全球新冠肺炎疫情下跨境破产的发展

原文始发于微信公众号(瑞中法协):全球新冠肺炎疫情下跨境破产的发展

The Development of Cross-border Insolvency
Under Global Coronavirus disease
(COVID-19) Outbreak

新冠病毒正肆虐全球,各国政府虽全力防控,但传播速度难以抵挡,全球疫情拐点至今仍未出现。本次疫情对全球经济已造成前所未有的重创,诸多行业被迫停摆,迎来了凛冬。比如,20203月2日,日本神户夜光邮轮公司申请破产;4月1日,美国怀廷石油公司申请破产保护;4月11日,新西兰快餐巨头汉堡王宣布进入破产接管;421日,航空业巨头,维珍澳大利亚航空宣告破产;同日,百年足球俱乐部莱尔宣告正式启动破产程序……酒店、餐饮业、旅游业等均不可幸免。

The COVID-19 disease is raging all around the world. Although all countries are doing their best to prevent it, the speed of propagation is still hard to contain and the inflection point has yet to pass. This epidemic has caused unprecedented damage to the global economy and many industries were forced to shut down. For instance; March 2nd, 2020, Japan’s Luminous Cruising Co. filed for bankruptcy; April 1st, Whiting Petroleum filed for bankruptcy; April 11th, Burger King New Zealand has been placed in receivership; April 21st, Virgin Australia declared that they are seeking bankruptcy protection; April 23rd, Rhyl FC, a football club that has existed for 140 over years, announced that they have started the formal winding up procedures. Hotels, restaurants, and even the entire travel industry have all been crippled.

全球一体化的背景下,跨境破产将会是今后破产领域的重要议题,中国作为世界制造业大国、第二大经济体是否能在跨境破产中扮演好角色,也将决定我们在全球一体化时代中的话语权和国际地位。本文中,笔者将简述跨境破产的发展历程,其是如何发挥对债务人、债权人以及经济秩序的保护作用,并且因此次疫情,跨境破产将面临重大的发展机遇。

Upon the backdrop of globalization, cross-border insolvency would be an important topic in the field of bankruptcy in the future. As China is the world’s largest manufacturing country and the second-largest economy, it is crucial whether China is able to play a good role in the field of cross-border insolvency; it would also determine China’s power in discourse and global position.

一、 跨境破产的发展历程 The Development of Cross-border Insolvency

目前在国际上较为通行的跨境破产的法律渊源是1997年联合国国际贸易法委员会通过的《跨境破产示范法》(以下简称《示范法》),其目的即为“求同存异”,协助各国为其破产法配备一个现代化、协调和公平的框架,以便更有效地应对跨境破产的情况,在尊重不同法域破产法差异的基础上,鼓励各国及地区在跨境破产的领域互相合作协助。除了《示范法》以外,各区域之间达成了协议并出台相关的跨境破产文件,各国际组织以此开展研究,例如美国法律协会出台的《合作原则》,旨在处理北美自由贸易区(美国、墨西哥、加拿大)内的跨境破产问题;欧盟于2015年通过的《欧盟破产程序规则》,建立了跨境破产案件的数据共享机制。全球一体化使得各经济体之间日益紧密,跨境破产的发展是大势所趋,唯有各国的通力合作才能有效推进。

Currently, the legal source of cross-border insolvency which is generally accepted worldwide is the “UNCITRAL Model Law on CrossBorder Insolvency” (hereinafter referred to as the Model Law), the purpose is to “assist states to equip their insolvency laws with a modern, harmonized and fair framework to address more effectively instances of cross-border insolvency proceedings.” This means seeking common ground while reserving differences. Except for the Model Law, some other regions have reached agreements relating to cross-border insolvency, as well as international organizations which are also working on this matter. For example, the American Law Institute published “ALI’s Principle of Cooperation”, it aims to deal with cross-border insolvency cases among NAFTA (US, Mexico, Canada); EU passed the “European Insolvency Regulation” in 2015 and established a data sharing mechanism. Globalization makes all types of economies interact together and with the development of cross-border insolvency becoming the general trend, it can only be promoted by cooperation among all countries.

中国并非《示范法》的成员,也未加入有关跨境破产的多边国际条约,在《中华人民共和国企业破产法》中,也仅在第五条对跨境破产有所规定。需要指出的是,根据第五条的规定,中国法院只有对外国法院已经作出的发生法律效力的破产案件的判决、裁定才能承认和执行,然而在实践中,此条规定极大限制债权人的权益,因为从法院受理破产至裁定破产,往往历时很长,若法院不及时采取相关救济手段,债务人很有可能将财产藏匿转移,因此也就无法起到跨国破产案件多边协作的目的

China is neither a member of the Model Law, nor a participant in any international multilateral treaties related to cross-border insolvency, Article 5 of the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Enterprise Bankruptcy (“Enterprise Bankruptcy Law”) is the only relative regulation. What needs to be pointed out is that according to Article 5, Chinese courts would only recognize and enforce foreign cases that already have a legal effect. However, in reality, this article would largely restrict the creditors’ rights. This is because from the moment that the court accepts the case up until the debtor is adjudicated as bankrupt, it would normally take a long period of time. So if the court in China does not take any legal remedy, the debtor would highly likely be transferred and their assets hidden, which means that multilateral cooperation would lose its meaning.

全球新冠肺炎疫情下跨境破产的发展

全球新冠肺炎疫情下跨境破产的发展

二、 跨境破产的保护作用 The Protective Effect of Cross-border Insolvency

首先,跨境破产制度能保护债务人。通常而言,适用于跨境破产的企业往往有着成熟的运营体系、完备的供应系统、丰富的管理经验等。在疫情期间,大多因资金链断裂导致破产。此时,跨境破产制度可能成为债务人最后的救命稻草。因为,破产清算不仅仅意味着终结企业,也可能是一种拯救企业的机制,让企业涅槃重生。如债务人可通过引进投资人,整合存量资源,推进破产重整程序,使债务人“起死回生”,摆脱困境;还可以通过与债权人达成和解,进入破产和解程序,避免债务人被清算终结,保留优质资源。跨国企业往往具有被重整及和解的潜力,因此未来市场十分可期。

Firstly, the cross-border insolvency system is able to protect the debtor. Generally, enterprises that can apply for cross-border insolvency often have a mature operating system, a complete supply system and rich management experience, etc. During the current outbreak, most of them applied for bankruptcy because of the cracks in their cash flow and capital. At this moment, a cross-border insolvency system might be the last chance for the debtor. This is because bankruptcy liquidation not only means the end of the enterprise, but also an opportunity that it can act as a mechanism to save the enterprise through rebirth. For example, the enterprise could enter the bankruptcy reorganizing procedures by introducing the investors, integrating excess inventory, and eventual “resurrection”. Also, it can use the bankruptcy conciliation procedures by reaching a settlement with the creditors to keep the enterprise “alive”. Multinational companies often have the potential to reorganize and reconcile, hence the future market is foreseeable.

全球新冠肺炎疫情下跨境破产的发展

全球新冠肺炎疫情下跨境破产的发展

全球新冠肺炎疫情下跨境破产的发展

全球新冠肺炎疫情下跨境破产的发展

全球新冠肺炎疫情下跨境破产的发展

全球新冠肺炎疫情下跨境破产的发展

   笔者建议,在跨境破产领域,我国可以引入“主要利益中心”制度,将债务人主要营业地进行的破产程序作为主要程序,在主要营业地以外进行的破产程序作为非主要程序。同时降低并放宽我国承认和执行域外破产程序的门槛,这不仅可以促使我国与其他国家及地区达成良好的协作关系,相应也可以使中国的破产程序在域外得到更多的救济。同样,中国也可以借鉴欧盟的跨境破产规则,在一带一路沿线国家中建立起破产企业信息共享机制,虽有学者认为因受限于区域间的发展不平衡,各国家见得实体法律规则不一,因此难以复制欧盟的模式,笔者对此表示认可,但同样也认为目前境遇特殊,中国应尽可能采取开放的态度,加快与贸易往来频繁的国家签订双边民商事司法协议,并将双边协议扩大解释为《企业破产法》第五条中的“国际条约”,以此推进跨境破产协作,在疫情之后的经济复苏中贡献负责任大国的力量。

全球新冠肺炎疫情下跨境破产的发展

全球新冠肺炎疫情下跨境破产的发展

结语 Conclusion

    疫情可能在短期内被控制,然而因疫情所导致的大量跨国企业的破产程序却将持续数年,对经济的重创也可能造成长期影响。中国只有秉持开放的态度,加快跨境破产领域的立法改革,与各国及地区互相协助配合,才可能将损失降到最低。中国应利用此次危机,将其转化为机遇,以此在国际上树立起积极开放的大国形象,掌握话语权。

The pandemic might be under control in a short period of time but the bankruptcy proceedings of a large number of multinational companies caused by the pandemic will continue for several years, which may also have a long-term impact on the economy. China only by adhering to an open attitude, speeding up legislative reforms in the field of cross-border insolvency, and assisting and cooperating with other countries and regions, can minimize the loss. China should turn this crisis into an opportunity, to build an active and open image so as to control the power of discourse.


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