Enforcing a foreign judgment
In a civil case, the court may make an order or judgment in favour of a party (the judgment creditor). The party against whom the order or judgment is made is the judgment debtor.
If you are the judgment creditor obtaining a judgment for the payment of a sum of money in a court of law outside of Singapore (foreign jurisdiction) specified in the Reciprocal Enforcement of Commonwealth Judgments Act (RECJA) or the Reciprocal Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act (REFJA), you will have to register the foreign judgment in the High Court before you can enforce it.
If your judgment is from a country not listed in the RECJA or REFJA, or if your judgment is not for the payment of a sum of money, you will have to start a civil claim
in the Singapore court to recognize and enforce the judgment.
How to register
You can register the foreign judgment by filing an originating application without notice (OA) prepared in accordance with the Supreme Court Practice Directions 2021.
Your summons must be supported by an affidavit. The affidavit should contain the following information:
- A copy of the duly authenticated judgment.
- (If the judgment is not in English) A translation certified by a notary public or authenticated by affidavit is required if the judgment is not in English.
- Your name, trade or business and last known residential or registered address.
- The judgment debtor's name, trade or business and last known residential or registered address.
- A statement that, to your best information and belief, you are entitled to enforce the judgment.
- A statement that, to your best information and belief, the judgment debtor has not complied with the judgment.
- If the judgment debtor did not pay you a sum of money according to the judgment, you should state the amount that remains unpaid.
- (If you are registering under RECJA) A statement that, to your best information and belief, the judgment does not fall within any of the cases under Section 3(2) of the RECJA.
- (If you registering under REFJA) A statement that, to your best information and belief, the judgment can be enforced in the country of the original court and its registration in the High Court cannot be set aside under Section 5 of the REFJA.
- (If you are registering under REFJA)The amount of the interest due under the law of the country of the original court, if any.
Find out how to prepare an affidavit.
You may choose to file the documents personally or through a lawyer. If you are represented by a lawyer, the documents will be filed by your lawyer.
If you are representing yourself, you must file the documents through eLitigation at the LawNet and CrimsonLogic Service Bureau.
You must follow the Rules of Court 2021 and the Supreme Court Practice Directions 2021 to prepare your documents before heading down personally to do the filing.
Refer to the Fourth Schedule of the Rules of Court 2021 to find out the fees for filing an OA and affidavit.
You will be notified of the outcome of your registration via a Registrar's Direction.
If your application is successful, you will have to extract the Order of Registration at the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau. You are then required to serve the following on the judgment debtor:
- An Order of Registration.
- A Notice of Registration.
The Notice of Registration must state:
- The full particulars of the judgment registered.
- Your name and residential or registered address (or of your lawyer, if any).
- The right of the judgment debtor to apply to have the registration set aside.
- The period within which the judgment debtor can apply to set aside the registration.
You may only enforce a registered foreign judgment after the expiry of the period allowed for the judgment debtor to set aside the registration.
If the judgment debtor chooses to apply to set aside the registration of the foreign judgment, you will only be able to enforce the foreign judgment after the final determination of the matter.