Newspeed International Limited v Citus Trading Pte Ltd

CourtHigh Court (Singapore)
JudgeWoo Bih Li JC
Plaintiff CounselYang Lih Shyng (Khattar Wong & Partners)
Subject MatterForeign award,Effect of defendants' prior appeal and failure to set aside award in Chinese court,Arbitration,Application by defendants to set aside Singapore court order granting leave to enforce arbitration award,Enforcement
Date04 June 2001
Defendant CounselSushil Nair and Tan Choon Leng (Drew & Napier)
Docket NumberOriginating Summons No 600044 of 2001
Published date19 September 2003


Grounds of Decision

Background to my decision

1. In Originating Summons No 600044 of 2001, Newspeed International Limited (‘Newspeed’) had sought leave to enforce an arbitration award dated 16 August 2000 against Citus Trading Pte Ltd (‘Citus’).

2. By an Order of Court dated 19 February 2001, such leave was granted.

3. Citus then applied in Summons-in-Chambers No 600563 of 2001 to set aside the Order granting leave to enforce.

4. After hearing arguments, including arguments on interlocutory matters, I dismissed Citus’ application with costs. Citus have appealed against this decision.

Background to Citus’ application

5. Newspeed had entered into a contract No CT/NS/001 dated 2 November 1998 (‘the Citus Agreement’) with Citus for Newspeed to buy from Citus 7,000 cubic metres (allowing 10% increase and decrease) of Indonesian Merbau Round Logs (‘the Logs’).

6. Newspeed in turn re-sold the Logs to China Timber Import/Export Company under contract number NSL/35 (‘the China Timber Agreement’).

7. Newspeed made a claim against Citus for short-delivery and defective quality. They relied on a survey report prepared by Guangdong Import and Export Commodity Inspection Bureau of the People’s Republic of China (‘GIEC’).

8. Citus’ position was that a log list had been provided with the Citus Agreement which described the Logs and explained defects in the Logs. After taking into account those that were defective, the price was adjusted accordingly.

9. Citus said that after they received the GIEC report, they sent their graders accompanied by graders from their Indonesian suppliers to Huangpu port where the Logs had been delivered.

10. Their graders, the Indonesian graders and graders from the port spent a week and came up with their own log list i.e a second log list.

11. Also the GIEC report referred to the China Timber Agreement instead of the Citus Agreement.

12. The dispute was referred to arbitration under the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (‘CIETAC’) in accordance with the terms of the Citus Agreement. Three arbitrators were appointed.

13. According to Citus they had asked for the China Timber Agreement to be produced and various information from the start of the arbitral hearing. One of the documents they had also sought was the log sheet of the GIEC which should be attached to their report.

14. The hearing of the arbitration tribunal took place on 11 January 2000 and lasted no more than 90 minutes.

15. According to the allegations of Citus or documents exhibited:


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