The European Order for Payment procedure (EOP) was introduced by Regulation No 1896/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006. The aim of the EOP is to help enforce creditors’ rights in the EU.
Is the EOP effective in all Member States of the EU?
Yes, it is effective in all Member States of the EU, except for Denmark.
Denmark is opted-out from the EOP, which means that it is not possible to apply before a Danish court for an EOP, neither is it possible for an EOP to be enforced in Denmark.
Is the EOP obligatory for cross-border claims in the EU?
No, the procedure is entirely optional. It is up to the creditor to decide how will he pursue his rights. It is possible to pursuit the claim before a competent court, and once one obtains a verdict, then it is possible to apply for an European Enforcement Order.
There is also an alternative procedure to the EOP – the European Small Claims Procedure (ESCP), where claims up to EUR 2,000 (without interest) can be submitted. Non-monetary claims are also eligible for the ESCP. The main difference between the EOP and the ESCP is that the ESCP does not end when the debtor opposes the claim.
The two above-mentioned alternatives also do not apply to Denmark.
Do all claims qualify for the EOP?
Only pecuniary claims for specific amounts of a civil and commercial character that are due, qualify for the EOP.
The EOP is issued in a situation where one of the parties is domiciled or habitually resident in a Member State of the EU, other than the Member State of the court having jurisdiction over the dispute. It is possible for a non-EU claimant to obtain the EOP.
Although the Regulation No 1896/2006 came into force on 12 December 2006, it is possible to obtain an EOP for claims, which arose prior to the above-mentioned date, provided that the relevant statute of limitations has not yet expired.
Which cases are of a civil and commercial character?
A case is not of a civil and commercial character when it concerns a dispute between a private individual and the public authority exercising public power (so-called acta jure imperii). Claims which concern revenue, customs and administrative matters, and State liability for acts and omissions in the exercising of State authority do not fall within the scope of civil and commercial matters.
Actions of the public authority which are of a private and commercial nature fall within the scope of the civil and commercial character of a case.
How to obtain an EOP?
The procedure is entirely written. The application is made on a proper application form. If the court does not reject the application, it delivers the EOP to the defendant.
The EOP is issued solely on the basis of the information provided by the claimant and is not verified by the court at this stage.
Which court can issue the EOP?
Jurisdiction is established according to the Brussels I Regulation. However, if the defendant is a consumer and the case concerns a consumer contract, then the court of the defendant’s domicile has jurisdiction.
It is also important to check whether the court having jurisdiction according to the Brussels I Regulation is actually a competent court to issue the EOP, that is whether the authorities of the Member State have designated this court and notified of this the Comission.
What happens if the defendant contests the claim?
The EOP is turned down, if the defendant files a statement of opposition against the EOP. The case would then be tried accordingly to the national laws and procedure of the member state where the EOP was issued.
If the claimant specifies so in the form, it is possible to discontinue any further proceedings in case of the defendant’s opposition.
When is an EOP enforceable?
An EOP becomes final and enforceable when the defendant does not contest the claim within 30 days from the service of the EOP. The EOP is directly enforceable, so there is no need to obtain a declaration of enforceability in another EU Member State.
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