This section discusses settling trade disputes of Cambodia. It is part of the Developing Country Sourcing’s Sourcing from Cambodia series to empower buyers looking to enter new supplier markets in Asia.
Trade disputes are common in Cambodia but they can be minimized or avoided with extra care. Going through the process of settling trade disputes can be a frustrating experience and wise buyers not willing to spend both time and money on disputes that could take years to resolve would rather choose other options to settle the disagreement.
There are currently two main forms of dispute settlement in Cambodia: the courts and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanism, which includes mediation and arbitration.
The 2006 Law on Commercial Arbitration is modeled after the United Nations, Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL). However, the idea of arbitration is new to Cambodia and there has been very little use of this method.
The most popular form of dispute resolution in Cambodia has always been mediation, where a public official is appointed by the parties to resolve the dispute and or the courts. Mediation is nonbinding.
The courts continue to play a major role in resolving commercial disputes in Cambodia but this can often be a costly and lengthy process. Any decision made by the judge can be appealed to a higher court.
National Commercial Arbitration Center
The National Commercial Arbitration Center (NCAC) arbitrates commercial disputes and allows for international arbitrators. Investors could go to seek advice from the center whenever they want in Cambodia.
The NCAC, launched in 2013, plays an important role in attracting investment to Cambodia by offering additional reassurance to businesses.
NCAC is encouraged and empowered to provide a full range of ADR services for commercial disputes and contribute to the creation and maintenance of enabling environment for cross- country trade and investment.
For this reason, NCAC is planning to put in place necessary procedure and mechanisms for provision of mediation/
conciliation services with reasonable and affordable service charges to parties who choose mediation/conciliation as a step for settling their commercial disputes before going to arbitration or court if the parties fail to reach settlement agreement after attending mediation/conciliation process.
Mediator/Conciliator can be appointed from among qualified NCAC arbitrators who received professional training on mediation/conciliation skills or from among external mediators/ conciliators who associate with NCAC.