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Information for companies and individuals on how to pay fines

Has the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) imposed an administrative fine on you or your company? If so, please note it is important that you pay your fine on time. If you fail to do so, you may face additional charges. The procedure for payment and how to prevent additional charges is explained below.

Within what period should you pay your fine?

You have to pay your fine within 6 weeks. Have you objected to the fine or filed a direct appeal with the court? If so, payment must be completed within 24 weeks after the fining decision was sent. If ACM hands down a decision on your appeal before the 24-week period has passed, payment of the fine must be completed on the day that the decision is sent to you.

What happens if you have not paid your fine?

In that situation, you are considered to be in default. As a consequence, you will also have to pay statutory interest. The statutory interest rate can be found on the website of the Dutch central government  (in Dutch). The interest must be paid on top of the fine. This means you will incur additional charges. These charges can be avoided by paying the fine on time.

If you do not pay your fine on time, ACM will proceed with collection of the fine. In that case, ACM will send you a demand for payment. ACM will subsequently give you another opportunity to pay the fine within 10 working days. You will have to pay the statutory interest that has accrued over the days you have not paid. If you still neglect to pay your fine after the additional period, ACM will issue an injunction against you. For example, ACM could seize your bank account or immovable property (real estate). In that case, you will also have to pay collection and enforcement costs in addition to the outstanding fine and statutory interest.

Payment plans

You may not be able to pay the total fine in one go. For example, you may not have adequate funds, or are unable to allocate funds in other ways. In these cases, you are able to request a payment plan from ACM. ACM uses the following principles in cases where payment plans are necessary.

ACM does not grant deferment of payment until all proceedings against any penalty decisions have been completed. Commencement of a payment plan follows after payment of that part of the fine that can be paid at once. ACM maintains a minimum amount of 10% of the fine in these cases. The remaining fine and statutory interest are subsequently to be paid in installments. ACM has a maximum duration for payment plans, which is two years.

You can file a request for a payment plan by filling out the relevant form, and by substantiating your request with the necessary financial documents. Please send the completed form to the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets, Legal Department, PO box 16326, 2500 BH, The Hague, the Netherlands. After ACM has reviewed your request, you will receive a decision from ACM stating the period within which payment must take place. Please be aware that you will have to pay any statutory interest during this payment period.

Are you able to pay the fine within a period of one year? Please fill out the form titled "Request for short-term payment arrangement" (in Dutch: Aanvraag kortlopende betalingsregeling). ACM will agree to any reasonable proposal where a fine will be paid in full within a period of one year. If you are unable to pay the fine within one year, you can request a slightly longer payment arrangement. Please fill out the form titled 'Request long-term payment arrangement ' (in Dutch: aanvraag langlopende betalingsregeling).

Please fill out the form in its entirety, and provide the requested information. ACM needs your information in order to assess your request properly, and to determine your payment capability.

Do you disagree with the payment plan?

You are able to object to the decision that ACM has taken in response to your request for a payment plan. Please submit your objection to the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets, Legal Department, PO box16326, 2500 BH, The Hague, the Netherlands. If you disagree with the fine itself, you will need to file a separate objection.

Your objection will not suspend your current payment obligations. For example, if your payment plan with ACM states that you must pay 40% of the fine on 1 May, you are still required to do so, and ACM will be able to proceed with collection. At that point, the only way to prevent this is by requesting a provisional injunction from the Administrative Court. The Administrative Court will then decide whether you must comply with your payment obligation.

Do you have any further questions?

If you have any questions concerning payment plans, please contact ACM's Finance and Assessment department, phone: +31-70-722-2000.

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