The government has published its proposals for reforming the consumer protection system. The consumer protection watchdog (UOKiK) will have the power to assess the terms and conditions used in transactions with consumers, and will have the power to enter abusive clauses into the register of abusive clauses on the basis of its own administrative decisions, rather than based on court rulings, as is the case now.
If the new system is introduced, the consequences of using abusive clauses in B2C relations will be stricter. Besides declaring abusive clauses illegal, the UOKiK will also be able to:
- impose a penalty of up to 10 % of a company’s annual turnover;
- impose remedies to remove the effects of the infringement, e.g. a company may be obliged to inform its clients that certain clauses of existing contracts were declared abusive and no longer apply, or to announce that fact in a certain form.
Under the proposed law the UOKiK will not have to impose any penalties if a company commits to cease the infringement and to remedy its negative effects.
The government’s proposals are currently in the public consultations phase. When the bill is finalised, it will come into force 6 months after the publication date. We will provide a further update when the new provisions finally pass the legislative process.