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European order for payment procedure – How it works

The European Union has established, through Regulation (EC) no. 1896/2006 of the European Parliament and the Council, the European injunction or the European order for payment procedure, to facilitate trade within the single European market and to ensure that situations of friction and civil or commercial disputes do not arise.
In the present case, it concerns a person residing in a Member State (for example Italy) who has credit towards another of a different nationality, for example French. This regulation allows the creditor to recover his sums even if the debtor resides or has moved abroad.
The procedure operates in the event of cross-border disputes, i.e. cases in which at least one of the parties has domicile or residence in one of the member states of the European Union other than that of the court heard. It is a very simple and fast procedure, it takes place in writing by filling in a standard form; there are no hearings (subject to opposition) and there is no obligation to attach the documentation. In this case, the dispute that arises can be defined as cross-border. The procedure takes place before the judicial authority (in Italy, Court or Justice of the Peace, depending on the jurisdiction by value), except in Hungary, where the procedure is the responsibility of notaries.
The European Regulation aims to simplify, accelerate and reduce the costs of proceedings relating to cross-border disputes concerning pecuniary claims. By setting up a European order for payment procedure, the legislator intends to ensure the free circulation in all Member States of the European order for payment (IPE), without the need to put in place intermediate procedures for the recognition of the title and execution. In other words, the European decree is a valid title that can be enforced in any EU country. The credit to be applied must only concern the civil or commercial sector.
Credits deriving from non-contractual obligations are excluded unless they have been the subject of an agreement between the parties, or, there has been recognition of the debt, or the credits concern liquid debts resulting from the co-ownership of an asset.
The European order for payment is automatically recognized and enforced in all Member States without the need for a declaration recognizing its enforceability, except in Denmark.
Jurisdiction, according to art. 6 Regulation 1896/2006, is determined by following the provisions contained in Regulation 1215/2002 (so-called Brussels I bis) concerning “jurisdiction, recognition and enforcement of decisions in civil and commercial matters”. For example, according to the aforementioned regulation (art. 7), a person domiciled in a Member State can be sued in another Member State:

  1. in contractual matters, before the jurisdictional authority of the place of performance of the obligation in question; the place of performance of the obligation in question is in the case of the sale of goods; the place, located in a Member State, where the goods were or should have been delivered under the contract; in the case of the provision of services; the place, located in a Member State, where the services were or should have been provided under the contract;
  2. if the dispute concerns a contract with a consumer, jurisdiction lies with the Member State in which he is domiciled.
    To start the procedure it is necessary to fill in the application with the data of the creditor, the name and address of the parties and possibly their representatives; the amount of the credit, including principal, interest, any expenses, and penalties; if interest is envisaged, the rate and the period time for which it is due must be indicated; the basis of the claim, including the circumstances, invoked as a basis for the claim; the description of the evidence supporting the claim; the grounds for jurisdiction; the cross-border nature of the dispute.
    The acceptance or rejection of the application must take place within 30 days.
    If the judge accepts the request, the order for payment is served on the defendant, who can: oppose the order within 30 days of notification, in which case ordinary proceedings start according to internal rules; or, the proceedings continue following the rules of the European Small Claims Procedure, where applicable; or, the proceeding ends.
    The form, completed in Italian or in another EU languages, must be sent electronically in paper form to the Court or the Justice of the Peace Office, based on jurisdiction by value. The facsimile is available on the European Justice Portal.

Bonaria Corrias