Recognition and enforcement of foreign money judgments in Belgium.
Judgments given by EU-Courts:
Council Regulation 44/2001 of 22 December 2001 on recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters will apply. The Regulation applies between all Member States of the European Union including Denmark which has concluded a parallel agreement on Regulation 44/2001 with the European Community. This agreement entered into force on 1st July 2007. A judgment given in a Member State shall be recognised in the other Member States without any special procedure being required. A judgment given in a Member State and enforceable in that State shall be enforced in another Member State when, on the application of any interested party, it has been declared enforceable there. The application shall be submitted by the interested party “ex parte” to the court or competent authority indicated in the list in Annex II to the Regulation (for Belgium: “Rechtbank van Eerste Aanleg” ,“Tribunal de Première Instance”, “Erstinstanzliches Gericht”). The other party may file opposition against the decision which declared the judgment of the other EU-Member State enforceable on limited grounds. Appeal against the decision on the application for a declaration of enforceability is to be lodged with the court indicated in the list in Annex III (“Hof van Beroep”/”Cour d’Appel”).
Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 will be replaced by Regulation (EU) No 1215/2012 (Brussels I Regulation (recast)) as from 10 January 2015. Under Regulation No 1215/2012 EU-judgments will be automatically enforceable in other EU Member States (“free movement of judgments”).
Judgments given by Courts from Iceland, Norway and Switzerland:
The Lugano Convention of 30 October 2007 between the EU and Iceland, Norway and Switzerland will apply. The Lugano Convention follows the principles of EU-Regulation 44/2001.
Other European Regulations:
Regulation 1896/2006 of 12 December 2006 creating a European Order for Payment Procedure.
Regulation 861/2007 of 11 July 2007 establishing a European Small Claims Procedure.
Regulation 805/2004 creating a European Enforcement Order for uncontested claims.
§. 2 Recognition Enforcement of non-EU judgments:
Non-EU judgments will be recognized and may be declared enforceable in Belgium unless the judgment concerned is:
- Not compatible with Belgian public order;
- Rights of defendant are not respected;
- Decision only obtained in order to avoid the law applicable under Belgian private international law in matters on which the parties are not free to make agreements;
- Foreign proceedings initiated after subject matter was already pending before the Belgian Courts;
- Belgian Courts have exclusive jurisdiction;
- Jurisdiction foreign courts only based on presence of defendant or his assets when the dispute has no connection with the state of the court which gave the decision;
- Judgments in relation with specific matters ;
The Court of First Instance will decide on recognition and enforcement of non-EU judgments at unilateral request by the interested party subject to opposition by the defendant.
Foreign judgments which are directly enforceable or which have been declared enforceable in Belgium are like judgments from Belgian Courts, subject to national enforcement proceedings.