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Arbitration Court in Bosnia and Herzegovina

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There is no precise information as to when the Arbitration Court attached to the Foreign Chamber of Commerce of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Arbitration Court) was established. There is some sporadic information according to which the Arbitration Court was established in the post Second World War period, but at that time the Arbitration Court’s competence covered only domestic disputes. This competence was of limited scope, i.e. it only covered some minor transportation related disputes. In 2003, the Rules on Organization and Work of the Arbitration Court (Rules) entered into force. The enactment of the Rules coincided with the enactment of the civil procedure code containing statutory provisions on arbitration. It, therefore, appears that in 2003 there was an attempt to establish arbitration framework in BiH. However, it is rather questionable as to how effective this attempt was.

The Rules define the Arbitration Court as an independent court competent for dispute settlement through arbitration. Its competence encompasses both domestic and international disputes in which case at least one party has to have a seat outside of BiH. In any case, in order for a dispute to be subject to the Arbitration Court, the parties must agree to submit the dispute to the Arbitration Court, subject to the condition that such dispute is of commercial nature (which is interpreted in a very broad sense as to allow different types of commercial transactions to be settled), and that it does not fall within exclusive jurisdiction of the local courts.

Recommended clause

“Parties hereby agree that any dispute in relation to their agreement shall be finally settled by the Arbitration Court attached to the BiH Foreign Chamber of Commerce in accordance with its Rules on Organization.” 

Pool of arbitrators

Arbitration court maintains two lists of arbitrators, i.e. one for domestic disputes, and one for cross-border disputes. According to the information available online, 75% of the list are arbitrators from BiH, while the remaining 25% are international arbitrators. List is updated every 4 years. Parties are free to appoint an arbitrator of their own choosing, provided that he/she is highly qualified and specialized in specific field of law and business relations. Lists of arbitrators are available here.

Tariffs and Fees

Under the Tariffs of the Arbitration Courtfor dispute of value up to EUR 25,000, parties pay administrative fee in amount of EUR 150, while for disputes of value over EUR 25,000 parties pay administrative fee in amount of 30% of the arbitrators’ fee. Arbitrators fee depends on the value of the dispute. Fee for president of the tribunal and for sole arbitrator is 20% higher than the regular fee.