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新2017 FIDIC合同下的索赔、争议和仲裁
时间:2017-11-20 00:00:00  来源:转自: FIDIC国际工程咨询

新2017 FIDIC合同下的索赔、争议和仲裁

 

 

FIDIC(国际咨询工程师联合会)将于今年12月在伦敦举办年度国际用户会议并发布2017第二版红皮书、黄皮书和银皮书(为系列工程合同范本,以下简称“《第二版》”),新版本将为索赔和争议解决程序带来重大变化。对于可能对工程产生不利影响,可能引起合同价格上涨或导致迟延的事件或情况(包括已知和可能发生的情况),该版本要求承包商和雇主在上述情况的预测和预防上加强协作,并从一开始就以高效的方式对索赔进行管理以避免其演变为纠纷。

《第二版》规定了新的时效,更复杂的索赔程序和通知要求,并进一步将DAB(即争议避免与裁决委员会)整合到索赔程序中。这些做法能够鼓励纠纷的快速解决,给承包商和雇主之间的合同关系带来更多的透明度和可预见性,但与此同时,也可能给所有涉案当事人(包括工程师在内)增加管理负担和相关费用。

FIDIC对其1999年版红皮书、黄皮书和银皮书(以下简称“《第一版》”)所作的更新反映了FIDIC《第一版》在全球不同司法辖区使用中获得的经验,也反映了国际建筑业在过去18年中的发展。

虽然FIDIC第二版的黄皮书在去年已预先发布,但FIDIC计划在今年12月为红皮书、黄皮书和银皮书正式发布新的合同格式。

为了加强当事人之间的协作,《第二版》显著改善了合同管理程序并试图对《第一版》中的风险分配进行重新平衡。

具体来说,《第二版》对争端解决机制进行了重新考虑,其中包括对先前版本的有益且必要的修订并增加了一些有用的新条款。

1.通知

根据《第二版》的新规定,一个有效通知必须对其本身作出相应描述并说明具体参考的合同条款。

该规定似乎是为了提高透明度并避免当事人依赖“非正式”通知(如参考信件或会议记录),以避免超过时效规定。

2.预先警告

《第二版》第8.4条规定,对于可能产生如下影响的事项,双方当事人有义务“尽力发出预先警告”:(1)对承包商人员的工作产生不利影响;(2)对竣工时的表现产生不利影响;(3)导致合同价格的上涨;(4)导致工程或某部分(若有)执行的延迟。

“预先警告”旨在防止上述事项的发生并尽可能减少其可能造成的损害。

3.索赔和争议

《第二版》的两个单独条款(分别为第20条和第21条)规定了索赔和争议的处理,重点强调了两个条款之间的区别。

索赔是指一方当事人根据合同所能获得的权利或救济向另一方当事人提出的主张,争议则是指索赔被拒绝或被忽视的任何情况。

为实现当事人之间的平衡和互惠,雇主和承包商提起索赔的程序机制已合并规定在《第二版》的同一条款(第20条)中。

现在,业主和承包商发出索赔通知的时效均为28天,为支撑索赔提交相关详细资料的时效为42天,从业主或承包商知道或应当知道导致索赔发生的事件或情况之日起算。

工程师收到索赔通知后若认为索赔时效已过,则有义务在14天内作出初步答复;工程师作出此类答复后,若索赔方认为存在紧急情况使得索赔的迟延提交具有正当性,则该索赔方可以向DAB申请时效豁免。

在裁定是否给予时效豁免时,DAB应考虑对该迟延索赔的接受是否会对另一方当事人造成损害,另一方当事人是否已经得知涉及的事件或索赔的基础,还应考虑工程师是否已经作出决定或更可能正试图协商或达成一致(及进展程度)。

4.工程师的协议或决定

《第二版》明确规定,工程师负有鼓励双方通过协议解决索赔的积极义务,相关条款的标题(即《第一版》第3.5条和《第二版》第3.7条)已经由“决定”修改为“协议和决定”。

工程师的职能得到扩张,其中包括一些新的责任和义务。

就涉及的索赔而言,工程师必须:(1)与各方协商并试图达成协议;(2)如果在42天内没有达成任何协议,则须在之后42天内作出“公平的决定”。

虽然工程师将继续作为业主的代理人(与《第一版》规定一致),但工程师在根据合同作出决定之前无需得到业主同意。此外,在试图达成协议或作出决定时,工程师不再作为业主的代理人,而是在当事人之间保持“中立”。

如果工程师未能在合同规定的时限内作出决定,则认为工程师已经驳回了索赔主张,该索赔可提交更名后的“争议避免或裁决委员会”审理。

如果任何一方对工程师的决定有异议,那么该方有权在28天内向另一方发出异议通知(向工程师提交副本)并说明异议理由。

有争议的索赔应根据第21条通过争端解决程序处理。但是工程师的决定对双方仍具有约束力,除非(直到)DAB(即争议避免与裁决委员会)或仲裁程序对该决定作出修订。

5.争议避免裁决委员会(DAB

根据《第二版》的规定,设立DAB的主要目的在于防止索赔转变为纠纷。

在此方面,《第二版》黄皮书的规定与红皮书和银皮书的规定保持一致,并要求DAB必须自项目开始之时设立且一直存在。

当事人可以共同将事项提交DAB审理,请求提供协助,组织正式讨论并设法解决当事人之间的分歧。DAB也有权邀请当事人将争议事项提交其解决(若察觉到分歧的存在)。

与《第一版》的规定一致,DAB必须在争议提交之日起84天内作出决定,该决定立即生效并对双方当事人具有约束力。

但《第二版》的新条款也包括一些修订,旨在对这些义务的履行进行澄清并提供协助,主要包括:DAB的决定对工程师具有明确的约束力;当事人和工程师必须遵守DAB的决定,无论“当事人是否已根据本款规定提交了针对DAB决定的异议通知”;若DAB裁定支付一定金额的款项,则该金额应在付款人收到发票后立即到期并支付(无需任何证明或通知)。另外,DAB可以要求为裁定的款项提供适当担保。

此外,《第二版》第21.7条规定,如果任何一方当事人不遵守DAB决定(不论是否为终局决定),另一方当事人可根据第21.6条直接将该行为(即不遵守DAB决定的行为)提交仲裁。

在《第二版》下,任何一方当事人均可以在28天内发出异议通知使 DAB的决定不具有终局性。如果在异议通知发出后182天内仍未开始仲裁,则该异议通知应视为已过期并失去效力。在未按规定提起仲裁程序的情况下,DAB决定将成为最终决定。

最后,若没有适当的DAB进行审理,《第二版》允许当事人在争议发生时直接进行仲裁。

6.和解

根据《第二版》的规定,强制友好和解的期限已从56天减少为28天。此外,如果一方未遵守DAB的决定,则友好和解期不再适用,该失败(指不遵守DAB决定的行为)可直接提交仲裁。

7.仲裁

与《第一版》的规定相似,《第二版》援引国际商会的仲裁规则作为默认仲裁规则,仲裁庭有权审查并修改工程师和DAB作出的决定。

8.结论

红皮书、黄皮书和银皮书的第二版带来了巨大变化,这些变化必将对业内人士产生广泛影响。其中最重要的是对争端解决程序的进一步强调。虽然通过鼓励互惠对当事人之间的风险进行重新平衡将受到业界(尤其是承包商)欢迎,但这些变化无疑会增加当事人的管理负担和费用。然而,一段时间内,我们不太可能看到这些变化对国际工程的影响。考虑到建筑业的最新发展,雇主近期很难热衷于采用2017新版红皮书、黄皮书和银皮书。

【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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