New rules for the enforcement of a foreign ruling
Until 10 January 2015, the eenforcement (also referred to as ‘execution’) of a ruling from another EU member state required a so-called eqequatur (leave) to enforce the foreign title in The Netherlands (or the respective member state in which the creditor wished to take measures of enforcement). A local court had to assess whether the foreign ruling could be executed, and had to declare the judgment locally enforceable. For decisions in legal proceedings that were started from January 2015, that is no longer required. Dutch debt collection lawyer Heleen Ceelen explains.
New rules: Brussels I bis Regulation
Until recently the rules concerning jurisdiction and acknowledgment and the recognition and enforcement of judgments (i.e.: any decision or legal ruling in ) in cross-border cases within the European Union were defined in the Brussels I Regulation. On 1 January 2015 the new Brussels regulation, the Brussels I bis Regulation, was introduced.
New regulations: leave to enforce proceedings cancelled
A part of this new regulation is the cancellation of the leave to enforce proceedings. Under these proceedings permission had to be requested from the court in the distinct where the judgment was to be executed, to execute judgments in civil and commercial cases from other EU member states in The Netherlands.
Enforcing a foreign ruling in The Netherlands
Based on the Brussels I bis Regulation, judgments issued by a court in another member state can now be executed immediately, in principle without judicial consent. This only applies to judgments pronounced after 1 January 2015 in civil and commercial cases, also if this concerns provisional or encumbering orders. The respondent has to have his domicile in an EU member state. The regulation does not apply to tax and customs cases, administrative law cases, government liability cases, marital property law, bankruptcies, settlements and suchlike proceedings, social security, arbitration, maintenance liability, last wills and inheritances. The ‘old’ Brussels I Regulation will still apply for judgments pronounced prior to 1 January 2015.
Apply for a certificate at the court
For an immediate execution of a ruling, the claimant has to request a so-called ‘certificate for a judgment in civil and commercial cases’ from the court that pronounced the ruling in the first instance. This certificate has to be served (mostly with the ruling and taking into account a reasonable term) prior to the first execution order, to the respondent concerned.
There are a limited number of reasons in the Brussels I bis Regulation for which execution of a ruling from another member state can be refused. A request to refuse execution has to be submitted to a court that has jurisdiction based on article 438 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
If you have any questions about the executions of judgments from other EU member states in The Netherlands, or about preventing an execution, do contact AMS.