Important changes in aviation regarding PNR law will enter into force in Poland
Amendments to the law on the use of the passenger name record data
Lawyers from litigation and arbitration practice report that on 27 January 2022, the Sejm (lower house of Parliament) adopted changes proposed by the Senat (upper house of Parliament) to the draft of the amendment of the Polish Law on the use of passenger name record data (the so-called PNR Act). The original draft of the amendment contained unfavourable solutions for air carriers – including the extension of the deadline for imposing an administrative penalty for failure to transfer PNR data from 3 to 5 years and the possibility of covering multiple violations of the PNR Law to a single administrative proceeding. The amendments proposed by the Senat mitigate the impact of these changes by temporarily suspending proceedings carried out against air carriers.
Sanctions for failure to transmit PNR data suspended for 2 years
When the amendment to the Polish Aviation Law, i.e. PNR Act enters into force, the initiating and pursuing of administrative proceedings for past failures to transmit PNR data, the enforcement and execution of those penalties as well as the deadline for penalising violations of the PNR Act will be suspended for a period of 2 years.
What does this mean for air carriers?
According to the new law – during the 2 year suspension period, the Chief Commandant of the Border Guard will not initiate administrative proceedings against air carriers that have failed to transfer PNR data on time, if this violation occurred before the entry into force of the amended Act.
Pending administrative proceedings will be suspended for a period of 2 years. During the suspension, the Chief Commandant of the Border Guard will not decide on the case, nor issue an administrative penalty.
The existing deadline for imposing penalty for not providing PNR data will be extended from 3 to 5 years, but it will also be suspended for 2 years.
What about penalties imposed on air carries in Poland?
Air carriers that have already been subject to an administrative penalty in Poland will also benefit from the changes to the PNR Law. From the entry into force of the aviation law amendment, the enforcement of the penalty will be suspended for a period of 2 years which means that the air carrier will not have to pay the administrative penalty for 2 years. If proceedings to enforce the penalty have already been initiated, they will be suspended for a period of 2 years.
However, air carriers that have already paid an administrative fine for not transferring PNR data will not be able to ask for its return – their situation will not change for the time being.
What happens at the end of the 2-year suspension period?
The purpose of the suspension of the deadlines is to gain time to obtain the opinion of the European Commission and to find solutions allowing the abolition of administrative fines for the failure to transfer the PNR data during the period of implementation of the PNR transfer systems. However, if no further changes are made to the PNR Law, after 2 years the suspended deadlines will continue to run, with the deadline for imposing penalties for not transferring PNR data now being 5 years instead of the previous 3 years.
When will the amendments to the PNR Law enter into force?
These amendments of law will enter into force on the day following their publication in the Journal of Laws – so without any transitional period. The publication should happen in the following weeks but the exact date is not yet known as the bill must first be signed by the President, who has 21 days to do so.
Questions or doubts – contact our Law Firm
If you have questions or concerns, we encourage you to contact our Law Firm. Our aviation attorneys in Poland and our litigation team will be happy to answer your questions. Inquiries can be directed to: [email protected]