The Republic of Austria became a signatory to the Convention of 15 November 1965 on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters, also called the Hague Service Convention, on November 22, 2019, and its provisions entered into force on September 1, 2020.

US attorneys seeking service in Austria would be wise to familiarize themselves with the mandatory character of the Convention as set forth in Volkswagenwerk A.G. v. Schlunk, 486 U.S. 694 (1988).

Canadian attorneys should consult provincial precedent — Canadian courts take a more nuanced view of the Convention, but effectively reach the same conclusion: its limitations must be observed. Regardless of forum court requirements, the service rules of the receiving country must be observed, or enforcement of a judgment may become impossible.

Translation Requirement

Austria has a strict translation requirement.  In most countries, litigants may submit a certified translation of the document to be served done by a qualified translator.

In Austria, the translation must be done by an Austrian court-certified translator.  This can drive the time and cost of translation up to nearly double that of a “normal” German translation.

However, under its reservations and declaration to the Hague Convention, Austria has indicted that it may no longer require that all translations be preformed by Austria’s court-certified translators.

Until Austria sets up its Central Authority, the exact method of translation allowed in Austria remains uncertain. Generally, though, countries retain their old customs when they sign to the Hague Convention.

Service Through Alternate Channels

Austria objects to all forms of alternative service under Article 10. As such, service by mail or by agent from the US is not permitted.

Austria also will not recognize Article 15 default judgments unless more than a year has passed without the issuance of a Hague Certificate.

Latest News on Serving Process in Austria

Austria published its reservations and declaration to the Convention in July. Here are those reservations along with our comments.

Read more

LLS Can Help

LLS can assist you with service and can help you understand and meet the translation requirements for service of process in Austria. Please call 1-800-755-5775 for more information.