The Polish Act on Temporary Employees dated July 9, 2003 (Journal of Laws of 2003, No. 166, item 1608, as amended) has been in force since 2004. The Act contains many flaws, however, resulting in the unequal treatment of temporary employees compared to employees hired directly under employment agreements.
The OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Project
A few years ago OECD and G20 Leaders noticed that the international tax landscape had changed dramatically. The financial crisis and aggressive tax planning by multinational enterprises had resulted in significant losses to state budgets, and perceived tax evasion had become part of the political agenda. Consequently, joint actions were taken to increase transparency and the cross-border exchange of information in tax matters and to address the weaknesses of an international tax system that had created opportunities for questionable tax tactics.
On May 17, 2017, a governmental draft of the act on actions for damages caused by in-fringements of Competition law (the “Private Enforcement Act”) was approved by the upper house of the Polish parliament. It is now awaiting the presidential signature. Alt-hough this legislative proposal was forced by EU Directive 2014/104/EU (the “Private En-forcement Directive”) and it mostly transposes its provisions into Polish law, it also intro-duces revolutionary changes to the law of delicts and the corresponding civil procedure.
The new Payment Services Directive (PSD2), scheduled to enter into force on January 13, 2018, will change the established business models in the payment market. This is due to new types of payment services and new rules which oblige banks to assist third party providers (TPP) in accessing their accounts and initiating payment transactions. Much depends on how PSD2 will be transposed into national legislation, a process which should be completed by January 13, 2018.
The Polish tax authorities have once again changed their view on the VAT classification of specific activities. This time, the shift in opinion concerns real estate deals. Until quite recently, tax authorities agreed that in general the sale of a commercial building constituted a supply of goods and thus was subject to VAT.
With ever-increasing spending on research and development and innovation, patents and patent applications are becoming an increasingly important part of business throughout the world, including Poland. Patentable inventions as well as confidential technological know-how now constitute key assets of numerous businesses operating across all sectors of the Polish market.
It would not be unreasonable to suggest that most developments in commercial markets occur as a result of competition between participants and manufacturers of similar products. From an end-user’s perspective, it is always easier to recognize products and/or make comparisons between products on the basis of specific brands/trademarks.
The 2017 CEE Legal Matters General Summit took place at the Intercontinental Hotel in Warsaw on June 1-2, 2017, once again bringing together well over a hundred General Counsel and Heads of Legal from across Central and Eastern Europe for two full days (and one entertaining evening) of seminars, panel discussions, best practices review, and networking. This year’s event — the third annual, following the 2015 GC Summit in Budapest and the 2016 GC Summit in Istanbul — was the biggest and most successful yet.
On May 31 and June 1, 2017, CEE Legal Matters was proud to host a rare event: A gathering of those senior lawyers from each Central and Eastern European country identified by peers as being most influential, most important, most uniquely responsible for having created the country’s modern commercial legal market.
2016 has been a challenging year for dispute resolution in Poland, due primarily to the numerous changes in regulatory framework that have come or will come into effect. In particular, since the country’s 2015 parliamentary elections, the government has been working on regulations related to group action proceedings, procedures for collecting claims, and various criminal law issues.
In November 2016, CEE Legal Matters reported that Kochanski Zieba & Partners had advised Echo Polska Properties N.V. on its EUR 265 million acquisition of seven office buildings in Krakow, Gdansk, Katowice, and Lodz from Echo Investment S.A. The sellers were advised by Weil Gotshal & Manges.
Tax dodging may cost Poland over EUR 11 billion a year. It is estimated that corporate tax evasion accounts for around EUR 2 billion annually. VAT frauds alone may cause the State budget losses of EUR 9 billion every year. These numbers have encouraged the Polish government to increase efforts aimed at closing existing loopholes.
The number of patent infringement cases in Poland is steadily growing. However, even the best drafted patents and clear infringement background may prove insufficient for effective enforcement in cases where a matter has not been properly prepared. The summary below focuses on key legal remedies available for patent holders to effectively counteract infringing activity in Poland and indicates the key aspects that need to be addressed.