European order for payment is governed by Regulation (EC) No. 1896/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council, which establishes the European order for payment procedure (hereinafter referred to as the „EOP Regulation“).
When can a European order for payment be used?
Firstly, we have to mention that the EOP Regulation applies to civil and commercial matters in which claims are lodged. A order for payment is intended for cross-border disputes, regardless of the nature of the court or tribunal. In particular, the European order for payment does not apply to tax, customs or administrative matters or to the liability of the State for actions or omissions in the exercise of state authority.
This institute resulting from the EOP Regulation cannot be used in the case of claims arising from property rights relating to marriage or inheritance, in connection with insolvency proceedings concerning insolvent companies, in the application of social benefits, claims arising from non-contractual obligations (unless there was an agreement between the parties or an admission of debt, or they relate to liquidated debts arising from joint ownership of property).
Of course, it has to be a “cross-border dispute”, it means that one of the parties is domiciled, or established in one EU Member State and the other party is in another EU Member State.
In accordance with Article 4 of the EOP Regulation „The European order for payment procedure shall be established for the collection of pecuniary claims for a specific amount that have fallen due at the time when the application for the European order for payment is submitted.“
Application for issuing a European order for payment
An application for issuing a European order for payment shall be submitted via the prescribed forms available at e-justice.europa.eu. The application shall be submitted using a specimen form set out in Annex I to the EOP Regulation. The application shall consist of:
• identification of the parties to the dispute and identification of the court,
• amount of receivable,
• the interest rate (if default interest is applied), including the start of its running,
• the subject matter of the dispute (brief description of the circumstances) together with justification,
• indicated and attached evidence,
• cross-border nature.
After receipt of a European order for payment, the court examines exclusively the form and compliance with the requirements of the EOP Regulation, it means a proper and correct completion of the European order for payment. If the form is completed properly, in accordance with the EOP Regulation and if the claim appears to be well-founded, the court will issue a European order for payment.
If the above-mentioned conditions are not met, the court shall reject the application. Before rejecting the application, the court firstly ask the applicant to make a correction and / or change pursuant to article 9 and article 10 of the EOP Regulation. If the applicant does not reply to the court within the time limit set by the court, the court shall reject the application.
The application must be justified in the same way as within the proceedings under the Civil Procedure Code (here is the main difference between an application and a statement of opposition under the EOP Regulation).
Statement of opposition
The statement of opposition must also be submitted via the specimen form (form F). The difference between the Slovak legislation and the European legislation is, for example, in the deadline for lodging a statement of opposition and in justifying the statement of opposition. While after the delivery of a payment order in accordance with § 265 of the Civil Procedure Code, the time limit for lodging an opposition is 15 days, for a European order for payment the time limit for lodging an opposition is 30 days.
According to § 267 of the Civil Procedure Code, the statement of opposition must be “objectively justified”. In the case of statement of opposition under the EOP Regulation, the defendant merely states that he denies the claim, without having to specify the reasons.
When a defendant lodges a statement of opposition within the 30-day time limit, ordinary civil proceedings continue before the competent courts of the EU country according to the law of the Member State of origin. If the statement of opposition is not lodged properly and in time, the court will declare the European order for payment enforceable via form G.
The purpose of the EOP Regulation is to simplify and speed up the court proceedings within cross-border disputes. This is also confirmed by the simple completion of individual forms when lodging applications.
If you need any help with European proceedings, do not hesitate to contact our law firm.