Competition watchdog in bid to tackle payment delays among Polish firms
The aim of the proceedings is to eliminate late payments, which are particularly severe for smaller companies during the pandemic.
Payment gridlocks are one of the major problems of the Polish economy and one of the biggest obstacles in running a business. Undertakings that are notoriously not paid on time for the goods or services they supply are consequently unable to settle their own obligations.
Gridlocks are particularly severe for smaller companies: they increase their operational costs, hinder their development and, in times of pandemic, they may decide on “to be or not to be” of the businesses that had experienced them. It is therefore extremely important to stop this process and to prevent the devastation caused by the gridlocks in the economy.
"Information from the last quarter of 2020 indicates that nearly half of entrepreneurs in the SME sector are already affected by the problem of invoices delayed by more than 60 days. Receiving timely payment for goods or services supplied may be a prerequisite for the company's survival and for maintaining their employees' jobs.
"We are currently conducting 100 proceedings against companies that may be in arrears with payments. This is twice as many proceedings as the legislator had assumed by adopting special regulations limiting payment gridlocks. These are not easy proceedings. The first decisions towards entrepreneurs responsible for payment gridlocks will be issued in January – says Tomasz Chróstny, President of UOKiK.
In late December, President of the Office Tomasz Chróstny initiated proceedings against another 28 entities in the sectors threatened by payment gridlocks, including food (meat), construction, transport and cosmetics industries, which are likely to be excessively late with payments due.
New proceedings concern the following companies: Rossmann Supermarkety Drogeryjne Polska, Dhl Parcel Polska, Cognor, Budimex, Cedc International, Celsa “Huta Ostrowiec”, Brembo Poland, Wipasz, Viterra Polska, Solaris Bus & Coach, Sokołów, Strabag, Agri Plus, Cemex Polska, Ciech Soda Polska, Amrest, Superdrob, Zakład Przemysłu Mięsnego Biernacki (Biernacki Meat Processing Plant), Zakłady Mięsne Skiba (Meat Company Skiba), Pekaes, Dsv Road, Abp Poland, Przedsiębiorstwo Usług Technicznych Intercor (Technical Services Company Intercor), Grupa Producentów Drobiu (Poultry Producers Group), Altrad-Mostostal, Wojas, Anwim, Polaqua. A total of 100 proceedings on payment gridlocks are under way.
The President of UOKiK may intervene if the sum of outstanding payments due owed by an enterprise within 3 consecutive months is at least PLN 5 million (as of 2022 this amount will change to PLN 2 million). ■