Antitrust & competition law

Description of amendment to the Act on Counteracting Unfair Use of Contractual Advantage in Agricultural and Food Products Trade.

On 29th of October, 2018, the Sejm passed to the President’s desk an amendment to the Act on Counteracting Unfair Use of Contractual Advantage in Agricultural and Food Products.

Concise, 3 pages long amendment of the so-called advantage act, introduces several radical changes in the current legal status. Primarily:

  • significantly broadens the scope of application of the Act by closing the turnover thresholds (50 million Polish zlotys and 100 million Polish zlotys),
  • modifies the concept of contractual advantage by removing the premise „sufficient and factual possibilities to sell or purchase agricultural products from another buyer or supplier„. Currently, the concept of a contractual advantage will focus only on the occurrence of „significant disproportion in the buyer’s economic potential in relation to the supplier or supplier towards the buyer„,
  • increases the anonymity of those who report the existence of a contractual advantage,
  • it alleviates the requirements for granting the decisions of the President of UOKiK (Office for Competition and Consumer Protection ) the immediate enforceability order and
  • it alleviates the rules of conducting inspections at entrepreneur’s seat.

The Act will come into force within 14 days from the date of its publication in the Journal of Laws. Currently, the Act is awaiting the President’s signature.

In the opinion of the our Law Firm’s experts, changes in the act on contractual advantage should be assessed negatively, because in practice, those changes lead to the equalization of protection of suppliers and purchasers of agricultural products with consumer protection. There is no justification for such far-reaching interference of the legislator in relations between independent economic entities on the market of agricultural and food products.

Author team leader DKP Legal Michał Dudkowiak
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