Serving documents abroad. How can it be done?. European Regulation 2020/1784. Civil and Commercial Matters. Judicial and extrajudicial documents. European Union. Legal advice.

The European Union is constantly creating new regulations to try to harmonise and facilitate the coordination between states. Two clear examples of this, that we have analysed in previous columns, are Regulations 655/2014 and Regulation 1215/2012, which allow the seizure of foreign accounts and the enforcement of foreign judgments, respectively.

In today’s article we take a look at Regulation 2020/1784. The new European regulation that intends to facilitate one of the most important aspects of the legal sphere: the notification of civil and commercial documents that take place abroad.

The objective of the regulation is simple. To simplify cooperation between states, and to create a fast and secure serving network in the EU (including Denmark). To this end, each state entrusts this task to a specific authority, that will act as transmitter and receiver of the documents. For example, in Spain, the persons in charge are the Lawyers of the Public Administration. To start the process, the interested party must provide to the transmitting authority the documents to be notified, along with Standard Form A. This form is included in the Regulation itself (Annex I) and must be completed in any of the languages accepted by the transmitting country. (e.g., Spain, in addition to Spanish, also accepts English, French or Portuguese).

Regarding the documents to be served, it is not necessary for them to be apostilled or legalised. However, in practice, it may be essential that they are translated since the Regulation gives the addressee the ability to refuse service if the documents are not translated.

1. Into a language he or she understands.

2. Into the language of the country in which he is being served.

Regulation 2020/1784 promises to be a very useful tool for carrying out cross-border notifications. However, we will have to wait a while to see it in full capacity. The informatic system envisioned by the European Union will not be fully operational until 2025.

In White Baos Lawyers we are experts in litigation related to real state, banking law, contracts, etc. Please do not hesitate to contact us. We will study your case and offer you expert advice on the matter.

You may be interested in the following services and articles:

Consequences of serving not correctly a court claim in Spain. Nullity of the court process.

Is it possible to seize European bank accounts?. European Regulation 655/2014. Debt collection. European Union. Legal advice.

The truth about the European Regulation 650/2012 and the Spanish inheritance taxes.


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Written by

Carlos Baos (Lawyer)

Lawyer Carlos Baos has been advising on variety of expat-related legal issues for years and weekly column offers free weekly insights.

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