With the arrival of the European Enforcement Convention EEX-Vo enforcement of judgments from EU member states in the Netherlands (and vice versa) has been simplified.

Any judgment rendered by a court of an EU Member State in commercial and civil matters is recognized within the European Union by any other EU Member State under the EEX Regulation. It can be enforced in any other EU Member State, without the need for such a judgment to be recognized through separate legal proceedings.

Recognition and implementation under the new EEX Regulation (Brussels I-bis)

Under the EEX Regulation, judgments given by a court of an EU Member State in civil and commercial matters without judicial authorization, can immediately be enforced in the European Union.

This also applies to provisional or onerous measures. The defendant must be domiciled in an EU Member State.

However, the EEX Regulation does not apply to tax, customs and administrative matters, matters of state liability, matrimonial property law, bankruptcy and similar proceedings.

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Certificate of decision: request from court

For the enforcement of a judgment in civil and commercial matters, the party wishing to enforce the judgment must request a “certificate of judgment in civil and commercial matters” from the court that issued the judgment.

This certificate must be served on the defendant (usually accompanied by the judgment and with due observance of a reasonable term).

Objection to enforcement: limited grounds

A request for refusal of enforcement can be submitted to the court. The (main) grounds on which such a request can be granted are (in short):

  • apparent conflict with the public policy of the requested Member State;
  • an untimely or careless initiation of a lawsuit (subpoena or request), which harms the interests of the defendant;
  • incompatibility with a previous decision given in another Member State or in a third country between the same parties in a dispute concerning the same subject and based on the same cause, provided that the earlier decision fulfils the conditions for recognition in the requested Member State; and
  • conflict with (in short) jurisdiction rules if the defendant is a policyholder, consumer or employee.


VIOTTA is a law firm that specializes in handling complex debt collection processes. When it comes to the enforcement of a foreign judgment in the Netherlands, VIOTTA’s debt collection lawyers are happy to assist you. At VIOTTA, we don’t like unpleasant surprises. We are always clear in our communication and transparent about the expected costs.

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VIOTTA is a law firm based in Amsterdam and is specialized in advising on the areas of corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, contract law and corporate & commercial dispute resolution. We advise in transactional matters and litigate in commercial disputes. VIOTTA provides legal advises to its clients on Dutch corporate law matters, such as corporate governance, board structures, director’s duties and liabilities, joint ventures and other collaborations. VIOTTA advises purchasers, sellers, management and other stakeholders in domestic and cross border mergers and acquisitions (M&A).


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