Debt Collection in Italy


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Enforcing Contracts


If you need debt collection in Italy you can go through pre-legal and legal means alike. However, whereas contract enforcement of the OECD high income countries averages to 553 days, in Italy’s stands at 1,120 days. This means it takes about 3 years for a trial to come to a conclusion. But the quality of the judicial process index of 13 for Italy is higher than the OECD’s 11. Overall Italy’s Doing Business 2017 rank is 50 out of 190.


Pre-Legal Debt Collection in Italy


First of all, if you want to pursue your Italian debtor you must do so within the country’s statute of limitations of 5 years. Also, for pre-legal debt collection in Italy you don’t have to provide a Power of Attorney. Though not compulsory, it’s advised.


In addition, if your sales contract with the Italian debtor has no provisions for interests on the outstanding debt, you can demand interests up to 8 points above the European Central Bank base rate.


Legal Action in Italy


If you want to proceed with legal action you must provide a Power of Attorney to your Italian lawyer. Also, documents must be translated into Italian. There’s no bond requirement for starting proceedings and you can claim payment in a foreign currency. Although judges may grant reimbursement of court-related costs, they may not decide for it for other expenses.


According to ECN, the cost of enforcement of a domestic judgement is in the Euro 135 to 7,444 range. However, this can be applied to all assets even if some personal belongings and minimum wage thresholds are excluded.


If you are in one of the EU member states plus Iceland, Norway and Switzerland, your Italian lawyer can enforce a judgement issued in your country’s court.  Your lawyer will require a certified copy of it and a certified translation.


Yet, if you are outside of the EU and you took legal action in your country, enforcement in Italy may be more difficult but not impossible. Also, you must provide an original or certified copy of your court judgement. But your court will have to deliver the judgement in accordance to some Italian provisions and conditions. Finally, your Italian lawyer will perfectly be able to advise on these matters though you should find one very well versed in commercial matters.


Why Recoupera


Debt collection in Italy can be pursued only with highly specialised professionals with experience and expertise of the Italian legal system. Therefore do not rely on generalist lawyers. Recoupera connects you with world class debt collection professionals able to assist you in extra-judicial and legal matters not just in Italy, but worldwide.


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Brief Introduction to Italy’s Economy and Import Profile


Italy is a founding member of the European Union (EU), a member of World Trade Organisation (WTO) and of OECD. Its population is of approximately 61m people. According to The World Factbook, with its US $1.8tn economy it is the world’s 8th largest economy by GDP and the 9th largest exporter. In 2016 (est.) its merchandise exports amounted to US $435bn and imports to US $372bn.


As a new exporter to Italy you will not experience any significant problems with time, cost and documentary compliance. Italy is a top performing country for overall import/export processes. It scores 100% in the 2017 Distance to Frontier (DTF) “Trading across Borders” rank by The World Bank Doing Business (DB) measurement.


How To Export To Italy – Some Tips


Import documentation requirements are as follow:


  • CMR waybill
  • Commercial Invoice
  • Packing List
  • Intrastat


If your company is located outside of the EU and you want to export to Italy as in any other member state, you must request an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number. This enables you to request an Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status attesting your compliance to custom and tax rules that speeds up future export procedures to the EU.


EORI Number validation


Before you can export to Italy, ensure your product also meets the minimum EU safety specifications. You can check and test your product compliance yourself because there is no need to have it tested by a third-party. It is your responsibility to sign the EU declaration of conformity stating that your product satisfies the CE marking requirements. Done that, you can affix the CE marking on your product in a visible, legible and indelible position.


This is very important because your importer in Italy, as anywhere in the EU, will also be responsible to verify that you met the CE Marking requirements. In fact, they may request from you supporting documentation as proof. Some products that require the CE marking are:


  • Toy
  • Electrical Equipment
  • Machinery
  • Medical Devices
  • Lifts
  • Personal Protective Equipment


Finally, for agricultural products such as fruit, vegetables and plants, you need phytosanitary certificates. Moreover, you need sanitary certificates issued by your country competent authority for products of animal-derived composition and fishery products.



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This article contains general legal information and material for informational purposes only which are not intended and should not be taken as legal advice. Recoupera is not a collection agency and it is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. All informational material provided may not reflect changes in the law. For legal advice, contact a lawyer.