The new EEX-Regulation: changes to enforcing foreign judgments in The Netherlands

As per January 2015, the new EU Execution Regulation (EEX) will come into force.  Besides the competence of courts in EU-matters, this law regulates the enforcement procedure of a foreign judgment in another EU-member state. The pending amendments will have quite an impact on the way foreign rulings can be enforced in the Netherlands. Dutch litigation lawyer Thomas van Vugt shall outline the most important changes of this new regulation.


Repeal of the exequatur: no court leave needed

Under the previous EEX Regulation you (almost) always needed to request the Dutch court an exequatur. An exequatur is a permission to enforce a ruling of a court from another EU-country. This mere formality will be deleted in the new Regulation. In future an enforcing party can directly address the authority that is charged with the enforcement of judgments in the country where enforcement needs to take place. In the Netherlands this is the bailiff.

Enforcement ruling by a Dutch bailiff

This new procedure will simplify things for foreigners who seek to execute a ruling. Basically, the step of going to the Dutch court first is eliminated. The new procedure applies to rulings from EU-member states that bear a standard certificate (as mentioned in the new Regulation). A bailiff can enforce these rulings, provided that the certificate has been served in time to the person against who the ruling will be enforced. The respondent needs to have the opportunity to consider appeal. The proposed term for this “time of consideration” is one month. If the respondent does not have a permanent residence in The Netherlands, however, this term is two months.

Temporary or onerous measures

Some court rulings grant leave for temporary or onerous measures like seizure, judicial sequestration or immediate execution, while the decision is still open for appeal. If you want to enforce these measures anyway, the certificate on the ruling has to state that according to the member state of the deciding court the measures have immediate effect. If the defendant was not summoned to appear in court in the foreign procedure, then the bailiff –in order to execute- also needs prove that the foreign decision was served to this person (besides the original ruling and the certificate).

Dutch lawyer for enforcing foreign ruling in The Netherlands

A sentenced person can fight the execution of a foreign ruling. This procedure needs to take place in the country where the ruling is enforced. In disputes regarding the enforcement of a ruling in the Netherlands, you will have to summon the other party to appear for a Dutch court. In this procedure it is required that a solicitor will represent you. If you have any further questions about enforcement of foreign judgments in the Netherlands or about other debt collection issues, feel free to contact our firm. Our Dutch lawyers (based in Amsterdam) have gained years of experience in litigation in the field of debt collection.