On June 22 2015 work on a legislative proposal to establish the government's right to exercise control over certain investments was completed by Parliament following the adoption of amendments proposed by the upper house (Publication 3454).

The proposal aims to exercise control over investments in shares, businesses or structural components of business in the energy sector that result in a majority stake or dominant position being held by strategic companies. It also sets out penalties for breach of the obligations set out therein.

The proposal will apply in particular to companies that generate power, distribute electricity or natural gas and store or warehouse fuel, crude oil or natural gas. The list of strategic companies to which this protection will apply will be specified by the government in the appropriate secondary legislation.

Pursuant to the bill, investors will be required to notify the Treasury of – and obtain clearance for – any intended purchase in a strategic company operating in the energy sector. The decision to grant or refuse clearance must be issued within 90 days of the date on which notification is filed. The Treasury will be able to block a transaction if it could potentially have an adverse effect on national security or public order.

Under Article 15 of the proposal, investments made in violation of the abovementioned provisions will serve as the basis for the liability of the relevant company or party acting on its behalf. The proposal provides for fines of up to PLN100 million or imprisonment for between five months and five years, or both financial and criminal liability.

The legislative process was completed on July 22 2015 and the corresponding bill was submitted for ratification to the president, who is required to sign it into law within 21 days. The act will come into force 30 days after publication in the Journal of Laws.

For further information on this topic please contact Adam Kozlowski or Mateusz Koszel at Norton Rose Fulbright Piotr Strawa and Partners LLP by telephone (+48 22 581 4900) or email (adam.kozlowski@nortonrosefulbright.com or mateusz.koszel@nortonrosefulbright.com).The Norton Rose Fulbright website can be accessed at www.nortonrosefulbright.com.

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