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)

Greece.

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

14 October 1962.

(Source: Decree No. 4220/1961 of 19 Sept. 1961 (published in the Greek Official Gazette No. 173 of 19 Sept. 1961, vol. A), Art. 12.)

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

(a) reciprocity?

Yes.

(Sources: Decree No. 4220/1961, Art. 2(1); adde Greek Constitution, Art. 28(1).)

(b) commercial relationships?

Yes.

(Source: Decree No. 4220/1961, Art. 2(1).)

4. In addition to arbitral awards made in the territory of another State, the New York Convention (Article I(1)) also applies to arbitral awards not considered as domestic awards in the State where recognition and enforcement are 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?

Before enactment of Law No. 2735/1999 (adopting the UNCITRAL Model Law), the New York Convention could be applicable to awards rendered in Greece, where the procedural law of a foreign country was applicable to the arbitral procedure. Since then, international arbitrations with their seat in Greece are considered domestic for the purposes of enforcement, irrespective of the applicable procedural rules.

(Source: Law No. 2735 of 16 Aug. 1999 (published in the Greek Official Gazette No. 167 of 18 Aug. 1999, vol. A), Arts. 19 and 35(2).)

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) Art. 903 of the Greek Code of Civil Procedure ('CCP', Kodikas Politikis Dikonomias) on the res judicata effect of foreign arbitral awards; (ii) Art. 906 CCP on enforcement of foreign arbitral awards in Greece; (iii) Art. 36 of Law No. 2735/1999 on recognition and enforcement of international arbitral awards under the New York Convention; and (iv) Decree No. 4220/1961 (implementing the New York Convention).

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?

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

There is no limitation period applicable to the recognition and enforcement of foreign awards in Greece.

(Source: Athens Court of Appeal, No. 1390/1972, Nomiko Vima 1972, p. 1324.)

D. National courts and court proceedings

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

The court of first instance (Monomeles Protodikeio) (i) at the place where the respondent against whom enforcement is sought is domiciled, resident or (for legal entities) has its head office as specified in its by-laws; or (ii) in Athens, if the respondent's domicile, residence or (for legal entities) head office as specified in its by-laws is not in Greece.

(Source: CCP, Arts. 905 and 906.)

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 respondent in the jurisdiction, etc.)?

No requirements are mentioned in the relevant provisions on enforcement.

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

Prima facie, such proceedings may appear to be ex parte, since notification of the request to the other party is not required under the relevant provisions of Greek law (Athens Court of Appeal, No. 29/2010; contra, in favour of notification, Athens Court of Appeal, No. 5364/1987). However, one may consider that such proceedings are actually inter partes since (i) in practice, the request for enforcement is always notified to the other party in order to enable it to participate in the enforcement proceedings. Otherwise (in the absence of such notification), the other party is entitled to bring an action to stop execution against its assets on the grounds that it has not participated in the enforcement proceedings and (ii) judges may order such notification, of their own motion, if they deem it appropriate.

10.

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

Yes; an appeal may be filed against the first decision with the competent court of appeal.

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

Recourse against the court of appeal's decision is available before the Greek Supreme Court (Areios Pagos) on grounds that are strictly limited.

11.

What is the earliest stage in legal proceedings for enforcement of foreign arbitral awards at which a party can obtain execution against assets (i.e. party actually obtains possession of assets as opposed to simply freezing assets)?

Three days after service of the 'notice' (exequatur).

(Source: CCP, Art. 926.)

E. Evidence required

12.

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

The following evidence must be supplied: (i) the arbitral award and (ii) the arbitration agreement.

(Source: Decree No. 4220/1961, Art. 4.)

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

It is necessary to provide (i) the award in its entirety and (ii) the relevant pages of the document (contract, agreement, general conditions, etc.) containing the arbitration clause.

(Source: Decree No. 4220/1961, Art. 4.)

(c) Are originals or duly certified copies required?

The following are required: (i) an original or a duly certified copy of the award and (ii) an original or a duly certified copy of the arbitration clause.

(Source: Decree No. 4220/1961, Art. 4.)

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

The following are required: (i) one original or one duly certified copy of the award and (ii) one original or one duly certified copy of the arbitration clause.

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

All evidence supplied for enforcement is kept by the secretariat of the court of first instance. Therefore, it is advisable to file the request with duly certified copies of the necessary documents, not the originals.

13.

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

Yes.

(b) If yes, into what language?

Greek.

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

The translations of the above-mentioned evidence need to be certified by (i) an official translator of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs or (ii) an official translator of a Greek Consulate or (iii) a lawyer registered with a Greek Bar.

(Sources: Decree No. 4220/1961, Art. 4; adde Piraeus Court of Appeal, No. 1206/1986, Peiraiki Nomologia 1986, pp. 287-289 and Athens Court of Appeal, No. 6815/1994, Diki, 1995, 903.)

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

It is necessary to provide a full translation of the award and the arbitration clause; there is no need to provide a translation of the entire contractual document containing the arbitration clause.

(Source: Decree No. 4220/1961, Art. 4.)

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?

Yes, pursuant to Art. VI of the New York Convention.

(Source: Decree 4220/1961, Art. 6.)

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

None.

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

Yes, it may be.

(Source: Decree 4220/1961, Art. 6.)

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?

Neither the arbitral award nor the arbitration clause as filed form part of the public record. These documents are considered to be attachments to the decision on recognition and enforcement. Attachments to a file and the court's decision can be requested from the secretariat of the court by a party with a legitimate interest. Consequently, only the parties themselves or the counsel that represented them during the proceedings may request copies thereof. A third party may obtain such documents only if it (i) proves a precise legitimate interest in doing so and (ii) obtains authorization from the Prosecutor for this purpose.

(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?

As a general procedural rule, hearings held in Greek civil courts are public. However, the judge has discretion to hold a confidential hearing if deemed appropriate.

(Sources: CCP, Arts. 113 and 114; adde Greek Constitution, Art. 93(3).)

(c) Are judgments 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 or State secrets)?

Judgments on the enforcement of foreign awards are sometimes published in legal reviews and case law databases without the names of the parties or any confidential information.

H. Other issues

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

There is no distinction in Greek law between interim and partial awards. Any arbitral award settling a dispute in a final way may be enforced.

(Source: Greek Supreme Court, No. 91/1993, Dikaio Epicheiriseon kai Etairion 1996, p. 781.)

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

There is no distinction in Greek law between monetary and non-monetary arbitral awards. Accordingly, a party may obtain enforcement of a non-monetary award.

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

This possibility is not contemplated in Greek law.

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?

No reported Greek case law in this respect.

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 request to enforce a foreign award in Greece is subject to the payment of filing and representation fees, which are payable in all proceedings in a Greek court of first instance.

Most importantly, in addition to these payments, the 'notice' of enforcement (exequatur) is obtained from the court only after payment of an amount currently equivalent to 3% of the relief granted in the award. This amount is payable by the party initiating the enforcement proceedings and is added to the amount due by the debtor. The percentage changes from time to time.

Country Rapporteur:

Antonias Dimolitsa