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Coming soon! Complete implementation of DSA in Poland

DSA in Poland – soon to be fully effective

The EU Digital Services Act (DSA) is a regulation of European Union law aimed at making the online environment safer, combating illegal content, protecting the fundamental rights of service recipients and strengthening online competition.

Among other things, the DSA unifies procedures for removing illegal content from the Internet, giving users greater powers in this regard. The regulation takes full effect on February 17, 2024. 

Although the DSA is a directly applicable law in EU member states, some issues are left to member states to regulate through competence laws. This is to ensure the effective application of the DSA, for example, by designating a body to act as coordinator for digital services.

Member states had until February 17, 2024 to appoint coordinators. 6 countries, including Poland, have not yet done so, so the European Commission has initiated infringement proceedings against them. This state of affairs is about to change, however, and the DSA will become a full-fledged tool in the hands of national authorities.

The DSA applies to all online platforms, social networks, e-commerce, and marketplaces, regardless of size. It regulates intermediary services offered by these entities.

DSA is not just about X and Facebook. Small businesses need to get ready too

The DSA applies even to small businesses and reaches beyond EU borders. In the broadest terms, the DSA is a set of regulations governing intermediary services offered in the form of, among other things, online platforms, social networks, e-commerce, marketplace; by so-called indirect service providers – and regardless of where they are based, even outside the EU.

What is the scale of responsibilities in the DSA?

As a general rule, the smaller the scope of a provider’s operations, the fewer obligations the DSA will impose on it. The broadest scope of obligations covers very large online platforms (VLOP’s). This is due to the particular risk of spreading false information, due to the social reach that these platforms generate. The obligations under the DSA are therefore derivative of the scale of the risk assessment generated by the activities of the entities in question. 

According to this risk assessment, even micro and small entrepreneurs (SMEs) have obligations under the DSA. For example, if the entity’s activities fall into the definition of a hosting service. What does this consist of? For example, if you allow users of your platform to leave reviews, you become a hosting provider, because you store the information provided by the recipient of the service at their request.

What are your responsibilities?

The implication is that you should ensure, for example, that mechanisms are available for any person to notify illegal content in the services you offer (Article 16 of the DSA).

Why is compliance with DSA regulations important?

You’ve probably heard about the penalties imposed by national RODO supervisory authorities. Here it is very similar – failure to comply with the DSA can result in financial sanctions, imposed by national entities. The President of the Office of Electronic Communications is to be just such an entity

The legislative process for an amendment to the law is underway, and the new regulations implementing the DSA are expected to take effect in the third quarter of 2024.

DSA in action: Poland to enact remaining provisions through National Law

Amendments to the Electronic Services Act will bring Poland’s laws into line with DSA requirements. These are mostly procedural regulations for enforcing compliance with the DSA. They will therefore have a significant impact on “DSA in action,” which has been “toothless” so far.

According to the text of the bill available on the website of the Government Legislation Center, the new legislation will introduce, among other things:

  1. Designation of the President of the Office of Electronic Communications as the supervisory authority and, at the same time, the coordinator for digital services together with the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection,
  2. Granting authority to competent authorities to impose administrative fines,
  3. the terms and conditions of inspections conducted by the President of UKE at intermediate service providers,
  4. Setting precise guidelines for moderating content on online platforms,
  5. Conditions and process for granting trusted flagger status – an entity with enhanced capabilities in responding to illegal content on the Internet, e.g.: copyright infringement.
  6. Conditions for certification of entities for out-of-court dispute resolution

When will the new regulations come into effect?

The amendment to the Law on Provision of Electronic Services is currently undergoing legislative work. Public consultations have already ended. It is expected that the new regulations implementing the DSA will fully enter into force during the third quarter of 2024. 

Although the article is only about the draft law, we are constantly monitoring the latest legislative developments and noticing the planned directions of changes in the law. As a result, we are always ready to provide you with fast and effective legal advice on DSA.

Want to learn more? Contact our law firm at [email protected] or check out our other blog articles to stay up to date on the latest developments in digital services law.

Author team leader DKP Legal Ignacy Heckert
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Write an inquiry: [email protected]
check full info of team member: Ignacy Heckert
Author team leader DKP Legal Michał Puk
Contact our expert
Write an inquiry: [email protected]
check full info of team member: Michał Puk
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