Historically, obtaining a judgment in the domestic courts and enforcing it abroad has been a long and expensive process. Many debtors still assume that they can cross national borders and their liabilities won’t catch up with them.

Creditors often find that there are no treaties between countries regarding the reciprocal enforcement of judgments which means that new proceedings have to be started in the country where the judgment is to be enforced.

This is not the case within the European Union where European Enforcement Orders (EEO) are a simple way to enforce an uncontested judgment in another EU country.

Put simply, how does the EEO procedure work? For example, you order and pay for goods from Portugal, but the goods are not delivered. You then start a claim at your local county court and obtain a default judgment. The next step is to apply to your local county court for the judgment to be certified as an EEO. Once you have an EEO, it can be enforced in Portugal through the Portuguese methods of enforcement. EEOs can be a effective way to enforce judgments against debtors with assets in another EU country.

For more information about EEO’s, contact Quentin Bargate or Andrew Denny at Bargate Murray