The government’s proposals on extending consumer protection are being finalized. As a result of public consultations the initial draft has changed in some important areas:
- Initiation of administrative proceedings on abusive clauses: In the new system the Polish consumer watchdog (UOKiK), not courts, will be responsible for entering new abusive clauses into the register. Also, consumers will gain the right to submit to the UOKiK complaints regarding companies; however, the UOKiK will initiate proceedings at its own discretion.
- Parties to proceedings on abusive clauses: As a rule the company whose clauses are being examined by the UOKiK is a party to the proceeding. The party may access the case files and may appeal the UOKiK’s decision. The latest changes also allow consumers who lodged a complaint to access the case files and submit their opinions on the case. However, consumers will not have a right to appeal the UOKiK’s decisions.
- Compensation for losses suffered by consumers: The initial proposals gave the UOKiK power to oblige in its decisions companies to compensate consumers the amount gained as a result of the use of abusive clauses. According to the latest proposals, consumers will have a right to seek compensation from companies only in court proceedings.
Once the government’s proposals have been adopted by the parliament and signed by the president, they will enter into force. If the bill is finalised, it will come into force 6 months after its publication. We will provide a further update if the new provisions pass the legislative process.