As of 10 January 2015, a judgment of a court in another EU member state may be enforced without a Dutch court having to grant leave. This is the most significant change to be introduced by the revised Brussels I Regulation (Brussel Ibis). The change is currently being implemented into Dutch law, making it more attractive to take legal action in another member state against a party with assets in the Netherlands. Brussels Ibis will also facilitate litigation before Dutch courts against parties with assets in other member states.

Under the Brussels I Regulation (44/2001), decisions of a court in another EU member state can be recognised and enforced in the Netherlands according to a simplified procedure. This procedure is further simplified by Brussels Ibis (1215/2012), allowing court decisions from other EU member states to be directly enforced in the Netherlands by a Dutch bailiff without any intervention by a Dutch court. Amending legislation to allow this procedure has been adopted in the Netherlands.

This will facilitate the enforcement of court decisions from another EU member state in the Netherlands and make it more attractive to take legal action in another member state against a party with assets in the Netherlands. Brussels Ibis will also facilitate litigation before Dutch courts against parties with assets in other member states.

Parties seeking enforcement in the Netherlands of judgments from other EU member states should bear in mind that the timeframe in other EU member states may differ from the Dutch timeframe. If the party against whom the judgment is to be enforced is domiciled in the Netherlands, the judgment may not be enforced until one month after service of the certificate issued by the foreign court (see below). This period is two months if the party against whom the judgment is to be enforced has no domicile in the Netherlands. Both periods may be shortened by a preliminary relief judge at the bailiff’s request.

If a party wants to enforce a judgment in the Netherlands, the foreign court that issued the judgment can be required under Brussels Ibis to issue a certificate. The certificate contains a summary of the judgment and states that the judgment is enforceable. If this applies, the certificate also specifies the costs of the proceedings which may be recovered and the calculation of interest. The implementing legislation qualifies the certificate, together with a copy of the relevant judgment, as an enforceable document (executoriale titel). This means that the foreign judgment may be enforced anywhere in the Netherlands without the need for intervention by a Dutch court.

The new rules also apply if a court in another member state has ordered provisional or protective measures. The copy of the court order together with the certificate will be regarded as leave within the meaning of the Dutch Code of Civil Procedure, allowing the provisional or protective measures to be taken without intervention by a Dutch court.

The date on which the new implementing law is to take effect has not yet been set. This will likely coincide with the entry into force of Brussels Ibis on 10 January 2015.