Last checked: 21/06/2022

Cross-border debt recovery

If you or your business is owed money by a company based in another EU country, the courts can order that the funds in the other company's bank account are frozen.

When can it be used?

You can take advantage of this rule for any cross-border cases, i.e. when the ordering court, or your business (in this case, the creditor) is based in a different EU country than where the debtor holds their bank account.

The procedure is known as the European Account Preservation Order (EAPO) and its aim is to make EU debt recovery quicker and easier.

You won't need to inform the debtor in advance: this ensures that they don't move, hide or spend the funds held in their account before you can reclaim money owed to you.

In which countries does it apply?

You can apply for an EAPO in any EU country except Denmark.

How to apply?

You can apply using the online form. Any relevant supporting documents should be sent with your application.

Contesting a European Account Preservation Order

If you are the debtor and are not in agreement with the EAPO issued against you, you can challenge the decision by filling out the remedy application form (form VII).

Both parties can appeal the remedy decision using the remedy appeal form (form IX). 

EU legislation

Need support from assistance services?

Get in touch with specialised assistance services

European Small Claims Procedure

Settle disputes with suppliers or clients from another EU country, for claims up to EUR 5 000.

Do you have questions on operating a business cross-border, for example exporting or expanding to another EU country? If so, the Enterprise Europe Network can give you free advice.

You can also use the assistance service finder to find the right help for you.

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