European Union: The European Account Preservation Order At A Glance - 7 Questions & 7 Answers

Last Updated: 9 February 2017
Article by Holger Bielesz

The EU Regulation No 655/2014 of 15 May 2014 established a European Account Preservation Order ("EAPO"). The Regulation became applicable as of 18 January 2017 within the EU except for the United Kingdom and Denmark.1

WHO SHOULD BE INTERESTED IN THIS REGULATION?

Subject to the reservation in 2 below, anybody who holds money claims against a debtor domiciled in another EU Member State, whether a company or a consumer, provided that no insolvency proceedings are pending with regard to the debtor.

CAN CREDITORS BASED OUTSIDE THE EUROPEAN UNION ALSO MAKE USE OF THE REGULATION?

No, the creditor must be domiciled in an EU Member State. However, it does not make a difference whether the creditor is the original holder of the claim or whether he acquired it by way of assignation.

WHAT IS THE ADDED VALUE OF THE REGULATION?

Creditors can obtain an order – the EAPO – issued by one court of an EU Member State, which entitles the creditor to seize accounts from the debtor in other EU Member States as well. The creditor only needs to show in one court procedure that the conditions for account preservation are met and can then use the same EAPO to obtain account preservation in other EU Member States. The EAPO is issued ex parte in order to ensure its surprise effect for the debtor. Further, courts are required to act quickly and decide on requests for issuance of an EAPO within a couple of days.

DO I NEED AN ENFORCEABLE COURT DECISION TO BENEFIT FROM THE REGULATION?

No, account preservation is also available before the creditor holds an enforceable court decision, provided that the creditor initiates litigation on the substance within a period of 30 days from lodging the request for issuance of the EAPO or 14 days after its issuance, whichever is more recent. If the creditor has an enforceable title, the regulation offers more options to ensure the preservation of accounts, in particular to track account information unknown to the creditor.

IS IT NOW ANY EASIER FOR CREDITORS TO HAVE BANK ACCOUNTS SEIZED IN EUROPE?

Yes, for creditors holding an enforceable title. The creditor can use a single EAPO in other EU Member States without further procedural hurdles. Another useful tool is the ability to identify bank accounts previously not known to the creditor.

For creditors without an enforceable title, the answer is more complex. The Regulation provides for conditions in order to qualify for an order, many of them are similar to those required in domestic enforcement laws. First, the creditor needs to show that he has a prima facie case, i.e. his claim is likely to succeed in substance. Second, the creditor needs to show to the court that without the preservation order enforcement, his claim will be impeded or made substantially more difficult, i.e. there is a real risk that the debtor might otherwise dissipate, conceal or destroy assets or dispose of them under value. The mere non-payment or contesting of the claim because the debtor has multiple creditors would not justify such an order. That the debtor is financially weak or in difficulties would not suffice either.

Finally, the court may order the creditor to deposit a security to cover potential damage caused to the debtor following the seizure of accounts. The creditor may become liable for damages towards the debtor if the EAPO has been unlawfully obtained.

DOES THE REGULATION ASSIST IN TRACING BANK ACCOUNTS OF WHICH THE CREDITOR IS NOT AWARE?

The Regulation does not provide for means to track this information for creditors who do not yet hold a judgment, settlement or so-called "authentic instrument", e.g. an enforceable deed.

If the creditor has obtained an enforceable title and has reasons to believe that the debtor holds an account with a bank in a specific Member State without knowing further details, he may request the court issuing the Preservation Order to request this information from the authorities of the other EU Member State(s).

If the creditor holds a judgment or settlement which is not yet enforceable, the creditor may be granted the right to obtain account information if there is an urgent need to preserve the creditor's rights.

The details as to how the account information can be obtained vary in each EU Member State. E.g. under Austrian law, the debtor can be compelled to disclose his bank account details. False or incomplete information would be subject to criminal prosecution. In contrast, the German legislator granted the competent authority access to bank account information held by the German Federal Central Tax Office (Bundeszentralamt für Steuern).

WHERE CAN I OBTAIN AN EAPO?

Where the creditor has not yet obtained an enforceable title, the order must be sought from the courts of the EU Member State which are competent to rule on the substance of the matter, i.e. the debtor's domicile, or any other place of jurisdiction available (e.g. subject to the Brussels Ia Regulation the place of performance of the contractual obligation or the place of the damaging event etc.).

Where the creditor has already obtained a judgment or court settlement, jurisdiction to issue an EAPO for the claim specified in the judgment or court settlement shall lie with the courts of the Member State in which the judgment was issued or the court settlement was approved or concluded.

Footnote

1. - Therefore, Europe" European Union" or EU Member States" for the purposes of this overview means the European Union or its Member States except the United Kingdom and Denmark.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
 
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
 
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions