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EghtesadOnline: Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture launched an arbitration center on Sunday where merchants, economic players, producers and business people can settle their disputes with their Iranian or foreign partners, decrease contract risks and economic interaction expenses.

Hamid Hassanzadeh, an official with the TCCIM Arbitration Center, said Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture’s Arbitration Center was founded more than 20 years ago in Tehran and since then ICCIMA has launched such centers in 20 provinces across the country.

“However, this economic body was reluctant to launch one in TCCIM on the pretext that there is already one such active center in the Iranian capital and there is no need for another,” he said. “But since Tehran Chamber of Commerce has more than 16,000 members, there was a need for a separate arbitration center that could address the legal issues of economic players with greater speed and efficiency.”

The official said the center has taken on close to 20 arbitrators, all of whom are renowned legal experts and law school faculty members with long years of experience working in ICCIMA’s Arbitration Center, according to Financial Tribune.

“Here we settle disputes on a wide range of general legal cases. There are some exceptions though, for instance, we do not enter into divorce or bankruptcy cases.

The arbitrator has to settle cases in less than three months and the enforcement of decrees are mandatory just like those of

the court,” he said. Hassanzadeh noted that the arbitrators are experts in commercial affairs, including banking, customs and marine transportation.

According to the official, judgments are made according to the Civil Trial Procedure Law and the International Trade Arbitration Law (ratified in Iran) and the statute is the one designed by ICCIMA with some alterations to make it even less flawed and more up-to-date.

Asked about the international credibility of the decrees passed by the center, Hassanzadeh said, “Iran joined the New York Arbitration Convention in October 2001. The New York Convention applies to the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards and the referral by a court to arbitration. As such, a decree passed in one of the member states can and must be enforced in other states.”

On the impartiality of verdicts in cases where one of the two parties is not Iranian, the official said TCCIM’s Arbitration Center can mediate in disputes under the condition that the two sides specifically mention the center in their contract beforehand as their arbitrator in case of any problem.

“It is upon us to gain the trust of local and foreign economic players and merchants. As we go by, our performance can itself be a source of such trust. One thing we can do in this regard is to choose our arbitrators from among the best and most proficient ones in the country. So far, this has been done and plans are to increase the number of such arbitrators in our center,” he said.

“We need to advertise and make ourselves known to people involved in trade and business both inside and outside Iran. We also hold classes for merchants and businesspeople to teach them about the meaning and uses of arbitration. This way they know when to come to us and how to proceed.”

Hassanzadeh concluded that the center can play an important role in increasing foreign trade and attracting investors to the country.

TCCIM Tehran Chamber of Commerce TCCIM Arbitration Center