The fees schedule, including provisions for micro and small enterprises, was agreed by the Preparatory Committee on 25 February 2016. Prior to this agreement, a public consultation on court fees and recoverable costs was held over summer 2015. Ceilings for recoverable costs have also been agreed.
The court fees will be made up of a fixed fee, combined with a value-based fee when the value of a case is above the set ceiling of 500,000 €. The value-based fees rise according to the value of a case.
There are also fixed fees covering a set list of procedures and actions. (For a full list, see Rules on Court fees and recoverable costs.)
Value-based fees are based on the estimated value of the case put forward by the claimant in the Statement of Claim.
Guidelines on determining case value are available at Guidelines for the determination of Court fees and the ceiling of recoverable costs of the successful party.
The fees framework has been set up to balance the need for the court to be self-sustaining and also to allow for fair access to justice. Small and Micro-entities will benefit from a 40% reduction in court fees. Further reimbursements will be available for using a single judge or early withdrawal or settlement of a case. Legal aid will also be available for natural persons most in need.
The UPC also has a dedicated mediation and arbitration centre – showing emphasis on alternative dispute resolution.
Fees will be reviewed by the Administrative Committee on a regular basis when the UPC is running.