Maintenance Act 1994

FIRST SCHEDULE

Text of Rome Convention

CONVENTION BETWEEN THE MEMBER STATES OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES ON THE SIMPLIFICATION OF PROCEDURES FOR THE RECOVERY OF MAINTENANCE PAYMENTS

Preamble

The Member States of the European Communities, hereinafter referred to as “ The Member States”,

Mindful of the close links existing between their peoples,

Having regard to the developments tending to the elimination of obstacles to the free movement of persons between Member States,

Convinced of the need to simplify among the Member States the procedures for securing the reciprocal recognition and enforcement of judgments relating to maintenance,

Desiring for this purpose to complement with administrative arrangements the provisions of the Brussels Convention of 27 September 1968 on jurisdiction and the enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters, as amended by the Accession Conventions under the successive enlargements of the European Communities,

Have agreed as follows:

Article 1

Scope and Application

1. This Convention may be applied to any judgment relating to maintenance which comes within the scope of the Convention on jurisdiction and the enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters signed at Brussels on 27 September 1968 and as subsequently amended (hereinafter referred to as “ the Brussels Convention”).

2. The judgment may be a judgment given before or after this Convention enters into force provided it is a judgment that is enforceable in the State addressed under the Brussels Convention or a convention concluded between the State of origin and the State addressed.

3. If the judgment does not relate solely to maintenance the Convention shall only apply to those parts of the judgment which relate to maintenance.

4. For the purpose of this Convention “ judgment” shall include an authentic instrument or court settlement within the meaning of Articles 50 and 51 of the Brussels Convention.

5. Any body which, under the law of a Contracting State, is entitled to exercise the rights of redress of the creditor or to represent him shall benefit from the provisions of this Convention.

Article 2

Central Authorities

1. Each Contracting State shall designate a Central Authority to carry out or arrange to have carried out the functions provided for by this Convention.

2. Federal States and States with more than one legal system shall be free to appoint more than one Central Authority. Where a State has appointed more than one Central Authority it shall designate the Central Authority to which applications under this Convention may be addressed for transmission to the appropriate Central Authority within that State.

3. Central Authorities shall not charge any fees in respect of services rendered by them under this Convention.

Article 3

1. The Central Authorities shall cooperate with each other and promote cooperation between the competent authorities in their respective states in order to facilitate the recovery of maintenance payments due.

2. On receipt of the application mentioned in Article 5 the Central Authority in the State addressed shall take or cause to be taken without delay all appropriate and useful measures to:

(i) seek out and locate the debtor or his assets;

(ii) obtain, where appropriate, relevant information from Government Departments or agencies in relation to the debtor;

(iii) have the judgment registered or declared enforceable, where appropriate;

(iv) facilitate the transfer of maintenance payments to the creditor or body referred to in Article 1 (5); and

(v) ensure, where the payments due to the maintenance creditor are not made, the use of all appropriate means of enforcement provided for in the State addressed which are applicable and which might permit recovery of these sums.

3. The Central Authority in the State addressed shall keep the Central Authority in the State of origin informed of the measures taken under paragraph 2 and their results.

Article 4

Each Contracting State shall take the necessary administrative and legal measures, including the provision of effective enforcement measures, to enable the Central Authority to fulfil its obligations under this Convention.

Article 5

Applications

1. Where a maintenance creditor or body referred to in Article 1 (5) obtains in a Contracting State a judgment relating to maintenance and wishes to have that judgment recognised or enforced in another Contracting State, the maintenance creditor or body may submit a request for this purpose to the Central Authority in the State of origin.

2. Before transmitting an application to the State addressed, the Central Authority in the State of origin shall ensure that the application and the accompanying documents are in accordance with paragraph 3 of this Article and with Article 6.

3. The application shall contain:

(i) a request that it be processed in accordance with the provisions of this Convention;

(ii) a letter delegating to the Central Authority addressed authority to act, or cause action to be taken, on behalf of the maintenance creditor including specific authority to enable enforcement proceedings to be taken;

(iii) the name, date of birth, nationality and description of the debtor and all other relevant information regarding his identity or whereabouts or the location of his assets;

(iv) the documentation required under Section 3 of Title III of the Brussels Convention.

Article 6

Language

The documentation referred to in Article 5 and any correspondence between the Central Authorities relating to the application shall, unless otherwise agreed between the Central Authorities concerned, be in, or shall be accompanied by a translation into, the official language or one of the official languages of the State addressed or any other language that the State addressed has declared it will accept.

Article 7

Relationship with other Conventions

The provisions of this Convention are in addition to the provisions of the Brussels Convention and are without prejudice to other existing international instruments.

Article 8

Standing Committee

1. A Standing Committee shall be set up for the purposes of exchanging views on the functioning of the Convention and resolving any difficulties which arise in practice. The Committee may issue recommendations on the implementation of the Convention or recommend changes in the Convention.

2. The Committee shall be composed of representatives appointed by each Member State. The Commission of the European Communities may attend meetings as observers.

3. The Presidency of European Political Cooperation shall convene meetings of the Committee at least once every two years and otherwise at its discretion. In this regard it shall pay due regard to any requests made by other Member States.

Article 9

Final Provisions

1. This Convention shall be open for signature by the Member States. It shall be subject to ratification, acceptance or approval. The instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval shall be deposited with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Italian Republic.

2. This Convention shall enter into force 90 days after the date of deposit of the instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval by all the States which are members of the European Communities on the date on which it is opened for signature.

3. Each Member State may, when depositing its instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval, or at any later date, declare that the Convention shall apply to it in its relations with other states which have made the same declaration 90 days after the date of deposit.

4. A Member State which has not made such a declaration may apply the Convention with other contracting Member States on the basis of bilateral agreements.

5. (i) Each Member State shall at the time of the deposit of its instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval inform the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Italian Republic of the following—

( a) the designation of a Central Authority pursuant to Article 2 and

( b) any declarations pursuant to Article 6.

(ii) Any such designation or declaration may at a later date be changed, and any new declaration may be made, by notification addressed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Italian Republic.

6. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Italian Republic shall notify all the Member States of any signature, deposit of instruments, declaration or designation.

Article 10

1. This Convention shall be open to accession by any State which becomes a member of the European Communities. The instruments of accession shall be deposited with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Italian Republic.

2. This Convention shall enter into force in respect of any State which accedes to it 90 days after the date of deposit of that State’s instrument of accession.

Done at Rome on the sixth day of November in the year one thousand nine hundred and ninety, in the Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, Irish, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish languages, each text being equally authentic, in a single original which shall be deposited in the archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Italian Republic.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Italian Republic shall transmit certified copies of the Convention to the Government of each Member State.