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)

Morocco.

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

7 June 1959.

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

(a) reciprocity?

Yes.

(Source: http://treaties.un.org.)

(b) commercial relationships?

No.

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 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?

Yes, as a general practice, essentially codified by Law No. 08-05, promulgated on 30 Nov. 2007 (the 'Law'), which has been incorporated into the Moroccan Code of Civil Procedure and addresses 'international' arbitration separately from internal arbitration. Pursuant to Art. 327-40 of the Law, an arbitral award rendered in Morocco is considered as international if it relates to international trade and provided that at least one of the parties resides abroad. An award rendered in Morocco is also considered international when the parties reside in different countries or when the place of arbitration is in a country other than that or those where the parties reside, or when the obligations set forth in the contract must be performed in a country other than those of the parties.

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)?

Dahir No. 1-59-266 of 19 Feb. 1960 relating to the ratification of the Convention adopted by the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (New York Convention); Arts. 306-327 of the Moroccan Code of Civil Procedure (Law No. 1-74-447) of 28 Sept. 1974 as completed and modified by Law No. 08-05.

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?

See (b) below.

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

The award is subject to an exequatur procedure.

If rendered in Morocco, the award must be recorded/registered at the commercial court within 7 days of the issuance of the award.

If rendered abroad, the time limit is as set forth in the relevant legislation in force in the country in which the award was rendered.

Other than as above, including the 7-day time limit for the recording/registration of the award, there is no specific limitation period for the commencement of legal proceedings for recognition and enforcement.

(Source: Moroccan Code of Civil Procedure (as modified by Law No. 08-05), Arts. 327.31 and 327.32.)

D. National courts and court proceedings

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

The president of the commercial court at the place of enforcement.

(Source: Moroccan Code of Civil Procedure, Art. 327.46.)

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.)?

The respondent must be domiciled or located in the jurisdiction, or must have assets located there.

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

The first decision is obtained through ex parte proceedings.

10.

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

Yes. A first decision denying recognition and enforcement is subject to appeal. A first decision granting recognition and enforcement is not subject to appeal.

(Source: Moroccan Code of Civil Procedure, Art. 327.32.)

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

There are two levels: (i) court of appeal, (ii) Supreme Court.

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)?

A party may obtain execution against assets once the enforcement order is issued by the president of the court which grants recognition and enforcement.

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 arbitral award and the arbitration agreement .

(Sources: Dahir No. 1-59-266 of 19 Feb. 1960; also Law No. 08-05, Art. 327.31.)

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

Both documents must be provided in their entirety.

(c) Are originals or duly certified copies required?

Either an authenticated original or a duly certified copy of each document is required.

(Sources: Dahir No. 1-59-266 of 19 Feb. 1960; Law No. 08-05, Art. 327.)

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

One authenticated original or duly certified copy of each document is required.

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

All documents filed are kept by the court.

13.

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

Yes.

(b) If yes, into what language?

Moroccan courts conduct proceedings in Arabic. All documents filed must therefore be translated into Arabic.

(Source: Moroccan Code of Civil Procedure, Arts. 327.31, 327.47 and 431.)

In practice, some commercial documents, including contracts, are accepted by the courts in French.

(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)?

Certified translations are required and must be made by a sworn translator. It is advisable to have such translations authenticated by a consular agent of Morocco.

(Source: Moroccan Code of Civil Procedure, Art. 431.)

(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)?

The entire award and arbitration agreement should be translated.

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.

(Source: Dahir No. 1-59-266 of 19 Feb. 1960.)

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

The court may stay legal proceedings solely on the grounds set out in Art. V(1)(e) of the New York Convention.

(Source: Dahir No. 1-59-266 of 19 Feb. 1960.)

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

No.

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?

All documents filed with the court may be viewed by the parties and their lawyers, who may make copies of such documents. A third party may only view such documentation if permitted by the court. There are no further means by which to preserve the confidentiality of documents filed with the court.

(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?

Hearings in appeal or annulment proceedings are generally open. However, steps may be taken to maintain the confidentiality of such proceedings.

(Source: Moroccan Code of Civil Procedure, Art. 327.33-327.36.)

(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 are not published by the courts. There is no public record of judgments. However, private publications and reviews exist and, in general, parties' names are not disclosed.

H. Other issues

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

Interim and partial awards can be enforced in Morocco, on the terms and conditions under which they were issued, provided they meet the criteria for enforcement otherwise applicable to final awards.

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)?

In the same circumstances as for recognition and enforcement of monetary relief.

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

Recognition and enforcement is granted or refused for the award in its entirety, not in part.

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?

Only after the decision setting aside the award has itself been overturned.

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.)?

If execution against specific assets is contemplated, those assets must be clearly identified.

Country Rapporteur:

Azzedine Kettani