Newsletter – changes in regulations and interesting decisions – May 2023.
1. The Omnibus Directive – explanations of the President of UOKiK
The regulations of the Omnibus Directive, in force from 1 January 2023, introduced, among other things, the obligation for traders to inform about the lowest price of the product in the last 30 days before the promotion. Recently, due to numerous irregularities in informing about the lowest price of the product, the President of UOKiK issued explanations on how traders should ensure they meet this obligation. The President of UOKiK pointed out that indication of the price of the product must not mislead the consumer or distract them from the lowest price of the product in 30 days before the discount.
2. Entry into force of new regulations on family foundations
On 22 May 2023, new regulations regarding family foundations came into force. A family foundation is a legal entity established for the purpose of accumulating assets, managing it in the interests of beneficiaries and providing benefits to beneficiaries. Its objective is to protect the assets of the family business, implement the founder’s vision and provide funds for beneficiaries. Its detailed purpose is defined by the founder in the statute.
A family foundation has its own assets, but it has limited possibilities of running a business. The founder of the foundation can only be a natural person. A family foundation operates through its governing bodies – the management board that manages the foundation’s affairs.
3. New provisions of the Anti-usury Act
On 18 May, 2023, the amended provisions of the Anti-usury Act came into force. The new regulations enter into force gradually. At the end of last year, a maximum limit of additional costs, e.g. commission or margin, was introduced, which significantly eliminated the possibility of charging additional usurious costs. In addition, a maximum amount of money was set, with regard to which a debtor can subject itself to enforcement. The regulations that entered into force on 18 May 2023 introduced, among other things, the obligation to examine creditworthiness. Loan companies should make the granting of a loan dependent on a positive assessment of the borrower’s creditworthiness.
4. Cancellation of the state of epidemic threat
In May 2023, a new draft regulation of the Minister of Health appeared, according to which the state of epidemic threat will be canceled on 1 July 2023.
5. The plastic ban comes into force
On 24 May 2023, the Act of 14 April 2023 amending the Act on the obligations of economic operators in the management of certain waste and on the product fee and certain other acts prohibiting the placing on the market of certain single-use plastic products, entered into force. This ban applies to plastic cotton buds, cutlery (forks, knives, spoons, chopsticks), plates, straws, beverage stirrers, beverage containers and food containers made of polystyrene foam. Producers who break the ban on placing these products on the market may be imposed by the provincial inspector of environmental protection with an administrative fine from PLN 10,000 to even PLN 500,000. The Act also imposed a on plastic producers the obligation of selective waste collection, so they will become responsible for the plastic placed on the market. Disposable take-away packaging will be charged a fee of PLN 1. In addition, traders will have to provide their customers with an alternative of reusable or biodegradable packaging.
6. The President signed the VAT Act
On 18 May 2023, the President signed an amendment to the VAT Act. This act aims to implement EU legislation imposing new obligations on payment service providers, including the CESOP Regulation. The Act will contribute to solving the problem of VAT fraud in the e-commerce sector. Payment service providers will be required to keep records of recipients and cross-border payments and payments with regard to the payment services they provide. Thanks to the amendment to the banking law, data from these records will have to be transferred to the Head of the National Tax Administration. The regulations enter into force on 1 January 2024.
7. Regulations on energy performance certificates of buildings and apartments
From 28 April 2023, the new construction law regulations apply. The amendment to the Act on the Energy Performance of Buildings introduced regulations aimed at increasing efficiency with regard to the requirement to prepare and provide an EPC (energy performance certificate) when selling or renting an apartment or building. The new rules also introduced sanctions for failure to comply with this obligation.
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