Enforcement of foreign judgments in Luxembourg

Out-Law Guide | 18 Jan 2023 | 10:01 am |

This is quick reference guide offers insight into the operation of Luxembourg’s New Code of Civil Procedure (the NCPC), as well as relevant treaties and conventions that Luxembourg has signed, limitation periods, types of enforceable order, competent courts, pitfalls and much more.

  • Legislation

    Treaties

    Luxembourg has signed several international, bilateral and multilateral treaties concerning the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments, as laid down in article 679 of the Luxembourg New Code of Civil Procedure (the NCPC), namely:

    • the New York Convention of 10 June 1958 on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards;
    • the Treaty of 24 November 1961 between Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg on jurisdiction, bankruptcy,
    • ·validity and enforcement of judgments, arbitration awards and authentic instruments, as long as it is in force;
    • the Brussels Convention of 27 September 1968 on jurisdiction and the enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters;
    • the Convention of 29 July 1971 between Luxembourg and the Republic of Austria on the Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments in civil and commercial matters;
    • the Hague Convention of 2 October 1973 on the Recognition and Enforcement of Decisions relating to Maintenance Obligations; and
    • the Lugano Convention of 16 September 1988 on jurisdiction and the enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters.

      Additionally, Luxembourg has also entered into an important number of EU regulations and treaties regarding the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments:

    • Council Regulation (EC) No. 1346/2000 on insolvency proceedings;
    • Council Regulation (EC) No. 44/2001 on Jurisdiction and the Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters;
    • Council Regulation (EC) No. 2201/2003 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters and the matters of parental responsibility, repealing Regulation (EC) No. 1347/2000;
    • Regulation (EC) No. 805/2004 on creating a European Enforcement Order for uncontested claims;
    • Regulation (EC) No. 1896/2006 on creating a European order for payment procedure (modified by Regulation (EU) No. 2015/2421 amending Regulation (EC) No. 861/2007 on establishing a European Small Claims Procedure and Regulation (EC) No. 1896/2006 on creating a European order for payment procedure);
    • Regulation (EC) No. 861/2007 on establishing a European Small Claims Procedure (modified by Regulation (EU) No. 2015/2421;
    • Council Regulation (EC) No. 4/2009 on jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition and enforcement of decisions and cooperation in matters relating to maintenance obligations;
    • Regulation (EU) No. 650/2012 on jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition and enforcement of decisions and acceptance and enforcement of authentic instruments in matters of succession and on the creation of a European Certificate of Succession;
    • Regulation (EU) No. 1215/2012 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters;
    • Regulation (EU) No. 606/2013 on mutual recognition of protection measures in civil matters;
    • Regulation (EU) No. 655/2014 on establishing a European Account Preservation Order procedure to facilitate cross-border debt recovery in civil and commercial matters;
    • Regulation (EU) No. 2015/848 on insolvency proceedings;
    • Council Regulation (EU) No. 2016/1103 on implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of jurisdiction, applicable law and the recognition and enforcement of decisions in matters of matrimonial property regimes; and
    • Council Regulation (EU) No. 2016/1104 on implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of jurisdiction, applicable law and the recognition and enforcement of decisions in matters of property consequences of registered partnerships.

    In general, Luxembourg has always been prone to sign international treaties, as it is an indispensability of a committed, united and responsible foreign policy to defend both the values and interests of the country. Unlike other countries, Luxembourg rarely made any amendment or reservation to such treaties.

    Intra-state variations

    Since Luxembourg is a small and highly centralised country with only two district courts on its territory – the Luxembourg district court and the Diekirch district court – there is uniformity in the law on the enforcement of foreign judgments among the two jurisdictions within Luxembourg. There is, however, only one court of appeal. Luxembourg private international law applies to the whole territory of Luxembourg.

    Sources of law

    Given that Luxembourg has a legal system based on the written law tradition, in particular on the Napoleonic Code, all the sources of law must be considered in the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments. The sources of Luxembourg law are international treaties, EU law, the Constitution, statutes, regulations, the general principles of law and case law. The general regime of recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments is laid down in the NCPC, which applies to civil and commercial matters.

    The NCPC does not just include the general domestic regime of recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments, but also the regimes subject to the application of international treaties, EU law and specific Luxembourg regulations and rules of law. The NCPC applies to all foreign judgments, regardless of their country of origin, in civil and commercial matters. The NCPC applies to all jurisdictions for which no EU or bilateral conventions apply.

    Hague Convention requirements

    Luxembourg is not a signatory to the Hague Convention of 1 February 1971 on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters. But Luxembourg is a State bound by the new Hague Convention of 2 July 2019 on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters since the signature by the European Union on 22 August 2022.

  • Bringing a claim for enforcement

    Limitation periods

    Under Luxembourg law, no specific limitation period exists regarding the proceedings to grant recognition and enforcement to a foreign judgment. However, Luxembourg courts can only enforce a foreign judgment, which is enforceable in its country of origin. In this sense, the limitation period for the recognition and enforcement of a foreign judgment will depend on the law applicable to the foreign judgment in its country of origin. Consequently, the commencement of the limitation period for enforcing a foreign judgment will be subject to the statute of limitations of the foreign jurisdiction.

    Types of enforceable order

    In conformity with Regulation (EU) No. 1215/2012 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (Regulation (EU) No. 1215/2012), judgments on only civil and commercial matters can be recognised and enforced. The following matters are explicitly excluded by the Regulation:

    • status or legal capacity of natural persons, rights in property arising out of a matrimonial relationship or out of a relationship deemed by the law applicable to such relationship to have comparable effects to marriage;
    • bankruptcy, proceedings relating to the winding-up of insolvent companies or other legal persons, judicial arrangements, compositions and analogous proceedings;
    • social security;
    • arbitration;
    • maintenance obligations arising from a family relationship, parentage, marriage or affinity; and
    • wills and succession, including maintenance obligations arising because of death.

      All remedies ordered by a foreign court are enforceable in Luxembourg, on the condition that the remedies are enforcement measures under Luxembourg law. Under Luxembourg law, there exist several kinds of interim injunctions, such as:

    • a measure of inquiry;
    • an injunction for a creditor;
    • a mandatory or probative injunction;
    • preservation; or
    • a repair order.

    The Luxembourg judge may order, in urgent matters, any interim measures to which there is no compelling objection or that are justified by the existence of a dispute. The judge may also rule on difficulties relating to the enforcement of a judgment or other enforceable title, under article 932 of the NCPC. Any conservatory or remedial measures that are necessary to prevent imminent damage or to cease a manifestly unlawful disturbance may also be ordered by a judge under article 933 of the NCPC. Luxembourg courts may, however, not recognise punitive damages granted by a foreign court if they are excessive.

    Competent courts

    According to article 21 of the NCPC, the Luxembourg district court is exclusively competent to hear cases on the exequatur procedure of foreign judgments and is the only court entitled to give enforcement title. As a result of the entry into force of Regulation (EU) No. 1215/2012, the exequatur procedure for enforcing a foreign judgment has been abolished. Article 685-4 of the NCPC has introduced a new procedure opening the possibility for a defendant to request the refusal of the recognition of a judicial decision rendered in another EU member state concerning which enforcement is sought in Luxembourg. The president of the district court sitting in urgent matters is the competent jurisdiction for this procedure.

    Separation of recognition and enforcement

    Luxembourg law, based on Regulation (EU) No. 1215/2012, which came into force on 15 January 2015, gives a legal distinction between the recognition and enforcement of a judgment. In general, the recognition of a foreign judgment occurs when the court of one state accepts a judicial decision made by the court of a foreign state. According to Regulation (EU) No. 1215/2012, a judgment given in an EU member state shall be recognised in the other EU member state without any special procedure being required.

    On the other hand, the enforcement is the recognition and the permission for a creditor to take coercive measures against a debtor directly on Luxembourg territory. Under Regulation (EU) No. 1215/2012, a judgment given in an EU member state, which is enforceable in that EU member state, shall be enforceable in the other EU member state without any declaration of enforceability being required.

  • Opposition

    Defences

    The distinction between EU judgments, foreign judgments subject to an international treaty and foreign judgments not subject to an international treaty or EU law must be made. In the case of a foreign judgment subject to an international treaty or EU act providing for an exequatur proceeding, the application for exequatur is decided by order of the president of the district court, in whose jurisdiction the party against whom enforcement is sought has his or her domicile or residence or, failing that, in which enforcement is sought, without the party against whom enforcement is sought to be able, in this state of proceedings, to submit an observation under article 681 of the NCPC.

    The request may be rejected only if the foreign decision does not fulfil the conditions provided for by the convention invoked to be recognised and enforced. In any case, the foreign decision cannot be subject to a revision on the merits. Under Regulation (EU) No. 1215/2012, the recognition of a judgment may be refused on the following grounds:

    • if such recognition is manifestly contrary to Luxembourg public policy;
    • where the judgment was given in default of appearance, if the defendant was not served with the document which instituted the proceedings or with an equivalent document in sufficient time and in such a way as to enable him or her to arrange his or her defence, unless the defendant failed to commence proceedings to challenge the judgment when he or she could do so;
    • if the judgment is irreconcilable with a judgment given between the same parties in the EU member state addressed;
    • if the judgment is irreconcilable with an earlier judgment given in another EU member state or a third state involving the same cause of action and between the same parties, provided that the earlier judgment fulfils the conditions necessary for its recognition in the EU member state addressed; or if the judgment conflicts with some provisions of Regulation (EU) No. 1215/2012.

      The enforcement of a judgment shall be refused in cases in which one of the grounds for a refusal of the recognition of a judgment exists. Foreign EU judgments cannot be reviewed on the merits by a Luxembourg court in conformity with article 52 of the Brussels Ibis Regulation.

      Injunctive relief

      As per article 932 of the NCPC in cases of urgency the president of a district court may order in summary proceedings all the measures that are not seriously disputed or that justify the existence of a dispute. The president of the district court may also rule on the difficulties relating to the enforcement of a judgment or other enforceable title. Article 933 of the NCPC also provides that the president of a district court may order in a summary procedure provisional conservatory measures or necessary restitution in integrum measures relevant to preventing significant harm, either to prevent immediate damage or to end obvious illicit trouble.

      To prevent the loss of evidence, the president of the district court may order any useful investigative measure, including the hearing of witnesses. In cases in which the existence of the obligation to pay is not seriously challengeable, the judge may provide for an interim payment to the creditor. Anti-suit injunctions are, however, not available in Luxembourg law. According to article 39 of Regulation (EU) No. 1215/2012, a judgment given in an EU member state that is enforceable in that EU member state is immediately enforceable in other EU member states without any declaration of enforceability being required.

  • Requirements for recognition

    Basic requirements for recognition

    Regarding the ease of enforcement, the procedure to enforce a foreign judgment in Luxembourg differs according to the state of origin of the judgment. Here again, the distinction between EU judgments, foreign judgments subject to an international treaty and foreign judgments not subject to an international treaty or EU law must be made. If a foreign judgment does not originate from an EU member state and is not subject to an international treaty, the ordinary domestic proceeding applies, and the foreign judgment will fall under articles 678 of the NCPC and must be submitted to the exequatur formalities to have legal effect in Luxembourg.

    This means that the applicant has to file a legal exequatur action before the district court of the place where he or she intends to pursue the execution. The proceeding is introduced in conformity with domestic law by summoning the defendant to the district court and is subject to all rules of written procedure. However, as per article 678 of the NCPC, the court will not rule on the case but is confined to verify if the foreign judgment satisfies the following conditions:

    • the foreign decision is enforceable in the country of origin;
    • the foreign decision has been rendered by a jurisdiction recognised in Luxembourg;
    • the original judge had jurisdiction to decide according to Luxembourg international private law;
    • the original judge had jurisdiction to decide according to its own procedural law;
    • the foreign court has applied the law as designated by Luxembourg’s conflicts of law;
    • the foreign procedure rules have been respected, ie, rights of defence;
    • the defendant had proper notice of the proceedings;
    • the foreign decision does not contravene any Luxembourg public policy rules;
    • the foreign decision conflicts with another national jurisdiction;
    • the foreign decision was obtained by fraud; and
    • the foreign decision must contain an order that can be executed.

    If those conditions are met, the judge will grant the exequatur order and the claimant will give notice thereof to the defendant. On the other hand, if the foreign judgment originates from an EU member state or is subject to an international treaty, the conditions for enforcement are significantly simplified. Several EU regulations cover different matters, such as civil and commercial general matters, but also more particular matters such as matrimonial and parental responsibility and maintenance obligations.

    Foreign judgments rendered in the European Union that are subject to a treaty or EU law fall under articles 679 to 685-4 of the NCPC, which provide the simplified procedure of enforcement rules, as provided by Regulation (EU) No. 1215/2012 replacing the initial Council Regulation (EC) No. 44/2001 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters. According to article 39 of Regulation (EU) No. 1215/2012, a judgment given in an EU member state that is enforceable in that EU member state shall be enforceable in other EU member states without any declaration of enforceability being required. These judgments are recognised and immediately enforceable without any special procedure being required.

    For foreign judgments rendered in a jurisdiction outside the European Union with which Luxembourg has concluded a bilateral or multilateral treaty for the reciprocal recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments, article 679 of the NCPC lists non-exhaustively several conventions, such as the convention on jurisdiction and the enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters signed in Lugano on 30 October 2007. These judgments must be submitted to simplified exequatur formalities to have legal effects in Luxembourg, consisting of filing an ex parte petition with the president of the district court, who will grant an order if all the conditions imposed by those treaties are met.

    Other factors

    There are no other non-mandatory factors to be considered for recognition of a foreign judgment. All factors for recognising a foreign judgment not subject to EU law or an international treaty are defined by Luxembourg private international law. Concerning foreign EU judgments, Regulation (EU) No. 1215/2012 does not contain non-mandatory factors.

    Procedural equivalence

    The distinction between EU judgments, foreign judgments subject to an international treaty and foreign judgments not subject to an international treaty or EU law must be made. Concerning the enforcement of foreign non-EU judgments, Luxembourg private international law applies. In conformity with Regulation (EU) No. 1215/2012, there exists no requirement of procedural equivalence for the enforcement of foreign EU judgments. The EU member states, by simply applying said Regulation, ensure a consistent application of the same legal rules throughout the European Union.

  • Jurisdiction of the foreign court

    Personal jurisdiction

    Under Luxembourg law, the Luxembourg district court cannot review the personal jurisdiction of the foreign court that issued the original judgment.

    Subject-matter jurisdiction

    The Luxembourg court cannot review the subject-matter jurisdiction of the foreign court that issued the original judgment. The Luxembourg court cannot interfere with the first judgment, except if the judgment compromises Luxembourg public policies. According to article 52 of Regulation (EU) No. 1215/2012, a judgment given in an EU member state may under no circumstances be reviewed as to its substance in the EU member state addressed. This means that the Luxembourg courts do not have the power to review the substance of the original judgment taken in another EU member state.

    Service

    According to article 45 of Regulation (EU) No. 1215/2012, the recognition of a judgment shall be refused where the judgment was given in default of appearance if the defendant was not served with the document that instituted the proceedings or with an equivalent document in sufficient time and in such a way as to enable him or her to arrange his or her defence unless the defendant failed to commence proceedings to challenge the judgment when it was possible to do so. To have a foreign judgment recognised and enforceable in Luxembourg, the applicant must provide accordingly with article 42 of Regulation (EU) No. 1215/20122 the competent district court with:

    • a copy of the judgment that satisfies the conditions necessary to establish its authenticity; and
    • the certificate using the form set out in Annex I of the EU Regulation.

    The competent district court may always, where necessary, require the applicant to provide a translation or transliteration of the contents of the certificate. The court may also ask the applicant to provide a translation of the judgment rendered in the state of origin if it is unable to proceed without such a translation. Those copies have to be provided to the court clerk, who checks the authenticity of the documents.

    Fairness of foreign jurisdiction

    The Luxembourg district courts will not take into consideration the relative inconvenience of a foreign judgment when deciding upon the enforceability of a foreign judgment if the foreign judgment does not violate Luxembourg public policy.

  • Examination of the foreign judgment

    Vitiation by fraud

    According to Luxembourg private international law, the Luxembourg court will not examine the foreign judgment as to its substance. However, the Luxembourg courts examine the compliance of the state of origin with the procedural rules to guarantee that the foreign jurisdiction was not procured by fraud and that due process was respected. Thus, Luxembourg courts may refuse recognition or enforcement of a foreign judgment if it violates Luxembourg public policy or if it was rendered on a fraudulent basis.

    Public policy

    A foreign judgment may not be recognised or enforced if it violates Luxembourg public policy or any substantive Luxembourg laws. In the proceedings of enforcing a foreign non-EU judgment, Luxembourg private international law will examine the foreign decision if it complies with Luxembourg public policy. If it does not comply with Luxembourg public policy, the Luxembourg district court will not enforce the foreign judgment. A decision is not recognised if its recognition is manifestly contrary to the public policy of the requested EU member state; in particular, to its fundamental principles.

    The adverb ‘manifestly’ reveals a desire to retain a restrictive conception of the public order. The judge of a requested state may invoke the concept of public policy only if the recognition or enforcement of the decision would unacceptably prejudice the judicial order of the requested state as it would undermine a fundamental principle. The infringement should constitute a manifest violation of a rule of law considered essential in the legal order of the requested state or of a right recognised as fundamental in that legal order. According to article 45 of Regulation (EU) No. 1215/2012, the recognition of a judgment shall be refused if such recognition is manifestly contrary to public policy in the EU member state addressed.

    Conflicting decisions

    The recognition and enforcement of a foreign judgment may be refused when the foreign judgment is irreconcilable with concurrent proceedings or conflicting judgments involving the same parties or dispute. Article 45 of Regulation (EU) No. 1215/2012 expressly specifies that the recognition of a judgment shall be refused:

    • if the judgment is irreconcilable with an earlier judgment given in another Member State or in a third State involving the same cause of action and between the same parties, provided that the earlier judgment fulfils the conditions necessary for its recognition in the Member State addressed.
    • if a Luxembourg conflicting domestic judgment already exists, the recognition and enforcement of the foreign judgment would be denied.

    Enforcement against third parties

    A person domiciled in an EU member state may also be sued as a third party in an action on a warranty or guarantee or in any other third-party proceedings, in the court seized of the original proceedings, unless these were instituted solely with the object of removing him or her from the jurisdiction of the court that would be competent in his or her case. The Luxembourg court can consequently enforce a foreign judgment against third parties. However, Luxembourg courts do not apply the principles of agency or alter ego. A foreign judgment can only be enforced against the party named as the debtor.

    Alternative dispute resolution

    According to Luxembourg private international law, the parties to an agreement are free to agree to use alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Under article 1224 of the NCPC, a dispute may be submitted to arbitration if the issue at stake relates to rights of which parties have free disposal. Therefore, disputes involving family law, criminal law or, more broadly, involving public policy, cannot be subject to arbitration. Accordingly, parties who have agreed to use ADR in a contract clause are prevented from bringing an action in a district court.

    If one party to the ADR brings an action in court in violation of the ADR clause, the other party can contest the jurisdiction of the court. The Luxembourg court would declare the action inadmissible unless the ADR clause is manifestly invalid. Arbitral awards under Luxembourg law have the same legal effect as a court judgment. However, to be enforceable, an arbitral award requires an enforcement order issued by the president of the district court of Luxembourg, under article 1241 of the NCPC. The only possibility to challenge an arbitral award is to take an opposition procedure against the order of the president of the district court to have it declared null and void.

    Favourably treated jurisdictions

    Luxembourg courts do not give a greater defence to foreign judgments from certain foreign jurisdictions. However, EU regulations simplify and facilitate the recognition and enforcement of judgments between different EU member states.

    Alteration of awards

    In conformity with Luxembourg international private law, the applicant can ask for a partial enforcement of foreign judgments, under article 685 of the NCPC. According to article 48 of Council Regulation (EC) No. 44/2001 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters, an applicant may request a declaration of enforceability limited to parts of a judgment.

    This provision is not included in later Regulation (EU) No. 1215/2012. Article 49 of Regulation (EU) No. 1215/2012 foresees that a foreign judgment that orders a periodic payment by way of a penalty shall be enforceable in the member state in which enforcement is sought only if the amount of the payment has been finally determined by the courts of the member state of origin. It is consequently not possible to enhance or reduce the amount due in the foreign judgment.

  • Awards and security for appeals

    Currency, interest and costs

    In principle, the court does not convert the damage award to local currency. The competent executing authority will make the conversion of the outstanding amounts. In conformity with article 42 of Regulation (EU) No. 1215/2012, for enforcement in an EU member state of a judgment given in another EU member state, the applicant shall provide the competent enforcement authority with the certificate issued by the court of origin, 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.

    Security

    In general, decisions on recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments can be subject to appeal. According to article 682 of the NCPC, the defendant can file for an appeal against the judgment authorising the execution of the foreign judgment subject to a treaty or EU law providing the exequatur procedure is one month from the notification of the decision when the applicant is domiciled in Luxembourg or within two months when the latter is domiciled abroad. The appeal is introduced by writ served by a court bailiff.

    On the other hand, in conformity with article 683 of the NCPC, the applicant can also appeal against the decision rejecting the execution of a foreign judgment subject to a treaty or EU law providing the exequatur procedure, within one month of the notification of the decision of refusal. An appeal suspends the execution of the judgment of first instance. The party willing to appeal the decision has to file for appeal in a time frame of one month from the notification of the decision when the applicant is domiciled in Luxembourg or within two months when the latter is domiciled abroad. Regulation (EU) No. 1215/2012 also states that either party may appeal against the decision on the application for refusal of enforcement.

  • Enforcement and pitfalls

    Enforcement process

    Foreign judgments rendered in the European Union, under Regulation (EU) No. 1215/2012, are recognised upon the production of a copy of the decision, a certificate and a translation, if necessary. These judgments are immediately enforceable without any special procedure. Foreign judgments subject to a treaty can be recognised and enforced once the requirements provided by the treaty are respected.

    Foreign judgments not subject to any treaty or EU law are subject to the conditions laid down in article 678 of the NCPC and articles 2123 and 2128 of the Luxembourg Civil Code. Those judgments will be granted legal effect in Luxembourg only after being submitted to the exequatur procedure. The court will verify if the foreign judgment respects the requirements pointed out in the question regarding the ease of enforcement if:

    • the original judge had jurisdiction to decide according to Luxembourg international private law;
    • the original judge had jurisdiction to decide according to its own procedural law;
    • the foreign court has applied the law as designated by Luxembourg’s conflicts of law;
    • the foreign procedure rules have been respected;
    • the defendant had proper notice of the proceedings;
    • the decision does not contravene any Luxembourg public policy rules; and
    • the foreign decision must contain an order that can be executed.

    Pitfalls

    The most common pitfall for a claimant seeking recognition and enforcement of a foreign judgment in Luxembourg is the long and demanding proceedings, especially in the event the procedure provided for in article 678 of the NCPC is applicable. Since the procedure under Luxembourg private international law is a written procedure, it may take several months before the Luxembourg courts render a final decision, depending on the arguments raised by the parties and the complexity of the case.

    The time frame for the proceedings to grant recognition and enforcement depends on whether the foreign decision was an EU decision, a foreign decision subject to a treaty or a foreign decision not subject to a treaty or EU law. Decisions rendered in an EU member state are subject to articles 679 to 685 of the NCPC introducing the simplified procedure of enforcement. These judgments are recognised and immediately enforceable in Luxembourg. A foreign decision subject to a treaty falls under article 680 and subsequent of the NCPC. To have legal effect in Luxembourg, those decisions must be submitted to the simplified exequatur formalities, meaning that the applicant must file an ex parte partition with the president of the district court who will grant an order if all conditions are respected.

    Finally, a foreign decision not subject to a treaty or EU law falls under article 678 of the NCPC and must be submitted to the exequatur formalities to be recognised and enforced in Luxembourg. The foreign judgment has to be submitted to the district court, with the appearance of the prosecutor, who has to check if the public’s interests are not jeopardised. This written proceeding demands the filing of briefs between the attorneys of the parties. The recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments not subject to any treaty or EU law generally takes a few months, making this procedure longer than in other cases.

    In Luxembourg, the proceedings for recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments are not subject to initial court fees. The expenses of proceedings under article 238 of the NCPC encompass fees resulting from preliminary investigation, bailiff fees, clerk fees, expert fees and the costs and expenses under the Grand-Ducal Regulation of 21 March 1974, as amended. The expenses of proceedings do not include lawyers’ fees. The compensation for proceedings is covered by article 240 of the NCPC and includes essentially a part of the lawyers’ fees excluding all the expenses of proceedings. The expenses of proceedings have to be requested during the proceedings by the parties.

    The applicant in the proceeding for recognition and enforcement of a foreign judgment only has to pay his or her lawyers’ fees and the bailiff fees. This low amount of fees to be paid makes the Luxembourg legal system an attractive jurisdiction for the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments.

  • Update and trends

    Hot topics

    Luxembourg is a member State bound by the new Hague Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters concluded on 2 July 2019, since the  signature by the European Union on 22 August 2022. This new Hague Convention will come into force on September 1, 2023. 

    On 1 July 2022, Regulation (EU) 2020/1784 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2020 on the service in the Member States of judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil or commercial matters (service of documents) came into force, except sections 5, 8 and 10 of the Regulation, which will come into force in 2025.

    The main points are as follows.

    • This Regulation is part of the general wave of modernisation and harmonisation of judicial systems within the European Union and makes it possible to deal with the increase in the number of acts with a cross-border impact.
    • It aims to ‘further improve and expedite the transmission and service of judicial and extrajudicial documents between the Member States in civil and commercial matters, while ensuring a high level of security and protection in the transmission of such documents, safeguarding the rights of addressees and protecting privacy and personal data’.
    • This is a global recast of the 2007 Regulation to provide clarification on various points.
    • The most considerable change introduced with this Regulation is the importance placed upon electronic systems, with reinforced dematerialisation in two parts: implementation of a decentralised IT system, based on the e-CODEX system; and generalisation of direct electronic service.
    • The Regulation also introduces improvements to the existing system, such as assistance with address enquiries to remedy the problem of having an unknown address for a person due to be served a document and welcome clarification on the translation of the documents transmitted.

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