European Consumer Centre

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European Payment Order

The European order for payment allows citizens of EU Member States to recover debts (even those above EUR 2,000) quickly and easily anywhere in the EU. It entails an easy-to-fill-in claim form, and the procedure itself takes place by correspondence and is completed within two or three months.

On 12 December 2008, the European Order for Payment (EOP) Regulation entered into effect, significantly speeding up and simplifying disputes relating to indisputable cross-border claims. The EOP is a further effort by the EU to guarantee its citizens prompt judicial proceedings conducted by means of a form-based action (the form used to bring an action is available here, and an example of a completed form can be found here). It can apply any civil claim (other than claims relating to: rights in property arising out of a matrimonial relationship, wills and succession; bankruptcy, composition and similar procedures; social security; claims arising from non-contractual obligations, unless they have been the subject of an agreement between the parties or there has been an admission of debt, or they relate to liquidated debts arising from joint ownership of property).

Besides an EOP, EU citizens can, of course, continue to pursue their claims via already existing channels, but the advantage of the EOP is that it can be submitted in other languages (the list of languages accepted by individual States can be found here). If the form is filled out incorrectly, or if additional information is required, the court invites the claimant to take the necessary measures within a reasonable time limit. Another undeniable advantage of EOPs is that, unlike ordinary judicial decisions, there is no need to draw up an exequatur, which means an EOP is automatically enforceable in all EU countries (except Denmark). If required by the State where the EOP is to be enforced, it is enough for the court to invite the claimant to prepare an official translation of the EOP in the language of the court where the proceedings take place.

Example scenario:

A dealer from Germany seeks payment of EUR 3,000 from a Czech customer who bought a car from him but did not pay the last instalment of the car’s purchase price. The dealer decides to bring an action via an EOP because of the efficiency and speed of the procedure. As the defendant is a consumer, his contractual partner, the German dealer, may bring an action only in the State where the consumer resides (for more details, please refer to Article 16(2) of the Brussels I Regulation, which defines the jurisdiction of the court to disputes). The German dealer can fill in claim form A in Czech, Slovak or English and send it to the court with due territorial jurisdiction in the Czech Republic. The court will then, normally within 30 days of receipt, issue an order for payment on form E. The consumer may submit a statement of opposition via form F within 30 days of receipt of the order for payment. The submission of a statement of opposition need not contain the grounds of the opposition, and results in the cancellation of the order for payment; the dispute is then resolved in ordinary civil proceedings. However, if the consumer does not submit a statement of opposition in the statutory time limit, the court declares the order for payment enforceable and sends the declaration of enforceability to the consumer via form G. For actual enforcement (execution) it is no longer necessary to obtain an exequatur – the EOP is automatically enforceable in all EU Member States.

Under the procedure above, recovering claims arising from cross-border disputes is quick and easy. Of the EU Member States, only the residents of Denmark cannot make use of orders for payment.

REGULATION (EC) NO 1896/2006 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL creating a European order for payment procedure.

Further information is available on the European Commission’s website.

If anything is unclear to you, or if you are not sure of the procedure, please feel free to phone (+420 296 366 155) or e-mail (esc{at} us for advice.