• Quality: Hearing, award, appeal


    Hamburg. 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.

    Bremen. 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.

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