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Parliamentary questions
17 December 2007
WRITTEN QUESTION by Alyn Smith (Verts/ALE) to the Commission

 Subject: Collecting payments for international business

A number of concerns have been raised with me about the difficulties involved in trying to obtain international payments from recalcitrant clients, despite the fact that traders are being encouraged to seek international business. I have been informed that this entails obtaining an order from the Small Payments Court, and then having the order enforced in the courts of the client's country: the latter stage is that which incurs the costs, in terms of finance and time. This compromises the value of the return. I understand that the outstanding amount would need to be GBP 15000 or more before chasing payment in this way becomes worthwhile. Another option is to factor the debt. Where UK traders do engage in a substantial amount of international business and are subsequently unable to collect their monies from either EU clients or non-EU clients, this is likely to impact on the UK economy.

Can the Commission state what action it has taken or plans to take in developing more streamlined methods for helping companies collect payments from EU clients and non-EU clients? Is there any European legislation which could be used by companies to help them obtain such payments?

 OJ C 191, 29/07/2008
Last updated: 7 January 2008Legal notice