On the 8th day of March 2018, the Dutch House of Representatives adopted a legislative proposal (the “Proposal”) introducing a new court that only litigates in the English language. This new court is called the Netherlands Commercial Court (the “NCC”) and part of the commercial division of the Court of Amsterdam. The NCC will be specialised in international trade disputes, to which decisions appeal can be submitted at the Netherlands Commercial Court of Appeal (the “NCCA”). Both the NCC and the NCCA will be located at the Palace of Justice at the IJdok in Amsterdam. Judges and councillors who are seated in the NCC and the NCCA shall all be specialised in international trade disputes.
The legislative proposal (in Dutch only) can be find here: https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/documenten/kamerstukken/2017/07/18/tk-wetsvoorstel-inzake-netherlands-commercial-court
Based on article 1 of the Proposal, the NCC is the competent court if:
- the Court of Amsterdam is internationally the competent court;
- the choice for the competent court in civil- or trade disputes is at the sole determination of the parties;
- parties are in an international dispute; and
- the NCC is chosen as competent court by the parties (choice of forum).
Subdistrict court cases or disputes whereby a different court is exclusively competent, are explicitly excluded from the possibility to be taken to the NCC or the NCCA. These limitations will also be included in article 30r of the Dutch Code of Civil Procedure.
The main reason for establishing the NCC is to meet the need of international companies, to have their trade disputes solved within a fair amount of time and without unnecessary high expenses. According to the Proposal the court registry fees shall amount to:
- 7,500 euros for preliminary relief proceedings by the NCC;
- 15,000 euros for merits proceedings by the NCC; and
- 20,000 euros for appeal with the NCCA.
Furthermore, the Proposal includes that proceedings will be digitalised by a web portal for digital communication (the “eNCC”). Parties can use this eNCC to file their initiating documents, other procedural documents and documents of support, which might save them time and efforts. It will also be possible to receive digital notices through the eNCC.
The NCC (and the NCCA) will come into force as soon as the Dutch Senate approved the Proposal. This approval is still pending since the Senate submitted an additional preliminary report on the 18th day of June 2018 and is currently awaiting a memorandum of reply. With the summer recess coming up, it will probably take a little while before we can actually use the NCC as alternative for the current regular proceedings.
For more information: