The New Civil Procedure Code (NCPC) was postponed several times before eventually coming into force on 15 February 2013. The legislators anticipate that the new law will speed up proceedings and offer a greater level of protection to civil rights.

NCPC applies to all enforcements that began after NCPC came into effect. As a rule, enforcement must only be carried out by an enforcement officer on the basis of an enforceable title (e.g. judgments, arbitral awards, documents issued by the enforcement officer, authenticated documents, bills of exchange, promissory notes and credit instruments). The exception to the rule is that creditors may act without the enforcement officer’s assistance; for instance creditors may sell the debtor’s secured movable assets or register documents in public books.

Enforcement officers may:

  • request written clarifications from the debtor and ask the court to fine the debtor if he is unresponsive;
  • access any public books (e.g. Trade Registry, Land book, public institutions’ (including fiscal authorities) databases;
  • request the Public Ministry to find out the financial institutions or other entities where the debtor holds deposits;
  • ask public forces to assist them in gaining entry to a debtor’s premises, Public forces cannot charge for this service or decline such a request, if it is made. This action will require the presence of at least two witnesses; and/or
  • enforce precautionary measures ordered by the court.

Creditors may:

  • enforce an appealable judgment where it is at risk of being reversed;
  • be assisted by legal counsel;
  • object to any act of the proceedings;
  • intervene in enforcement proceedings started by other creditors of the same debtor; and
  • stay the disbursement of sums resulting from the other creditors’ enforcement proceedings, until the intervening creditor’s claim is settled by means of a definitive judgment.

Debtors may:

  • challenge the enforceable title, if the title is any other than a judgment; and/or
  • prevent the sale of seized assets by depositing an amount corresponding to the value of the claim with the enforcement officer at the time of the disposal;

Third parties may:

  • challenge any act of the enforcement officer if it infringes a legitimate interest or right; and/or
  • be held liable if they fail to provide information on their debts to the debtor.

The provisions of the NCPC regarding the enforcement proceedings shall have a significant impact on all business areas and represent a much anticipated and welcomed legislative reform.