This Country Answer reflects the state of the law as of 31 December 2012. Please refer to the explanations in the chapter entitled Preliminary Note.

A. The Contracting State and the New York Convention

1. Name of Contracting State (also specify jurisdiction(s), if relevant)

Dominican Republic.

2. Date of entry into force of the New York Convention

10 July 2002.

3. Has any reservation been made under Art. I(3) of the New York Convention regarding:

(a) reciprocity?

No.

(b) commercial relationships?

No.

The Dominican Republic has confirmed its commitment to the New York Convention without expressing any restrictions.

(Source: Resolution No. 178-01 of the National Congress dated 10 Oct. 2001, promulgated by the Executive Branch on 8 Nov. 2001.)

4. In addition to arbitral awards made in the territory of another State, the New York Convention (Art. I(1)) also applies to arbitral awards not considered as domestic awards in the State where recognition and enforcement is sought. Are there any awards rendered in your country that are not considered as domestic awards such that the New York Convention and the answers to this Questionnaire are applicable to them?

Dominican legislation does not specify any additional conditions under which an award rendered in the Dominican Republic would be characterized as foreign.

B. National sources of law

5. What specific sources of law are applicable to recognition and enforcement of foreign awards (e.g. statutes, regulations, codes, directives, other legal instruments)?

(i) Dominican Republic Constitution;

(ii) Convention on Private International Law (Bustamante Code), signed in La Habana on 20 Feb. 1928, approved by the National Congress on 27 Nov. 1928, enacted on 2 Jan. 1929 (Gaceta Oficial No. 4042);

(iii) Civil Code of the Dominican Republic;

(iv) Civil Procedure Code of the Dominican Republic (modified by Laws 834 and 845 of 15 July 1978);

(v) Commercial Arbitration Law No. 489-08, approved by the National Congress on 9 Dec. 2008, enacted on 19 Dec. 2008 (based on UNCITRAL Model Law);

(vi) Resolution No. 178-01, enacted 8 Nov 2001, approving the New York Convention;

(vii) Inter-American Convention on International Commercial Arbitration made between OAS member States on 30 Jan. 1975, ratified by the Dominican Republic on 7 July, 2008.

It is important to note that by Resolution No. 402-2006 of 9 Mar. 2006 the Supreme Court of Justice of the Dominican Republic declared that the implementation and promotion of alternative methods of dispute resolution in Dominican courts was a matter of judicial public policy.

C. Limitation periods (time limits)

6. (a) Is there a limitation period (time limit) applicable to the commencement of legal proceedings for recognition and enforcement of foreign awards?

There is no statute or provision setting a time limit applicable to such proceedings.

(b) If yes, what is the applicable limitation period (time limit) and when does it start running?

N/A.

D. National courts and court proceedings

7. What authority or court has jurisdiction over recognition and enforcement of foreign awards?

Foreign awards may become enforceable through authorization or exequatur issued by the Civil and Commercial Chamber of the First Instance Court of the National District.

(Source: Commercial Arbitration Law No. 489-08, Art. 9.6.)

8. What requirements, if any, must be met for the authority or court to accept jurisdiction over recognition and enforcement of foreign awards (e.g. domicile or assets of the respondent in the jurisdiction, etc.)?

Dominican law does not submit the acceptance of jurisdiction for this purpose to any specific requirements, other than by way of a general reference to Dominican law and special provisions deriving from treaties, conventions or international agreements. Under Dominican law jurisdiction ratione materiae and ratione loci would be determined according to criteria similar to those applied under French law (i.e. domicile of the respondent, site where the assets are located etc.). The Dominican Civil Code contains an exorbitant provision giving jurisdiction to Dominican courts whenever there a Dominican party is involved.

9. Is the first decision granting or denying recognition and enforcement obtained through ex parte or inter partes proceedings?

The decision or exequatur issued by the Civil and Commercial Chamber of the First Instance Court of the National District is granted by way of jurisdicción graciosa, which is an ex parte procedure.

10. (a) Is the first decision granting or denying recognition and enforcement subject to any form of appeal or recourse? Yes

(b) How many levels of appeal or recourse are available against this decision?

One. An action against the auto (order) granting exequatur can be filed before the competent Court of Appeal on the same basis as an action for annulment and in accordance with the applicable international convention. A petition to stay execution can be presented to the President of the Court, as an urgent injunction (procedimiento en referimiento). These are the only available means of recourse.

(Source: Commercial Arbitration Law No.489-08, Art. 44.)

11. What is the earliest stage in legal proceedings for enforcement of foreign arbitral awards at which a party can obtain execution against assets?

As soon as the exequatur of a foreign arbitral award has been obtained, it is enforceable upon being served, unless enforcement is voluntary. The exequatur recognizes the existence of the award and makes the rulings it contains enforceable.

(Source: see A. Mourre. 'Ejecución Forzada de Laudos Internacionales', II Congreso del Club Español de Arbitraje, 2007.)

An award declared enforceable by the Civil and Commercial Chamber of the First Instance Court of the National District has effect throughout the entire territory of the Dominican Republic.

(Source: Commercial Arbitration Law No.489-08, Art. 9.6.)

E. Evidence required

12. (a) What evidence must be supplied for recognition and enforcement of foreign awards (e.g. the arbitral award, the contract containing the arbitration clause, affidavits, witness statements, etc.)?

It is recommended that all pertinent documents that may evidence the regularity of the award be filed, plus, of course, the award itself.

(b) Is it necessary to provide the entire document or only certain parts (e.g. the entire contract or only the arbitration clause)?

It is recommended that all documentation be provided in full.

(c) Are originals or duly certified copies required?

It is recommended that originals be provided or, failing this, duly certified copies, legalized by way of apostille (if the award was made in a country party to the Hague Convention) or consular legalization.

(d) How many originals or duly certified copies are required?

One original of each document must be filed or one duly certified copy.

(e) Does the authority or court keep the originals that are filed?

The file containing all the documentation provided by the parties is kept by the court working on the case until a decision is adopted. It can be returned to the party after the end of the proceedings.

(Source: Law 821 of 1927 on the Judicial Organization of the Dominican Republic, Art. 88)

13. (a) Is it necessary to provide a translation of the documents supplied?

A translation of the documents into Spanish by a duly certified translator of the Dominican Republic is required.

(Sources: New York Convention, Art. IV(2); also Dominican law.)

(b) If yes, into what language?

Spanish.

(Source: Law 5136 of 24 July 1912, Art. which states: 'Every request, presentation or claim before any State powers or their departments shall be exposed in writing or orally, as appropriate, in Spanish, under penalty of not being taken into consideration.')

(c) Is it necessary for the translations to be certified and, if yes, by whom (by an official or sworn translator or by a diplomatic or consular agent (of which country?) or by some other person)?

The documents must be legalized in the originating country by way of apostille (if the originating country is a party to the Hague Convention) or consular legalization. The documents must be translated by a judicial translator and the translation signed and sealed, and legalized by the Legalizations Department of the Attorney General Office of the Republic.

(d) Is it necessary to provide a full translation of the documents or only a translation of certain parts (e.g. the entire award or only the part setting forth the decisions; the entire contract or only the arbitration clause)?

The documents must be fully translated into Spanish.

F. Stay of enforcement

14. (a) Can the authority or court stay legal proceedings for recognition and enforcement pending the outcome of an application to set aside or suspend the foreign award before the competent authority referred to in Art. V(1)(e) of the New York Convention?

The Commercial Arbitration Law refers expressly to Art. V(1)(e) of the New York Convention as a cause for refusing recognition and enforcement of a foreign award. If an award has been set aside by a court at the place of arbitration, Dominican courts will not order recognition or enforcement. The award cannot be enforced until it has been given the necessary authorization or exequatur.

(Source: Commercial Arbitration Law No.489-08, Art. 45(e).)

(b) On what other grounds, if any, can the authority or court stay legal proceedings for recognition and enforcement (e.g. forum non conveniens)?

Forum non conveniens is not yet a principle applicable by Dominican courts. Only those grounds referred to in the New York Convention can be relied on by the court to stay legal proceedings for recognition and enforcement.

(c) Is the granting of a stay of legal proceedings for recognition and enforcement conditional on the provision of security?

Security is mandatory when a stay of legal proceedings is ordered.

(Source: Commercial Arbitration Law No.489-08, Arts. 40.3.)

G. Confidentiality

15. (a) Do the documents filed in legal proceedings for recognition and enforcement form part of the public record? If yes, can any steps be taken to preserve the confidentiality of such documents?

(b) If there are hearings on recognition and enforcement, are such hearings confidential? If not, can steps be taken to maintain the confidentiality of the legal proceedings?

(c) Are judgements on recognition and enforcement published? If yes, can steps be taken to remove the names of the parties or avoid publication of confidential information (such as business secrets or State secrets)?

All documents provided by the parties are public, since this is a public procedure. There is no statutory provision that refers specifically to the confidentiality of records relating to the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards. The clerk of the court is responsible for the safekeeping of the files. Nor is there any procedure for avoiding the publication of judicial records, given that they are of a public nature.

(Source: Civil Procedure Code, Part V, Art. 87.)

H. Other issues

16. When, if ever, can a party obtain recognition and enforcement of interim or partial foreign awards?

As soon as the award has been rendered and is enforceable for the parties, it can be subject to recognition and enforcement in the Dominican Republic, even if it is an interim or partial award. It must be an award, not a procedural order or a preparatory decision. Dominican law refers expressly to the grounds for refusing recognition and enforcement established by the New York Convention. Partial foreign awards will be treated like other awards, provided the decision they contain is enforceable.

17. When, if ever, can a party obtain recognition and enforcement of non-monetary relief in foreign arbitral awards (e.g. an order requiring a party to deliver up share certificates or other property)?

A party can file a petition for the recognition and enforcement of a foreign award ordering non-monetary relief as soon as the award has become enforceable at the place where it was rendered.

18. When, if ever, can a party obtain recognition and enforcement of only part of the relief granted in foreign awards?

A party can choose to seek enforcement of only part of the relief ordered in an award even it has initially sought and obtained recognition and enforcement of the entire award. In the author's opinion, a party can also seek recognition and enforcement of only part of the relief ordered in the award.

19. When, if ever, can a party obtain recognition and enforcement of foreign awards which have been set aside by the competent authority referred to in Art. V(1)(e) of the New York Convention?

It is not possible to obtain the recognition and enforcement of a foreign award that has been set aside, as it would be deemed not to be final in the eyes of a Dominican court. A possible exception is where the order to set aside is suspended in the event of an appeal, but this would be judged on a case-by-case basis.

20. Are there any other procedural or practical requirements relating to recognition and enforcement of foreign awards which are worth mentioning (e.g. unusually high court costs, filing fees, stamp duties, obligation to post security as a condition for seeking recognition and enforcement, obligation to identify the assets that will be the object of enforcement, etc.)?

The recognition and enforcement of an award is an administrative procedure in the competent court. The costs are not very significant and include minor fees and stamps. The main costs are the translations and the registration of the documents, plus the attorney's fees.

Foreign companies are not required to provide security in order to act as plaintiffs before Dominican courts or administrative authorities.

(Source: General Law on Companies and Individual Enterprises of Limited Liability No. 479-08, as amended, Art. 11(III).)

Country Rapporteur:

Fabiola Medina Garnes