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Can I Claim Late Payment Interest From An International Debtor?


A UK creditor can usually claim Late Payment Interest and Compensation from a debtor outside the UK, provided one of the following applies:

  • The law of the contract is English either under normal rules or because the contract says so.

  • One of the parties is in the UK or the contract is to be performed in the UK, and there is a clause in the contract giving the English courts jurisdiction

If the law of the contract is under a country within the European Union then it may be possible to claim under that country's own implementation of the European Late Payment Directive 2000/35/EC.

What Can I Claim In Different Countries?

Broadly speaking, the EU Directive sets out the following minimum criteria on what you can claim:

    • Interest at 8% above the appropriate reference rate (usually either the official interest rate for that country or the ECB interest rate for countries inside the Eurozone)

    • Compensation of at least €40 (individual member states are allowed to specify higher levels of compensation)

    • Any reasonable costs of recovery above the statutory compensation (such as solicitors fees, legal costs, etc)

If you want to find out more the European Commission has a website dedicated to the Late Payment Directive.

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