Second Circuit Affirms Ruling Rejecting Lack of Notice Defense Under New York Convention Article

Affirming the confirmation of a Chinese arbitral award under the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, the Second Circuit held that notice mailed directly to an entity is sufficient to afford it due process pursuant to American standards. The China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission sent notice and arbitration materials to the respondent at the address listed in the parties’ contract. When some of these materials were returned, the items were mailed to the respondent’s address on file with the New York Department of State as well as a third address. The documents sent to the latter two addresses were not returned, and service was assumed.

Although the respondent argued it never received notice of the arbitration, which is a defense under Article V(1)(b) of the New York Convention, and submitted a declaration to that effect, the declaration did “not satisfy the ‘heavy’ burden imposed on a party asserting a defense under” the Convention.

Tianjin Port Free Trade Zone Int’l Trade Serv. Co. v. Tiancheng Chempharm, Inc. USA, No. 18-1918 (2d Cir. June 4, 2019)