New Dutch law on Extrajudicial Collection Costs
Due to the implementation of new Dutch law on Extrajudicial Collection Costs (in Dutch: “incassowet”), clauses in standard terms and conditions regarding debt collection fees may not be valid anymore. It is therefore wise to amend these terms in order to comply with current regulations, so that your company will remain entitled to the highest collection costs possible in Holland. Dutch contract lawyer Hidde Reitsma explains.
Extrajudicial collection costs in The Netherlands
Due to the implementation of the Extrajudicial Collection Costs Act, the procedure regarding compensation of collection costs in The Netherlands has changed. Summarized, compensation will be rewarded according to a fixed rate of collection charges. These charges are calculated by a percentage of the outstanding sum with a maximum of € 6.777,- and a minimum of € 40,-. This new Dutch decree will only apply to claims that became due and payable after the introduction of the new law (i.e. 1 July 2012). In case of non-paying companies the compensation is immediately payable after the term of payment has expired. In case of consumers it is required to first send them a notice in which the consumer is given a final term of 14 days to pay their outstanding invoice.
Modifying Standard Terms & Conditions
Many existing clauses regarding extrajudicial collection costs in standard terms and conditions are inconsistent with the recently passed decree on this matter and therefore have lost their validity. For example, standard terms often refer to the previously used “fixed rates for collections charges”. However, since the implementation of the new law these fixed rates, which were set by a court committee, are not applied anymore. Furthermore, it is also no longer possible to claim other costs than extrajudicial collection costs, like for example administration fees. If “other costs & fees” are covered in your standard terms, again modification is necessary.
Derogation clause for business agreements
No provision of the Extrajudicial Collection Costs Decree can be excluded or derogated to the detriment of a consumer. Therefore it will not be possible to claim higher collecting costs than set out in the new law. If a (old) standard term (still) provides a higher rate, this clause can be annulled by extrajudicial declaration. However, in strictly business-to-business agreements, parties are allowed to agree on higher collection fees. In that case, the higher fees can be included in standard terms.
Dutch lawyer for modifying Terms & Conditions
The lawyers at Dutch law firm AMS in Amsterdam not only have years of experience in negotiating contracts, and advising in standard terms and conditions, but also provide litigation if necessary. Our attorneys are strongly committed to their clients’ cases and offer very competitive fees. If you have any questions, feel free to contact our law firm in Amsterdam.