April 04, 2020

Enforcement: European enforcement order

Membership in the European Union has made much it easier for Member States to carry out enforcement proceedings in the cases of cross-border claims, for instance, if a person from Slovenia wants to forcibly collect his claim against a debtor in Croatia. This simplified process was made possible through the introduction of a European Enforcement Order. The European Enforcement Order is the document through which enforcement proceedings are conducted for uncontested cross-border claims. Here we will explain in a few steps how a foreign person can, through a European Enforcement Order, conduct the enforcement against a debtor in the Republic of Croatia.

1. General

A European Enforcement Order is a certificate which accompanies a judgment, a court settlement or authentic instrument, which allows this judgment, settlement or authentic instrument to circulate freely within the European Union. In a nutshell, this certificate constitutes a European Enforcement Order, which can be considered as a “European judicial passport” for judgments, court settlements and authentic instruments, that is, it allows a foreign decision to be enforced in another Member State. A European Enforcement Order is issued precisely for such purposes – when a decision brought in one Member State has to be enforced in another Member State concerning uncontested claims.

This certificate, or authentication of the foreign judgment as a European Enforcement Order, is issued on a standard form, which can be found on the official website of the European Union, and is issued by a court in the Member State of origin. The advantage of applying a European Enforcement Order is that once a foreign decision has been confirmed as the European Enforcement Order, no other formalities are required to implement that decision, i.e. it is not necessary to obtain a certificate of enforceability of the foreign decision.

2. Enforcement of the European enforcement order

The European Enforcement Order is being submitted to the enforcement authority in the Member State in which it is to be enforced, i.e. in which the debtor lives or has his assets. In the Republic of Croatia, the enforcement procedure on monetary claims is carried out by the Financial Agency on the basis of the submitted basis for payment. Therefore, the creditor will submit a European Enforcement Order to Financial agency, as a basis for payment, in order for Financial agency to block the debtors accounts, which is a relatively simple and inexpensive way of executing the decision.

Here are the steps to be taken to execute a European Enforcement Order:

  • obtain a PIN for a foreign person (creditor),
  • translate the European Enforcement Order and other documents referred to in point 3 into Croatian – this must be done by a certified court translator from the Republic of Croatia,
  • submit an enforcement request to FINA – using the form Request for direct payment, which can be found on the website on Financial agency.

3. Submitting a direct payment application

The request for direct payment must be accompanied by:

  • the original of the European Enforcement Order or its certified copy,
  • translation of the European Enforcement Order into Croatian by a certified translator,
  • the original court verdict/judgement, based on which the EEO was issued, or its notarized copy + the certified translation into Croatian,
  • a written confirmation from the bank that the IBAN undoubtedly belongs to him, with payment details (bank information, ref. number, SWIFT) and also its certified translation into Croatian,
  • payment confirmation of the FINA advance fee (the amount depends on the total outstanding receivable being enforced).

Although it is not necessary for a foreign person who wants to enforce the European enforcement order to hire an attorney in the Republic of Croatia, it is certainly advisable in order to carry out the enforcement procedure as quickly and easily as possible. In such case, a foreign person may, by special power of attorney, authorize the attorney to initiate enforcement proceedings on his behalf, in which case the power of attorney specifically issued for that purpose, should also have to be submitted.




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