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Mutual recognition of financial penalties, such as certain speeding fines

Mutual recognition of financial penalties, such as certain speeding fines

Facilitating the enforcement of financial penalties in cross-border cases, wherever in the EU they may have been imposed, helps to ensure equal treatment of EU citizens.


Council Framework Decision 2005/214/JHA of 24 February 2005 on the application of the principle of mutual recognition to financial penalties.



The framework decision introduces specific measures, under the principle of mutual recognition, allowing a judicial or administrative authority to transmit a financial penalty directly to an authority in another EU country and to have that fine recognised and executed without any further formality.


The framework decision applies to all offences in relation to which financial penalties can be imposed and dual criminality (i.e. when an offence exists under the law of both issuing and enforcing country) checks are abolished in relation to 39 listed offences, such as:

  • participation in a criminal organisation;
  • terrorism;
  • trafficking in human beings, in arms and in stolen vehicles;
  • swindling (obtaining money or possessions fraudulently);
  • rape;
  • road traffic offences.

The penalties must be imposed by the judicial or administrative authority of an EU country and result from a final decision, i.e. there is no longer any possibility to appeal the decision.

When transmitting the decision imposing the financial penalty, the EU country imposing the penalty must transmit a certificate in the language of the EU country executing the decision.

The decision is transmitted to the competent authorities of the EU country where the natural or legal person (a company) has property or income, is normally resident or, in the case of a legal person, has its registered seat.

The EU country to which the decision is transmitted may refuse to execute it if the certificate is not produced, is incomplete or clearly does not correspond to the decision. They may also refuse to execute in a limited number of cases, including if:

  • the decision has been delivered in respect of the same acts in the executing state or in any state other than the issuing or executing state and, in the latter case, has been executed;
  • the decision relates to an act that is neither listed as an offence in the framework decision nor constitutes an offence under the national law of the executing state;
  • the execution of the decision is statute barred (i.e. the time limit for its execution has passed) according to the law of the executing state and relates to acts that fall within the jurisdiction of that state under its own law;
  • the decision has been imposed on a person who could not have been held criminally liable under the law of the executing state due to his/her age;
  • the decision provides that the financial penalty will be below €70 or the equivalent.

The execution of the decision is governed by the law of the executing state. The executing state can also:

  • decide to reduce the amount of the financial penalty in accordance with the amount provided for by national law, on condition that the acts had not been committed in the territory of the issuing state;
  • impose imprisonment or other penalties provided for by national law in the event of non-recovery of the financial penalty.

Amnesty, pardon and review of sentence can be granted by both the issuing state and the executing state.

For more information, see:



Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Framework Decision 2005/214/JHA



OJ L 76, 22.3.2005, pp. 16-30

Amending act(s)

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Framework Decision 2009/299/JHA



OJ L 81, 27.3.2009, pp. 24-36

last update 19.06.2015