Cross-border claims in the EU
30 July 2017
The European Regulation (EU) 2015/2421 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2015 amending Regulation (EC) No 861/2007 establishing a European Small Claims Procedure and Regulation (EC) No 1896/2006 creating a European order for payment procedure, has just entered into force on July 14th 2017, except for the ammendment introduce in section 1.16 -regarding the information which the Member States must share- which entered into force last January 14th 2017.
According to its own words, this Regulation should apply to cross-border cases only. A cross-border case should be considered to exist when at least one of the parties is domiciled or habitually resident in a Member State bound by this Regulation other than the Member State of the court or tribunal seised.
Consumers should be able to use the opportunities afforded by the internal market to the fullest extent, and their confidence should not be limited by the lack of effective legal remedies for disputes in which there is a cross-border element. The improvements to the European Small Claims Procedure proposed in this Regulation aim to provide consumers with a means of effective redress, and thus contribute to the practical enforcement of their rights.
Increasing the ceiling as regards the value of a claim to EUR 5 000 would improve access to an effective and cost-efficient judicial remedy for cross-border disputes, in particular for SMEs. Increased access to justice would enhance trust in cross-border transactions and would contribute to the fullest use of the opportunities afforded by the internal market.
To further reduce the costs of litigation and the length of proceedings, the use of modern communication technology by the parties and the courts and tribunals should be further encouraged.
The European Small Claims Procedure should be further improved by taking advantage of the technological developments in the field of justice and of new tools available to the courts and tribunals, which can help to overcome geographical distance and its consequences in terms of high costs and length of proceedings.
For documents which need to be served on the parties in the European Small Claims Procedure, electronic service should be on an equal footing with postal service. To that end, this Regulation should set a general framework that allows the use of electronic service whenever the necessary technical means are available and where the use of electronic service is compatible with the national procedural rules of the Member States involved. As regards all other written communications between the parties or other persons involved in the proceedings and the courts or tribunals, electronic means should be used as the preferred means to the extent possible, where such means are available and admissible.
The payment of court fees should not require the claimant to travel to the Member State of the court or tribunal seised or to hire a lawyer for that purpose. In order to ensure that effective access to the proceedings is also given to claimants who are situated in a Member State other than the Member State in which the court or tribunal seised is situated, the Member States should, as a minimum, offer at least one of the distance payment methods provided for in this Regulation.
At GCLA, we welcome this new regulation and the possibilities it offers our clients to collect their debts despite the geographical distance or the cultural legal differences. We hope the courts implement this new tool properly, as a way to further improve their services to European citizens.
Los comentarios están deshabilitados