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Recognition and enforcement procedure

Formal procedure

What is the formal procedure for seeking recognition and enforcement of a foreign judgment?

The party seeking recognition of a foreign judgment must file an exequatur suit before the Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice.

If the suit is admitted, the defendant must file its statement of defence within five days of service of process. After such period, the Supreme Court of Justice will schedule a hearing for:

  • the practice of evidence requested by the parties;
  • the closing arguments; and
  • a final decision.

If the exequatur is granted, the foreign judgment could be subject to a collection proceeding before the competent court.

Timeframe

What is the typical timeframe for the proceedings to grant recognition and enforcement?

The typical timeframe for proceedings to grant recognition and enforcement is approximately two years.

Fees

What fees apply to applications for recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments?

Exequatur proceedings are free; however, the parties will incur costs such as legal expenses and other fees (eg, fees related to the practice of evidence).

Security

Must the applicant for recognition and enforcement provide security for costs?

No.

Appeal

Are decisions on recognition and enforcement subject to appeal?

Decisions on recognition are not subject to appeal. However, decisions on enforcement are subject to appeal on the same grounds available for an appeal against the enforcement of a domestic judgment. The standard of review on appeal is de novo review.

Other costs

How does the enforcing court address other costs issues arising in relation to the foreign judgment (eg, calculation of interest, exchange rates)?

Absent a decision on post-judgment interest in the foreign judgment, the Colombian court will likely dismiss any claim of interest. In relation to the applicable exchange rate, the court will apply Colombian law (ie, the exchange rate at the date of payment).

Enforcement against third parties

To what extent can the courts enforce a foreign judgment against third parties?

The courts will not enforce a foreign judgment against third parties.

Partial recognition and enforcement

Can the courts grant partial recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments?

No Supreme Court decision is known to have granted a partial exequatur over a foreign judgment; however, the law does not expressly preclude its possibility.

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