Easier enforcement of European court judgments in Poland

Poland: Provisions easing enforcement of European court judgments in Poland have just come into force.

On 10 January 2015 the Law amending the Polish Civil Procedure Code as to enforcement of judgments by state courts as well as settlements and official documents coming from the member states of the European Union, as explicitly specified in the new provisions, came into force.

Thanks to the amendments, in Poland these judgments (settlements, official documents) currently legally constitute an enforcement order with a writ of execution – i.e. they have the same legal force as e.g. final and valid judgments of the Polish courts with an enforcement clause granted. A creditor with such a foreign judgment (or other document) may therefore immediately apply to a Polish bailiff to initiate enforcement proceedings without the prior need to conduct proceedings in a Polish court for a declaration of enforceability / grant of enforcement clause of/to that judgment (or other document), as has been required until now.  

A debtor wishing to prevent a creditor from carrying out execution may, as a defence, apply to the competent district court for refusal of recognition or enforcement of a judgment (or other document) by the creditor.

The amended provisions apply in particular to:

– court judgments, settlements and official documents in the meaning of EU regulation no. 1215/2012 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (enforceability of which is confirmed by an appropriate certificate),

– court judgments, settlements and official documents with a European enforcement order certificate appended,

– European payment orders, enforceability of which is declared based on applicable EU provisions,

– court judgments issued in the course of a European Small Claims Procedure with the required certificate appended.

The amending Law does not include interim provisions that temporarily restrict application of the new regulations. However, it should be stressed that EU regulations governing this matter may themselves include interim provisions excluding some categories of judgments/documents from the scope of their application and consequently also from the scope of the application of the above Polish provisions (e.g. regulation no. 1215/2012 applies to legal proceedings instituted not earlier than 10 January 2015).


Source: Law Amending the Civil Procedure Code and the Law on Court Costs in Civil Cases dated 5 December 2014 (Journal of Laws of 2015, item 2)


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