Litigation & arbitration

Changes in limitation period in Polish Law

On July 6th, 2017 a draft law on the amendment of the Polish Civil Code and other acts on changing current limitation periods of civil law claims was published.

Statue of limitation

The limitation period in Polish Civil law protects debtor from excessive delay of the creditor with regard to claim enforcement resulting from the obligation between debtor and creditor. The core of the limitation is that the creditor is not entitled to legally enforce the debt if the debtor successfully will raise the defense of limitation. Nevertheless, even in such situation the debt still exists, except that the creditor has no legal instruments to enforce the payment from debtor.

Current limitation periods

The limitation period for pecuniary claims is 10 years. However, the limitation period provided for periodical claims (e.g. rent) and claims related to business activity is 3 years. The limitation period established for claims indicated in final judgement of a court is 10 years. The same is applicable to settlements concluded in front of the court.

Proposed changes

The most important changes proposed by the Government in project is to shorten 10-years limitation period for pecuniary claims to 6 years. The same is will be applicable to claims indicated in final judgements and is settlements concluded in front of the court.

In addition, the project contains also very important modification of provisions of Polish Consumer Protection Act. It introduces also prohibition on pursuing claims against the consumer the claims covered by limitation period (even if the consumer has not raised the defense of limitation).

Status of legislative works

The draft law is currently being opinionated by several bodies. In case on referring it to the Polish Sejm (lower house of Polish Parliament), the new law will be introduced within 30 days counting from its adoption.

Author team leader DKP Legal Michał Dudkowiak
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