Recognition and enforcement of judgments and court settlements within the EU through the European Enforcement Order

Regulation (EC) No 805/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2004 created the European Enforcement Order for uncontested claims.

By means of the enforcement order, judgments, court settlements and authentic instruments on uncontested claims can be recognised and enforced automatically in another EU country, without any intermediate proceedings.

The regulation applies in civil and commercial matters. It does not, in particular, cover revenue, customs or administrative matters. It is applicable in all EU countries with the exception of Denmark.

A claim is regarded as uncontested if:

  • the debtor has expressly agreed to it by admission or by means of a settlement which has been approved by a court or concluded before a court in the course of proceedings; or
  • the debtor has never objected to it in the course of the court proceedings; or
  • the debtor has not appeared or been represented at a court hearing regarding that claim after having initially objected to the claim in the course of the court proceedings; or
  • the debtor has expressly agreed to it in an authentic instrument.

A judgment on an uncontested claim is certified as a European enforcement order by the EU country which delivered the judgment (state of origin). Certification is carried out by means of the standard form. This may apply to only parts of the judgment, in which case the order will be known as a ‘partial European enforcement order’.

In order for a judgment on an uncontested claim to be certified as a European Enforcement Order, the court proceedings in the EU country of origin must meet certain procedural requirements.

Therefore, only the document service methods listed in the regulation are allowed if the judgment is to be certified as a European enforcement order.

Furthermore, the document instituting proceedings must give details of:

  • the claim (personal details of parties, amount of the claim, whether or not interest is incurred and for what period, etc.);
  • the procedural arrangements required for contesting the claim (deadline for contesting the claim, consequences of failing to object, etc.).

Lastly, the EU country of origin must provide for the right to a review of the judgment in exceptional cases.

The law to be applied to the enforcement procedure is that of the EU country where enforcement of the judgment is requested (state of enforcement). The creditor must supply the authorities responsible for enforcement with:

  • a copy of the judgment;
  • a copy of the European enforcement order certificate;
  • where necessary, a transcription of the European enforcement order certificate or a translation thereof into the official language of the EU country of enforcement or into another language accepted by the EU country of enforcement.

No security, bond or deposit can be required of creditors on the ground either that they are foreign nationals or are not domiciled or resident in the EU country of enforcement.

The competent court in the enforcing EU country may, subject to certain conditions, refuse to enforce a judgment if it is irreconcilable with an earlier judgment given in any EU country or in a non-EU country. In certain cases, it can also stay or limit enforcement.

In order to facilitate access to enforcement procedures, EU countries undertake to provide the general public and professional circles with relevant information within the framework of the European Judicial Network in civil and commercial matters.

Creditors remain free to seek recognition and enforcement of a judgment under Regulation (EU) No 1215/2012. Moreover, this regulation does not prejudice the application of Regulation (EC) No 1393/2007 on the service of judicial and extrajudicial documents. (eur-lex/ photo:pixabay.com)

For any issue of European Enforcement Order and in general of recognition in Cyprus of a foreign court decision, contact us at +357 22272360 and e-mail: info@dplawcyprus.com

 

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