Enforcement of foreign rulings in Poland
- Debt Collection in Poland
- Injunctions / order for payment
- Debt collaterals / securities
- Enforcement of foreign judgements
- Enforcement procedure
- Late Payment Interest Rate in Poland
- Limitation periods
- Bankruptcy in Poland
- Debt collection in Polish cities
As a result of globalization of business it often happens that a foreign creditor obtains a judgement of a court against a Polish entity. Most often it is a judgment obliging the debtor to pay a certain amount. As a rule all judgment of a foreign court may be subject to recognition and enforcement in Poland, but the manner and methods may differ depending on whether the judgment was issued in an EU or non-EU country. Below table shall simplify understanding of legal regimes allowing to recognize and enforce foreign judgements in Poland.
Enforcement of foreign judgements – key rules
|Origin of foreign court ruling||Enforcement method|
|Court rulings from Switzerland, Denmark, Norway, Iceland||Enforcement under Lugano Convention|
|US court rulings||Enforcement under Polish Civil Procedure|
|UK court rulings|
|Other non-EU countries court rulings||Enforcement under Polish Civil Procedure|
|EU country court ruling||
|Russian and Belarusian court rulings||Enforcement under special bilateral agreements|
|New York Convention signatories arbitral awards||Enforcement under New York Convention|
|Other arbitral awards||Enforcement under Polish Civil Procedure for arbitral awards|
Enforcement of foreign (non-EU) court rulings in Poland
Enforcement under Lugano Convention
The Convention applies in civil and commercial matters, and therefore does not apply to tax, customs or administrative matters, and does not apply to matters of marital status, legal capacity and legal capacity, bankruptcy, social security and arbitration. According to the general rule of jurisdiction, persons domiciled in a State bound by the Convention may be sued, whatever their nationality, in the courts of that State.
Detailed rules for suing persons domiciled in one signatory state before the courts of another signatory state are regulated by Article 5 of the Convention. For entities claiming monetary claims, the regulation is particularly important, indicating that if the subject of the proceedings is a contract or claims arising from the contract, the other party may be sued in the court of the place where the obligation was performed or was to be performed. At the same time, according to the Convention, the place of performance is:
- in the case of the sale of goods , the place in a State bound by this Convention where, under the contract, the goods were delivered or should have been delivered,
- in the case of the provision of services , the place in a State bound by this Convention where the services under the contract were provided or were to be provided.
The convention also contains a number of special regulations related, inter alia, to with counterclaim, consumer contracts, jurisdictional contracts.
Recognition and enforcement of judgments under the Lugano Convention
A judgment given in one State bound by this Convention shall be recognized in the other States bound by this Convention without any special procedure being required.
The award shall not be recognized if:
- recognition would be manifestly contrary to public policy in the country in which recognition is sought;
- the defendant who did not enter the dispute was not served with the document instituting the proceedings or an equivalent document in time and in a manner enabling him to prepare his defense, unless the defendant did not lodge an appeal against the decision, although he had an opportunity to do so;
- it is irreconcilable with a judgment given between the same parties in the State in which recognition is sought;
- a judgment is irreconcilable with an earlier judgment given in another State bound by this Convention or in a third State concerning the same claim and between the same parties, provided that the earlier judgment fulfills the conditions for recognition in the State in which recognition is sought.
A foreign judgment may under no circumstances be subject to a substantive review.
Enforcement of a judgment by way of execution under the Lugano Convention takes place subject to a declaration of its enforceability by competent court, subject to an appropriate application by the entitled person. In Poland, the competent court for declaring the enforceability of judgments under the Lugano Convention is the district court in which either the debtor has his place of residence (seat) or the enforcement is to be conducted.
The full text of the Convention can be found here: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/eli/convention/2007/712/oj
FAQ regarding enforcement of foreign court rulings in Poland under Lugano Convention
Is Poland a party to Lugano Convention on recognition and enforcement of court judgement?
Yes, as EU Member state Poland is a part of Lugano Convention.
Can court judgements from Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Denmark be enforced in Poland?
Yes, court judgements from those countries may be enforced under Lugano Convention after performing procedure of declaration of enforceability by Polish Court.
Enforcement under Polish Civil Procedure Code
In the event of recognition and enforcement of judgments of third countries outside the European Union, which are neither parties to the Lugano Convention nor a party to a bilateral agreement with Poland, the procedure provided for in art. 1145 of Polish Civil Procedure Code applies.
It should be noted that from July 2009, a significant change was introduced, according to which each foreign judgment is effective (recognized) in the Polish legal area, without the need to conduct any particular proceedings. Recognition under the law concerns judgments of foreign courts issued after July 1, 2009.
What does it mean in practice?
By operation of law, the Polish state respects (automatically recognizes) the existence and effects of third country judgments without the need to carry out an additional procedure, as was the case before the discussed amendment. Please note that automatic recognition of foreign rulings does not mean its automatic enforceability. The later one requires additional procedure as discussed below.
Public order clause
The judgment of a foreign court is not subject to review by the Polish court in terms of its content. However, it can be assessed on the basis of a number of premises, including the so-called the public policy clause.
The Polish court will refuse to recognize the decision of a court of another third country if:
- it is not final in the state where it was issued;
- there was a case within the exclusive jurisdiction of Polish courts;
- the defendant who did not enter into the dispute on the merits of the case was not served with the document instituting the proceedings in a proper and timely manner;
- the party was unable to defend itself in the course of the proceedings;
- a case for the same claim between the same parties was pending in the Republic of Poland earlier than before a court of a foreign state;
- is inconsistent with a previously issued final and binding judgment of a Polish court or a previously issued and final and binding judgment of a foreign court, meeting the conditions for its recognition in the Republic of Poland, in a case for the same claim between the same parties;
- recognition would be contrary to the fundamental principles of the legal order of the Republic of Poland (public policy clause).
While the reasons indicated in points 1-3 and 5 are rather formal, the premises indicated in points 4, 6 and in particular 7 are of an assessment nature and allow for a certain control of the judgment of a third country court under the so-called the discretionary power of the judge. In particular, the court examining the judgment of the third country court may verify whether the potential effects of the judgment are consistent with the values considered fundamental by the Polish legal system.
Enforcement of the judgment
While recognition, i.e. acknowledging the effects of a third country judgment in Poland, is in principle automatic, enforcement, i.e. implementation of the effects of this judgment by way of e.g. enforcement in the territory of the Republic of Poland, requires additional steps.
Judgments of courts of foreign courts become enforceable only after their enforceability has been declared by the Polish court in a separate procedure. A declaration of enforceability takes place if the judgment is enforceable it is enforceable in its country of origin, and there are no obstacles to recognition of such a judgment, as described above.
A person who invokes the recognition of a foreign court decision should have:
- an official copy of the decision, a
- document stating that the decision is final, unless the validity of the decision results from its content,
- a certified translation of the above documents,
- if the decision was issued in the proceedings, which the defendant did not enter into the dispute on the merits of the case – with a document stating that the document instituting the proceedings was served on him.
Granting the enforcement clause
In order to enforce a judgment of a third country court, the creditor must apply for an enforcement clause. The issuance of the enforcement clause is ruled by the district court of the debtor’s place of residence or seat, and in the absence of such a court – the district court in whose district the enforcement is to be conducted.
After initiating the procedure, the court sends the debtor a copy of the application; the debtor has two weeks to present his position in the case.
An appeal may be filed against the decision of the district court regarding the issuance of an enforcement clause.
Execution on the basis of a foreign court decision may be commenced after the decision granting the enforcement clause becomes final; until then, this provision constitutes a security title.
FAQ regarding enforcement of foreign court rulings in Poland
Can foreign court rulings be enforced in Poland?
Yes, foreign court rulings may be enforced in Poland after performing the judicial confirmation of its enforceability before Polish Court.
Can a Polish court refuse to recognize or enforce foreign court ruling?
Yes, Polish court may refuse to recognize or enforce foreign court ruling, in particular based on if the judgement is not final, it is contradicting other court ruling or it is against Polish Law.
What documents do I need to declare enforceable foreign Court ruling in Poland?
Documents depend on particular circumstances but in general you will always need to present the original judgement, declaration that it is final and enforcable in country of origin, and the sworn translation into Polish language.
What do I need to do to enforce foreign court judgement in Poland?
You need to request the Polish Court to declare the foreign judgement enforceable in Poland.
Enforcement of US Court rulings in Poland
The United States of America is not a party to the Lugano Convention; there is also no bilateral agreement between Poland and the US on mutual recognition and enforcement of judgments. This means that in order to use and enforce the judgment of an American court in Poland, one must follow the procedure described above (Enforcement under Polish Civil Procedure).
What conditions must be met by a judgment of an American court in order to institute enforcement in Poland on its basis?
1 – The judgment must be legally binding
Legality means that the judgment is not subject to the usual remedies, such as appeal or opposition, in the issuing State. The fact that the judgment is final and binding should be apparent from the content of the judgment itself or be certified by an appropriate document issued by the court. Usually, the mere statement of the party, representative or consul is not enough. In exceptional cases, it is permissible to establish the validity of a foreign judgment on the basis of the party’s presentation of the content of the foreign law or obtaining information from the Ministry of Justice.
2 – The party was not deprived of the possibility of defense
This issue is extremely important and will be examined in detail by the court that examines whether the judgment can be recognized and enforced in Poland. This is, in particular, about verifying whether the defendant was properly informed about the pending proceedings, which may pose problems due to the different delivery system in force in individual states of America than in Poland. The provisions of the Polish Code of Civil Procedure do not require service in the proceedings before the court of the country of origin to be in each case to the addressee. This is particularly important in the case of substitute services, i.e. made to the hands other than the addressee and in a situation where the defendant has not taken a position in the case. For example, the practice of American courts is well known, whereby in divorce cases the defendant is notified only by publication in a periodical published in a given state, without a copy of the claim being served on the party with return acknowledgment of receipt. The provisions require a person who invokes the recognition of a foreign court judgment, in the case of e.g. a default judgment, to present a document stating that the document instituting the proceedings has been served on the defendant. The Polish court will also verify whether the party was given the opportunity to take a position in a timely manner and in a proper manner, whether it was properly informed about its rights, etc.
3 – The case is not subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of Polish courts
The exclusive domestic jurisdiction of Polish courts – i.e. the right to exclusive examination of a given issue, excluding courts of other countries – may result not only from the provisions of the Polish Law incl. Code of Civil Procedure, but also from the law of the European Union or relevant international agreements. composition of inheritance in real estate located in Poland. Therefore, in the case of using the equivalent of a declaration of acquisition of an inheritance by an American court, it will be effective in Poland only partially, i.e. the exclusion of rights in rem (such as ownership) on real estate located in Poland. Similarly, exclusive national jurisdiction covers matters relating to the dissolution of legal persons, including companies and resolutions of company bodies, as long as they are based in the territory of the Republic of Poland.
4 – The same case had not been previously initiated before a court in Poland
This means that the Polish court examines whether a case involving the same claim has been initiated before a Polish court (litigation). The dispute is pending if the defendant was served with a copy of the claim.
5 – The ruling is not with previous final and binding ruling of a foreign court, issued in a case for the same claim between the same cases
This is the so-called res judicata principle. It is understandable that a later judgment cannot, in the normal course, undermine already existing judgments.
6 – the judgment is not contrary to the fundamental principles of Laws of Poland
The court examines whether the effects of the American court’s ruling are compatible with the basic rules of the legal, social and political system in force in Poland. Therefore, it is not about the contradiction between the regulations of two countries, which is inevitable in legal transactions, but about the violation of the most fundamental values that are constitutionally protected in Poland. It happens that Polish courts, for example, refuse to recognize in part judgments of American courts granting extremely high “punitive damages”, unknown in continental law.
Commencement of enforcement based on a judgment of a US court
Judgments of foreign courts in civil matters that can be enforced after their enforceability is declared by a Polish court. A declaration of enforceability of a judgment of a US court is made at the request of the creditor, if the judgment is enforceable in its country of origin and there are no obstacles discussed above.
The issuance of the enforcement clause is ruled by the district court of the debtor’s place of residence or seat, and in the absence of such a court – the district court in whose district the enforcement is to be conducted.
After the decision on granting the enforcement clause becomes final, the creditor may submit an application to the bailiff to initiate enforcement.
Actions of the creditor before the decision on granting the enforcement clause becomes final
It may happen that the proceedings for granting an enforcement clause to a judgment of a US court, due to the possibility of challenging individual provisions by the debtor, will be prolonged, which may entail a significant threat to the creditor. The legislator, increasing the protection of the creditor, regulated it in such a way that a non-final decision on granting an enforcement clause to the judgment of the American court will constitute the title of the security. The creditor applies to the competent enforcement authority, i.e. the bailiff, for security, e.g.:
- freezing bank account or other receivable or other property right;
- encumbering the obligated property with a compulsory mortgage;
- prohibiting the sale or encumbrance of real estate that does not have a land and mortgage register or has lost the land and mortgage register or has been destroyed;
- encumbering ship or a ship under construction is encumbered with a maritime mortgage;
- establishing ban on the disposal of the cooperative ownership right to the premises;
- establishing compulsory administration over the enterprise or farm of the obligated person or an establishment forming part of the enterprise or part thereof or part of the farm of the obligated person.
FAQ regarding enforcement of US court rulings in Poland
Are US court rulings enforceable in Poland?
Yes, US court rulings are enforceable in Poland, however separate judicial procedure in Poland must be performed in order to declare them enforceable in Poland.
Can the Polish Court refuse enforceability of US court ruling?
Yes, Polish court may reject to enforce US court ruling in particular circumstance, e.g. Polish courts often reject enforcement of punitive damages (unknown to Polish legal system) or US court judgements related to real estate located in Poland.
What are the conditions to enforce US court ruling in Poland?
The US court ruling must be: final, the defendant was not deprived from ability to defend, the subject matter was not subject to exclusive jurisdiction of Polish Courts, there is no similar case or judgement in other country and the judgement is not against Polish legal order and policy.
Who much time do I need to declare US court ruling enforceable in Poland?
That declaration of enforceability procedure in Poland takes from 3 month to up 1 year.
Enforcement of UK Court rulings in Poland
Undoubtedly, Brexit and the end of the transition period is a time mark after which the legal status in respect of judgements recognition and enforcement has changed.
Legal status before December 31, 2020
Until December 31, 2020 all EU rules regarding court rulings applied to the judgments of British courts. The United Kingdom and Poland, as EU Member States, were bound by the principles of automatic recognition and enforcement of each other’s judgments in the European Union, without the need to conduct a separate procedure.
Importantly, these EU rules still apply to judgments that were issued in cases initiated before December 31, 2020.
EU rules still apply in the following scenarios:
- the judgment of the British court was issued before December 31, 2020, but enforcement has not yet been initiated in Poland,
- the judgment of the British court has been issued or will be issued after December 31, 2020, but the case was initiated before the end of the transitional period.
The situation is different with cases initiated after December 31, 2020.
Legal status after December 31, 2020
Due to the fact that the rules concerning the Member States in the European Union have ceased to apply in relations between Poland and Great Britain, the recognition and enforcement of judgments of British courts will be based on the rules applicable to the recognition and enforcement of judgments of third countries (Enforcement under Polish Civil Procedure).
Importantly, the United Kingdom has applied for accession to the Lugano Convention, but due to the lack of consent to its accession to this Convention by European Union countries, it is currently not a party to any convention on the recognition and enforcement of judgments of its courts in third countries, including in Poland.
FAQ regarding enforcement of UK court rulings in Poland
Are UK court rulings enforceable in Poland?
Yes, UK court rulings are enforceable in Poland, however method of enforceability depends whether the proceedings in which the court ruling was issues was initiated prior or after December 31 of 2020. If prior – UE rules apply (automatic enforceability); if after – Polish internal rules apply and separate judicial procedure is required to declare UK court ruling enforceable in Poland.
Enforcement of foreign court rulings in EU
Enforcement US court rulings in EU
There are no uniform rules of recognition of US court ruling in EU. Each Member State of European Union defines its own rules for recognition of court ruling from United States of America
Enforcement other court rulings in EU
There are no uniform rules of recognition of foreign court ruling in EU. Each Member State of European Union defines its own rules for recognition of foreign court ruling.
FAQ regarding enforcement of US and UK court rulings in EU
Are UK court rulings enforceable EU?
Yes, UK court rulings are enforceable in EU, however method of enforceability depends whether the proceedings in which the court ruling was issues was initiated prior or after December 31 of 2020. If prior – pre-Brexit UE rules apply (automatic enforceability); if after – each member state defines its own rules regarding enforceable of UK court rulings.
Are US court rulings enforceable in EU?
Yes, however there is a major disadvantage, each member state of EU defines its own rules regarding enforceability of US court rulings. Should the US court ruling be enforced in several member states, separate procedure will need to be carried out in each state.
Enforcement of Arbitral Awards in Poland
Pursuant to the arbitration clause, the parties to a given legal relationship may submit possible disputes arising from the concluded contract to an arbitration or arbitration court, i.e. a non-state court consisting of persons indicated by the parties as arbitrators, i.e. non-professional judges appointed to hear the case. In trade, it is popular to submit disputes to permanent arbitration courts operating in individual countries on the basis of generally recognized common rules. Judgments issued by arbitral tribunals, as well as – with certain reservations – settlements concluded before them, may, after appropriate procedure, be enforced by way of enforcement in Poland.
Enforcement under New York Convention
One of the most important legal acts regulating the enforcement of foreign arbitration awards is the 1958 New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards. It has been signed and ratified by over 160 countries around the world. If the creditor seeks execution in Poland of an arbitration award issued in a state that acceded to this convention, its provisions will be applied in advance of national regulations, i.e. the Polish Code of Civil Procedure.
States party to the New York Convention
Due to the fact that over 166 countries have acceded to the Convention, it is not possible to list all of them. The current list of signatory states of the convention can be found at this link: https://uncitral.un.org/en/texts/arbitration/conventions/foreign_arbitral_awards/status2
Reciprocity – commercial relations
Poland has become a party to the New York Convention, but with the proviso that the provisions of the yen will only apply to arbitration awards issued in other states – signatories of the convention. Moreover, Poland recognizes the New York Convention only with regard to matters arising from broadly understood trade relations.
Priority of the New York Convention over domestic law
Pursuant to the Constitution of the Republic of Poland (Article 91 (2) of the Polish Constitution), the provisions of an international agreement take precedence over national law. The national law of the convention states, including Poland, therefore applies only to issues that the contract does not regulate and which it does not resolve. It should be remembered, however, that the Convention, as a rule, does not regulate the procedure of recognition and enforcement of judgments – therefore the provisions of Polish civil procedure always apply in this respect, regardless of whether it is the execution of an arbitration award of the state – signatory to the Convention or not.
Enforcement of a judgment of a foreign arbitration court in Poland on the basis of the New York Convention
A party (or the party’s legal successors), which obtained a favorable arbitration award in a country that is a signatory to the New York Convention, may institute and conduct enforcement in Poland on its basis. The following procedures for obtaining the enforceability of a foreign arbitration court judgment are as follows:
- The creditor must submit an application for a declaration of enforceability of the foreign arbitration award in Poland:
- the application is addressed to the Court of Appeal in which would have been competent to hear the case, had the parties not concluded arbitration clause – it should therefore be determined which court would be competent if the creditor wanted to sue the other party on general terms; if there is no such basis, then the Court of Appeal in Warsaw;
- the application is accompanied by a duly legalized original of the award or a duly certified copy of such a document and the original of the agreement confirming submission of the dispute to arbitration or a duly certified copy thereof – translated into Polish by a sworn translator – it is worth emphasizing that the requirement to present the arbitration agreement in the form of an “original” is often problems, as it is common practice in trade to establish an arbitration clause by exchanging e-mails, by referring to the general sales regulations, etc.
- it is worth making sure that the application for a declaration of enforceability of an arbitration award is furnished with request for immediate delivery of an enforcement order, i.e. an application for sending the award together with an enforcement clause, which may speed up the procedure.
- The Polish court examines its jurisdiction and whether the application meets the formal requirements. If the application does not meet the formal requirements, the court should summon it to be supplemented; if all formal requirements are met, the application is sent to a hearing.
- After referring the case to a hearing, the chairman shall order a copy of the request to be delivered to the opposing party, who may respond to the request within two weeks of the service of the copy of the request.
- Response to a motion for a declaration of enforceability of a foreign arbitration court award – in response to a request, the other party may request refusal to enforce the award, basing it on the following grounds, and presenting evidence that:
- that the parties to the arbitration agreement – according to the law relating to them – lacked capacity, or that the said contract is invalid under the law to which the parties have submitted it, and – in the absence of any mention in this regard – under the law of the country where the judgment was given (no valid arbitration contract), or
- that the party against whom the judgment is referred, was not duly notified of the appointment of an arbitrator or of the arbitration procedure, or that it was unable to present its case for any other reason (breach of the principle of equality of parties and the adversarial principle), or
- that the award relates to a dispute not listed in the compromise or not eligible for under the scope of the arbitration clause or that it contains decisions exceeds the limits of the compromise or arbitration clause; however, if the settlement of the cases submitted to arbitration can be separated from the settlement of cases not submitted to arbitration, then the part of the ruling that includes the settlement of cases submitted to arbitration may be recognized and enforced (exceeding the powers of the arbitral tribunal), or
- that either the composition of the court arbitration procedure, or the arbitration procedure was not in accordance with the parties’ agreement, or, in the absence of such an agreement, that they were not in accordance with the law of the country in which the arbitration took place (defective composition of the arbitral tribunal or defective arbitration procedure), or
- that the award was not still binding on the parties, or that the competent authority of the country in which, or under the law of which, the judgment was issued, revoked it or suspended its enforceability (the judgment is not valid).
- The court hearing the case for a declaration of enforceability of the award of a foreign arbitration court, apart from considering any possible objections expressed in response to the request, also takes into account ex officio:
- That under Polish law the subject of the dispute cannot be resolved through arbitration, or
- That recognition or enforcement of the award would be contrary to the public order of this country.
- However, it does not assess the merits of the award in any way, i.e. it does not know whether the award of the arbitral tribunal is accurate. The substantive examination of an arbitration award is therefore limited only to assessing whether the analyzed award does not violate fundamental legal standards.
- After receiving the parties’ positions, the court conducts a hearing.
- The decision of the court of appeal on the declaration of enforceability of an arbitration award issued abroad is final and enforceable from the moment of its issuance. It may be only appealed by extraordinary measure: cassation appeal.
- After obtaining a legally binding declaration of enforceability of an arbitration award and issuing an enforcement clause for this award, the creditor may request a bailiff to initiate and conduct enforcement proceedings.
New York Convention not applicable
The New York Convention, i.e. the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitration Awards, does not apply in Poland to arbitration awards of countries that are not parties to the Convention, to cases that are not commercial disputes and to settlements concluded by an arbitration court abroad.
What is the procedure for enforcing a foreign arbitration award or settlement not covered by the New York Convention?
Non-NY Convention procedure is similar to the procedure under NY Convention. Additionally, however, the court may refuse to execute an arbitration award issued abroad or a settlement concluded before an arbitration court abroad, if:
- pursuant to the provisions of the Act, the dispute may not be submitted to an arbitration court;
- recognition or enforcement of an arbitration award or a settlement concluded before it would be contrary to the fundamental principles of the legal order of the Republic of Poland (public policy clause);
- an arbitration award or a settlement concluded before it deprives the consumer of the protection granted to him by the mandatory provisions of the law applicable to the contract to which the consumer is a party, and if the law applicable to this contract is the law chosen by the parties – the protection granted to the consumer by the mandatory provisions of law that would be applicable in the absence of a choice of law.
Application and required documents
The documents to be attached to the application are, pursuant to Art. 1213 of the Code of Civil Procedure, the original or a copy of its award or a settlement certified by the arbitration court, as well as the original of the arbitration clause or an officially certified copy thereof. If the arbitration award or settlement concluded before it or the arbitration clause are not drawn up in Polish, the party is obliged to attach a certified translation into Polish.
Costs of declaration of enforceability of an arbitration award or a settlement concluded before an arbitration court
An application for a declaration of enforceability of an arbitration award or a settlement concluded before an arbitration court is subject to a fixed fee of PLN 300. In addition, you need to take into account the costs of sworn translations of documents, the production of certified copies and the fee for a possible cassation appeal against the decision in the foregoing declaration of the enforceability of such a judgment (settlement).
FAQ regarding enforcement of arbitral awards in Poland
Are arbitral awards enforceable in Poland?
Yes, arbitral awards are enforceable in Poland or under NY Convention (for signatories) either under Polish internal recognition rules. In both cases Polish Court needs to run separate procedure and declare arbitral award enforceable in Poland.
How much time is required to declare enforceable arbitral award in Poland?
Judicial confirmation of enforceability of the arbitral awards requires from 3 months to 1 year.
What documents are required for the application to declare arbitral award enforceable in Poland?
List of documents shall always be defined individually, nevertheless most usually you will need original or a copy of its award, original of the arbitration clause and certified translation of all the documents into Polish.
Enforcement of EU court rulings in Poland
Enforcement under Regulation 1215/2012
Although the legal system of the European Union contains many elements unifying the legislation of individual member states, each state retains the independence of its judiciary. Individual national regulations and legal solutions differ from each other. In practice, this meant that a judgment passed in one EU country, e.g. in Germany, could not be automatically transferred for execution in Poland. The Brussels Ia Regulation, in force since 2012 (the name comes from the fact that it replaced the previously applicable Brussels 44/2001 Regulation) was created for such situations – its purpose is to simplify the procedure of recognition and enforcement of judgments of courts of Member States in other EU countries .
Recognition of judgments
A final or enforceable judgment given in one Member State is recognized in another Member State without any special procedure being required. Only in exceptional cases may a judgment of an EU court be challenged in a special refusal to recognize a judgment. As a consequence of this approach, a national court is obliged to treat the judgment of a court of another EU country as its own judgment. It should also be remembered that the notion of a judgment includes not only court judgments, payment orders or orders, but also official documents issued by bailiffs and notaries, provided that the scope of their competence under the law of a given country coincides with the competence of the court and court settlements.
Due to the automatic recognition, the judgment of the EU country becomes an enforceable title in Poland. A judgment issued in a Member State that is enforceable in that Member State is enforceable in another Member State without the need for a declaration of its enforceability (in the Member State of origin).
Still, in order to initiate and conduct enforcement on the basis of a judgment of a court of a European Union Member State, it is necessary to obtain an enforcement clause in accordance with Polish law, issued by a Polish court, just like a Polish court gives an enforcement clause to its own judgments. The judgment, subject to an enforcement clause, is then the basis for enforcement by the bailiff.
Refusal to recognize and enforce a judgement
The automaticity of recognition and enforcement described above has its exceptions.
At the request of the person concerned (usually the debtor), the Polish court refuses to recognize or enforce a judgment issued in another Member State of the European Union if at least one of these reasons occurs:
- recognition would obviously be contrary to the public policy of the requested Member State (i.e. Poland in this case),
- in the proceedings before the court of the defendant’s country of origin, the judgment is deprived of defense,
- the judgment cannot be reconciled with a judgment given between the same parties in the requested Member State,
- the judgment cannot be reconciled with an earlier judgment given in another Member State or in a third to the same parties, provided that the earlier judgment fulfills the conditions for recognition in the requested Member State,
- the judgment was given in breach of the Brussels bis rules on exclusive jurisdiction or the rules providing for special jurisdiction in matters relating to insurance contracts labor, consumer and employee sectors.
As you can see, these are quite specific reasons that are described in detail; in particular, the Polish court will not examine whether the judgment or other judgment issued in an EU Member State is correct, has substantive grounds, etc.
Enforcement of European Enforcement Order (EEO)
The European Enforcement Order is a tool enabling efficient and relatively cheap recovery of cash benefits. It takes the form of a certificate accompanying a judgment, court settlement or official document, ensuring free enforcement of such a judgment, settlement or document in any country of the European Union, without the need to additionally apply for an enforcement clause. For this reason, it is sometimes referred to as the “judgment passport“.
The European Enforcement Order was introduced into the legal order of the European Union by Regulation (EC) No 805/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of April 21, 2004 establishing a European Enforcement Order for uncontested claims.
Which claims can be made under the European Enforcement Order?
The European Enforcement Order may only be issued in civil and commercial matters. The European Enforcement Order certificate is used to enforce uncontested cash payments. This means that on its basis it is possible to claim only such pecuniary claims that result from a court ruling, a settlement concluded before a court and for which: the
- debtor has recognized them expressly or by way of a court settlement (express recognition of the debt), the
- debtor never he did not raise an objection (e.g. an appeal in proceedings which ended with issuing an award) in the course of court proceedings; (contesting the judgment) or the
- debtor did not appear or was not represented at the court hearing relating to that claim, after the claim was initially contested in the course of the legal proceedings, provided that such conduct is treated as a tacit recognition of the claim or an acknowledgment of facts presented by the creditor under the law of the State Member issue; (inactivity of the debtor) or
- the debtor has expressly agreed to it in the authentic instrument.
What is relevant for determining whether there are grounds for issuing an EEO is whether the debtor was properly informed about the proceedings pending against him and could therefore exercise his rights of challenge or challenge, and he did not do so.
Obtaining the European Enforcement Order
EEO can be requested in the lawsuit or in a later procedural letter.
This certificate can also be obtained after the court has issued a decision by submitting an appropriate application to the court (most often it will be the court that heard the case).
If the decision was given in a Member State other than Romania and Bulgaria, the date of issue may not be earlier than 21 January 2005. If the decision was given in Romania or Bulgaria, the date of issue may not be earlier than 1 January 2007. The European Certificate decision an enforcement order is served on both the debtor and the creditor, while the decision refusing to issue a European enforcement order certificate is delivered only to the creditor. The creditor has the right to appeal against the decision on the refusal to issue an EEO.
After obtaining an EEO, it must be submitted to the debt collection authority in the country where the debtor is resident or established. In Poland, it is a bailiff.
The intention of the institution of the European Enforcement Order is to facilitate the implementation of court judgments in the European Union as much as possible, hence the costs of obtaining it are also not high. In Poland, the application for an EEO is payable with a fee of PLN 50.
Can the debtor defend himself against the European Enforcement Order?
As a rule, an EEO may be issued only in relation to undisputed claims, i.e. those whose existence and amount has not been questioned by the debtor at any stage. However, it may happen that the debtor will defend himself against the enforcement of the judgment, which is the European Enforcement Order.
As a rule, it is not possible to challenge the issuing of a European Enforcement Order certificate. This does not mean, however, that the debtor cannot implement the appropriate procedure in the issuing country as well as in the country of enforcement of the European Enforcement Order, the debtor may:
- request a correction of the certificate to the court which adjudicated the case – if the certificate contains an error, e.g. an accounting error,
- return applying for the withdrawal / revocation of the European Enforcement Order certificate to the court that adjudicated the case – if the EEO was issued in breach of formal provisions,
- it may apply to the court that issued the judgment for a certificate stating the lack or limitation of enforceability – when the judgment under different reasons, in the judgment of the debtor, cannot be enforced (e.g. has been successfully challenged),
- implement the control procedure in exceptional cases – submit a request for refusal to enforce the EEO, if the judgment certified as a European Enforcement Order cannot be reconciled with the previous judgment issued in any Member State or ź in a third country, provided that: the earlier judgment was given in relation to the same subject-matter of the dispute and concerned the same parties, was given in the Member State of enforcement or meets the conditions necessary for its recognition in the Member State of enforcement, there was no irreconcilability and it could not have been raised as an objection in the court proceedings in the Member State of origin.
Enforcement of European Order for Payment (EPO)
A creditor established in one Member State (including Poland) and doing business with companies from other Member States of the European Union, in order to pursue claims from unreliable contractors, may use the so-called European Payment Order.
European Payment Order – what is it and in what cases it is due
The European Payment Order has been introduced into the legal order of European countries by Regulation (EC) No. 1896/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006. The purpose of its introduction was to simplify and reduce the costs of court proceedings in cross-border cases concerning uncontested pecuniary claims.
The European Order for Payment is issued under a special European Order for Payment procedure. Obtaining it is possible in cross-border civil and commercial cases. Cross-border cases are those where at least one of the parties is domiciled or habitually resident in a Member State other than that of the court seised.
The European order for payment procedure is established for the purpose of making pecuniary claims of a specified amount which are due at the time the application for a European order for payment is made.
The claim is to be brought before the court of the Member State where the defendant is domiciled or established. However, it should be remembered that this principle is breached in some situations (e.g. when the contract specifies the jurisdiction of the court). However, if the claim relates to a contract concluded by the consumer and where the consumer is the defendant, only the courts of the Member State in which the defendant is domiciled have jurisdiction
Formal conditions for the claim
The statement of claim initiating the European order for payment procedure is submitted on a special form, the so-called Form A. On the official website of the European Union https://e-justice.europa.eu/ you can find and fill in the forms used in each Member State.
The claim shall contain the claimant’s declaration that the information provided is, to the best of his knowledge and belief, true and that he acknowledges that the deliberate provision of false information may lead to consequences under the law of the Member State of origin.
The statement of claim filed in the European order for payment order proceedings should contain:
- the designation of the parties, their place of residence or seat, and if the party is represented by a representative, also his name and address,
- the value of the claim pursued,
- if the claimant is claiming interest – the rate and period for which claims interest, unless, in accordance with the law of the Member State of issuance, statutory interest is automatically added to the principal claim,
- substantiation of the claim (description of the circumstances indicated as the basis of the claim),
- evidence supporting the claim (without the obligation to attach it),
- indication of the circumstances justifying the jurisdiction of the court,
- justification the cross-border nature of the dispute.
Conditions for issuing the European Order for Payment
The court, after examining whether the claim is fit for examination in the European Order for Payment procedure and the claimant’s compliance with the formal conditions of the claim and proper justification of the claim, issues a European Order for Payment, taking into account the claim pursued by the claim. This means that the European Payment Order is issued based solely on the facts and evidence provided by the claimant. A ruling on this subject should be made as soon as possible.
The European Payment Order states that the defendant may:
- pay the claimant the amount indicated in the order;
- file an objection by sending it to the issuing court within 30 days of service of the order on him.
Enforcement under European Payment Order
If the defendant has not successfully lodged an objection to the European Order for Payment, the order becomes enforceable and may – after it has been declared enforceable by the court that issued it – be the basis for conducting enforcement proceedings even in another Member State. A European order for payment that has become enforceable is enforced under the same conditions as an enforceable judgment given in the Member State of enforcement.
However, if the defendant lodges an objection to such an order, the European Order for Payment loses its force and the case continues under general rules.
Revocation of the European Payment Order
A debtor who has not lodged an objection to the European Order for Payment, making it enforceable, may attempt to revoke its force by submitting an application for a review of the European Order for Payment. Under Polish law, the debtor may submit an application for revoking the European Order for Payment. The application for revoking the European order for payment should be submitted to the court or legal clerk that issued it, indicating the grounds for revocation strictly defined in Regulation No. 1896/2006.
The costs of bringing a claim under the procedure provided for in the European Order for Payment depend on the national regulations of a given Member State. In Poland, the fees for the claim depend on the value of the subject of the dispute. Half of the fee due for the application is collected for the application for the waiver of the European order for payment.
European Small Claims Procedure
The European Small Claims Procedure is an alternative to the existing procedures under the law of the Member States and enables a creditor established in the European Union to obtain a judgment against a contractor from another Member State in the small claims. It was introduced into the legal order of the Member States by Regulation (EC) 861/2007.
The European Small Claims Procedure applies to civil and commercial matters. Only cross-border uncontested pecuniary claims may be pursued under this procedure, i.e. where at least one party resides in a Member State other than that of the court having jurisdiction to hear the case. If only the debtor is domiciled or habitually resident in a Member State other than the Member State of the competent court, also a claimant outside the EU may apply for a European Order for Payment.
The claimant may file a claim under this procedure if the sum claimed by the claim, that is the value of the claim, excluding all interest, expenses and costs, does not exceed EUR 5,000.
Formal conditions of the claim
The statement of claim initiating the procedure concerning small claims is submitted on a special form, the so-called Form A. On the official website of the European Union https://e-justice.europa.eu/ you can find and fill in the forms used in each Member State. In Poland, the form may be submitted only in writing, i.e. printed, signed and sent by registered mail to the address of the Polish court or submitted directly to the court’s registry office, but different countries use different methods (e.g. by sending the claim electronically via postal service).
Pursuant to Art. 7 of the Regulation, the statement of claim must contain a description of the circumstances indicated as the basis for the claim and, where applicable, of the requested interest. It should also include a description of the evidence supporting the claims. There is no requirement to attach documents supporting the claims to the statement of claim, but of course the more information that is presented to the court in the statement of claim, the greater the chances that the court will take it into account.
Small Claims Procedure
The court of the Member State having jurisdiction to hear the case may, upon receipt of the application, request the claimant to correct the supplementary form for the information provided and to send evidence within a specified period. If the claimant fails to do so or the court decides that the claim is manifestly unfounded or inadmissible, it will return the claim.
The European Small Claims Procedure is a written procedure. This means that under this procedure, the court will not hold the hearing, unless it turns out to be necessary or one of the parties so requests and the court approves such a request. It is conducted in the language of the country in which the proceedings are pending.
If the claim meets the formal requirements, the court serves a copy of it on the defendant, who 30 days should then submit a reply to the claim
Then, within 30 days of receipt the defendant’s replies, the court issues a ruling or:
- requires the parties to provide further detailed information,
- conducts the taking of evidence,
- summons the parties to a hearing to be held within 30 days of the summons.
In the cases described above, the Court issues a ruling within 30 days from the date of closing the hearing or from receiving all information necessary for issuing the ruling.
The defendant has the right to apply for the setting aside of a judgment given by a court under the European Small Claims Procedure.The defendant has the right to file an application for revocation if:
- the requirements for proper service have not been complied with, and the
- service has not taken place in time enabling the defendant to prepare for the defense without his fault, and
- if the defendant was unable to file a statement of defense due to force majeure or due to extraordinary circumstances that were not attributable to him.
If the court upheld the application and the judgment was set aside, the plaintiff may appeal the decision.
Polish law also provides for the possibility for both the claimant and the defendant to appeal against the judgment issued in the small claims procedure. However, it is worth remembering that the possibility of challenging judgments by a dissatisfied party in this regard may be regulated differently in other Member States.
The claim fee in a case that can be heard in the European Small Claims Procedure is PLN 100 in Poland.
FAQ regarding enforcement of EU court rulings in Poland
What is the basic enforcement mode of EU court rulings in Poland?
EU court rulings are enforced in Poland predominantly under 1215/2012 Regulation, which means they are automatically recognized and enforceable. To start enforcement against the debtor, the creditor shall file the judgement directly to Polish enforcement officer – Bailiff.
Can the enforcement procedure before Polish enforcement officer (bailiff) be run in English?
No, enforcement procedure, including all communication, has to be performed in Polish language. Official documents are required to be sworn translated into Polish.
Up to which value is the Small Claims Procedure applicable?
Small claims procedure is available for claim that do not exceed EUR 5,000 excluding all interest, expenses and costs.
How to enforce EPO – European order for Payment in Poland?
EPO may be filed for enforcement directly with Polish enforcement officer (Bailiff). Application for enforcement shall be in Polish language and followed by original copy of EPO and Form G.