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        新2017 FIDIC合同下的索賠、爭議和仲裁
        時間:2017-11-20 00:00:00  來源:轉自: FIDIC國際工程咨詢

        新2017 FIDIC合同下的索賠、爭議和仲裁

         

         

        FIDIC(國際咨詢工程師聯合會)將于今年12月在倫敦舉辦年度國際用戶會議并發布2017第二版紅皮書、黃皮書和銀皮書(為系列工程合同范本,以下簡稱“《第二版》”),新版本將為索賠和爭議解決程序帶來重大變化。對于可能對工程產生不利影響,可能引起合同價格上漲或導致遲延的事件或情況(包括已知和可能發生的情況),該版本要求承包商和雇主在上述情況的預測和預防上加強協作,并從一開始就以高效的方式對索賠進行管理以避免其演變為糾紛。

        《第二版》規定了新的時效,更復雜的索賠程序和通知要求,并進一步將DAB(即爭議避免與裁決委員會)整合到索賠程序中。這些做法能夠鼓勵糾紛的快速解決,給承包商和雇主之間的合同關系帶來更多的透明度和可預見性,但與此同時,也可能給所有涉案當事人(包括工程師在內)增加管理負擔和相關費用。

        FIDIC對其1999年版紅皮書、黃皮書和銀皮書(以下簡稱“《第一版》”)所作的更新反映了FIDIC《第一版》在全球不同司法轄區使用中獲得的經驗,也反映了國際建筑業在過去18年中的發展。

        雖然FIDIC第二版的黃皮書在去年已預先發布,但FIDIC計劃在今年12月為紅皮書、黃皮書和銀皮書正式發布新的合同格式。

        為了加強當事人之間的協作,《第二版》顯著改善了合同管理程序并試圖對《第一版》中的風險分配進行重新平衡。

        具體來說,《第二版》對爭端解決機制進行了重新考慮,其中包括對先前版本的有益且必要的修訂并增加了一些有用的新條款。

        1.通知

        根據《第二版》的新規定,一個有效通知必須對其本身作出相應描述并說明具體參考的合同條款。

        該規定似乎是為了提高透明度并避免當事人依賴“非正式”通知(如參考信件或會議記錄),以避免超過時效規定。

        2.預先警告

        《第二版》第8.4條規定,對于可能產生如下影響的事項,雙方當事人有義務“盡力發出預先警告”:(1)對承包商人員的工作產生不利影響;(2)對竣工時的表現產生不利影響;(3)導致合同價格的上漲;(4)導致工程或某部分(若有)執行的延遲。

        “預先警告”旨在防止上述事項的發生并盡可能減少其可能造成的損害。

        3.索賠和爭議

        《第二版》的兩個單獨條款(分別為第20條和第21條)規定了索賠和爭議的處理,重點強調了兩個條款之間的區別。

        索賠是指一方當事人根據合同所能獲得的權利或救濟向另一方當事人提出的主張,爭議則是指索賠被拒絕或被忽視的任何情況。

        為實現當事人之間的平衡和互惠,雇主和承包商提起索賠的程序機制已合并規定在《第二版》的同一條款(第20條)中。

        現在,業主和承包商發出索賠通知的時效均為28天,為支撐索賠提交相關詳細資料的時效為42天,從業主或承包商知道或應當知道導致索賠發生的事件或情況之日起算。

        工程師收到索賠通知后若認為索賠時效已過,則有義務在14天內作出初步答復;工程師作出此類答復后,若索賠方認為存在緊急情況使得索賠的遲延提交具有正當性,則該索賠方可以向DAB申請時效豁免。

        在裁定是否給予時效豁免時,DAB應考慮對該遲延索賠的接受是否會對另一方當事人造成損害,另一方當事人是否已經得知涉及的事件或索賠的基礎,還應考慮工程師是否已經作出決定或更可能正試圖協商或達成一致(及進展程度)。

        4.工程師的協議或決定

        《第二版》明確規定,工程師負有鼓勵雙方通過協議解決索賠的積極義務,相關條款的標題(即《第一版》第3.5條和《第二版》第3.7條)已經由“決定”修改為“協議和決定”。

        工程師的職能得到擴張,其中包括一些新的責任和義務。

        就涉及的索賠而言,工程師必須:(1)與各方協商并試圖達成協議;(2)如果在42天內沒有達成任何協議,則須在之后42天內作出“公平的決定”。

        雖然工程師將繼續作為業主的代理人(與《第一版》規定一致),但工程師在根據合同作出決定之前無需得到業主同意。此外,在試圖達成協議或作出決定時,工程師不再作為業主的代理人,而是在當事人之間保持“中立”。

        如果工程師未能在合同規定的時限內作出決定,則認為工程師已經駁回了索賠主張,該索賠可提交更名后的“爭議避免或裁決委員會”審理。

        如果任何一方對工程師的決定有異議,那么該方有權在28天內向另一方發出異議通知(向工程師提交副本)并說明異議理由。

        有爭議的索賠應根據第21條通過爭端解決程序處理。但是工程師的決定對雙方仍具有約束力,除非(直到)DAB(即爭議避免與裁決委員會)或仲裁程序對該決定作出修訂。

        5.爭議避免裁決委員會(DAB

        根據《第二版》的規定,設立DAB的主要目的在于防止索賠轉變為糾紛。

        在此方面,《第二版》黃皮書的規定與紅皮書和銀皮書的規定保持一致,并要求DAB必須自項目開始之時設立且一直存在。

        當事人可以共同將事項提交DAB審理,請求提供協助,組織正式討論并設法解決當事人之間的分歧。DAB也有權邀請當事人將爭議事項提交其解決(若察覺到分歧的存在)。

        與《第一版》的規定一致,DAB必須在爭議提交之日起84天內作出決定,該決定立即生效并對雙方當事人具有約束力。

        但《第二版》的新條款也包括一些修訂,旨在對這些義務的履行進行澄清并提供協助,主要包括:DAB的決定對工程師具有明確的約束力;當事人和工程師必須遵守DAB的決定,無論“當事人是否已根據本款規定提交了針對DAB決定的異議通知”;若DAB裁定支付一定金額的款項,則該金額應在付款人收到發票后立即到期并支付(無需任何證明或通知)。另外,DAB可以要求為裁定的款項提供適當擔保。

        此外,《第二版》第21.7條規定,如果任何一方當事人不遵守DAB決定(不論是否為終局決定),另一方當事人可根據第21.6條直接將該行為(即不遵守DAB決定的行為)提交仲裁。

        在《第二版》下,任何一方當事人均可以在28天內發出異議通知使 DAB的決定不具有終局性。如果在異議通知發出后182天內仍未開始仲裁,則該異議通知應視為已過期并失去效力。在未按規定提起仲裁程序的情況下,DAB決定將成為最終決定。

        最后,若沒有適當的DAB進行審理,《第二版》允許當事人在爭議發生時直接進行仲裁。

        6.和解

        根據《第二版》的規定,強制友好和解的期限已從56天減少為28天。此外,如果一方未遵守DAB的決定,則友好和解期不再適用,該失。ㄖ覆蛔袷DAB決定的行為)可直接提交仲裁。

        7.仲裁

        與《第一版》的規定相似,《第二版》援引國際商會的仲裁規則作為默認仲裁規則,仲裁庭有權審查并修改工程師和DAB作出的決定。

        8.結論

        紅皮書、黃皮書和銀皮書的第二版帶來了巨大變化,這些變化必將對業內人士產生廣泛影響。其中最重要的是對爭端解決程序的進一步強調。雖然通過鼓勵互惠對當事人之間的風險進行重新平衡將受到業界(尤其是承包商)歡迎,但這些變化無疑會增加當事人的管理負擔和費用。然而,一段時間內,我們不太可能看到這些變化對國際工程的影響?紤]到建筑業的最新發展,雇主近期很難熱衷于采用2017新版紅皮書、黃皮書和銀皮書。

        【英文版】

        Claims, Disputes and Arbitration under the new 2017 FIDIC Suite ofContracts

        The 2017 second edition of the Red, Yellow and Silver Books (“Second Edition”) to be launched this December at the annual FIDIC International Users' conference in London brings significant changes to the claims/dispute resolution procedure, with both the Contractor and Employer being required to take a more collaborative approach in foreseeing and preventing the events and circumstances (known or probable) which may, among other things, adversely affect the Works, increase the Contract Price or cause a delay, and in managing claims in an efficient manner from the very outset so that they do not further evolve into disputes.

        The new time bars introduced by Second Edition,together with the greater complexity of the claims procedure and notification requirements and the greater integration of the DAB into the claims procedure are expected not only to encourage the faster dispute resolution and to bring more clarity and predictability in the contractual relationship between the Contractor and Employer, but also to increase the administrative effort and the related costs for all the involved parties including the Engineer.

        FIDIC have taken the opportunity to update the first edition of its Red, Yellow and Silver Books published in 1999 (“FirstEdition”) to reflect the lessons learned from the use of First Edition invarious jurisdictions worldwide, and how the international construction industry has evolved over the past 18 years.

        Whilst the pre-release second edition of the FIDIC Yellow Book was issued late last year, this December FIDIC is scheduled to make the official release of the new forms of contract for Red, Yellow and Silver Books.

        The Second Edition significantly improves the contract administration procedures and seeks to rebalance some of the risk allocation under the First Edition with the objective of creating a more collaborative approach between the Parties.

        In particular, the Second Edition offers are considered dispute resolution mechanism, which includes some helpful and much needed revisions to its predecessor, and introduces some useful new provisions.

        The Notice

        Pursuant to the new provisions of the Second Edition, in order to be valid, a Notice must describe itself accordingly and include reference to the Sub-Clause of the Contract under which it is issued.

        This appears to be intended to add greater clarity and avoid parties relying upon “informal” notices, such as references in letters or minutes of meetings, to avoid the effect of the time bar provisions.

        Advance warning

        Sub-Clause 8.4 of the Second Edition place an obligation on both Parties to “endeavour to” give advance warnings of any matter which may: (a) adversely affect the work of the Contractor’s Personnel;(b) adversely affect the performance of the Works when completed; (c) increase the Contract Price; and/or (d) delay the execution of the Works or a Section(if any).

        The purpose of this “early warning” is to prevent the occurence of such matter and to limit as much as possible the extent of the damage which may be caused by it.

        Claims and Disputes

        The Second Edition deals with claims and disputes under two discrete clauses (Clauses 20 and 21 respectively), placing an emphasis on the difference between the two.

        Whereas a Claim is defined as a request by one Party to the other Party for an entitlement or relief under the Contract, a Dispute is defined as any situation where a Claim is otherwise rejected or ignored.

        In an attempt to achieve balance and reciprocity between the Parties, the procedural mechanism for both the Employer and Contractor to submit claims has been merged in the same Clause 20 of the Second Edition.

        Both the Employer and the Contractor are now subject to the same 28-day time bar for notifying the claim. There is also a 42 day time bar relating to submission of fully detailed particulars in support of the claim which is running from the time that either the Employer or the Contractor became aware or ought to have been aware of the event or circumstance giving rise to the claim.

        The Engineer has the obligation on receipt of the notice to give a preliminary response within 14 days if it considers the claimis time barred. In the event that the Engineer issues such a response, the claiming party may, if it believes there are serious circumstances which justify the late submission of its claim, apply to the DAB to obtain a waiver of the time bar.

        When deciding whether or not to waive a time bar the DAB will consider whether the other Party would be prejudiced by acceptance of the late submission, whether the other Party had prior knowledge of the event in question or basis of claim and the extent to which, if at all, the Engineer may already have proceeded to make a Determination, or more likely sought to negotiate or agree.

        Engineer’s Agreement or Determination

        In a clear attempt to reflect that the Engineer is under a positive obligation to encourage the settlement of claims by the Parties’ agreement, the title of the relevant sub-clause (former Sub-Clause 3.5of First Edition, Sub-Clause 3.7 of the Second Edition) has been changed from “Determination” to “Agreement or Determination”.

        The role of the Engineer has been expanded,including new obligations and responsibilities.

        As far as the claims are concerned, the Engineermust: (a) Consult with the Parties to attempt to reach agreement, and (b) If noagreement is reached within 42 days, make a “fair determination” within a further 42 days.

        Whilst the Engineer will continue to act for the Employer as it did in the First Edition, the Engineer is no longer required to obtain the Employer’s consent prior to making a Determination under the Contract.Moreover, when acting to seek Agreement or Determination, the Engineer is said not to be acting for the Employer, but to be acting “neutrally” between the Parties.

        If the Engineer fails to make a Determination within the time frame specified within the contract then he will be deemed to have rejected the claim and the claim can be referred to the re-named “Dispute Avoidance / Adjudication Board”.

        If either party disagrees with the Engineer’s Determination, then it is entitled to issue a Notice of Dissatisfaction (“NOD”) to the other party (with a copy to the Engineer) within 28 days, setting outits reasons for disagreement.

        The disputed claim shall be referred to the dispute resolution procedure under Clause 21. However, the Engineer’s determination shall remain binding on the Parties unless and until revised by the DAB or in arbitration.

        Dispute Avoidance/Adjudication Board (the “DAB”)

        The primary purpose of the DAB under the provisions of the Second Edition is to prevent claims from becoming disputes.

        In this regard the provisions of the new Second Edition of the Yellow Book were harmonised with those of Red and Silver Books,and require now the DAB to be a standing one, being constituted from the outset of a project.

        The Parties may jointly refer a matter to the DAB with a request for assistance and/or to formally discuss and attempt to resolve any disagreement between them. The DAB also has the power to invite the Partiesto refer an issue in dispute if it becomes aware of it.

        Same as in the First Edition, the DAB must issue its decision within 84 days of a dispute being referred to it, and that decision shall be immediately binding upon the parties who shall promptly give effect to it.

        However, the new provision of Second Edition includes a number of revisions designed to clarify and assist in enforcing these obligations, including, inter alia, that:

        The DAB decisions are now expressly binding on the Engineer;

        The Parties and Engineer must comply with the DAB’s decision “whether or not a Party gives a NOD with respect to such decision under this Sub-Clause”; and

        If the DAB awards the payment of an amount of money, that amount shall be immediately due and payable after the payer receives an invoice, without any requirement for certification or notice. Inaddition, the DAB may require an appropriate security to be issued for payment of the amount awarded.

        Furthermore, Sub-Clause 21.7. of the Second Edition provides that if either Party fails to comply with a DAB decision, whether final or not-final, the other Party may refer the failure itself directly to arbitration pursuant to Sub-Clause 21.6.

        Under the Second Edition either Party can prevent a DAB decision from becoming final by issuing an NOD within 28 days. If no arbitration is commenced within 182 days after the NOD is issued, then that NOD shall be deemed to have lapsed and be no longer valid. This will allow to the DAB decisions to become final in the event that arbitration is not pursued.

        Finally, the Second Edition allows to the parties to proceed directly to arbitration if a dispute arises and there is no DAB in place.

        Amicable settlement

        The mandatory amicable settlement period has been reduced from 56 days to 28 days under the Second Edition. Furthermore, where either party fails to comply with a DAB decision, that failure may be referred directly to arbitration and the amicable settlement period will not apply.

        Arbitration

        Similar to the First Edition, the Second Edition refers to the Rules of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce as the default arbitral rules and the Tribunal has full power to review and revise the determinations of the Engineer and the DAB.

        Concluding remarks

        The changes bring by the second edition of the Red,Yellow and Silver Books are substantial and will certainly have a wide reaching impact on those in the industry.

        Of the most significance is the increased emphasison dispute resolution process and procedure. Whilst the rationale to re-balance risk between the Parties by encouraging reciprocity will be welcomed by the industry and in particular by the contractors, these changes will no doubt place a greater administrative burden and cost on the Parties.

        However, the impact of these changes on international projects is unlikely to be seen for some time. In light of the latest developments in the construction industry it is hard to believe that the employers will be keen to adopt the new 2017 editions of the Red, Yellow and Silver Books any time soon.

        By Razvan Cristian Rugina

         

         

         

         

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