How to recover debt from a foreign contractor?

With the increase in exports, the number of overdue payments increases. Unfortunately, the enforcement of foreign debts raises even more ambiguities and formal and legal problems than the recovery of domestic debts. After Poland’s accession to the European Union, the number of contracts with foreign companies increased several times.

Hence the need to adapt Polish law to European standards


Directive 2011/7 / EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 on combating late payment in commercial transactions is of particular importance here. It was implemented into the Polish legal order by means of the Act of 8 March 2013 on payment deadlines in commercial transactions (Journal of Laws of 2013 No. 0, item 403).

It should be remembered that the decision to cooperate with a foreign contractor involves risk. In Western European countries, it is common practice to request a deferred payment deadline of up to 120 days in some cases. In addition, the local entrepreneurs are not willing to pay on time, and the problem of bankruptcy is not foreign to them.

Meanwhile, Polish entrepreneurs are completely unprepared for conducting business activities with foreign companies, e.g. they do not have information about their financial condition.

Foreign entrepreneurs often consciously avoid payments

Foreign entrepreneurs often consciously avoid payments

The result is a referral to court, but here you need to know local laws. The first obstacle in recovering debt from a foreign contractor turns out to be ignorance of the language and cultural customs in force in the debtor’s country. Economic aspects and payment habits prevailing among entrepreneurs are also significant. In this situation, creditors often wonder if it is worth the effort and additional costs to recover.

Recovery of debts from foreign contractors is a complicated and long-lasting activity. Companies specialized in international debt collection cooperate with foreign law firms, thus ensuring the highest efficiency in debt collection and, if necessary, the possibility of conducting court debt collection. To regain your debts, you need to be aware of the importance of time. The later debt collection activities start, the more difficult it will be to collect the debt.

The quick start of actions aimed at recovering receivables


From foreign contractors increases the chance of successful and quick conclusion of the case. Foreign debt collection usually lasts 90-160 days, regardless of the country in which the debtor is established.

As in the case of domestic debt collection, it is particularly important to collect relevant documentation. Therefore, all contracts, invoices, receipts, delivery arrangements and quality must be monitored. This will limit the possibility of recognizing the debt as a dispute due, e.g. due to non-compliant packaging or delivery date.