COVID-19 Online Dispute Resolution Scheme

Notice: The eBRAM COVID-19 ODR Scheme will come to an end on 30 September 2023.
Any party intending to submit a claim under the Scheme should do so as soon as possible before 30 September 2023. In case you require any assistance with any dispute resolution clause currently specifying the use of COVID-19 ODR Scheme or its Rules or you have any queries regarding the phasing out of the Scheme,
please contact our case team at

eBRAM COVID-19 Online Dispute Resolution platform

To provide speedy and cost-effective means to resolve disputes arising out from or in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic globally and locally, especially for those involving micro, small and medium-sized enterprises ("MSMEs") that may be adversely affected or hard hit by the pandemic.


eBRAM has been appointed as the Online Dispute Resolution ("ODR") service provider to provide e-negotiation, e-mediation, and e-arbitration services dedicated to the resolution of COVID-19 related disputes.

eBRAM has launched a fully web-based ODR platform with video conferencing technology which enables parties to sign ODR Agreement in electronic format and conduct mediation meetings and arbitration hearings online.

Under the COVID-19 ODR Scheme (the "Scheme"), this platform provides speedy and cost-effective ODR services to the general public and businesses based in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region ("HKSAR") to resolve global and local COVID-19 related disputes of low value.

The sponsoring entity is the HKSAR Government. The platform is funded by the Anti-epidemic Fund by the HKSAR Government and is operated and maintained by eBRAM International Online Dispute Resolution Centre Limited ("eBRAM").

Online case filing portal for COVID-19 related claim is open. Parties to an applicable dispute may submit their cases online on the eBRAM COVID-19 ODR Platform.


Under the Scheme, the platform is applicable to:
  1. disputes arising out of or in relation to COVID-19 directly or indirectly;
  2. cases where the claim amount is not more than HK$500,000; and
  3. cases where either party to the dispute is a Hong Kong resident or company registered under the Companies Ordinance (Cap. 622 or its predecessor Cap. 32) or the Business Registration Ordinance (Cap. 310), whichever is applicable.
The Scheme does not cover disputes the subject matter of which is not arbitrable under the laws of the HKSAR. For said dispute, parties may still attempt to resolve their disputes under the negotiation stage and the mediation stage. However, if the parties fail to settle their disputes under these two stages, upon expiry of the mediation stage, parties may elect to terminate the proceedings; or if the parties fail to agree on the arbitrability of the dispute, the proceedings shall nonetheless proceed to the arbitration stage, and the issue shall be determined by the neutral appointed to conduct the arbitration proceedings (Article 7.3 of the eBRAM Rules for COVID-19 ODR Scheme).

To commence proceedings, the parties are required to enter into a dispute resolution agreement ("ODR Agreement") under the Scheme and pay HK$200 each as registration fees.

In using the platform, the parties will attempt to resolve their disputes through a multi-tiered dispute resolution mechanism comprising negotiation, mediation and arbitration. Each tier will be conducted within a limited time.


Only HK$200 will be charged to each party as registration fees for using the platform. No additional costs will be charged to the parties.

The platform may only be used if either party to the dispute is a Hong Kong resident or company.


The ODR proceedings are governed by a set of procedural rules, namely eBRAM Rules for the Covid-19 ODR Scheme ("eBRAM Rules"), subject to such modifications as the parties may agree and eBRAM Centre may accept.

The platform adopts a multi-tiered dispute resolution process, which entails a three-stage proceeding: negotiation, mediation and arbitration.

Once the ODR Agreement signed by the parties has been uploaded onto the platform and claimant’s eligibility under the Scheme has been established, eBRAM Centre will notify the ODR Agreement to the respondent and invite it to respond within three (3) calendar days.

The proceedings shall be deemed to commence from the date of notification by eBRAM Centre that the ODR Agreement, signed by the parties, is available on the eBRAM platform.

The platform facilitates parties to first attempt to engage in the negotiation stage to settle their disputes. The negotiation stage shall commence upon receipt of the respondent’s response to the claimant’s claim or of the claimant’s response to the respondent’s counterclaim (if any). If the parties have not settled their dispute within three (3) calendar days of the commencement of the negotiation stage (subject to an extension of up to 3 days), the mediation stage of the proceedings shall commence.

Likewise, if the parties fail to reach a settlement agreement within three (3) calendar days from the appointment of the mediator, the arbitration stage of the proceedings shall commence. Following his/her appointment, the arbitrator shall notify the parties of a deadline (no later than 1 month from the arbitrator’s appointment) by which all submissions should be made. The award shall be rendered within seven (7) calendar days from the filing of the last submission.

Each stage of the proceedings (i.e., mediation stage and arbitration stage) shall be conducted by one neutral (Article 11.1 of eBRAM Rules). At the commencement of each of the mediation stage and arbitration stage, eBRAM Centre shall generate a list of 5 names from whom the parties may agree to appoint as the neutral to conduct the relevant proceedings. Should the parties fail to agree on such appointment, eBRAM Centre shall appoint the neutral (Articles 7.1, 8.1 and 11.2 of eBRAM Rules).

Each tier of dispute resolution will be completed within a short period of time, aiming to solve a conflict within six weeks (Articles 6 – 8).


Web-based and
Text-based communication
and video-conferencing
Identity authentication
with e-KYC and OTP

AI machine
data protection
management system

The Scheme has been established by the HKSAR Government.

Each of the parties is required to acknowledge and agree that s/he has read and fully understands the Terms and Conditions of Services for the Scheme, Personal Information Collection Statement for the Scheme, Terms of the ODR Agreement for the Scheme and the eBRAM Rules for the Scheme, as well as to sign the ODR Agreement.

The laws of the HKSAR are applicable to all proceedings conducted under the platform.


The execution and enforcement of the outcome resulting from the concerned stage of proceeding, including negotiation and mediation, are governed by the eBRAM Rules for the Scheme. Under the eBRAM Rules for the Scheme, in respect of the arbitration proceedings, the award shall be final and binding on the parties.