Suriname has become the 171st State party to the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (the Convention). On 10 November 2022, Suriname deposited its instrument of accession to the Convention with the UN Secretary General. The Convention will enter into force for Suriname on 8 February 2023.
As permitted under Article I (3) of the Convention, Suriname made declarations that it will only apply the Convention with respect to: (i) recognition and enforcement of awards made in the territory of another contracting State (the so-called “reciprocity reservation”); and (ii) differences arising out of legal relationships, whether contractual or not, which are considered commercial under the national laws of Suriname (the so-called “commercial reservation”).
Suriname is the second State to become a party to the Convention in 2022, following Turkmenistan earlier this year. Last year saw Belize, Malawi and Iraq become parties to the Convention.
News of Suriname’s accession to the Convention will be particularly welcomed by companies involved in Suriname’s key economic sectors, including mining, agriculture and the oil industry, which frequently use international arbitration as a preferred method of dispute resolution.
For example, in recent years, Suriname has enjoyed an oil boom that has attracted investment from a number of multinational oil companies. At present, there are already nine production sharing contracts in place in Suriname, and the volume of discoveries has been significant. According to industry reports, TotalEnergies and Apache Corporation have together made five discoveries in Block 58 in less than two years, and Morgan Stanley estimates that Block 58 alone could contain 6.5 billion barrels of recoverable oil resources. Further investments by oil companies can be expected in the coming years: Suriname has recently launched a bid round for six further offshore blocks, and the country’s state oil company has announced that it is aiming to auction 60% of the country’s offshore blocks in the coming months.
For further information, please contact:
Christian Leathley, Partner, Herbert Smith Freehills