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Will Foreign Default Judgments Be Enforced in China?|Service of Process and Foreign Judgment Enforcement Series (5)-CTD 101 Series

Fri, 21 Apr 2023
Contributors: Meng Yu 余萌
Editor: C. J. Observer

Yes, as long as the summons was properly served upon the defendant in China.

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.

Protection of the defendant prior to a default judgment is essential and based on the proper service of a writ of summons or an equivalent document.

Under the current Judicial Interpretation (2022) of the Civil Procedure Law of the People’s Republic of China, as Article 541 provides, in an application for enforcement of a foreign default judgment, the applicant shall at the same time submit the proof documents to prove that the foreign court has legally summoned the defendant, unless such expression is already clearly incorporated in the foreign judgment. If the international treaties concluded or acceded to by the People’s Republic of China stipulate the submission of documents, they shall be handled in accordance with pertinent treaties.

Last but not the least, as China is a Contracting State of the Hague Service Convention and declared the applicability of second paragraph of Article 15, ‘if all the conditions provided in that paragraph are fulfilled, the judge, notwithstanding the provisions of the first paragraph of that Article, may give judgment even if no certificate of service or delivery has been received’. In other words, a default judgment may be given, if all the following conditions are fulfilled: a) the document was transmitted by one of the methods provided for in this Convention, b) a period of time of not less than six months, considered adequate by the judge in the particular case, has elapsed since the date of the transmission of the document, and c) no certificate of any kind has been received, even though every reasonable effort has been made to obtain it through the competent authorities of the State addressed.



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Photo by Diego Jimenez on Unsplash

Contributors: Meng Yu 余萌

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