Proskauer on International Litigation and Arbitration:
Managing, Resolving, and Avoiding Cross-Border Business or Regulatory Disputes
- The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (28 U.S.C. § 1608(a)(1)-(4)) (the “FSIA”) provides for service of process on foreign state defendants as follows:
- pursuant to a special agreement between the plaintiff and the foreign state;
- as prescribed in an applicable international agreement (such as the Hague Convention);
- via mail from the court clerk to the head of the foreign state's Ministry of Foreign Affairs; or
- via diplomatic channels.
- The FSIA also provides for service of process on agencies and instrumentalities of foreign states as follows:
- pursuant to a special agreement between the plaintiff and the foreign agency or instrumentality;
- as prescribed in an applicable international agreement (such as the Hague Convention), or by delivery of the summons and complaint to an officer, managing or general agent, or any other agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process in the United States; or
- where service cannot be effected pursuant to the aforementioned methods, then as follows:
- as directed by a foreign authority in response to a letter rogatory or letter of request;
- unless prohibited by law, any form of mail requiring a signed receipt; or
- by other means not prohibited by international agreement as may be directed by a U.S. Court.
- The FSIA provides the exclusive methods for effecting service of process on a foreign state, political subdivision, agency or instrumentality.
- Please consult Guide Chapter 9 for a complete discussion of practice and procedure under the FSIA.
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