Answer ... According to French private international law, the claimant must request exequatur of the judgment in order to enforce the judgment.
If exequatur is allowed, the judgment is enforceable and the claimant can use coercion to obtain its obligation or award. The applicable rules are laid down in Articles 11 to 37 of Decree 92-755 of 31 July 1992 (recently modified by Decree 2012-783 of 30 May 2012).
Once the judgment has been declared enforceable and a request for enforcement (according to Article 39(1) and Annex II of the old Brussels I Regulation) has been sent to the presiding judge of the competent district court, the judge will decide on the enforcement proceedings (Article 38(1) of the old Brussels I Regulation).
The claimant must be notified of the decision authorising enforcement proceedings and such notification must be served (together with the judgment, if this has not already been served) on the party against which enforcement is sought, even though a contradictory proceeding is not intended (ie, Article 42 of the Brussels I Regulation, now abolished by Regulation (EU) 1215/2012).
The enforcement proceedings of all EU decisions under the regulations mentioned above are governed by French law. In France, bailiffs are responsible for enforcing judgments.
Under Regulation (EU) 1215/2012, a party that wishes to invoke in a member state a judgment given in another member state must produce a copy of the judgment that satisfies the conditions necessary to establish its authenticity and the certificate issued pursuant to Article 53, certifying that the judgment is enforceable and containing an extract of the judgment; as well as, where appropriate, relevant information on the recoverable costs of the proceedings and the calculation of interest (Articles 37 and 42 of the new Brussels I Regulation).
An enforceable judgment shall carry with it, by operation of law, the power to proceed to any protective measures that exist under the law of the member state addressed (Article 40 of the Brussels I Regulation).
Where enforcement is sought of a judgment given in another member state, the certificate issued pursuant to Article 53 shall be served on the person against which enforcement is sought prior to the first enforcement measure. The certificate shall be accompanied by the judgment, if not already served on that person (Article 43(1) of the Brussels I Regulation).
Where the person against which enforcement is sought is domiciled in a member state other than the member state of origin, it may request a translation of the judgment in order to contest the enforcement if the judgment is not written in or accompanied by a translation into:
- a language that it understands;
- the official language of the member state in which it is domiciled; or
- where there are several official languages in that member state, the official language or one of the official languages of the place where it is domiciled (Article 43(2) of the Brussels I Regulation).