Law 4/2013 against delinquency in business transactions in Spain

The Royal Decree-Law 4/2013 modifies Law 3/2004 on measures combating late payment in commercial transactions to adapt Spanish legislation to requirements arising from EU legislation.

The Royal Decree-Law 4/2013 of February 22 contains measures to support entrepreneurs, SMEs, and autonomous companies.  Some of these measures aim to reduce delinquency in commercial operations when contractual debt payments between companies can affect survival.

The Royal Decree-Law 4/2013 modifies the Law 3/2004.  However, Spanish Law, with the 2010 Reforms, already complies with the general provisions of the new requirements of the European Union.

Modifications of the new Law

  • Unifies a 30-day payment period, failing agreement between the parties; however, the rule remains that there may be no agreement when the payment period exceeds 60 days
  • Grants a special period, not to exceed 30 days, in cases of procedure of acceptance or verification of products or services, and payment must be made within the 30 days following
  • The period starts from the date of actual receipt of the goods or rendering of services.  The start date depends on whether the invoice is received electronically
  • Maintains the requirement of accumulation of invoices to a 15-day maximum accumulation period
  • Incorporates a provisionary payment calendar and method of calculating interests
  • Increases the type of legal interest of arrears from seven to eight per cent, added to the type of interest that the Central European Bank applies
  • Compensates the creditor for recovery costs:  a creditor will receive a fixed amount of 40 Euros, to be added to the amount for expenses incurred for debt collection
  • Removes the 15% limit on this compensation
  • Makes all contracts — including those signed before the effective date of the Royal Decree-Law 4/2013 — remain subject to Law 3/2004

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Please note that this article is not intended to provide legal advice.

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