This document is an excerpt from the EUR-Lex website
Court orders freezing criminal assets or evidence — recognition abroad
WHAT DOES THIS FRAMEWORK DECISION DO?
What is a freezing order?
It is a temporary order from a judicial authority to prevent criminals hiding, selling on or using property, documents or data in criminal activity.
This decision applies to freezing orders issued for the purpose of:
A number of serious offences do not require a check for double criminality - i.e. that the offence be a crime in both the EU country issuing the order (issuing country) and the one executing it (executing country). The offence must, however, be punishable in the issuing country by a jail sentence of a maximum period of at least three years. The offences include:
Recognition and execution
The judicial authority of the issuing country sends a certificate to the judicial authority of the executing country to request execution of the order. The executing country must:
Non-recognition or non-execution
The executing state may refuse to recognise or execute the order if:
Execution of the order may be postponed where:
EU countries must ensure that any interested party affected by the freezing order, including legitimate third parties, has access to legal remedies to protect their legitimate interests, without requiring the order to be suspended.
FROM WHEN DOES THE DECISION APPLY?
It entered into force on 2 August 2003. EU countries had to incorporate it into national law by 2 August 2005.
Council Framework Decision 2003/577/JHA of 22 July 2003 on the execution in the European Union of orders freezing property or evidence (OJ L 196, 2.8.2003, pp. 45–55)
Corrigendum to Council Framework Decision 2003/577/JHA of 22 July 2003 on the execution in the European Union of orders freezing property or evidence (OJ L 196, 2.8.2003) (OJ L 374, 27.12.2006, p. 20)
Council Framework Decision 2006/783/JHA of 6 October 2006 on the application of the principle of mutual recognition to confiscation orders (OJ L 328, 24.11.2006, pp. 59-78)
Report from the Commission based on Article 14 of the Council Framework Decision 2003/577/JHA of 22 July 2003 on the execution in the European Union of orders freezing property or evidence (COM(2008) 885 final of 22.12.2008)
Directive 2014/41/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 April 2014 regarding the European Investigation Order in criminal matters (OJ L 130, 1.5.2014, pp.1-36)
last update 25.01.2016