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Pocket Guide: How to Enforce Judgments in China-CTD 101 Series

Mon, 26 Jun 2023
Contributors: Meng Yu 余萌
Editor: C. J. Observer

The judgment creditor shall apply with a Chinese court for judgment enforcement and assist the court in matters such as property investigation, property control and delivery, all of which can be entrusted to Chinese lawyers.

This post was first published in CJO GLOBAL, which is committed to providing consulting services in China-related cross-border trade risk management and debt collection. We will explain how debt collection works in China below.


1. Obtaining an effective judgment or arbitral award

Only judgments or arbitral awards that are effective may be sought for enforcement.

For a first-instance Chinese judgment, if the parties have not appealed within the time limit for appeal, the said judgment will then take effect. For a second-instance Chinese judgment, it will take effect on the date of service to the parties.

For a foreign judgment or arbitral award, you need to apply with a Chinese court for recognition and enforcement first. Only after the Chinese court makes a ruling for recognition and enforcement and determines the matters to be enforced, can you apply for enforcement of these matters.

2. Application and case filing

If the debtor fails to comply with the judgment according to law, the creditor may apply with a court for enforcement of the judgment.

The creditor shall file an application for enforcement with the first-instance court or the court at the same level where the property subject to execution is located. The court will file the case upon examination of the same.

3. Investigation

The creditor shall, during the enforcement, provide the property clues, identity information, etc. necessary for enforcement. If the creditor is unable to provide such information, it can apply with the court for investigation at first. Where necessary, the court may also, take the initiative to investigate as well.

During the investigation, the court can track down the debtor’s deposits, securities and some real estate through the online information platform. In addition, the court may also issue a property information reporting order to require the debtor to report his/her assets.

4. Assets control

The purpose of assets control is to prohibit the debtor from disposing of or using his/her assets.

This is not only a punishment to procure the debtor to fulfill his/her obligations by his/her property, but also a guarantee for the future debt repayment with the property under control.

Specifically, the court may sequester the real estate and stock equity, or withhold the movable property, or freeze the deposits or securities.

5. Sanctions against the judgement debtor

The court may issue a consumption restriction order against the debtor to prohibit him/her from high-level consumption, or place them into the List of Dishonest Judgement Debtors, thus imposing a credit punishment on such dishonest judgement debtors.

The court may also restrict the debtor from leaving China to prevent him/her from evading his/her debts.

Besides, the court may, where necessary, impose a fine or detain the debtor (for no more than 15 days).

6. Complete delivery

If the debtor fails to take the initiative to fulfill his/her obligations in the enforcement procedure, then the court may sell off his/her property to repay the creditor.

If the debt itself is the delivery of specific property (such as goods and real estate) by the debtor to the creditor, then the court may also deliver the said property to the creditor and carry out the required property transfer registration.



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Photo by Loeng Lig on Unsplash

Contributors: Meng Yu 余萌

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