Implementation of the Omnibus Directive entered into force in Poland on 1 January 2023. The Implementation act amended inter alia principle Acts of Polish Consumer Law, incl.:
- Polish Act on Consumer Rights,
- Polish Act on Counteracting Unfair Market Practices,
- Polish Act on Information on Prices of Goods and Services, as well as the
- Polish Civil Code.
Adaptation of shops and e-commerce platforms
Adaptation of shops and e-commerce platforms to new regulations created a significant challenge for market players.
Polish Competition Authority (UOKiK) did not give any grace period to the market as the first inspection campaign of over 40 entities started only after 2 weeks from entry into force of the new provisions. It is expected that some of the market players will face UOKiK charges for improper or late adaptation of their procedures and platforms.
What is new in Polish Consumer Law?
There are 3 categories of new regulations:
- Regulations applicable to all shops
- Regulations applicable only to e-commerce
- Regulations related to protection of senior citizens
In principle the new provisions of Polish Consumer Law regulate the following aspects:
|Omnibus rules applicable to all shops||
|Omnibus rules applicable to e-commerce||
New regulations for all shops (stationary and e-shops)
Price reductions (promotions & sales)
Shops (traders) when arranging promotions or sales are under obligation to to present the lowest price of the 30 days preceding the reduction.
The rule is slightly modified for:
- perishable products with a short shelf-life date - the shop (trader) shall present the price prior to reduction
- products offered for less than 30 days - the shop (trader) shall present the lowest price from the start of trade until the introduction of the sale or promotion.
The obligation will not be applicable if the shop or a trade does not arrange or advertise the sale or promotion, and simply reduces the price.
Warranty claims and complaints
Some important changes are introduced to the complaints procedure. This includes:
- Name change: "warranty" -> "liability for non-conformity".
- First tier consumer right - in the first place the consumer will be equipped with the right to demand repair or replacement of defective goods
- Second tier consumer right - refund will be available only at the second stage of the complaint procedure.
- Non-conformity presumption will now last 2 years
- In case of second-hand goods - it will be possible to shorten sellers' liability to one year.
- Consumer claims limitation period will now amount to 6 years.
Implementation of the Omnibus Directive in Poland prohibits placing on the market and advertising goods as identical if in the other countries of the EU they are different, e.g. with different composition, unless this is objectively justified.
New regulations for e-commerce
Information on e-commerce platforms
Traders will be under obligation to inform consumers whether the seller is an entrepreneur or a private individual. They will be also under obligation to infirm, that in case of sale by private individuals, they will not be protected by consumer laws, and stript e.g. from the possibility of withdrawal.
Placement of goods and services
Platforms with search engines are now under obligation to inform about the main placing parameters, i.e. order in which the results are presented.
Paid placement / paid offers within the search results will need to be clearly disclosed, even if the payment was just for a higher position (not necessarily top position).
Platforms that provide access to reviews are now under obligation to inform:
- whether they verify the reviews,
- how they verify the authenticity of reviews,
- if they have included all the opinions
- if any opinions were removed or hidden or not admitted
New provisions sourcing from implementation of Omnibus Directive prohibits presenting false or distorted reviews.
Individual price adjustments
If the platform adjusts the price, e.g. as per location, device, history, cookies etc. it will be under obligation to inform the consumer about this fact. The rule will not be applicable to dynamic price profiling or real-time pricing, i.e. mechanisms that are based on factors unrelated to a specific user, such as a change in supply / demand for particular goods.
Tickets for events
New Omnibus regulations introduced a ban to purchase tickets for events via bots and afterwards resell them to consumers.
Recent Omnibus regulations clearly states that digital goods or services are also subject to consumer rights (withdrawal, warranty, etc.). Traders will also be under legal obligation to provide updates of digital products for the period of at least 2 years.
Goods purchase in exchange for personal data
Recently all the consumers will be equally protected if they purchase digital content or services in consideration for their personal data (and not for monetary consideration).
Upgrade of protection of senior citizens
Withdrawal from unsolicited visit
Withdrawal from unsolicited visit will now amount to 30 days.
Limitation on financial product contracts
Purchase of financial products or services (e.g. from banks or FinTechs) is now prohibited to be concluded during show or trip. Such a contract will be null and void and will not have an effect on the consumer.
No payments prior to expiry of the withdrawal period
In case of contracts concluded during a show or a trip or an unsolicited visit it is now forbidden to accept payments. This will be only possible after lapse of withdrawal period
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.