changes in law

Public companies must adopt a compensation policy

On 5 November 2019, the President of Poland signed into law an amendment to the Act on Public Offerings and Conditions for Introduction of Financial Instruments into an Organised Trading System and on Public Companies. Most of the new regulations enter into force 14 days after publication of the amending act. It is intended to adjust Polish law to reflect the entry into force of the EU’s Prospectus Regulation (2017/1129) (which generally should have been done by July).

Mandatory websites for joint-stock companies

With the New Year, an amendment to the Polish Commercial Companies Code will enter into force requiring every joint-stock company or joint-stock limited partnership to maintain its own website for communicating with shareholders. The new obligation is motivated by the process of digitalisation of joint-stock companies, but is also designed to increase protection of shareholders’ rights.

Registration of beneficial owners

Under the Polish Anti Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act of 1 March 2018, newly established companies and partnerships are required to submit information about their beneficial owners to the Central Register of Beneficial Owners from 13 October 2019, and existing entities must do the same from 13 April 2020. The register is public and accessible free of charge.

Criminal procedure: Third reform, dubious results

On 5 October 2019, the third “fundamental” reform of Polish criminal procedure in the last four years came into force. It is supposed to be faster, fairer and less bureaucratic. We heard the same claims for the changes coming into force on 1 July 2015 and then on 15 April 2016. But court cases have not speeded up. On the contrary, there are more complaints about delays and thus payments from the State Treasury to victims of dilatory proceedings.

(R)evolution in dealings between taxpayers and tax authorities

The draft Act on Resolution of Double Taxation Disputes and Conclusion of Advance Pricing Agreements would introduce a new tax institution, the Cooperation Programme, as part of its implementation of the conception of horizontal monitoring. The Cooperation Programme is intended to enter into force on 1 July 2020.

KOWR consent to acquire agricultural land: A new approach

The Act of 26 April 2019 Amending the Agricultural System Act and Certain Other Acts made changes to the trading in agricultural real estate in Poland. It also clarified the procedure and conditions for consent to acquisition of agricultural real estate by an entity not meeting the definition of an individual farmer, and not qualifying as a family member of the seller or other entity exhaustively listed in Art. 2a(3) of the Agricultural System Act.