Enforcing European judgments in the Netherlands

The arrival of the European Enforcement Regulation simplified the enforcement of judgments from EU Member States in the Netherlands (and vice versa). Under the EEX Regulation, any judgment rendered by a court of an EU Member State in commercial and civil matters is recognized within the European Union by every other EU Member State. It can be enforced in any other EU Member State without the need for such a judgment to be recognized through separate legal proceedings.

Recognition and implementation under the new EEX Regulation (Recast Brussels I Regulation)

Under the recast Brussels I Regulation, judgments rendered by a court of an EU Member State in civil and commercial matters can immediately be enforced within the European Union without seeking leave to enforce from a local court.

This also applies to provisional or protective measures. The defendant must be domiciled in an EU Member State.

However, the Brussels I Regulation does not apply to tax, customs and administrative matters, matters of state liability, matrimonial property law, bankruptcy cases and similar proceedings.

Certificate of decision: apply to the District Court

For the enforcement of a judgment in civil and commercial matters, the party wishing to enforce the judgment must apply for a ‘certificate of judgment in civil and commercial matters’ from the District Court that issued the judgment.

This certificate must be served on the defendant (usually accompanied by the judgment and with due observance of a reasonable term).

Objection to enforcement: limitative grounds

An application for refusal of enforcement can be submitted to the court. The main grounds on which such an application can be allowed are, briefly put:

  • enforcement would be manifestly contrary to the public policy of the Member State addressed;
  • an untimely or careless initiation of a lawsuit (summons or application), which harms the interests of the defendant;
  • incompatibility with a previous decision given in another Member State or in a third country between the same parties in a dispute concerning the same subject and based on the same cause, provided that the earlier decision fulfils the conditions for recognition in the Member State addressed; and
  • conflict with (in short) rules of jurisdiction if the defendant is a policyholder, consumer or employee.

Why Blenheim?

Blenheim is a law firm that specializes in handling complex debt collection processes. When it comes to the enforcement of a foreign judgment in the Netherlands, Blenheims debt collection lawyers are pleased to assist you. At Blenheim, you will not be faced with any unpleasant surprises. We are always clear in our communication and transparent about costs.

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