The hearing is based on the original contract submitted by the claimant. Unless
otherwise agreed, for bagged coffee arbitration samples must be drawn from 10%
of the lot and must be sealed, either by both parties jointly or by an
independent sworn sampler. For coffee shipped in bulk a 2-kg sealed sample is
required, usually of each individual container. If the arbitrators fail to reach
agreement then the decision of the umpire will be final. In the interest of
neutrality the parties' identities are withheld from the umpire until after a
verdict has been reached. Should the umpire inadvertently become aware of the
buyer's identity then the umpire must withdraw, thereby necessitating a new
hearing. Awards are issued on the official Association certificate and signed by
both arbitrators and the umpire.
All arbitrations are anonymous. The arbitrators do not know the identity of the
parties and the parties do not know that of the arbitrators. However, if the
proceedings so require the trustee may inform the arbitrators of contractual
details such as prices and shipping period. Sealed arbitration samples must
represent at least 10% of a lot in the case of bagged coffee (at the rate of not
less than 100 grams per bag, although the degree of sampling may be reduced if
both parties agree). For coffee in bulk a 2-kg sealed sample is required,
usually from each individual container. Samples must be drawn and sealed by a
qualified body (sworn samplers), and other relevant samples such as type or
stock-lot samples must be sealed by both parties.
The panel arrives at its decision by simple majority
vote although the aim is to achieve unanimity. If unanimity is impossible then
the average of the allowances, if any, proposed by the individual arbitrators
will be taken to be the award. The award is entered in form B and signed by all
concerned. The trustee then enters the award in form C, signs it and submits it
to the parties.
Neither the Hamburg nor the Bremen rules allow for
appeals against awards in quality arbitrations. The awards are final and the
arbitrators and umpire need not provide the grounds for their verdict, although
in Bremen the trustee may provide additional information to the parties if the
arbitrators consider this appropriate.