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Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

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Payment gridlocks

Payment gridlocks

Late payments and too long payment periods have a negative impact on the financial liquidity of enterprises and their development, increase the costs of conducting business activities, and in the most difficult situations may lead to bankruptcy or liquidation of the entrepreneurs affected by them. Problems related to payments cause a domino effect in the economy: entrepreneurs who do not receive payment or receive it late, as a consequence do not have the means to settle their own liabilities to contractors and cause the same problems for subsequent entities. Payment gridlocks are not only a threat to reliable entrepreneurs, but also a serious burden for the economy, slowing down the rate of economic growth.

The Act of 19 July 2019 amending certain acts to reduce payment gridlocks contains a whole package of legal solutions regarding gridlocks. More information about this comprehensive regulation can be found on the website of the Ministry of Development.

Among the many solutions provided for in the package of laws aimed at reducing payment gridlocks, new competences are also provided for the President of UOKiK. The provisions according to which UOKiK shall be able to impose penalties in administrative proceedings on companies that have the most excessive delays in payments to their contractors, shall come into force on January 1, 2020.   

When imposing a penalty, the President of UOKiK shall take into account the value of overdue invoices and the length of delay in payments. However, the debtor who does not pay because his/her debtors do not pay him/her, shall not be punished. The penalties shall constitute the state budget income and shall be independent of the actions that creditors may take against unreliable debtors on the basis of civil law. However, the President of UOKiK shall be able to take into account the fact that the debtor pays overdue receivables together with statutory interest for delay and in this case reduce the amount of the administrative penalty by 20%.  

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