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French court adopts decision in favor of Uzbekistan
Central Asia | business | 15:18, 11 June 2014 | 867

AKIPRESS.COM - justice Uzbekistan won legal proceedings in France within the suit of the Swiss company Romak S.A., which attempted to arrest banking accounts of Uzbekistan with help of the court officers, UzDaily reports.

In line with the UN charter and conventions, the countries have immunity from jurisdiction of foreign countries and judicial decisions cannot be imposed on them. Despite this, some companies still are attempting the governments to dispute of independent legal entities.

The case on confiscating property of Uzbekistan on liabilities of Uzdon, an independent legal entity, was initiated in France in 2008. Swiss Romak S.A. initiated the case.

Romak S.A. signed three-side agreement with Uzdon of Uzbekistan and Adil of Kazakhstan on supply of wheat in the middle of 1990s. In line with the contract, Adil should pay for supplied wheat to Uzdon due to its debt to the Uzbek side. Kazakh firm did not pay and a dispute appeared between Uzdon and Romak S.A.

Uzdon refused to pay for delivered wheat and Swiss company initiated arbitration dispute against Uzdon at Grain and Feed Trade Association (GAFTA) in London.

Uzbek firms had no idea on arbitration in the middle of 1990s and Uzdon failed to defend its interests at the arbitration. GAFTA adopted decision in favour of Romak S.A.

Swiss company presented this decision to the Paris city court to execute it in line with New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards. The court recognized the award and adopted decision on its execution in the territory of France.

In line with New York Convention, arbitration awards are executed voluntary or mandatory in relation to property of person, against who the decision was adopted.

Romak S.A. initiated procedure on enforcement of arbitration award against property of Uzbekistan. Court officials arrested banking account of Uzbekistan at HSBC.

The decision was protested by Uzbekistan at the court of the first instance. The Uzbek side presented its argument to the position of Swiss company, which does not comply with international law. “Uzdon is independent company and there is no foundation to attract the state as responsible for liabilities of independent legal entities.”

The Uzbek side proved that Uzdon is independent legal entity and has own property, legal status, management. The Uzbek side also cited that Uzbekistan has immunity from jurisdiction of foreign countries and property of the state cannot be confiscated in accordance with international law.

At the same time, the banking account, which Swiss company wanted to arrest and confiscate, was opened by Uzbekistan to accumulate payments for rendered services on air navigation services.

The court of the first instance in Paris considered case and adopted decision in favor of Uzbekistan. The decision of the court said that the state is not responsible for liabilities of independent enterprises.

The Courts of Appeals of Paris also supported the position of Uzbekistan on this issue and rejected complaints of Romak S.A.

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