Introduction of a double date in the procedure for service abroad

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Introduction of a double date in the procedure for service abroad

Necessary measures concerning the date of service abroad of judicial or extrajudicial deeds have recently been introduced (Decree No. 2019-402 of 3 May 2019)

Prior to the publication of this decree, only one service date was needed for the plaintiff. 

The date applicable for the plaintiff for service abroad is "for the person who carries it out, the date of dispatch of the deed by the bailiff or the clerk's office or, failing that, the date of receipt by the competent public prosecutor's office" (Article 647-1 of the French Code of Civil Procedure). 

There was no legal answer concerning the defendant, which was problematic for the service of deeds abroad. What date should be applied in this situation, which has an impact on the limitation period and the calculation of time limits?
The decree of 3 May 2019 specifies the date to be applied for the defendant and thus clarifies the procedure for service abroad. 
The new Article 687-2 now distinguishes between two situations depending on whether the defendant was affected by the service or not:
-    if the deed or judgement was delivered or validly served to the defendant abroad, the date of such service shall be the date of receipt;
-    if the document could not be delivered or served to the defendant, the date of service shall be the date on which the foreign authority attempted to deliver or serve the deed. If this date is not known, the date on which the foreign authority informed the requesting French authority that it was impossible to serve the document should be used.

This new measure regarding the service of deeds abroad is of crucial importance, particularly with regard to the limitation period, since it represents the starting point. 
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