• European Enforcement Orders

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European Enforcement Orders

When a creditor obtains judgment in a European member state and is looking to enforce it in another (for example in England and Wales), the most effective method can often be to obtain a ‘European Enforcement Order (EEO)’.

For example, if a Spanish creditor supplies goods or services under contract to an English customer and the contract provides for disputes to be determined or for legal action to be taken in the Spanish courts, he may obtain judgment in Spain and ask the Spanish court to issue a European Enforcement Order. The EEO can then be registered in the High Court in England and enforced as if it were a High Court judgment. This would mean that the creditor could instruct a High Court Enforcement Officer (HCEO) (if the debt is £600 or more), to seize assets of the Creditor in England.

In order to enforce by means of an EEO, the claim must be uncontested.

About European Enforcement Orders (EEOs)

Obtaining the European Enforcement Order certificate

Once the judgment has been awarded and the time given to make payment has exceeded, you can obtain a European Enforcement Order certificate from the court that awarded the judgment, to start enforcement proceedings.

When registering the EEO in the English courts, you will also need to be able to supply the following:

  • N219 or N219a form – dependent on whether the debtor admits the claim or fails to file a defence EEO certificate – sealed by the court issuing judgment
  • The original or a certified copy of the judgment obtained
  • If the EEO Certificate and the judgment/copy are not in English, a certified translation of both documents
  • Where the award is made in a currency other than GBP, a certificate of the sterling equivalent of the judgment sum at the close of business on the date nearest preceding the date of the application

Enforcing a European Enforcement Order in England and Wales

Once the judgment/EEO is registered, you will be able to enforce using any method as would be available to a judgment creditor in England and Wales. For debts of over £600, you will be able to instruct a High Court Enforcement Officer to enforce against the assets of the defendant.

For more information on using High Court Enforcement Officers to enforce your judgment, please see our money judgment enforcement section.

Enforcing a European Enforcement Order in another European state

Other European member states have similar methods of enforcement. When a claimant seeks to enforce an English judgment in another European member state, he might be advised to obtain an EEO and to investigate enforcement options in the relevant member state.

Useful Resources:

  • European Judicial Network website – find out more information on other European states
  • Court Advice Form EX375
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