What is it?
The European Account Preservation Order (EAPO) lets a court in one EU country freeze funds in the bank account of a debtor in another EU country. The procedure may be used in cross-border cases only, whereby the court carrying out the procedure or the country of domicile of the creditor must be in a different Member State than the one in which the debtor's account is maintained.
It makes EU debt recovery easier.
The procedure for getting an EAPO is set out in Regulation (EU) No 655/2014.
It’s an alternative to existing legal procedures in each EU country.
It applies from 18 January 2017.
The procedure is quick and happens without informing the debtor (ex parte).
This ‘surprise effect’ stops debtors moving, hiding or spending the money.
Does it apply in all EU countries?
No. The Regulation does not apply in Denmark and the UK.
This means that:
- creditors based in Denmark or the UK can’t apply for an EAPO
- you can’t get an EAPO on a Danish or UK bank account.
How to apply
You’ll find all the application forms and more information here.
You can fill in all the forms online.
Remember: You do not have to give precise details about the account to be frozen (e.g. account number) if you don't have them – only the name of the bank where the account is held. If you don’t know the name of the bank where the debtor’s account is held, under the Regulation you can ask the court to find out.
The content of all the EAPO-related forms is laid down in Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/1823.
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