Contents

Preclusive period of 5 years for the enforcement of foreign judgements in Spain

The new Law on international judicial cooperation on civil matters sets the preclusive period for the enforcement of foreign judgements in Spain at five years 

The preclusive period for the enforcement of foreign judgements in Spain shall be five years, pursuant to article 50.2 of the Law 29/2015, of July 30th, on international judicial cooperation on civil matters, which determines the same preclusive period that is set out in the Code of Civil Procedure (Ley de Enjuiciamiento Civil) for Spanish judgements to foreign titles. This rule is applicable regardless whether or not the enforceable title was legally binding before the new Law came into force, which took place on 20 August 2015. 

This regulation reflects the view of the Spanish Supreme Court and its judgement of October 16th 2014, in which the period for the request for a declaration of enforceability (exequatur) in accordance with the European Regulation 44/2001 was set at five years, regardless of whether the preclusive period for the enforcement of the judgement was different in the country in which the court decision was issued. 

The rule implies, for example, that the enforcement of a German judgement can be applied for in Germany within 30 years from its legal effect but only within the first five years in Spain. Therefore, the Spanish Law raises serious doubts about its compatibility with the European law because it unreasonably limits the free movement of judgements between the EU Member States. Nevertheless, the European Court of Justice has not yet given its opinion on which law shall apply to the preclusive period of enforceable titles. 

For further information concerning the enforcement of foreign judgements and any other titles in Spain, our staff of experts on litigation is at your disposal.