On 11 December 2018, the Senate approved the bill for the new international trade chamber of the Amsterdam District Court, known as the Netherlands Commercial Court (NCC), and the Netherlands Commercial Court of Appeal (NCCA).
All the political groups supported the bill, despite previously expressing concerns about the accessibility of the English-language court for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the amount of the court fees, which were designed to cover the costs - unique in Dutch case law - and the question of what would happen to the financial surplus raised from the court fees, if any.
In the Senate debate of 4 December, Minister Dekker stated that the cost-covering court fees would not be used as a precedent and that an English-language court established in the Netherlands would actually lower the threshold for SMEs. He also promised to carry out an interim evaluation after five years and confirmed that any financial surplus raised from the court fees would flow back into the courts and the judiciary.
The new NCC and NCCA offers litigants the opportunity to litigate in English and will be able to give judgments in English.
It is expected that the Netherlands Commercial Court will officially open its doors in the coming months. For more information about the background and plans for the NCC see the previous blog posts 'Netherlands Commercial Court coming soon', ‘Towards the Netherlands Commercial Court (NCC)‘ and ‘The Netherlands Commercial Court bill in consultation‘.