European order for payment procedure
Regulation (EC) No 1896/2006 — creating a European order for payment procedure
The regulation creates a European order for payment procedure for claims not contested by the defendant. This simplifies, speeds up and reduces the costs of litigation in cases involving more than one EU country.
It also permits the free circulation of European orders for payment which are recognised and enforced in all EU countries.
It applies to all EU countries except Denmark.
The European order for payment (EOP) procedure applies to all civil and commercial matters in cases where at least one of the parties lives in an EU country different from the one where the application for an order is made.
The procedure does not apply to certain issues:
revenue, customs or administrative matters,
state liability for acts and omissions in the exercise of state authority,
matrimonial property regimes,
bankruptcy, proceedings relating to the winding-up of insolvent companies or other legal persons, and judicial arrangements,
claims arising from non-contractual obligations, unless there was an agreement between the parties or an admission of debt; or they relate to liquidated debts arising from joint ownership of property.
The regulation includes a standard form to apply to a court for an EOP.
The claim must be for a specific amount which is due at the time the application is submitted.
The jurisdiction of courts is determined by the rules set out in Regulation (EC) No 1215/2012.
The court to which an application has been made considers whether the various conditions have been met (the cross-border nature of the case in civil and commercial matters, the jurisdiction of the court, etc.) as soon as possible, as well as whether the claim appears to be well-founded.
The court must inform the applicant of its reasons for rejecting a claim. In that case, there is no right of appeal, but the claimant may make a new application for an EOP or use another procedure available under the law of an EU country.
Issuing an EOP
If the conditions are met, the court issues the EOP as soon as possible and normally within 30 days of the lodging of the application.
An EOP is issued solely on the basis of the information provided by the claimant if the claim appears to be well-founded.
Unless the defendant lodges a statement of opposition with the court issuing it, it is automatically recognised and enforced in other EU countries without any further possibility of opposing its recognition.
Enforcement procedures are governed by the national law of the EU country in which the enforcement of the EOP is requested.
Serving an EOP on a defendant
An EOP is served on a defendant in accordance with the national law of the country in which it is served. The possible methods of serving the EOP, either with or without proof of receipt by the defendant, are set out in the regulation.
Opposing an EOP
The defendant may lodge a statement of opposition with the court that issued the order for payment. This must be sent within 30 days of service of the EOP.
When a defendant lodges a statement of opposition, ordinary civil proceedings continue before the competent courts of the EU country in which the EOP was issued, unless the claimant does not want to continue proceedings.
The defendant may apply for a review of the EOP before the competent court after the expiry of the 30-day time limit for lodging a statement of opposition, if:
the order for payment was served without acknowledgement of receipt by the defendant and not in sufficient time to prepare a defence,
the defendant was prevented from objecting to the claim by reason of force majeure or due to extraordinary circumstances,
the order for payment was clearly wrongly issued.
If the court rejects the defendant’s application, the EOP remains in force. If, on the other hand, the court decides that the review is justified, the EOP becomes null and void.
It entered into force on 12 December 2008.
Regulation (EC) No 1896/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 creating a European order for payment procedure (OJ L 399, 30.12.2006, pp. 1–32).
Successive amendments to Regulation (EC) No 1896/2006 have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.
Report from the Commission to European Parliament, the Council and the European Economic and Social Committee on the application of Regulation (EC) 1896/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council creating a European Order for Payment Procedure (COM(2015) 495 final of 13.10.2015)
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