European Order for Payment Procedure
Are you owed money by a trader based in another EU country? You can easily claim it back using the legal European Order for Payment Procedure. This is a simple and cheap procedure based on standard forms that are used to communicate with the court. Find out which steps you need to take to do this.
European order for payment: what is it?
The European Order for Payment Procedure is stipulated in directive 1896/2006. It applies in all European member states, except Denmark. When do you initiate a European Payment Order? In the event of cross-border civil or trade disputes relating to non-contested monetary claims. Good to know: the amount you can claim back is unlimited, but the procedure cannot be used in certain cases (relating to social security, matrimonial law, inheritance law, etc.).
European order for payment: how much will it cost?
Would you like to find out how much the European Payment Order Procedure would cost? The cost varies from country to country. In Belgium, initiating the procedure incurs the following costs:
- 40 euros per claimant with the Justice of the Peace (authorised to deal with disputes up to 5000 euros)
- 100 euros per claimant with the court of first instance (authorised to deal with disputes in excess of 5000 euros).
Also take into account potential costs associated with an enforcement procedure with corresponding translation costs. Usually, you will have to pay up front for this. Have you won the case? In that case, the bailiff will claim costs you incurred from a creditworthy other party. But remember, if you lose, you will be responsible for your own and the other party’s costs.
European order for payment: procedure based on five steps
The European Payment Order Procedure is based on five steps. You will need to download a form for each step from the European e-Justice portal.
Step 1: complete your application form
Use form A to request a European Payment Order from the court. Check who is authorised to deal with your case.
Step 2: the court examines your application
The competent court checks whether your application is acceptable and justified. The judge may use form B to ask you to provide additional information or make corrections.
The judge may also update your request using form C, but obviously he will first ask for your approval. You agree? In that case, the court will issue a European Payment Order. Are you refusing to accept the judge's changes? In that case, the judge will reject your application in its entirety.
The judge could also reject your application immediately. In that case, you will be sent form D, stating the reasons for his decision.
Step 3: the judge issues a European Order for Payment
Has the court accepted your application? In that case, it has to issue the European Order for Payment within thirty days of your application.
The judge will send a payment order to you and to the other party using form E. He will also notify the trader of the options open to him, i.e. to accept the order and pay or oppose it.
Step 4: the other party opposes the decision
Is the other party opposing the decision? In that case, they must send form F to the competent court within thirty days. They need not justify why they are doing this.
In the event of opposition, the competent court will follow the same procedure as that used in standard civil procedural law - unless you requested that this procedure be terminated.
Step 5: the other party must proceed with payment
Has the period during which opposition can be lodged expired? In that case, the court will proclaim that your payment order must be completed and you will be notified via form G. Henceforth, the other party can no longer contest the order, except in a few exceptional cases.
Send a registered letter to the other party requesting compliance with the order. Are they not complying voluntarily? Initiate an enforcement procedure with the competent authorities in the country in which the trader is based.
Send the following documentation to the competent authority:
- a copy of the enforceable European Order for Payment and
- a translation thereof (by a certified translator into an official language of the country in which the verdict has to be executed).
Are you not the only victim? Join forces with other consumers using class actions.