Questions on Filing Commercial Cases Involving Foreign Affairs
1. What are the civil and commercial cases related to foreign affairs, Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan under the centralized jurisdiction of the Beijing Fourth Intermediate People’s Court?
Answer: In accordance with the “Notice of the Supreme People’s Court on Adjusting the Standards for the Jurisdiction of First Instance Civil Cases by Higher People’s Courts and Intermediate People’s Courts”
(1) The first instance commercial cases involving foreign affairs, Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan with an amount of less than 5 billion yuan that should be accepted by the Beijing Municipal Court, except for cases that should be accepted by the Beijing Financial Court;
(2)Application for recognition and enforcement of civil judgments of foreign courts under the jurisdiction of Beijing Municipal Court; Application for recognition and enforcement of civil judgments of courts in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Macau Special Administrative Region, and Taiwan region (excluding financial judicial assistance cases).
2. What subject qualification certificates should foreigners or residents of Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan submit for litigation?
Answer: Foreigners who participate in litigation must submit identification documents such as passports and entry documents to prove their identity; If I am unable to go to the people’s court overseas, I shall submit notarized and authenticated identification materials.
Residents of Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan must submit personal identification documents (Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan resident ID cards, return home permits); Hong Kong or Macau residents who do not have a residence in the mainland and are unable to bring a lawsuit in a people’s court outside of the mainland shall submit identification documents notarized by lawyers from Hong Kong or Macau (commissioned by the Ministry of Justice of China) and authenticated by China Legal Services (Hong Kong or Macau) Co., Ltd. with a special seal for notarized document transmission; Taiwanese residents who do not have a residence in mainland China shall submit identification documents notarized by a Taiwanese notary institution and certified by the Chinese or Beijing Notary Public Association.
3. What subject qualification certification materials should foreign and Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan enterprises and organizations submit for litigation?
Answer: For foreign enterprises or organizations that do not have a residence in the field of our country, they must submit notarized and authenticated identification materials that are legally established; A person representing a foreign enterprise or organization in litigation shall submit a notarized and authenticated proof of their right to participate as a representative in the litigation.
Hong Kong or Macau enterprises or organizations that do not have a residence in the mainland shall submit a legally established certificate notarized by lawyers from Hong Kong or Macau (commissioned by the Ministry of Justice of China) and authenticated by China Legal Services (Hong Kong or Macau) Limited with a notarized document transmission seal; Taiwanese enterprises or organizations that do not have a residence in mainland China shall submit a legally established certificate notarized by a Taiwanese notary institution and certified by the Chinese or Beijing Notary Public Association.
4. What are the requirements for a power of attorney?
Answer: (1) Foreign parties or parties from Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan who do not have a residence within the territory of our country, who entrust Chinese lawyers or other people to represent them in litigation, need to handle the corresponding notarization and authentication procedures for the power of attorney sent or entrusted from outside the territory of our country or the mainland.
Representatives of natural persons, enterprises, or organizations from foreign countries and Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan regions who sign authorization letters within the territory of China must submit a certificate notarized by a notary institution in China; For those who handle the authorization procedures in person in the court, the judge may witness their signing of the authorization letter in accordance with the law.
A Taiwanese party holding a residence permit in Taiwan entrusts a mainland lawyer or other person to represent them in litigation. The power of attorney does not require notarization or certification or other certification procedures in accordance with Article 17 of the “Measures of the Supreme People’s Court on Providing Judicial Services for Deepening the Integration and Development of the Two Sides of the Taiwan Strait”.
(2) Foreign parties in foreign-related civil litigation can entrust their own country as their litigation agent, or entrust their own country’s lawyer to act as their litigation agent in a non lawyer capacity; Officials of foreign embassies and consulates in China may act as agents ad litem in their personal names upon the commission of domestic citizens, but they do not enjoy diplomatic or consular privileges and immunities in litigation.
(3) If the agent signs on behalf of the plaintiff, there must be a clear authorization letter regarding the signing of the plaintiff on behalf of the agent, and it cannot only be written as “suing on behalf of”.
5. Do the written materials submitted by the parties have translation requirements?
Answer: The written materials submitted by the parties to the people’s court are in foreign languages, and they should also submit a Chinese translation to the people’s court. If the parties have objections to the Chinese translation, they shall jointly entrust a translation agency to provide the translated text; If the parties cannot reach an agreement on the choice of a translation agency, it shall be determined by the court.
6. Which parties can file cross-border lawsuits online?
Answer: Foreign nationals, residents of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Macao Special Administrative Region, and Taiwan region, mainland Chinese citizens with their habitual residence abroad or in the Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan region, as well as enterprises and organizations registered abroad or in the Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan region, can file cases online through China Mobile’s micro court.
7. How can cross-border litigants apply for online video witnessing when entrusting mainland lawyers to represent them in litigation?
Answer: Cross border litigation parties and authorized agents can apply for online video witnessing to the court accepting the case through China Mobile’s WeChat mini program or computer.
Online video witnessing is initiated by judges online, with judges, cross-border litigation parties, and commissioned lawyers simultaneously video online. The parties involved in cross-border litigation should use the commonly used language of China or be equipped with translators. The judge should confirm whether the entrusted lawyer and their law firm, as well as whether the entrusted act, is the true expression of the intentions of the parties involved in cross-border litigation. Under the witness of a judge’s video, cross-border litigation parties and authorized lawyers sign relevant agency documents without the need for notarization, authentication, transmission, and other procedures. After online video witnessing, the entrusted lawyer can carry out online filing, online payment, and other matters on behalf of them.