Enforcing a judgement in Spain

GB Abogados represent many clients from the UK and other EU countries, both companies and individuals, in executing court judgements against Spanish debtors.

How is a judgement from another country enforced in Spain?

The process of enforcement is relatively straightforward, although can take some time. The initial step is for the creditor to obtain a court judgement within the UK (also applies to any EU country).

Upon receipt of this judgement, the creditor needs to apply for a European Enforcement Order.

The basis of the application would be that the debt is uncontested and the judgement no more than 5 years previously.

Once the court has issued the European Enforcement Order certificate, then the judgement can be enforced in Spain according to the laws of the country. This is stipulated in EC 805/2004.

Both the judgement and the European Enforcement Order certificate will need to be provided in original form. In certain circumstances, certified translations may be required.

Can the European Enforcement Order be refused in Spain?

The advantage of the European Enforcement Order is that the Spanish courts can only refuse the claim if there is another judgement between the two parties that conflicts.

Other avenues such as the recognition and enforcement under Regulation EC 44/2001 give the Spanish court the opportunity to examine the grounds of the judgement.

Clearly this would give the debtor the opportunity to oppose the action.

Relevant articles

In accordance with the Spanish Civil Procedure Act, articles 517 and subsequent, the execution of the European Enforcement Certificate should follow the same proceedings as a judgement issued by a Spanish judge.

Explanations from relevant articles

1. Article 523 Civil Procedure Code

For final and other foreign enforceable judgements that can be executed in Spain are subject to the provisions in international treaties and laws on international legal cooperation.

In any case, the execution of judgements and foreign securities executives will be held in Spain in accordance with the provisions of this Act, unless otherwise specified in international treaties in force in Spain.

2. EC Regulation No 805/2004 of the European Parliament & Council 21st April 2004 creating a European Enforcement Order for uncontested claims

Article 33: Entry into force. Determines the date of entry into force of the Regulation set as of 21st January 2005 and its mandatory nature in its entirety and directly applicable if all EU member states, in accordance with the Treaty of the European Community.

Article 20: Execution procedure. This article contains the enforcement procedure and states that it is governed by the procedural rules of the member state that intends to carry out the European Enforcement Order. In addition it provides that a judgement certified as a European Enforcement will run on the same conditions as a judgement given in the member state of enforcement.

Explanation of what should be considered uncontested:

The debtor has never objected to it, in compliance with the relevant procedural requirements of the law of the member state of origin in the context of legal proceedings, or

The debtor has not appeared or been represented at a court hearing regarding that claim after having initially contested the claim in the course of legal proceedings, provided that such conduct amounts to a tacit admission of the claim or of the facts alleged by the creditor under the law of the member state of origin.


With regards to jurisdiction, according to law 19/2006, which introduced procedural rules to facilitate the implementation in Spain of EC regulation 805/2004, the jurisdiction for the enforcement of judgements certified as a European Enforcement correspond to the district court of the debtor´s place of residence or business.

If you or your company is owed money by a Spanish company or individual, please don´t hesitate to contact us.

We will review your case and provide our advice as to your best course of action and the likely cost and timescale.