News & Publications

April 14, 2017

Factsheet #3 – Enforcement of Foreign Court Judgments & Arbitral Awards in Cyprus

EU Member State Court Judgements – Recognition, Registration and Enforcement in Cyprus

A judgement that is issued by an EU Member States’ Court, may be recognised in the other EU states as well. The aforementioned EU enforcement procedures also apply in Cyprus.

The term “Judgement” is defined as any decision made by an EU tribunal or Court including orders, decrees and writ of execution but it does not include arbitration decisions. It is important to note that the Cyprus Courts are not permitted to re-evaluate or review the substance of the judgement taken by another EU country.

However, the Cyprus Courts are entitled to reject recognition and enforcement of an EU court judgement in the following cases:

  • Recognition of the specific judgement contradicts the public policy of the EU country in which recognition is required;
  • In cases where the judgement was given in default of appearance and it can be proved that the defendant was not able to file his/her defence due to the fact he/she was not served with the document which instituted the proceedings in sufficient time;
  • The particular judgment contradicts a previous judgement that was given by another EU or non EU country with the same parties for the same cause of action;
  • The particular judgment contradicts a previous judgment to a dispute amongst the same parties within the EU country in which recognition is required;

A court may stay the proceedings for recognition of a judgement of another EU country in case where there is a pending appeal against the relevant judgment. A judgment is enforceable in other EU country only when it is declared enforceable, on the application of the interested parties.

The regulations involving the enforcement of EU judgements are outlined below:

  • According to the EC Regulation No 44/2001, which outlines the recognition and enforcement of judgments concerning commercial and civil matters, the procedure for enforcement of a foreign judgement starts with the filing of a written application by summons and an affidavit outlining all the important facts in compliance with the Civil Procedure Rules of the competent Court’s jurisdiction.
  • According to EC Regulation No 805/2004, which applies for specific type of uncontested claims, there can be an automatic recognition and enforcement of judgement without the need to follow through the procedures indicated in EC Regulation No 44/2001.
  • According to EC Regulation 1215/2012, which applies to all civil and commercial matters, a judgment held in a EU Member State must be recognised in the other EU Member State without a further undertaking of any specific procedure. A party who wants to challenge the validity of a judgment given in Member State concerning a judgement already given in another Member State must obtain a certified copy of the judgment and the certificate that was issued following Article 53.

Non- EU Member State Court Judgements – Recognition, Registration and Enforcement in Cyprus

Court judgements issued by non-EU Member State Courts may be enforced in Cyprus according to The Decisions of Foreign Courts (Recognition, Registration & Enforcement) Act of 2000 (Law No. 121(1)/2000). As per the said law, Cyprus may only proceed with recognition and enforcement of foreign Court or tribunal judgment provided that Cyprus has signed with the relevant foreign Court or tribunal an agreement for the mutual recognition and enforcement of court or arbitration decisions.

Cyprus has already signed several treaties concerning the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments with other countries including Germany, Russia, China, Hungary, Syria, Serbia and Bulgaria and it is also party of other multilateral conventions for the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgements.

Foreign Arbitral Awards – Recognition, Registration & Enforcement

Based on the Cyprus International Commercial Arbitration Law, 1987 as well as the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, 1958, foreign arbitral awards may be enforced in Cyprus.

The process of enforcement starts with filing a written summons application as well as an affidavit and relevant documents outlining all the important facts, which have been translated in Greek, if required.