Service in EU countries of judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil or commercial matters

Regulation (EC) No 1393/2007 on the service in EU countries of judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil or commercial matters aims to put in place a fast, secure and standardised transmission procedure for judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil or commercial matters between parties located in different European Union (EU) countries.

Judicial document is a legal document issued in the course of a civil or commercial lawsuit (for example a summons, a writ or a judgment) that must be served on a party.

Extrajudicial document is a legal document that is served but is outside the case file (for example, an invoice or an eviction notice).

This regulation applies to civil or commercial matters where it is necessary to transmit judicial or extrajudicial documents for transmission from one EU country to another.

It does not apply to:

  • revenue,
  • customs,
  • administrative affairs or
  • cases of state liability for actions or omissions in the exercise of state authority.

The regulation does not apply where the address of the person to be served is unknown.

The regulation introduces:

  • a rule stipulating that the receiving agency has to take all necessary steps to transmit the document as soon as possible, and in any event within 1 month of receipt;
  • a standard form to inform the addressee of their right to refuse to accept the document to be served — at the time that it has been served — or by returning the document to the receiving agency within a week;
  • a rule stipulating that costs which arise from recourse to a judicial officer or to a person competent under the law of the EU country addressed must correspond to a single fixed fee laid down by that country in advance, respecting the principles of proportionality and non-discrimination;
  • uniform conditions for service by postal services (registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt or equivalent).

According to Cypriot law, when the recipient of the court document has an unknown residence, the court may issue, upon request, an order allowing alternative service, either by electronic means (eg email) or by courier company.

This article is for informational purposes only. For specific legal advice on any matter of service of documents abroad, contact us at tel.+357 22272360 and email:

(photo: pixabay)


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