Mini-trial costs, as well as the additional advance on Mini-trial costs, shall be payable in equal shares by the Parties. However, any Party shall be free to pay the whole of the advance on Mini-trial costs should the other Party fail to pay its share.
  4. When the advance on Mini-trial costs exceeds € 50.000,00 a bank guarantee may be posted to cover such payment.
  5. When a Request for an additional advance on Mini-trial costs has not been complied with, and after consultation with the Mini-trial Committee, the Secretariat may direct the Mini-trial Committee to suspend its work and set a time limit, which must be not less than fifteen days, on the expiry of which the relevant claims or counterclaims on the basis of which the additional advance was calculated shall be considered as withdrawn. A Party shall not be prevented on the ground of such a withdrawal from reintroducing the same claim or counterclaim at a later date in another proceeding.

Article 22. Decision on Mini-trial costs

  1. The Mini-trial costs shall be finally fixed by the Secretariat.
  2. Unless otherwise agreed, the Parties shall each bear one half of the costs of the Mini-trial.
  3. The minutes that state that the Parties have reached an agreement, set forth the Mini-trial costs, as determined by the Secretariat, and set out the agreement between the Parties, if any, on the allocation of the Mini-trial costs.

FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 23. Limitation of liability

For any act or omission in the course of mini-trial proceedings, the President of the Mini-trial Committee, CEPANI and its members and personnel shall not incur any liability except in the case of fraud or gross negligence.

SCHEDULE I: Scale of Fees for Mini-Trial

SCHEDULE II: Rules of Good Conduct

SCHEDULE III: Parties’ Costs

Download the Rules for technical expertise

The Rules are in force as from Januray 1st, 2018

STANDARD CLAUSE FOR TECHNICAL EXPERTISE

The Parties who wish to refer to the CEPANI Rules for technical Expertise are advised to insert the following clause in their contracts:

“The Parties hereby undertake to apply the CEPANI Rules of Technical Expertise for all disputes arising out of or in relation with this Agreement”.

The following provisions may be added to this clause:

“The seat of the technical Expertise shall be [            ]”.

“The proceedings shall be conducted in the [            ] language”.

“The technical Expertise shall be carried out by [one] or [three] Experts”. “The findings andconclusions of the Expert(s) shall [not] be binding on the Parties”.

PRELIMINARY   PROVISIONS

Article 1. Belgian Centre for Mediation and Arbitration

The Belgian Centre for Arbitration and Mediation (“CEPANI”) is an independent body which administers technical Expertise proceedings in accordance with its Rules. It does not itself resolve disputes and it does not act as technical Expert.

COMMENCEMENT OF THE PROCEEDINGS

Article 2. Request for Technical Expertise

1. A Party wishing to have recourse to technical Expertise under the CEPANI Rules shall submit its Request for Technical Expertise to the Secretariat.

The Request for Technical Expertise shall include, inter alia, the following information:

  1. name, first name and the name in full, function, address, telephone and fax numbers, valid e-mail addresses and VAT-number, if any, of each of the Parties;
  2. a succinct recital of the nature and circumstances of the dispute giving rise to the claim;
  3. the purpose and the nature of the technical Expertise;
  4. any comments as to the place of the technical Expertise and the language of the technical Expertise.

Together with the Request, Claimant shall provide copies of all agreements, in particular the technical Expertise agreement and other relevant documents.

The Request for Technical Expertise and the documents annexed thereto must be submitted in electronic form and in one hard copy.

2. Claimant shall also attach to the Request for Technical Expertise proof of the dispatch to Respondent of the Request and the documents annexed thereto.

3. The date on which the Secretariat receives the Request for Technical Expertise and the annexes thereto and the payment of the registration costs shall be deemed to be the date of commencement of the technical Expertise. Each Request for technical Expertise must be accompanied by an advance payment of € 750,00 excl. VAT on administrative costs.

Such payment is non-refundable, and shall be credited to the Claimant’s portion of the advance on costs for technical Expertise. The Secretariat shall confirm this date to the Parties.

Article 3. Answer to the Request for Technical Expertise

1. Within fifteen days from the date of commencement of the for technical Expertise proceedings, Respondent shall send its Answer to the Request for Technical Expertise to the Secretariat.

The Answer shall include, inter alia, the following information:

  1. name, first name and the name in full, function, address, telephone and fax numbers, valid e-mail address and VAT-number, if any, of Respondent;
  2. its comments on the nature and circumstances of the dispute that gives rise to the claim;
  3. its response to the Expert’s mission as defined by Claimant;
  4. any comments as to the place of the technical Expertise and the language of the technical Expertise.

The Answer and the documents annexed thereto must be submitted in electronic form and in one hard copy.

2. Respondent shall also attach to the Answer proof of the dispatch, within the same time limit of fifteen days, to Claimant of the Answer and the documents annexed thereto.

3. This time limit may be extended pursuant to a reasoned Request of Respondent, or on its own motion, by the Secretariat.

Article 4. Lack of a prima facie technical Expertise agreement

In the event that there is no prima facie technical Expertise agreement, the technical Expertise may not proceed should Respondent not answer within the period of fifteen days mentioned in Article 3, or should Respondent refuse technical Expertise in accordance with the CEPANI Rules.

Article 5. Effect of the technical Expertise agreement

1. When the Parties agree to resort to CEPANI for technical Expertise, they thereby submit to the Rules, including the annexes, in effect on the date of the commencement of the technical Expertise proceedings, unless they have agreed to submit to the Rules in effect on the date of their technical Expertise  agreement.

2. If, notwithstanding a prima facie technical Expertise agreement, one of the Parties refuses to submit to technical Expertise, or fails to take part in the technical Expertise, the technical Expertise shall nevertheless proceed.

Article 6. Written notifications or communications and time limits

1. The Request for Technical Expertise, the Answer to the Request for Technical Expertise, all pleadings and, the appointment of the Experts, subject to Article 15, paragraph 2 shall be valid if the notification or communicated is made in electronic form to a valid e-mail address, which allows proof of the sending. If no valid e-mail address is known for a Party, the notification or communication shall be validly made if it is remitted by courier service against receipt, sent by registered mail, or by fax.

2. If a Party is represented by Counsel, all notifications or communications shall be made to the latter, unless that Party Requests otherwise.

All notifications or communications shall be valid if dispatched to the last address of the Party to whom they are addressed, as notified either by the Party in question or by the other Party.

3. A notification or communication, made in accordance with paragraph 1, shall be deemed to have been made when it was received or should has been received by the Party itself, by its Representative or its Counsel.

4. Periods of time specified in the present Rules, shall start to run on the day following the date a notification or communication is deemed to have been made in accordance with paragraph 2. If the last day of the relevant period of time granted is an official holiday or a non-business day in the country where the notification or communication has to be made, the period of time shall expire at the end of the first following business day.

A notice or communication shall be treated as having been sent timely if it is dispatched in accordance with paragraph 1 prior to, or on the date of, the expiry of the time limit.

THE EXPERT(S)

Article 7. General provisions

1. Only those persons who are independent of the Parties and of their Counsel and who comply with the Rules of good conduct for proceedings organized by CEPANI, may serve as Experts in technical Expertise proceedings organized by CEPANI.

2. The Appointments Committee or the Chairman shall appoint the Expert(s). The Parties may nominate the Expert(s) by mutual consent, subject to the Appointments Committee or the Chairman.

3. Prior to his appointment or confirmation, the Expert whose appointment is being proposed, shall sign a statement of availability, acceptance and independence. He shall disclose in writing to the Secretariat any facts or circumstances which might be of such a nature so as to call into question the Expert’s independence in the eyes of the Parties. The Secretariat shall provide such information to the Parties in writing and fix a time limit for any comments from them.

4. An Expert shall immediately disclose in writing to the Secretariat and to the Parties any facts or circumstances of a similar nature as those mentioned in paragraph 3 which may arise during the technical Expertise.

5. The decisions of the Appointments Committee or the Chairman as to the appointment, approval or replacement of an Expert shall be final. The reasons for the decision shall not be communicated.

6. By accepting to serve, every Expert undertakes to carry out his responsibilities until the end in accordance with these Rules.

7. Unless otherwise agreed by the Parties, the Expert shall not act as an arbitrator, Representative or Counsel of a Party in arbitral or judicial proceedings relating to the dispute which was the subject of the technical Expertise proceedings.

Article 8. Appointment of the Expert

1. The Appointments Committee or the Chairman shall appoint, or confirms the nomination of, the Expert(s) in accordance with the Rules set out hereafter.

2. The Parties shall define the Expert’s mission. If the Expert is appointed in the course of an arbitration procedure, the Arbitral Tribunal shall define the mission of the Expert after having consulted the Parties. If the Expert is appointed in the course of a mediation, the Mediator shall define the mission of the Expert after having consulted the Parties.

3. The Appointments Committee or the Chairman appoints or approves the nomination of the Expert(s) after the payment by the Parties, or by one of them, of the advance on technical Expertise costs in accordance with the provisions of Article 17. It thereby takes into account more particularly the availability, the qualifications and the ability of the Expert(s) to conduct the technical Expertise in accordance with these Rules.

Article 9. Replacement of the Expert

1. In the event of an Expert’s death, challenge, accepted withdrawal, or if there is a cause preventing him from fulfilling his duties, or upon Request of all Parties, the Expert shall be replaced.

2. An Expert shall also be replaced when the Appointments Committee or the Chairman finds that the Expert is prevented de jure or de facto from fulfilling his duties in accordance with these Rules or within the allotted time limits.

In such event, the Appointments Committee or the Chairman shall decide on the matter after having invited the Expert concerned, the other Experts, if any, and the Parties to comment in writing to the Secretariat within the time limit allotted by the latter. Such comments shall be communicated to the Parties and to the Expert(s).

THE TECHNICAL EXPERTISE

Article 10. Transmission of the file to the Expert

Provided that the advance on technical Expertise costs set out in Article 17 has been fully paid, the Secretariat shall transmit the file to the Expert(s) as soon as the latter has been appointed or his nomination approved.

Article 11. Language of the technical Expertise

1. The language of the technical Expertise shall be determined by mutual agreement between the Parties. Failing such an agreement, the language or languages of the technical Expertise shall be determined by the Expert(s), due regard being given to the circumstances of the case and, in particular, to the language of the contract.

2. The Expert(s) shall have full authority to decide which of the Parties shall bear the translation costs, if any, and to what extent.

Article 12. Place of the technical Expertise

1. The Appointments Committee or the Chairman shall determine the place of the technical Expertise, unless the Parties have agreed this.

2. Unless otherwise agreed by the Parties and after having consulted with them, the Expert(s) may decide to hold his(their) hearings and meetings at any other location that he(they) consider(s) appropriate.

Article 13. Examination of the case

1. After having duly heard the Parties, the Expert(s) shall proceed with his(their) appraisal in accordance with his(their) mission.

2. The Parties shall appear in person or through duly authorized Representatives  or Counsel.

3. The Parties shall assist the Expert(s) in every way in carrying out his(their) mission, namely by providing him(them) with the necessary documents and giving access to the sites where he(they) may require verifications and investigations to be carried out.

4. Unless otherwise agreed, the findings and conclusions of the Expert(s) shall be binding on the Parties in the same manner as the terms of their contract.

5. The hearings shall not be public. Save with the approval of the Expert(s) and the Parties, persons not involved in the proceedings shall not be admitted.

6. The Expertise proceedings shall be confidential only if Parties Request so.

THE TECHNICAL REPORT

Article 14. The Technical report

The mission of the Expert(s) shall end when he(they) render(s) his(their) final Technical report describing his(their) findings and conclusions.

Article 15. Notification of the Technical report

1. Once the Technical report has been drawn up, the Expert(s) shall transmit it to the Secretariat in as many original versions as there are Parties involved, plus one original version for the Secretariat.

2. The Secretariat shall notify an original of the signed Technical report to the Parties by registered mail or by courier service against receipt and a copy shall be sent by mail, provided that the technical Expertise costs have been fully paid to the CEPANI by the Parties or by one of them.

TECHNICAL EXPERTISE COSTS

Article 16. Nature and amount of the technical Expertise costs

1. The technical Expertise costs shall include the fees and expenses of the Expert(s), as well as the administrative expenses of the Secretariat. They shall be fixed by the Secretariat due regard being given to the nature and scope of his (their) mission.

2. The Parties’ costs include the expenses of the Parties such as the expenses incurred for their defence and the expenses relating to the presentation of evidence. They are not included in the technical Expertise costs and are borne by this Party.

3. The Secretariat may adjust the amount of the technical Expertise costs at any time during the proceedings if the circumstances of the case or if new missions reveal that the scope of the case is greater than originally considered.

Article 17. Advance on technical Expertise costs

1. The advance required to cover the technical Expertise costs, as determined in accordance with Article 16, paragraph 1 shall be paid to CEPANI prior to the appointment or the approval of the nomination of the Expert(s) by the Appointments Committee or the Chairman.

2. At the time of appointment of the Expert or the determination of his or her mission, the advance on cost of is established in consultation with the Expert.

3. Further advance payments may be required if and when any adjust- ments are made to the technical Expertise costs in the course of the proceedings.

4. The advance on technical Expertise costs, as well as the additional advance on technical Expertise costs, shall be payable in equal shares by Claimant and Respondent. However, any Party shall be free to pay the whole of the advance on technical Expertise costs should the other Party fail to pay its share.

5. When the advance on technical Expertise costs exceed € 50.000,00, an irrevocable first demand bank guarantee may be posted to cover such payment.

6. When a Request for an additional advance on technical Expertise costs has not been complied with, and after consultation with the Expert(s), the Secretariat may direct the Expert(s) to suspend his(their) work and set a time limit, which must be not less than fifteen days, on the expiry of which the extension of the mission on the basis of which the additional advance was calculated shall be considered as withdrawn. A Party shall not be prevented on the ground of such a withdrawal from reintroducing the same claim or counterclaim at a later date in another proceeding.

Article 18. Decisions on technical Expertise costs

1. The technical Expertise costs shall be finally fixed by the Secretariat.

2. Unless otherwise agreed, the Parties shall each bear one half of the costs of the technical Expertise.

3. The Technical report shall mention the technical Expertise costs, as determined by the Secretariat, and set out the agreement between the Parties, if any, on the allocation of the technical Expertise costs.

FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 19. Limitation of liability

For any act or omission in the course of technical Expertise proceedings, the Expert, CEPANI and its members and personnel shall not incur any liability except in the case of fraud or gross negligence.

SCHEDULE II: Rules of Good Conduct

SCHEDULE III: Parties’ Costs

Download the Rules for adaptation of contrats

The Rules are in force as from Januray 1st, 2018

STANDARD ADAPTATION OF CONTRACTS CLAUSE

The Parties who wish to refer to the CEPANI Rules of Adaptation of Contracts are advised to insert the following clause in their contracts:

“The Parties hereby undertake to apply the CEPANI Rules of Adaptation of Contracts, should either one of them so Request.

The opinion of the Third Person appointed in accordance with these Rules shall have the authority of a [recommendation] or [decision]”1.

The following provisions may be added to this clause:

“The seat of the proceedings shall be [          ]”.

“The proceedings shall be conducted in the [            ] language”.

“The adaptation of contracts proceedings shall be followed by arbitration proceedings under the Rules of CEPANI, if so Requested by one of the Parties”.

PRELIMINARY   PROVISIONS

Article 1. Belgian Centre for Mediation and Arbitration

The Belgian Centre for Arbitration and Mediation (“CEPANI”) is an independent body which administers adaptation of contracts proceedings in accordance with its Rules. It does not itself resolve disputes and it does not act as a Third Person.

GENERAL  PROVISIONS

Article 2. Scope

1. Section VI shall apply if one or more Parties wish to have recourse to a Third Person whose mission shall be to complete the contract on items unforeseen by them, or to adapt their common intent to new situations.

2. Only Parties who have so agreed with a specific clause may have recourse to Section VI. Depending on its scope as determined by the Parties, the mission shall lead to a recommendation or a decision.

COMMENCEMENT OF THE PROCEEDINGS

Article 3. Request for Adaptation of Contracts

1. A Party wishing to have recourse to the adaptation of contracts proceedings under the CEPANI Rules shall submit its Request for Adaptation of Contracts to the Secretariat.

The Request for Adaptation of Contracts shall include, inter alia, the following information:

  1. name, first name and the name in full, function, address, telephone and fax numbers, valid e-mail addresses and VAT-number, if any, of each of the Parties;
  2. Claimant’s position;
  3. any comments as to the place and the language of the adaptation of contracts proceedings and the applicable Rules of law.
  4. Proof of payment of the registration costs.

Together with the Request, Claimant shall provide copies of all agreements, in particular the agreement for the adaptation of contracts, the correspondence between the Parties and other relevant documents.

2. Each Request for adaptation of contracts must be accompanied by an advance payment of € 750,00 excl. VAT on administrative costs.

Such payment is non-refundable, and shall be credited to the Claimant’s portion of the advance on costs for adaptation of contracts.

3. The Request for Adaptation of Contracts and the documents annexed thereto must be submitted in electronic form and in one hard copy.

Upon receipt of the unilateral Request, CEPANI shall send a copy of the Request and the documents annexed thereto by e-mail to the other Party or Parties involved.

If no valid e-mail address is known for the other part(ies), the Request submitted shall be supplied in a number of original and signed copies sufficient to provide one copy for the other Party(ies) and one for the Secretariat.

Article 4. Answer to the Request for Adaptation of Contracts

1. Within fifteen days after the Request for Adaptation of Contracts has been sent as mentioned in Article 3, the other Party shall submit to the CEPANI Secretariat its comments with respect to the Request.

If no answer is given within the said time limit, the Request for Adaptation of Contracts shall be deemed to have been rejected by the said other Party.

2. If the Request is submitted by one Party only, the date on which the Secretariat informs the other Party of the Request for Adaptation of Contracts and of the annexes thereto shall be deemed to be the date of commencement of the adaptation of contracts proceedings.

If the Request is submitted by all the Parties, the date on which the Secretariat receives the Request for Adaptation of Contracts and the annexes thereto and the payment for registration costs mentioned in Article 3.1 d) shall be deemed to be the date of commencement of the adaptation of contract proceedings.

The Secretariat shall confirm the date of commencement of the adaptation of contracts proceedings to the Parties.

3. The time limit mentioned in paragraph 1 may be extended pursuant to a reasoned Request of Respondent, or on its own motion, by the Secretariat.

Article 5. Lack of a prima facie adaptation of contracts agreement

In the event that there is no prima facie adaptation of contracts agreement, the adaptation of contracts proceedings may not proceed should the absent Party not answer within the period of fifteen days mentioned in Article 4, or should it refuse the adaptation of contracts proceedings in accordance with the CEPANI Rules.

Article 6. Effect of the adaptation of contracts agreement

When the Parties agree to resort to CEPANI for the adaptation of contracts proceedings, they thereby submit to the CEPANI Rules, including the annexes, in effect on the date of the commencement of the adaptation of contracts proceedings, unless they have agreed to submit to the Rules in effect on the date of their adaptation of contracts agreement.

Article 7. Written notifications or communications and time limits

1. The Request for Adaptation of Contracts, the Answer to the Request for Adaptation of Contracts, all pleadings, and the appointment of the Third Person, subject to Article 17, paragraph 2 shall be valid if it is notified or communicated in electronic form to a valid e-mail address, which allows proof of the sending. If no valid e-mail address is known for a Party, the notification or communication shall be validly made if remitted by courier service against receipt, sent by registered mail or by fax.

2. If a Party is represented by Counsel, all notifications or communications shall be made to the latter, unless that Party Requests otherwise.

All notifications or communications shall be valid if dispatched to the last address of the Party to whom they are addressed or its Counsel who is the addressee, as notified.

3. A notification or communication, made in accordance with paragraph 1, shall be deemed to have been made when it was received or should have been received by the Party itself, by its Representative or its Counsel.

4. Periods of time specified in the present Rules, shall start to run on the day following the date a notification or communication is deemed to have been made in accordance with paragraph 2. If the last day of the relevant period of time granted is an official holiday or a non-business day in the country where the notification or communication has to be made, the period of time shall expire at the end of the first following business day.

A notice or communication shall be treated as having been sent timely if it is dispatched in accordance with paragraph 1 prior to, or on the date of, the expiry of the time limit.

THE THIRD PERSON

Article 8. General provisions

1. Only those persons who are independent of the Parties and of their Counsel and who comply with the Rules of good conduct for proceedings organized by CEPANI, may serve as Third Persons in adaptation of contracts proceedings organized by CEPANI.

2. The Appointments Committee or the Chairman shall appoint the Third Person. The Parties may nominate the Third Person by mutual consent, subject to the approval of the Appointments Committee or the Chairman.

3. Prior to his appointment or confirmation, the Third Person who was appointment is being proposed shall sign a statement of availability, acceptance and independence. He shall disclose in writing to the Secretariat any facts or circumstances which might be of such a nature as to call into question the Third Person’s independence in the eyes of the Parties. The Secretariat shall provide such information to the Parties in writing and fix a time limit for any comments from them.

4. The Third Person shall immediately disclose in writing to the Secretariat and to the Parties any facts or circumstances of a similar nature as those mentioned in paragraph 3 which may arise during the adaptation of contracts proceedings.

5. The decisions of the Appointments Committee or the Chairman as to the appointment, approval of the nomination or replacement of the Third Person shall be final. The reasons for the decision shall not be communicated.

6. By accepting to serve, every Third Person undertakes to carry out his responsibilities until the end in accordance with these Rules.

7. Unless otherwise agreed by the Parties, the Third Person shall not act as an arbitrator, Representative or Counsel of a Party in arbitral or judicial proceedings relating to the dispute which was the subject of the adaptation of contracts proceedings.

Article 9. Appointment of the Third Person

1. The Parties may nominate the Third Person by mutual consent, subject to the approval of the Appointments Committee or the Chairman. Should the Parties fail to agree on his nomination within fifteen days from the notification of the Request for Adaptation of Contracts to the other Party, or within such additional time as may be allowed by the Secretariat, the Third Person shall be automatically appointed by the Appointments Committee or the Chairman. Where the Appointments Committee or the Chairman refuses to approve the nomination of the Third Person, it or he shall proceed with the replacement within a period of fifteen days of the notification of this refusal to the Parties.

2. The Appointments Committee or the Chairman appoints or approves the nomination of the Third Person after the payment by the Parties, or by one of them, of the advance on Adaptation of Contracts costs in accordance with the provisions of Article 19. It thereby takes into account more particularly the availability, the qualifications and the ability of the Third Person to conduct the adaptation of contracts proceedings in accordance with these Rules.

Article 10. Replacement of the Third Person

1. In the event of a Third Person’s death, challenge, accepted withdrawal, or if there is a cause preventing him from fulfilling his duties, or upon Request of all Parties, the Third Person shall be replaced.

2. A Third Person shall also be replaced when the Appointments Committee or the Chairman finds that the Third Person is prevented de jure or de facto from fulfilling his duties in accordance with these Rules or within the allotted time limits.In such event, the Appointments Committee or the Chairman shall decide on the matter after having invited the Third Person and the Parties to comment in writing to the Secretariat within the time limit allotted by the latter. Such comments shall be communicated to the Parties and to the Third Person.

THE ADAPTATION OF CONTRACTS PROCEEDINGS

Article 11. Transmission of the file to the Third Person

Provided that the advance on adaptation of contracts costs set out in Article 19 has been fully paid, the Secretariat shall transmit the file to the Third Person as soon as the latter has been appointed or his nomination approved.

Article 12. Language of the adaptation of contracts proceedings

1. The language of the adaptation of contracts proceedings shall be determined by mutual agreement between the Parties. Failing such an agreement, the language or languages of the adaptation of contracts proceedings shall be determined by the Third Person, due regard being given to the circumstances of the case and, in particular, to the language of the contract.

2. The Third Person shall have full authority to decide which of the Parties shall bear the translation costs, if any, and to what extent.

Article 13. Place of the adaptation of contracts proceedings

1. The Appointments Committee or the Chairman shall determine the place of the adaptation of contracts proceedings, unless the Parties have agreed this.

2. Unless otherwise agreed by the Parties and after having consulted with them, the Third Person may decide to hold his hearings and meetings at any other location that he considers appropriate.

Article 14. Examination of the case

The Third Person is free to organize the proceedings as he/she sees fit.

Article 15. Confidentiality of the Adaptation of Contracts Proceedings

Unless it has been agreed otherwise by the Parties or there is a legal obligation to disclose, the adaptation of contracts proceedings shall be confidential.

DECISION OR RECOMMENDATION AND END OF THE ADAPTATION OF CONTRACTS PROCEEDINGS

Article 16. Decision or recommendation of the Third Person

The mission of the Third Person shall end when he/she draws up his conclusions in a written decision or recommendation.

Article 17. Notification of the decision of recommendation

1. Once the decision or recommendation has been made, the Third Person shall transmit it to the Secretariat in as many original versions as there are Parties involved, plus one original version for the Secretariat

2. The Secretariat shall notify the original signed decision or recommendation to the Parties, by registered mail or by courier service against receipt and a copy shall be sent by mail, provided that the adaptations of contracts costs have been fully paid to the CEPANI by the Parties or by one of them.

ADAPTATION OF CONTRACTS COSTS

Article 18. Nature and amount of the costs of the adaptation of contracts proceedings

1. The costs of the adaptation of contracts proceedings shall include the fees and expenses of the Third Person, as well as the administrative expenses of CEPANI. They shall be fixed by the Secretariat in consultation with the appointed Third Person and due regard being given to the nature and scope of his mission.

2. The Parties’ costs include the expenses of the Parties such as the expenses incurred for their defence and the expenses relating to the presentation of evidence. They are not included in the costs relating to the adaptation of contracts proceedings and are borne by this Party.

Article 19. Advance on the costs of the Adaptation of Contracts  proceedings

1. The advance required to cover the costs of the adaptation of contracts proceedings, as determined in accordance with Article 18, paragraph 1 shall be paid to the CEPANI prior to the appointment or the approval of the nomination of the Third Person by the Appointments Committee or the Chairman.

2. Further advance payments may be required if and when any adjustments are made to the costs of the adaptation of contracts proceedings in the course of the proceedings.

3. The advance on adaptation of contracts costs, as well as the additional advance on adaptation of contracts costs, shall be payable in equal shares by the Parties. However, any Party shall be free to pay the whole of the advance on adaptation of contracts costs should the other Party fail to pay its share.

4. When the advance on adaptation of contracts costs exceeds € 50.000,00 a bank guarantee may be posted to cover such payment.

5. When a Request for an additional advance on adaptation of contracts costs has not been complied with, and after consultation with the Third Person, the Secretariat may direct the Third Person to suspend his work and set a time limit, which must be not less than fifteen days, on the expiry of which the procedure shall be considered as withdrawn. This shall not prevent the Party in question from reintroducing the same procedure at a later date.

Article 20. Decision on the Adaptation of Contracts costs

1. The adaptation of contracts costs shall be finally fixed by the Secretariat.

2. Unless otherwise agreed, the Parties shall each bear one half of the costs of the adaptation of contracts proceedings.

3. The decision or the recommendation of the Third Person set forth the adaptation of contracts costs, as determined by the Secretariat, and set out the agreement between the Parties, if any, on the allocation of the adaptation of contracts costs.

FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 21. Limitation of liability

For any act or omission in the course of the adaptation of contract proceedings, the Third Person, CEPANI and its members and personnel shall not incur any liability except in the case of fraud or gross negligence.

SCHEDULE II: Rules of Good Conduct

SCHEDULE III: Parties’ Costs

Download the Rules for domaine names disputes resolution

The Rules are in force as from January 1st, 2018

ARTICLE 1. – BELGIAN CENTRE FOR ARBITRATION AND MEDIATION 

The Belgian Centre for Arbitration and Mediation (“CEPANI”) is an independent body which administers domain name proceedings in accordance with its Rules. It does not itself resolve disputes. It does not act as Third-Party Decider.

ARTICLE 2. – DEFINITIONS

In these Rules:

Complaint Manager: CEPANI, which is responsible for all administrative actions in connection with the dispute and communications between the Parties, on the one hand, and between CEPANI and/or the Third-Party Decider, on the other hand. The Complaint Manager’s contact details are given on the CEPANI website www.cepani.be.
Complainant: the Party initiating a Complaint in connection with the registration of a domain name registered by the Registrar.
Domain name holder: the person having obtained or having applied for the registration of a particular name in the .be domain.
Third-Party Decider: a person appointed by CEPANI to decide on the Complaint concerning a registered domain name .be.
Party: the Complainant or the Domain name holder.
Registrar: the entity which is responsible for registering domain names with the «.be» extension, i.e. the VZW/ASBL DNS Belgium (DNS.be), 3001 LEUVEN, Ubicenter, Philipssite 5, registered as an undertaking under number BE 0466.158.640.
Registration Agreement: the agreement between the Domain name holder and the Registrar or its authorized Representative.
Policy of DNS.be: the dispute resolution policy for domain names with the .be extension, as published by the Registrar on its website www.dns.be. The dispute resolution policy arises from an article of the general terms and conditions of .be domain names operated by DNS.be.
CEPANI: the non-profit organisation VZW/ASBL Belgian Centre for Mediation and Arbitration, the dispute resolution entity recognised by the Registrar, with offices at 1000 BRUSSELS, Rue des Sols/Stuiverstraat 8, registered as an undertaking under number BE 0413.975.115.

Complaint: a claim against a Domain name holder to be decided by a Third-Party Decider pursuant to terms of these Rules and the dispute resolution policy of DNS.be.

ARTICLE 3. – THE COMPLAINT 

3.1. Complaints must be submitted by a natural person or corporate body to the Complaint Manager in accordance with these Rules.
3.2. The Complaint shall be considered complete only if it is submitted by e-mail (for heavy files either via www.wetransfer.com, or any equivalent transfer system, or by means of a USB stick) and in one original signed hard copy to the seat of the Complaint Manager (CEPANI, 1000 BRUSSELS, Rue des Sols/Stuiversstraat 8), if it is established as the model form found in schedule IV of these Rules, and if it contains at least:
3.2.1. a request that the Complaint be submitted for decision in accordance with these Rules for domain name dispute resolution and the dispute resolution policy of DNS.be;
3.2.2. the name, postal and valid e-mail addresses, telephone and fax numbers of the Complainant and of any Representative authorized to act for the Complainant. Representatives, including Attorneys at law, must have a special proxy.
3.2.3. the name of the Domain name holder, as mentioned in the WHOIS database of the Registrar available on the website www.dns.be, and all information (such as postal and valid e-mail addresses and telephone and fax numbers) known to the Complainant regarding how to contact the Domain name holder or any Representative of the Domain name holder, including contact information based on pre-complaint dealings, in sufficient detail to allow the Complaint Manager to send the Complaint to the Domain name holder as described in Article 5.1;
3.2.4. the .be domain name(s) that is/are the subject of the Complaint;
3.2.5. a description of the grounds on which, in accordance with the policy of DNS.be, the Complaint is made; The description must include all the particulars set out in the dispute resolution policy of DNS.be.
3.2.6. a specification, in accordance with the dispute resolution policy of DNS.be, of the relief sought, i.e. the transfer or cancellation of the .be domain name(s);
3.2.7. the identification of all other legal proceedings if any, commenced or terminated, which relate to any of the domain name(s) that are the subject of the Complaint and of which the Complainant is aware; and provide a copy of any decisions taken thereon;
3.2.8. the choice of the Complainant to do either of the following:
– offer the Domain name holder the possibility to voluntarily proceed with the execution of the relief sought. If the Com­plainant chooses to do this, the Complaint Manager will then notify this offer to the Domain name holder and will inform the Domain name holder that if the requested measure is not executed within a term of 7 calendar days, the proceedings will be continued and that, if the Third-Party Decider decides that the domain name(s) must be transferred or cancelled, the Domain name holder will be required to pay the costs of the proceedings, referring to the exact amount, to DNS.be, accord­ing to the dispute resolution policy of DNS.be.
– or not to offer the Domain name holder the possibility to proceed voluntarily with the execution of the requested measure, in which case the proceedings continue without the notification in this regard to the Domain name holder.
3.2.9. the proof of payment of the costs detailed in Article 21;
3.2.10. the following statement at the end of the Complaint followed by the valid signature of the Complainant or its Representative (which can, depending on the circumstances, be in electronic form or in hard copy).
“The Complainant agrees that its claims and remedies concerning the registration of the domain name, the dispute or the dispute’s resolution shall be directed solely against the Domain name holder and expressly waives all such claims against (a) CEPANI and its Directors or Employees and (b) the Third-Party Decider, except in the case of deliberate wrongdoing.
The Complainant certifies that the information contained in this Complaint is to the best of his knowledge complete and accurate.”
3.2.11. an electronic version and one hard copy of all documents and other evidence, together with a schedule indexing such documents and evidence, upon which the Complaint relies.
3.3. The Complaint may relate to more than one domain name, taking into account the schedule of costs.

ARTICLE 4. – SUBMISSION OF COMPLAINT

4.1. Within 7 calendar days following receipt of the Complaint, the Complaint Manager shall review the Complaint for completeness following Article 3.2 of these Rules. Once the Complaint Manager considers that the Complaint is complete, it shall forward the Complaint to the Domain name holder, in the manner prescribed by Article 5.1 and notify the Complainant thereof, providing as the case may be, the possibility to voluntarily execute the requested measure.
4.2. If the Complaint Manager finds the Complaint to be administratively deficient following Article 3.2 of these Rules, it shall notify the Complainant of the deficiencies identified, within 7 calendar days following receipt of the Complaint. The Complainant shall have 14 calendar days within which to correct any such deficiencies and return the Complaint to the Complaint Manager. Failure to correct such deficiencies within the aforementioned period shall lead to the proceedings being deemed withdrawn without prejudice to submission of a new Complaint by the Complainant. Any sums already paid shall be retained by CEPANI.
4.3. If the requested measure was voluntarily executed within the term of 7 calendar days, the proceedings end and CEPANI will refund to the Complainant the costs paid according to Article 21, with a deduction for the compensation of the CEPANI’s administrative costs.
4.4. The date of commencement of the proceeding shall be the date on which the Complaint Manager forwards the Complaint to the Domain name holder in accordance with Article 5.1.
4.5. The Complaint Manager shall immediately notify the Complainant, the Domain name holder and the Registrar of this date of commencement.

ARTICLE 5. – NOTIFICATIONS

5.1. The Complaint Manager shall inform the Domain name holder of the existence and contents of the Complaint by e-mail. Upon receipt of a notification that the communication was not successfully received, the Complaint Manager shall inform the Domain name holder of the existence and contents of the Complaint by registered letter at the address mentioned under Article 3.2.3. To this end the Complaint Manager shall use the data as mentioned in the WHOIS database of the Registrar and/or given by the Complainant available on the website www.dns.be.
5.2. All communications to the Complaint Manager shall be sent:
5.2.1. by e-mail to CEPANI’s e-mail address: info@cepani.be
5.2.2. by letter to CEPANI’s address: 1000 BRUSSELS, Rue des Sols/Stuiversstraat 8
5.3. All electronic documents are stored by CEPANI up until 10 years after the notification of the decision to the Parties. All original documents are stored by CEPANI up until 30 days after the notification of the decision to the Parties. Once these deadlines have expired, the documents will be destroyed, unless a Party asks within the deadline that the documents be sent back to her.
5.4. Except where stipulated otherwise in these Rules, all notifications in execution of these Rules shall be validly made by e-mail, by delivery in exchange for a receipt, by registered letter, by courier or by any other means of communication for which evidence of dispatch is provided.
5.5. Communications shall be effected in the language described in Article 12. Electronic communications shall be made in accordance with the provisions found in schedule VII.
5.6. Any Party may, during the dispute resolution proceeding, change its contact details by notifying the Complaint Manager. Such change shall only take effect 5 calendar days following the date on which the Complaint Manager was notified.
5.7. Unless otherwise decided by the Third-Party Decider, all communications provided for under these Rules shall be deemed received:
5.7.1. by e-mail: on the date on which the communication was received, provided this date can be verified;
5.7.2. by registered letter, by delivery or by courier, on the date mentioned on the receipt;
5.8. All time periods which begin as from the receipt of a given communication shall commence on the day following the day when such communication is deemed received pursuant to Article 5.7, the first day being the beginning of the time period.
5.9. As from the date of the beginning of the proceedings, all communications:
5.9.1. between the Third-Party Decider and a Party and vice versa shall be effected via the Complaint Manager in accordance with the provisions of Article 9;
5.9.2. by the Complaint Manager to one Party shall be sent to the other Party and to the Third-Party Decider if he/she has already been appointed;
5.9.3. by one Party to the Complaint Manager shall be sent to the other Party.
5.10 If the last day of the relevant period of time granted is an official holiday or a non-business day in the country where the notification or communication has to be made, the period of time shall expire at the end of the first following business day.
5.11. If a Party sending a communication receives a notification that the communication was not successfully received, it shall immediately inform the Complaint Manager. The Complaint Manager directly informs the Third-Party Decider thereof if he/she has already been appointed. Any further communications and responses thereto shall be effected in the manner determined by the Third-Party Decider or, in his absence, by the Complaint Manager.

 ARTICLE 6. – THE RESPONSE

6.1. Within 21 calendar days of the date of commencement of the proceeding the Domain name holder shall submit a Response to the Complaint Manager.
6.2. The Response shall only be complete if it is submitted by e-mail (for heavy files either via www.wetransfer.com, or any equivalent transfer system, or by means of a USB stick), and if it conforms to the Response form found in schedule V of these Rules. The Response shall contain at least:
6.2.1. the statements and allegations contained in the Complaint and include any and all bases on which the Domain name holder may retain registration and use of the disputed domain name(s).
6.2.2. the name, postal and valid e-mail addresses, and the telephone and fax numbers of the Domain name holder, as well as the details of a Representative acting on behalf of the Domain name holder. Representatives, including Attorneys at law, must have a special proxy;
6.2.3. any other legal proceedings that have been commenced or terminated relating to any of the domain name(s) that is/are the subject of the Complaint of which the Domain name holder has been informed, together with a copy of any decisions in so far as these were not submitted with the Complaint;
6.2.4. the confirmation that a copy of the Response and the annexes thereto has been sent by e-mail to the Complainant at the e-mail address mentioned under Article 3.2.2;
6.2.5. the following statement followed by the valid signature of the Domain name holder  or its authorized Representative:
The Domain name holder agrees that its claims and remedies concerning the registration of the domain name, the dispute or the dispute’s resolution shall be directed solely against the Complainant and expressly waives all such claims against (a) CEPANI and its Directors or Employees, and (b) the Third-Party Decider, except in the case of deliberate wrongdoing.
The Domain name holder certifies that the information contained in this Response is to the best of his knowledge complete and accurate.
6.2.6. an electronic version of all documents and other evidence, together with a schedule indexing such documents and evidence, upon which the Domain name holder relies.
6.3. At the request of the Domain name holder, the Complaint Man­ager may extend the period of time for the filing of the Response. The period may also be extended between the Parties, provided the stipulation is put in writing and approved by the Complaint Man­ager. The Complaint Manager may also extend the period of time ex officio if there are valid reasons for such an extension.
6.4. If the Domain name holder does not submit a Response, the proceeding shall nevertheless continue and the Third-Party Decider shall decide the dispute on the basis of the Complaint.
6.5. The Complaint Manager can notify the Domain name holder if an error has been made, within 7 calendar days following receipt of the Response.

ARTICLE 7. – APPOINTMENT OF THE THIRD-PARTY DECIDER 

7.1. CEPANI shall maintain a publicly available list of registered Third-Party Deciders and their qualifications. This list is published on the CEPANI website and updated two times a year.
7.2. The Appointments Committee or the Chairman of CEPANI shall appoint, within 7 calendar days following receipt of the Response or the lapse of the time period for the submission thereof, a registered Third-Party Decider from the CEPANI list of Third-Party Deciders.
7.3. Once the Third-Party Decider has been appointed, the Com­plaint Manager shall notify the Parties of the Third-Party Decider appointed and the date by which the Third-Party Decider shall forward its decision on the Complaint to the Complaint Manager.

ARTICLE 8. – INDEPENDENCE OF THE THIRD-PARTY DECIDER

Only the persons independent of the Parties and their Counsel can be appointed as Third-Party Deciders.
Before accepting his/her appointment, the Third-Party Decider fills in and signs a statement of availability, acceptance and independence (schedule II) and discloses to the Complaint Manager of any circumstances giving rise to any doubt as to his independence.
The Third-Party Decider immediately notifies the Complaint Manager in writing if new circumstances arise during the procedure that could give rise to justifiable doubt as to the independence of the Third-Party Decider.
In such event, the Complaint Manager has the capacity to request from the Appointments’ Committee or from the Chairman that they replace the Third-Party Decider.
By accepting his/her mission, the Third-Party Decider commits himself/herself to accomplish his/her mission until the end of the procedure in the sense of the present Rules.

ARTICLE 9. COMMUNICATION BETWEEN THE PARTIES AND THE THIRD-PARTY DECIDER

No Party or anyone acting on its behalf may have any direct or indirect communication whatsoever with the Third-Party Decider. All communications between a Party and the Third-Party Decider shall be made via the Complaint Manager.

ARTICLE 10. – COMPOSITION AND TRANSMISSION OF THE FILE TO THE THIRD-PARTY DECIDER

The Complaint Manager shall forward the file to the Third-Party Decider as soon as the Third-Party Decider is appointed.
A Third-Party Decider may at any time demand to consult the original documents. The Third-Party Decider shall consult these documents at the seat of CEPANI.

ARTICLE 11. – GENERAL POWERS OF THE THIRD-PARTY DECIDER

11.1. The Third-Party Decider shall, in accordance with these Rules and with the dispute resolution policy of DNS.be, conduct the proceeding in such a manner as it considers appropriate.
11.2. The Third-Party Decider shall ensure at all times that the Parties are treated equally and that each Party can exercise its rights.

11.3. The Third-Party Decider shall ensure that the proceeding takes place with due expedition. It may, at the request of a Party or on its own motion, extend, in exceptional cases, a deadline fixed by these Rules, or reopen the debates.
11.4. The Third-Party Decider shall determine the admissibility, relevance and weight of the evidence.
11.5. The Appointments Committee or the Chairman of CEPANI decides on own motion or at the request of a Party on the joinder of several Complaints, taking into account that the disputes are closely related or indivisible. Its decision is irrevocable.

ARTICLE 12. – LANGUAGE AND VENUE OF PROCEEDINGS 

12.1. Unless otherwise agreed by the Parties, the language of the proceeding for the domain name in dispute shall be the language mentioned in the WHOIS database available on the DNS website www.dns.be. The Third-Party Decider may select a different language in exceptional cases.
12.2. The Third-Party Decider may order that any documents submitted in languages other than the language of the proceeding be accompanied by a translation in whole or in part into the language of the proceeding. In the event that the requested translation is not submitted, the Third-Party Decider shall be entitled to exclude it from the debates.
12.3. The venue for the proceeding shall be the seat of CEPANI.

ARTICLE 13. – FURTHER STATEMENTS – CONCLUSION OF DEBATES 

The debates shall be deemed to be closed 7 calendar days following the appointment of the Third-Party Decider. During this period, the Complainant may request permission from the Third-Party Decider for an additional extension of the deadline in order to submit retort. This request is, if the case arises accompanied by further documents, addressed to the Complaint Manager who following Article 9 directly transmits it to the Third-Party Decider. In such an event, the Third-Party Decider shall decide irrevocably whether or not to accede to this request and shall, if necessary, make arrangements to pursue the proceeding.
If the Third Party Decider considers the file incomplete, he/she can invite, within the deadline, the Parties or one of the Parties to give further information. By all times the principle of contradictory debate must be respected.

ARTICLE 14. – IN-PERSON HEARINGS

The Parties shall be heard only if the Third-Party Decider so orders.

ARTICLE 15. – DEFAULT BY ONE OF THE PARTIES

In the event that a Party does not comply with any of the time periods established by these Rules or the Third-Party Decider, the Third-Party Decider may proceed to a decision on the Complaint.

ARTICLE 16. – THIRD-PARTY DECIDER DECISIONS 

16.1. The Third-Party Decider shall decide following the Parties views and in accordance with the dispute resolution policy of DNS.be, the registration agreement and following the provisions of the present Rules.
16.2. In the absence of exceptional circumstances, the Third-Party Decider shall forward its decision on the Complaint to the Complaint Manager within 14 calendar days of the conclusion of the debates pursuant to Article 13, in three original signed hard copies.
16.3. The Third-Party Decider’s decision shall be in writing and signed, provide the reasons on which it is based, indicate the date on which it was rendered and identify the name of the Third-Party Decider.
16.4. If after considering the submissions the Third-Party Decider finds that the Complaint was brought in bad faith, the Third-Party Decider shall declare in his decision that the Complaint constitutes an abuse of the proceeding.

ARTICLE 17. – COMMUNICATION OF THE DECISION TO THE PARTIES 

17.1. Within 7 calendar days after receiving the decision from the Third-Party Decider, the Complaint Manager shall notify the full text of the decision to each Party and the Registrar. The Registrar shall immediately communicate to the Complaint Manager the date for the implementation of the decision in accordance with the dispute resolution policy of DNS.be. The Complaint Manager shall immediately notify the Parties of this.
17.2. If the Third Party Decider decides that the Complaint is well founded and if he/she orders the transfer or the cancellation of the domain name, the Registrar will execute this decision 15 calendar days after the notification of the decision to the Parties, unless the Domain name holder introduces an appeal following Article 18. In this case the domain name in dispute remains « on hold » until the final decision on appeal.
17.3. Except if the Third-Party Decider determines otherwise, CEPANI shall publish the full text of the decision and the date of its implementation on the CEPANI website accessible to the public.

ARTICLE 18. – APPEAL AGAINST THE DECISION OF A THIRD-PARTY DECIDER

18.1. Each Party has the right to lodge an appeal against the decision of a Third-Party Decider within 15 calendar days of the notification of the Third-Party Decider’s decision. The appeal is introduced by the filing of the Request for appeal and the payment of the costs related to the appeal (Article 21), failing which the appeal shall not be valid.
18.2. The Request for appeal shall be considered complete only if it is submitted by e-mail (for heavy files either via www.wetransfer.com, or any equivalent transfer system, or by means of a USB stick) and in one original signed hard copy to the seat of the Complaint Manager (CEPANI, 1000 BRUSSELS, Rue des Sols/Stuiversstraat 8), and if it is established as the model form found in schedule VI of these Rules.
18.3. The Request for appeal contains the identity of the Parties, the number of the decision against which the appeal is made, the identity of the Third-Party Decider and a description of the means invoked.
18.4. Within 7 calendar day after reception of the Request for appeal and the costs for appeal, the Complaint Manager notifies the Request for appeal by e-mail to the other Party. Upon receipt of a notification that the communication was not successfully received, the Complaint Manager shall inform the Domain name holder of the existence and contents of the Complaint by registered letter.
18.5. The Party against whom the appeal is lodged has 14 calendar days as from the reception of the notification of the Request for appeal to hand in its Response. This Response contains a description of the means invoked to reject the appeal.
18.6. The Appointments Committee or the Chairman of CEPANI, within 7 calendar days following the reception of the Response or the lapse of time period for the submission thereof, shall appoint a panel of three Third-Party Deciders (the Appeal Committee) from the list of Third-Party Deciders. Each Third-Party Decider must meet the conditions of independence as mentioned under Article 8.
18.7. The provisions of Articles 13, 14, 15 and 16 of these Rules are in use for the Appeal Committee, except that:
– the Appeal Committee must render its decision within 30 calendar days of the notification of the file;
– the decisions of the Appeal Committee are not subject to appeal

ARTICLE 19. – SETTLEMENT OR OTHER GROUNDS FOR TERMINATION – OBSTRUCTION OF THE THIRD-PARTY DECIDER

19.1. If the Parties agree on a settlement before the Third-Party Decider has rendered a decision, the Parties immediately inform the Complaint Manager. The Complaint Manager informs the Registrar and the Third-Party Decider. If the settlement is approved by the Registrar, the Third-Party Decider shall terminate the proceeding.
19.2. If, before the Third-Party Decider’s decision is made, it becomes unnecessary or impossible to continue the proceeding for any reason, the Third-Party Decider shall communicate his intention to terminate the proceeding and shall declare it terminated within a reasonable period of time, unless a Party raises justifiable grounds for objection within a period of time to be determined by the Third-Party Decider.
19.3. In the event of obstruction by the Third-Party Decider for any reason whatsoever, the Appointments Committee or the Chairman of CEPANI may replace him/her and shall notify the Parties of any such replacement. In this case the Complaint Manager adapts the deadlines granted.
19.4 In all the aforementioned cases the relevant costs, as set out in Article 21.1, shall be retained by CEPANI.

ARTICLE 20.  – EFFECT OF COURT PROCEEDINGS 

20.1. In the event of any legal proceedings initiated in court prior to or during a proceeding in respect of a domain name dispute that is the subject of the Complaint, the Third-Party Decider shall decide whether to suspend the proceeding in whole or in part.
20.2. In the event that a Party initiates legal proceedings in court during the proceeding, it shall promptly notify the Complaint Manager. It shall also forward a copy of the document initiating the legal proceedings.

ARTICLE 21. – COSTS

21.1. The costs for the proceedings are determined in accordance with the scale for domain name dispute resolution costs (schedule I) which is fully part of these Rules. The costs are entirely paid by the Complainant. They include the fees and costs of the Third-Party Decider as well as CEPANI’s administrative expenses. They must be paid to CEPANI simultaneously with the introduction of the Complaint or/and the appeal.
21.2. No action shall be taken by CEPANI on a Complaint or/and an appeal until it has received from the Complainant the full amount of the costs.
21.3. If CEPANI has not received the full amount of the costs, or has received only part of the costs, within 10 calendar days of receiving the Complaint, the Complaint shall be deemed withdrawn and the proceeding terminated.
21.4. If the pursuit of the proceeding requires exceptional services, the costs of which cannot be reasonably covered by the requested costs, such services shall only be performed upon payment by the instigating Party of the additional costs as determined by CEPANI.
21.5 In any case, any costs already paid shall be retained by CEPANI without prejudice to the provision of Article 4.3.

ARTICLE 22. – EXCLUSION OF LIABILITY 

Except in the case of deliberate wrongdoing, neither CEPANI nor the Third-Party Decider shall be liable to a Party or the Registrar for any act or omission in connection with any proceeding under these Rules.

ARTICLE 23. – GENERAL PROVISIONS 

CEPANI may amend these Rules. The Rules in effect at the time of the submission of the Complaint continue to apply to the proceeding commenced thereby.
The most recent version of these Rules is available on the Registrar’s website www.dns.be and on CEPANI’s website www.cepani.be.

SCHEDULES

SCHEDULE I:       Schedule of costs
SCHEDULE II:     Statement of availability, acceptance and independence
SCHEDULE III:    List of recognized Third-Party Deciders
SCHEDULE IV:   Complaint form
SCHEDULE V:     Response form
SCHEDULE VI:    Request for appeal
SCHEDULE VII:   Technical specifications