Arbitration is a legal technique used by lawyers in order to help resolve disputes outside of the Court. The parties will direct the matter to a third individual, an arbitrator, who will make the decision based on the presented facts. Arbitration is usually employed in cases of commercial conflicts. Arbitration in Cyprus applies under the International Arbitration in Commercial Matters Law (IACM) from 1987.
Cyprus commercial arbitration laws
In cases of commercial disputes, Cyprus has signed the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards of the United Nations. The New York Convention states that Cyprus must recognize and apply awards made in other signatory states, as other states must recognize and apply arbitral awards made in Cyprus.
Cyprus has also signed the following multilateral treaties:
- The Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters;
- The Agreement on Recovery Abroad and Maintenance;
- The European Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards;
- The Agreement on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States;
- Cyprus has also signed bilateral investment treaties (BITs) with 23 countries, from which 16 are in force at the moment.
Cyprus domestic arbitration law
Domestic arbitration in Cyprus falls under the Arbitration Law and the Civil Procedure Regulations. In domestic arbitration matters there needs to be an arbitration agreement that must include as much data as possible about the arbitrators names, the location in which the arbitration will take place, the language, the arbitration rules and applicable laws, the cost and the procedures.
Arbitration cannot be applied in the following cases:
- Spousal disputes;
- Disputes regarding embezzlement and illegalities;
- Criminal cases.
Advantages of arbitration in Cyprus
In Cyprus arbitration is one of the most popular forms of settling disputes. Some of the benefits of Cypriot arbitration are:
- Parties can pick the location and time in which the arbitrationwill take place and the language proceedings will be presented in;
- Parties can request an expert in the industry of the dispute to arbitrate the settlement;
- Arbitrationis faster than disputes settled in courts of justice;
- Strict confidentiality on the case;
- Arbitration is less costly than lawsuits;
Cyprus is a member of the European Union and the Eurozone. It features on the white list of the OECD and has committed to the highest standards of transparency, assuming an early-adopter status for the automatic exchange of information on tax matters.
Use of the Cyprus holding company is widespread in project finance, cross-border transactions and global investment management.
Amongst other advantages, a Cyprus holding company can achieve low or zero withholding tax rates when extracting dividends from underlying subsidiaries by relying on either:
► an applicable double tax treaty, or
► the provisions of the EU Parent Subsidiary Directive.
Cyprus has concluded over 50 agreements for the avoidance of double taxation, and has one of the largest collections of treaties globally, including the United States of America, Canada, India, China, Russia, the majority of European countries and the C.I.S. countries.