Tax proceedings and trust in public authorities
Issuing a permit to demolish a building, then blocking the demolition and demanding payment of tax on the undemolished building, while ignoring a request for an individual interpretation on the matter, hardly fosters citizens’ trust in the public authorities. It is also unlawful.
Listing of entities for Polish and EU sanctions
At the EU and national levels, severe economic sanctions are in place against many entities, mainly Russian. After entry into force of the Sanctions Act (the Act on Special Solutions for Countering Support of Aggression Against Ukraine and Protecting National Security of 13 April 2022), first published on 26 April 2022, the Polish sanctions list maintained by the Minister of the Interior and Administration took on particular significance. The purpose of its creation is clear: to counter support for Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. Nevertheless, the criteria for inclusion in the list are not clear-cut, and the procedure for issuing a listing decision greatly limits the right to defend against wrongful inclusion, as Polish entities can easily be included in the list.
Sanctions for violating sanctions
Until now, the obligation to comply with the EU economic sanctions regime has arisen directly from the EU regulations, in particular Regulation 833/2014 and Regulation 765/2006 containing restrictive measures against Russian and Belarusian entities, but violation of bans has not been subject to fines. This situation should change, as a bill on special solutions to prevent the support of aggression against Ukraine and to protect national security is being taken up in the Polish parliament.
How can Russia combat sanctions?
The Russian Federation has not remained passive in the face of sanctions imposed on it for its invasion of Ukraine. In retaliation, Russia has imposed its own sanctions on Western countries and has announced the nationalisation of property of companies ceasing or suspending their activities in Russia. However, this has not exhausted its arsenal yet, and it may not be long before there are further actions by the Russian Federation in the international arena challenging the legality of the measures hitting the Russian economy.
The impact of EU economic sanctions on business contracts
24 February 2022, the day when Russian troops unlawfully invaded the territory of Ukraine, proved to be the beginning of a test of European solidarity, and of the resilience of the European economy. On a macro level, a huge question has arisen: Can the European economy function without eastern markets? At the micro level, businesses are faced with dilemmas of how to deal with counterparties from that region, particularly in the context of existing long-term contracts at an advanced stage of completion.
Parcel lockers: No building permit required, but subject to real estate tax?
The pandemic has affected the way we shop. More and more frequently, buyers order products (including Christmas gifts) online with delivery to a designated customer service location or a parcel locker, so they don’t have to wait at home in the time slots indicated by the courier. More parcel lockers are appearing in housing estates and on the street. While it is clear that constructing parcel lockers does not require a building permit, are parcel lockers subject to real estate tax?
Stay of enforcement of environmental decisions—now what?
We have reported here on the 30 March 2021 amendment to the law on environmental impact assessments from the perspective of investors and ecological organisations. In practical application, these provisions are generating more and more doubts.
Contracts for supply of agricultural products under scrutiny
The EU’s Single CMO Regulation provides for heavy penalties for use of a form contract with even minor deviations from the formal requirements under that regulation. As a result, the National Support Centre for Agriculture may impose administrative fines of millions of zlotys on businesses.
In the course of administrative proceedings, the authority should instruct the party on what is missing for a positive decision
This obligation arises from Art. 79a of the Administrative Procedure Code, which has been in force for several years but does not seem to be applied very often. Instructions to the parties are obligatory regardless of the type of case—from welfare benefits to building permits.
New powers of environmental organisations: Will they benefit the environment?
On 20 April 2021, the President of Poland signed into law an act amending a number of laws on public participation in proceedings concerning projects likely to have a significant impact on the environment.
It will be more difficult to implement projects requiring an environmental decision
The amendment to the act on environmental impact assessments signed into law by the President of Poland increases the powers of environmental organisations and makes obtaining permits for development projects more time-consuming. It will be possible to stay the execution of a decision on environmental conditions, suspending proceedings on project permits. But the law also provides for certain measures that may limit the negative impact of such rulings on investors.
A decision is issued … then what?
Restrictions resulting from the state of epidemic, as well as extensive changes in law coming into force overnight, require a fresh look at many issues, including such mundane issues as when administrative decisions become final.