This article will provide guidance on how to serve legal papers in Luxembourg. In accordance with the Hague Service Convention, which was enacted in Hague, Netherlands, on November 15, 1965, by member nations of the Hague Conference on Private International Law, Luxembourg process servers service civil and commercial cases. With it, plaintiffs may now serve papers on overseas parties who are located, functioning, or based reliably and efficiently. Click here for How the Hague Convention Simplifies International Process Service.

International Process Service

To serve process in civil and commercial cases, the Convention’s requirements are applicable. If the person to be served does not have a known address, the Convention does not apply.


It is common in Luxembourg to use the phrase ‘notification’ (in French, ‘notification’) to describe the many ways in which a document is delivered to its recipient. When a document is served by a bailiff at the address of its intended recipient, this is referred to as ‘service by bailiff’. Click Here for Frequently Asked Questions About Process Servers!

In most cases, papers are sent through registered mail with a form for the recipient to sign and return to the sender. Bailiff service is more reliable than mail delivery. Bailiffs are consequently required by law to serve the most relevant papers in a court case. Justice of the peace court summonses, on the other hand, are sent through registered mail only. Either the court registry or a bailiff issues the summons, depending on the process. When a document is served in this manner, the bailiff serves it by mail and not by hand. Click here for information on How Rush Process Service Can Expedite Your Case.

The beginning of the time constraints for appealing a court verdict is normally signaled by service by a bailiff. Time restrictions for appeals against judgments of courts of the first instance in regard to leases and labor law begin the moment the judgment is served by a court registry Res judicata can only take effect once the time limit for appeal has expired, and judgments must be served in order for this to happen. A bailiff’s service is usually required before a matter may be taken to court. A bailiff must be rehired to serve the judgment on the losing side once it has been rendered. This is the beginning of the appeals period. If no appeal is filed by the deadline, the decision is considered final. The notice of appeal must be served by a bailiff if the losing party decides to appeal. Click here for information on How Service of Process Ensures A Solid Foundation.

Many processes are started by submitting a request to the appropriate judge of the peace court. The summons is served to the parties, together with a copy of the request made to the judge, by the court registrar. These rules apply to all types of contracts, including leases, as well as employment legislation, and court judgments for restitution. Lawyers are not authorized to serve documents directly on litigants. They must use a bailiff in order for the service to be valid. Click here for information on How Process Servers Protect Your Rights: Myths Debunked

With the Hague Service Convention, service of process in other contracting nations has been made easier. State governments must appoint a central authority to receive requests for assistance under the treaty. The serving process in another state may be made easier for a judicial officer who has jurisdiction in the state where the Luxembourg Process  Service is being served. A local court or other entity designated by the receiving state’s central authority is tasked with serving the document once it has been received by the receiving state’s central authority. The central authority provides a certificate of service to the judicial officer who requested it after service has been completed.

Either by a method prescribed by its internal law for serving documents in domestic actions on persons who are within its territory or by a method requested by the applicant, unless such a method is inconsistent with the law of the State addressed, the Central Authority of the State addressed serves the document itself or arranges for its service by an appropriate agency.

The document must be written in or translated into one of Luxembourg’s official languages if it is to be serviced by the Luxembourg Process Service Central Authority. Articles 5 (a) and 10 (b) and (c) require foreign legal papers to be made out in French or German or accompanied by a compatible translation into one of these languages when served by a Luxembourg bailiff. In order to be served, the papers must be in their whole translated into Luxembourgish.

An act written in another language may be accepted by the Central Authority in exceptional circumstances provided the receiver understands the language and freely accepts the act.

Documents may be served by the mail system or by diplomatic/consular agents, judicial officers, authorities, or other competent people under the Hague Convention. Articles 8 to 10 address these arrangements, which may or may not be accepted as a proper method of serving papers on the territory of member nations. Using the Central Agency (Article 5) as a means of serving papers is mandatory and cannot be changed. Four to twelve months is a typical time frame for the services provided by the Central Agency. If the Central Agency fails to provide a certificate of service or delivery after six months, the convention provides redress to the claimants. 

Given that a fair amount of time has passed, the Court may, if necessary, issue its decision. The court may also grant a temporary injunction or protective measure even before the six-month waiting period has expired in cases of urgency. States that have not objected to service by mail under Article 10(a) of the convention and jurisdictions that accept it under relevant law are eligible for service by mail.

In Luxembourg, the receiving agencies designated under Article 2(2) of Regulation (EC) No 1393/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 November 2007 on the service in the Member States of judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil or commercial matters are the bailiffs with territorial jurisdiction. Bailiffs are required by law to serve documents on the addressee in person or at the latter’s home address, or at the registered office of the addressee.

Foreign judicial authorities and parties to judicial proceedings cannot access the register of natural persons in order to discover the address of a natural person.

Most documents are served by registered letters with a form for acknowledgment of receipt. If the postal worker finds the addressee at the address, he asks him to sign the acknowledgment of receipt, which is then returned to the sender. If the addressee refuses to sign the acknowledgment of receipt, the postal worker records this refusal and the document is regarded as having been served.

The postal worker records the recipient’s name on the acknowledgment of receipt of the addressee cannot be located but another person takes the registered mail. The majority of the time, serving a document on someone other than the intended recipient is not as effective as serving it on the addressee.

Postal workers place notices in letterboxes when no one is at the address, but the address is accurate, and the letter must be collected from the post office within a given time period. Even if the intended recipient doesn’t show up at the post office, the paper is still considered delivered.

if the recipient cannot be served in person, a copy of the document is sent to the address of the recipient’s home address. Delivery is made to the recipient’s primary residence if the recipient doesn’t live there or has no home address. The document is delivered to the registered office or administrative facility of a legal entity.

Anyone in attendance may get a copy of the paper, as long as they accept it, specify their name, surname, first and middle initials, capacity, and address, and submit a receipt. Only the surname, first name, capacity, and address of the recipient are included in the sealed envelope. The envelope’s seal is marked with a stamp from the bailiff.

The bailiff delivers a dated notification in a sealed envelope at the addressee’s home or principal residence or at the registered office or administrative facility of the legal person stating that the copy has been delivered and identifying the recipient.

When a copy of the document is delivered, it is considered to have been served at that time. On the same day or no later than the first working day after, the bailiff shall send the copy of the document and a copy of the record of service by registered letter with a form for acknowledgment of receipt to the addressee at the addressee’s last known address. The same formality shall be carried out by ordinary post on the same day.

The copy of the record of service sent to the addressee shall inform the latter that he may obtain a copy of the document within three months from the offices of the bailiff or may authorize any person of his choice for this purpose.’

Luxembourg as a Member State has its own postal delivery rules. Non-delivered mail that could not be left in the addressee’s letterbox or could not be provided to an authorized person during the postal worker’s call is retained for the address for the duration determined by the postal corporation and noted in non-delivery notice. Upon expiration of that time period, if the sender is recognized, the goods are returned to the sender.

As stated in the non-delivery notice that was deposited in the recipient’s letterbox, postal items that could not be delivered or that could not be given to an authorized person during the postal worker’s call are held at their local post office for a period set by the postal company and indicated on their letterbox. Upon expiration of that time frame, objects are sent back to the sender, if they have one. 

The judge may ask the applicant to reserve the document. Service by the court registry is free of charge. For service by a bailiff, the latter receives a fee according to a tariff set by grand-ducal regulation. It is very important that one prepares the USM-94 form. It should be certain that it is signed by a court official or an attorney and that it is full and succinct. 

The judicial person who serves process in local proceedings and Article 5 requests, the huissier de justice, is also accessible directly in Luxembourg. The Central Authority does not have to be involved in this procedure, which may save months of time. 


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1. Certain district court procedures, particularly those within the authority of the presiding judge, are served by the court registry with summonses.

2. However, the situation changes once the trial has started and each party is represented by a lawyer. From this point onwards, procedural documents, as well as documentary evidence, can be validly exchanged using the procedure for service between lawyers, which in this case involves no specific formalities. It is customary for lawyers to instantly acknowledge receipt of a document served in this way.

3. This information can be found in the register of natural persons, to which bailiffs, therefore, have access in order to carry out their tasks.

  • Companies:
    • Name
    • Trading name
    • Registered office
    • Trade register number

With regard to companies registered in the trade and companies register, this information is publicly available and therefore freely accessible.

4. In order to carry out their tasks, bailiffs are authorized to access the following information:

  • Natural persons:
    • Surname, forenames
    • Home address
    • Date of birth

5. To discover the current address of a natural person in relation to a request sent under Council Regulation (EC) No 1206/2001 of 28 May 2001 on cooperation between the courts of the Member States in the taking of evidence in civil or commercial matters, the requested judicial authority searches the national register of natural persons. In the case of legal persons, the database of the trade and companies register (Registre de Commerce et des Sociétés – RCS) is searched.

6. Electronic service of documents is not permitted by the New Code of Civil Procedure (Nouveau Code de Procédure Civile).

7. Article 164 of the New Code of Civil Procedure states that: ‘Documents shall be served:

1° on the State, at the Prime Minister’s offices;

2° on public institutions, at their offices;

3° on municipalities, at the municipal offices;

4° on companies, non-profit associations, and public utilities, either at their registered office or on their manager.’

According to Article 161 of the New Code of Civil Procedure: ‘Service to a home address is defined as service to the address under which the addressee is registered in the population register’.

9. Article 157 of the New Code of Civil Procedure provides for this method of service where the addressee has no known home address or residence or no known registered office, by stating that: ‘Where the person on whom the document must be served does not have a known home address or residence, the bailiff shall draw up a record of service precisely detailing the steps taken to find the addressee. The record of service shall state the nature of the document and the requestor’s name.

10. Paragraph 3 of Article 157 of the New Code of Civil Procedure states that: ‘The above provisions shall apply to the service of a document involving a legal person that no longer has a known establishment at the place indicated as the registered office by the trade and companies register.’


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