FAQs

General

The Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (CRCICA) is an independent non-profit international organisation established in 1979 under the auspices of the Asian African Legal Consultative Organization (AALCO), in pursuance of AALCO’s decision taken at its 1978 Doha Session to establish regional centres for international commercial arbitration in Asia and Africa.

The Headquarters Agreement concluded between AALCO and the Egyptian government in 1987 recognises CRCICA’s status as an international organisation and endows the Centre, its directors and its members with all necessary privileges and immunities, ensuring its independent operation.

CRCICA is the oldest arbitration centre in Africa and the Middle East and was dubbed the “granddaddy” of arbitration in the region by the Global Arbitration Review in 2016.

CRCICA provides a system of dispute settlement for parties engaged in trade, commerce and investment, and case management services and administers international, regional and domestic arbitrations and other alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms according to the CRCICA Rules, which include Arbitration, Mediation and Dispute Board Rules.

CRCICA is international in status, organisation, and operation. The Headquarters Agreement concluded between the Asian African Legal Consultative Organization (“AALCO”) and the Egyptian Government in 1987 recognises CRCICA’s status as an international organization.

The Centre, its directors and its members enjoy all the necessary privileges and immunities ensuring its independent functioning. The institutional composition of CRCICA reflects its nature as an international and regional organisation, and its scope encompassing Asia and Africa as well as the rest of the world.

While located in Egypt, CRCICA is not affiliated or related to the Egyptian Government in any way.

CRCICA is self-funded and led by an international Board of Trustees and Advisory Committee composed of international figures and eminent practitioners specialized in the fields of international arbitration, law, business, trade, investment and international relations from different geographical sectors of the world.

CRCICA has besides cemented its status as a major arbitration centre in the Middle East and in Africa with over 1600 arbitration cases registered to date.

Parties to CRCICA arbitrations and arbitrators appointed in CRCICA administered cases originate from more than 60 countries over the globe and between 2017 and 2021, over 100 non-Egyptian arbitrators were appointed.

CRCICA is an impartial and independent arbitral institution with over 40 years of experience in administering institutional and ad hoc international and domestic commercial arbitrations. CRCICA is not financed by any entity and is wholly self-funded.

 

CRCICA administers a wide range of disputes, including institutional arbitration under its Rules, and other ad hoc and ADR proceedings, spanning a wide range of sectors and industries.

Based on CRCICA’s statistics, cases arising out of the construction industry rank at the top of the types of disputes. CRCICA also administers cases in the fields of oil & gas, telecommunications, hotel management, pharmaceuticals, public private partnerships, as well as corporate restructuring, media & entertainment, real-estate development, transport, sports, and tourism & hospitality.

In its Guide to Regional Arbitration, the Global Arbitration Review (GAR) described CRCICA’s strengths as “Experience – it’s old enough and busy enough that it’s handled most situations at least once – and professionalism. It’s been well managed.”

Yes, it does. In fact, many bilateral investment treaties (BITs) concluded between Egypt and European parties (e.g., the 2001 Egyptian-Austrian BIT) or concluded between countries from the Middle East and Africa (e.g., BITs between Egypt and the UAE, Oman, Kuwait, Syria and Lebanon) provide for arbitration under the CRCICA Rules. It is also provided for in BITs where Egypt is not a party, such as the BIT between Libya and Morocco.

CRCICA’s Headquarters Agreement guarantees its neutrality by ensuring its immunity vis-a-vis the host state. This was the finding in the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) Report on Arbitration Centres (in Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt and Mauritius, prepared by LALIVE in 2014), which recommended the Centre to administer cases filed against public entities of the host state. The report also found that CRCICA fulfills the AfDB’s requirement of neutrality, identifying the “suitability of the CRCICA Rules for the conduct of important international arbitration proceedings”.

CRCICA’s Mediation Rules may also be used between states and foreign investors, or as a settlement mechanism during the cooling off period provided for in BITs. Please click here for more information on the Step-by-Step Guide under CRCICA Mediation Rules.

CRCICA administers proceedings in Arabic, English, and French, with a Dispute Management team who is fluent in all three languages. In addition, the CRCICA Arbitration, Mediation, and Dispute Board Rules are available in either two or all three of these languages.

CRCICA’s Panel of Arbitrators, Mediators, and Adjudicators groups more than 400 practitioners from over 60 different nationalities, allowing parties to select arbitrators accustomed to and experienced with, the governing law of their contract, its original language where it might differ from the one in which the proceedings are being conducted, and the industry(ies) involved in the proceedings.

Yes. CRCICA can administer arbitrations where the governing law of the contract is not Egyptian law. Recent examples include English Law, Iraqi Law, Syrian Law, and Sudanese Law.

No. Parties are free to choose the place of arbitration under CRCICA Arbitration Rules. Absent a choice by the Parties, Article 18 of the CRCICA Arbitration Rules provides that the arbitral tribunal shall determine the place of arbitration, having due regard to the circumstances of the case.

Yes. Recent examples of CRCICA arbitrations seated outside Egypt include seats in Saudi Arabi, Spain, Sudan, and Tunisia.

Parties that opted for a place of arbitration outside Egypt may nevertheless hold the hearing in Cairo, or in any other venue, including through remote or virtual means, depending on what the law of the place of arbitration permits. Similarly, even when the arbitration is seated in Cairo, it is possible to hold the hearings outside CRCICA.

CRCICA offers Parties to the arbitrations it administers the use of its facilities and state-of-the-art Hearing Centre in the heart of Cairo and facilitate the conduct of hearings through virtual means or in a hybrid format.

Parties to non-CRCICA arbitrations can also make use of our hearing facilities, available here.

CRCICA is open from Sunday to Thursday inclusive, from 9:00 to 4:00 PM (Cairo time, UTC+2:00).

Arbitration and Disputes

CRCICA is a neutral and impartial international organisation, with a privileged status and all corresponding immunities. Self-funded and led by an international Board of Trustees and Advisory Committee, CRCICA has efficient arbitration Rules, based on the UNCITRAL Rules, revised and updated to reflect the best practices in the field of international institutional arbitration, along the product of its experience in administering over a thousand proceedings.

CRCICA registered its first arbitration case in the year 1984, and has since registered over 1600 arbitration cases relating to disputes arising out of almost all types of commercial and economic activities. Parties to CRCICA arbitrations and arbitrators appointed come from more than 60 countries all over the globe.

CRCICA provides Hearing Centre services for cases registered at CRCICA and elsewhere, enabling users to benefit from its state-of-the-art facilities, for physical, remote, or hybrid hearings.

For more information, please see Why Arbitration at CRCICA.

Yes. Parties can use the following CRCICA model clause and adapt it to their liking:

Any dispute, controversy or claim arising out of or relating to this contract, its interpretation, execution, the termination or invalidity thereof, shall be settled by arbitration in accordance with the Rules of Arbitration of the Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration.

Note : Parties should consider adding:

  1. The number of arbitrators shall be … (one or three);
  2. The place of arbitration shall be … (town and country); and
  3. The language to be used in the arbitral proceedings shall be…

Note : Parties may consider adding:

The time limit within which the arbitral tribunal shall make its final award shall be…

CRCICA also has a model multi-tiered dispute resolution clause, available here.

Yes. If the Parties had not previously agreed that their disputes would be subject to the CRCICA Arbitration Rules, they can still submit existing disputes through a “submission agreement”. This is an agreement whose sole purpose is to submit a specific dispute or set of disputes to arbitration, while indicating the subject matter the referred dispute(s).

No, CRCICA could however register the case as an ad hoc arbitration and provide its administrative assistance to the Parties. In that case, only Section V of the CRCCIA Arbitration Rules on the Costs of Arbitration will apply, unless the Parties agree to apply other parts of the CRCICA Arbitration Rules as well.

Yes. This happens in practice. For example, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) is frequently named as an appointing authority in petroleum concession agreements. Inversely, Parties can name CRCICA as the appointing authority in arbitrations that are not governed by its Arbitration Rules.

Yes. CRCICA arbitral awards are generally enforceable outside Egypt.

Yes. As per Article 36 of the CRCICA Arbitration Rules, parties can agree at any moment to settle their dispute amicably and bring the arbitral proceedings to an end. Parties can even agree to end the proceedings without reaching a settlement.

In Arb-med-arb, Parties proceed with the establishment of an arbitral tribunal, as per the terms of the underlying arbitration agreement, and can request, at any time, the suspension of proceedings to allow for mediation. A mediator will be appointed under CRCICA Mediation Rules to help the Parties reach a settlement agreement. If mediation is successful, the parties may resume arbitral proceedings to request the issuance of an award by consent (Article 36(1) of the CRCICA Arbitration Rules). If mediation is not successful, Parties can resume resolution of their conflict through arbitration and continue enjoying the benefits of using arbitration.

Parties to CRCICA arbitration can jointly agree to submit to mediation under CRCICA Rules at any stage of the proceedings.

Prior to the emergence of any dispute, parties can also insert the CRCICA arb-med-arb model clause in their contract.

No. Parties to CRCICA arbitration can jointly agree to submit their dispute to mediation or to settle it amicably at any time in the arbitration proceedings. Nevertheless, it is possible to include it in the dispute resolution clause from the outset.

You can apply to CRCICA’s Panel of Arbitrators through the online form available here.

Filing and Conduct of Arbitration and ADR proceedings before CRCICA

A Party shall file a notice of arbitration at CRCICA’s premises or online, and pay the non-refundable registration fees of USD 500.

For more information, please click here.

No. Under Article 5 of the CRCICA Arbitration Rules, parties can, but are not obligated to be represented or assisted to take part in CRCICA arbitration. Use of adequate representation and legal assistance is however advised in arbitral proceedings.

If you choose to be represented or assisted in a CRCICA Arbitration, you must communicate the names and addresses of the persons chosen to represent or assist you to the Centre, making sure to specify whether the appointment is being made for purposes of representation or assistance. At least a letter of authorization by the Party’s legal representative is required at this stage.

When a person is chosen as representative, the tribunal may at any time, on its own initiative or at the request of any party, require proof of authority granted to the representative, including a notarized Power of Attorney.

You can file your notice of arbitration either through Online Filing, in person at our premises or by courier addressed to:

The Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration
1 Al-Saleh Ayoub St.
Zamalek 11211
Cairo, Egypt

The requirements for a notice of arbitration can be found in Article 3 of the CRCICA Arbitration Rules. For more details, please click here.

No. However, if you are wondering what to include in your notice of arbitration, Article 3 of the CRCICA Arbitration Rules outlines the necessary requirements and other elements Parties may choose to include. We recommend that Parties use this article for guidance.

The necessary requirements and information are also provided for in our Online NoA Form.

Upon receipt of the notice of arbitration, you have 30 days to file your response to the notice of arbitration, unless otherwise specified by the relevant arbitration agreement, either through Online Filing, in person at our premises or by courier addressed to:

The Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration
1 Al-Saleh Ayoub St.
Zamalek 11211
Cairo, Egypt

The requirements for a notice of arbitration can be found in Article 4 of the CRCICA Arbitration Rules. For more details, please click here.

No, not always. Article 6 of the CRCICA Arbitration Rules states: “The Centre may, upon the approval of the Advisory Committee, decide not to proceed with the arbitral proceedings if it manifestly lacks jurisdiction over the dispute.”

Per Practice Note I, the practice of the Centre under Article 6 is that the matter need only be referred to the Advisory Committee (AC) when the Centre intends to decide not to proceed with the arbitral proceedings. In that case, the Centre should seek the approval of the AC before making any such decision.

However, if the Centre intends to proceed with the arbitral proceedings, it is not required to seek the approval of the AC before making such a decision.

Yes. Under CRCICA Rules, the tribunal may, at the request of any party, allow one or more third persons to be joined to the ongoing arbitration proceedings, provided they are a party to the arbitration agreement, unless the tribunal finds, after having heard all parties, including the third person(s) to be joined that joinder should not be permitted because of prejudice to any of those parties.

The arbitral tribunal may, following such joinder, make a single or several awards in respect of all parties involved in the arbitration.

The tribunal in exercising its discretion, should have due regard to the efficient conduct of the proceedings and the avoidance of unnecessary delay and expenses that are likely to increase the costs of arbitration in an unjustified manner.

For a full description of arbitration proceedings and their conduct, you can refer to the Step-by-Step Guide to CRCICA Arbitration.

Any party can file a written request for mediation, without registration fees, under the CRCICA Mediation Rules.

Article 4 of the CRCICA Mediation Rules sets out the requirements for a mediation request.

It is preferred that Parties participate in the mediation in person. However, per Article 5 of the Mediation Rules, they can choose to be represented by one or more persons. The names of such persons must be communicated to the Centre.

When a person is chosen as representative, the mediator may at any time of its own initiative or at the request of any party, require proof of authority granted to the representative.

For a full description of mediation proceedings and their conduct, you can refer to the Step-by-Step Guide to CRCICA Mediation.

Services

CRCICA hosts and help organise in person hearings and meetings for Parties and tribunals in institutional arbitrations and ad hoc arbitrations administered by CRCICA without extra charge. CRCICA also hosts and help organise virtual hearing, semi-virtual hearings, and remote witness and experts’ hearing and cross-examination, including providing platforms for document sharing through experienced service providers. For more information, please click here.

CRCICA can provide administrative assistance to ad hoc arbitration, including those conducted under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules. 

Yes. CRCICA offers high-tech hearings rooms to parties involved in other institutional proceedings under various rules such as International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) and Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) or ad hoc proceedings as part of its services.

For more information and booking, please click here.

Yes. Provided a valid proof of authority is submitted, the Centre can provide an additional stamped original copy or stamped true-copies of a CRCICA arbitral award.

No. CRCICA provides administrative and technical assistance to parties involved in arbitration, mediations or Dispute Boards under its Rules, and can also offer assistance in ad hoc arbitration proceedings, for instance those conducted under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules.

However, the only legal advice that can be provided by CRCICA is guidance to parties with regard to the inclusion of a model clause providing for CRCICA Arbitration, Mediation or Dispute Board rules in their contract.

Yes.

For more information, please click here.

Yes. CRCICA maintains a panel of more than 400 arbitrators from over 60 different nationalities. The Panel of Arbitrators includes arbitrators from Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Greece, Haiti, India, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Mauritius, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Palestine, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Somalia, South Korea, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America and Zambia.

For more information, please click here.

The Centre has a panel of arbitrators of eminent and rising practitioners across expertise and industries, with both technical and a legal background.

In relation to arbitration, applicants must at least, prior to applying to the panel, have the following qualifications or experience:

  • Experience as an arbitrator in several arbitration cases;
  • Experience as counsel in arbitration case;
  • Be aged between 30 and 75 years; and
  • Membership or Fellowship from the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) or CIArb Egypt branch, or any other supplemental information exemplifying the applicant’s experience in arbitration such as completing any arbitration related courses or seminars.

If you wish to apply to CRCICA’s panel of arbitrators, please click here.

Yes. Parties can choose their arbitrators from outside CRCICA’s list of arbitrators. However, when the Centre appoints, it has to draw and elect candidates and arbitrators from amongst its panel of arbitrators.

Costs and Payment

There is no minimum nor maximum claim for CRCICA arbitration.

You can use CRCICA Cost Calculator to be provided an indicative estimation of the administrative and arbitrators’ fees, to be deposited by the parties in equal shares before the commencement of the arbitral proceedings.

The estimation is exclusive of the fixed non-refundable registration fee amounting to USD 500 to be paid by the claimant upon filing the notice of arbitration and the respondent upon filing a counterclaim.

It is worth mentioning that CRCICA is ranked by the GAR between second and fourth in terms of cost efficiency and reasonableness, of 10 of the major international arbitration institutions around the world (since 2018, last updated in 2021).

To calculate the arbitration costs, CRCICA applies Tables (1), (2) and (3) annexed to CRCICA Arbitration Rules to the amount or the estimated amount in dispute.

You can find the Tables along the relevant calculations here, or use directly CRCICA Cost Calculator to be provided an indicative estimation of the administrative and arbitrators’ fees.

The “arbitration costs” fixed by the Centre, and that the parties must deposit in equal shares at the beginning of the arbitral proceedings include only the administrative fees of the Centre of article 44 and the fees of the arbitral tribunal of article 45. The administrative fees include the use of CRCICA hearing facilities, remote/ virtual hearings, and reasonable expenses of document notifications.

However, the costs of arbitration to be fixed and allocated to the parties at the final award or other decision, under article 42, include: the registration fees, the administrative fees, the fees of the arbitral tribunal, the reasonable travel and other expenses incurred by the arbitrators, the reasonable costs of expert advice and other assistance (translation, case reporting, etc…), the reasonable travel and other expenses of witnesses, and the reasonable legal and other costs incurred by the parties in relation to the arbitration.

Under articles 44 and 45, where the sum in dispute cannot be ascertained, the Centre shall determine the administrative fees and fees of the arbitral tribunal taking all relevant circumstances into account. Such determination of the costs may be adjusted in light of such information as may subsequently become available.

CRCICA Cost Calculator provides an indicative estimation of the administrative and arbitrators’ fees based on the minimum arbitrator(s)’ fees.

Where the amount in dispute exceeds USD 3,000,000 in amount, the Centre can determine the Arbitral Tribunal’s fees in accordance with the minimum and maximum set at Table (3) of CRCICA Arbitration Rules.

In this regard, under Practice Note V, the practice of the Centre is, as a general rule, to determine the fees of the arbitral tribunal in accordance with the minimum scale of fees set out in Table (3) annexed to the Rules, unless a different determination of such fees, according to any of the average or maximum scales set out in the said Table, is required due to the complexity of the dispute, the high sum in dispute or the seniority of the arbitrators. After thus determining the fees of the arbitral tribunal, any change in such fees within the scales of fees shall be upon a reasoned request from the arbitral tribunal that shall be decided by the Centre according to its discretion, having regard to the above criteria.

The Centre may also deviate, under article 45, in exceptional circumstances, at a figure higher or lower than that which would result from the application of Table (2) or the scales set out in Table (3).

The registration fee is a non-refundable fixed fee of USD 500 upon filing the case no matter how many claims and indifferent of the total amount in dispute.

Yes, for the Centre to register a counterclaim, Respondent has to pay a non-refundable fixed fee of USD 500 no matter how many counterclaims and indifferent of the total amount in dispute.

If the registration fee is not paid upon filing the notice of arbitration or the counterclaim, the Centre shall not register the case or counterclaim.

Under article 47 of CRCICA Arbitration Rules, a party’s share of the arbitration costs should be paid within 15 days of the receipt of a request to this effect.

The Centre can, under article 47 of CRCICA Arbitration Rules, suspend or terminate the proceedings, if the required deposits are not paid in full within 15 days of a request for payment, or ask the tribunal to do so, if the proceedings have already commenced.

The Centre will however, allow reminders to the parties, and a party can advance another party’s share, subject to their reimbursement by the other party, following the tribunal’s determination and final allocation of the costs at the award.

Under Practice Note IV, three months after the arbitration proceedings have been suspended due to non-payment of the costs of the arbitration, the Centre is entitled to terminate the arbitral proceedings, provided that the letter suspending the proceedings refers to the possibility of them being terminated if payment is not made within three months.

However, the proceedings shall resume in case of payment of the outstanding arbitration costs during the suspension period and before the issuance of the Centre’s letter terminating the proceedings.

In such case, the Centre will recalculate the sum in dispute to include the value of the counterclaim, as the sum in dispute is the aggregate value of all claims, counterclaims and set-offs pursuant to Articles 44(2) and 45(2) of the Rules.

The new sum in dispute will be used to recalculate the arbitrations costs. The total arbitration costs will then be divided by two to get the share of each party and Respondent will be requested to deposit its share, regardless of the amount already paid by Claimant, as the costs are payable in equal shares by Claimant and Respondent pursuant to Article 47(1) of the Rules.

However, either party may request from the Centre to fix separate costs for the claims and the counterclaims. In such instance, the Claimant or the Respondent, as the case may be, will be requested to deposit the total arbitration costs related to its respective claims or counterclaims.

There are no registration fees upon initiating mediation at CRCICA.

The administrative fees are reasonable and range between USD 500 and USD 3,000 save for exceptional cases. The mediator’s fees are calculated on hourly basis based on the reasonable time spent on the case, and range between USD 100 and USD 300 save for exceptional cases.

Parties can control the costs in mediation if they so desire by setting a budget with the mediator and CRCICA, for example, by agreeing a maximum USD 3,500 that they will spend on mediation, after discussing with the Centre and mediator the hours required and the expected administrative fees.

For more details, please refer to this section of the website.

The term costs under CRCICA Mediation Rules includes four categories, which are CRCICA’s administrative fees, the mediator’s fees, expenses incurred by the mediator and fees or expenses of the appointing authority if other than CRCICA.

CRCICA offers cost-efficient mediation costs compared to most mediation institutions and is one of the few, if not the only, institution that does not charge registration fees to initiate mediation.

Arbitration and mediation costs can be paid in USD by deposit at CRCICA Bank accounts, by a certified check in the name of “The Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration” and delivered to its address or by bank or wire transfer (indicating the case number) to the following account:

The Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration
Bank: QNB Al Ahli, El Kamel Mohamed Branch, Zamalek
Bank Account No.: 62-20900200462 – 03
IBAN: EG420037006208402090020046203
SWIFT: QNBAEGCXXXX
Branch Address: 2 AL KAMEL MOHAMED ST., ZAMALEK, CAIRO, EGYPT

In case of bank or wire transfer, please ensure that bank charges are not deducted from the total amount and send a copy of the bank transfer to facilitate follow-up and confirm receipt.

Any fees due to CRCICA can be paid in USD in cash or by a certified check in the name of “The Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration” and delivered to its address or by bank or wire transfer (indicating the case number where applicable, or other reference) to the following account:

The Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration

Bank: QNB Al Ahli, El Kamel Mohamed Branch, Zamalek
Bank Account No.: 62-20900200462 – 03
IBAN: EG420037006208402090020046203
SWIFT: QNBAEGCXXXX
Branch Address: 2 AL KAMEL MOHAMED ST., ZAMALEK, CAIRO, EGYPT

In case of bank or wire transfer, please ensure that bank charges are not deducted from the total amount and send a copy of the bank transfer to facilitate follow-up and confirm receipt.

 

The request to pay in a currency other than USD is subject to CRCICA’s Director’s approval and other bank requirements.

Under Practice Note VI, the practice of the Centre in case of issuing an order terminating the arbitral proceedings or rendering an award on agreed terms is to finally determine the costs of the arbitration including the arbitrators’ fees on a case-by-case basis, having regard to when the arbitral tribunal has terminated the proceedings, the work performed by the arbitral tribunal and other relevant circumstances.