major macro economic indicators
|GDP growth (%)||3.3||3.9||2.7||3.1|
|Inflation (yearly average) (%)||0.1||-0.7||-0.4||1.5|
|Budget balance (% GDP)||-3.4||-2.6||-2.8||-3.2|
|Current account balance (% GDP)||-1.1||0.9||0.6||0.2|
|Public debt (% GDP)||50.2||51.1||52.4||54.0|
- Market of 38 million people
- Proximity to West European markets
- Price competitiveness / qualified and cheap labour force
- Integrated into the German production chain
- Leading beneficiary of European structural funds
- Diversified economy (agriculture, variety of industries, services)
- Resilient financial sector
- Coal reserves
- Inadequate level of investment / Domestic savings rate too low
- Weakness in R&D
- Developmental lag of eastern regions
- Rigidity of the labour market encouraging informal economy estimated at 23%
- High level of structural unemployment and low level of female employment
- Lack of competition
- Low birth-rate
Vigorous consumption and upturn in public investment
Growth is expected to increase slightly in 2017, but without quite returning to its 2015 level. Household consumption will remain the principal driving force. Household incomes will continue to rise thanks to strong employment and the benefits created in April 2016 aimed at modest families with at least two children (PLN 500 per child and per month). Public Investment, reduced in 2016 during the transition between two European funding programmes, should pick up. House building should benefit from a government imitative aimed at supporting renovations and rental choices for medium income families. Private investment however is more uncertain given the scale of the political and social uncertainties. Exports (automobiles, machines, white goods, consumer electronics, food, furniture, ships, and construction materials) are expected to benefit from the upswings in the country’s leading markets and the depreciation in effective exchange rate. Only its exports to the United Kingdom (around 2.5% of GDP) are likely to suffer from the fall in the pound sterling. However, as imports, driven by increased consumption, will increase faster than exports, the contribution from foreign trade to growth will be virtually zero.
Expansionist budget policy places burden on the public accounts
The public deficit is expected to widen again in 2017 and go back over the 3% threshold. Public spending will continue to increase with the first full year payment of the so-called “Family500+” children’s allowance (estimated annual cost of 0.9% of GDP). There are also plans to raise the income tax threshold. In addition, the abandoning of the plan to raise the minimum retirement age to 67 adopted in 2013 and the return to 65 for men and 60 for women is expected to cost the equivalent of 0.5% of GDP. Finally, the state as employer will feel the impact of the 8% increase in the minimum wage as of 1 January. Additional revenues will be generated through the 0.44% tax on bank assets imposed in 2016 (expected worth: 0.2% of GDP) and the increased tax rate on higher earnings. The introduction of the retail distribution tax, revised downwards under pressure from the European Commission, has been delayed until 2018 and will only bring in 0.1% of GDP. In addition, there will be no repeat of the one-off boosts received in 2016. Under these conditions, the public debt, 60% held by non-residents, is likely to deteriorate slightly. This should however be placed in context as the net debt held by the Polish public sector accounts for only 20% of GDP. Finally, the government is clearly working hard to avoid falling within the remit of the European Excessive Deficit Procedure.
Surplus in the trade in goods and services, marked deficit in investment revenues
The small surplus on the trade in goods, although shrinking, will continue in 2017. The trade in services will remain in surplus (in excess of 2% of GDP) thanks to tourism and international road transport. However, the surplus in goods and services is counterbalanced by the significant deficit in investment revenues linked with the extensive presence of foreign investors. Remittances for Polish workers abroad (800,000 in the United Kingdom) are offset by the remittances from foreign workers working in Poland (Ukrainians, Lithuanians, Belarusians, etc.). In the end, the current account balance will remain close to equilibrium. European funds (almost 3% of GDP) and new FDI (2% of GDP net) amounting to a stock equivalent to half of GDP, a sign of the degree of integration of Polish industry within the European production chain, will help reduce the external debt to 70% of GDP (from 73% in 2013) and boost the currency reserves held by the Central Bank.
Deterioration of the political and social situation
The conservative and nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party won a majority of seats in the Sejm in the legislative elections of October 2015, with 37.6% of votes ahead of Civic Platform, the main opposition party. Its leader, Jarosław Kaczyński, gave the post of Prime Minister to Beata Szydło, moderate in image, but retains significant influence over the government agenda. The promulgation by the conservative President, Andrzej Duda, of laws to change how the Constitutional Court operates, but deemed to be non-constitutional by this latter, has resulted in an institutional impasse, alongside the friction with the European Commission concerning the Rule of Law. As any European sanction (suspension of the right to vote) was unlikely, the Polish government ignored Brussels’ recommendations. This attitude, together with the imposition of taxes targeted at certain sectors (finance, retail, energy), in which there are significant foreign presences, could, as a result of a loss of confidence among investors and consumers, act to dampen activity. Popular opposition however forced the government to backtrack on its pledge to outlaw abortion. At the same time, the monetary authorities have tempered plans for the mandatory conversion of Swiss franc denominated mortgages (= 9% of GDP) limiting the cost for banks in reimbursing exchange rate spreads.
Last update : January 2017
Standard bills of exchange and cheques are not widely used, as they must meet a number of formal issuing requirements in order to be valid.
Nevertheless, for dishonoured and protested bills and cheques, creditors may resort to a fast-track procedure resulting in an injunction to pay.
However one kind of bill of exchange is commonly used - it is thewekselin blanco, an incomplete promissory note bearing only the term "weksel" and the issuer’s signature at the time of issue.
The signature constitutes an irrevocable promise to pay and this undertaking is enforceable upon completion of the promissory note (amount, place and date of payment) in accordance with a prior agreement between issuer and beneficiary.
Wekselsin blancoare widely used, as they also constitute a guarantee of payment in commercial agreements and the rescheduling of payments.
Cash payments were commonly used in Poland by individuals and firms alike, but under the “Freedom of business activity Act” (Ustawa o swobodzie działalności gospodarczej), of 2 July 2004, which came into force on 21st August 2004, companies are required to make settlements via bank accounts for any transaction exceeding the equivalent in złotys of 15,000 Euros even when payable in several instalments.
This measure aims to counter fraudulent money laundering.
Bank transfers have become the most widely used payment method. Leading Polish banks – after an initial phase of privatisation and a second phase of concentration – use the SWIFT network, which offers a cheap, flexible and quick domestic and international funds transfer service.
Standard court procedure can be also fast and effective when creditor can provide documents from which clearly shows the amount of debt and the confirmation of delivery of the goods (or the proper performance of services) – especially documents approved (signed) by the debtor.
Court issues an order of payment which states that debtor should pay amount of debt in two weeks or set an written argue (in the same period of time). When order of payment is not argued and becomes enforceable court gives back ¾ of court fee paid by creditor with lawsuit (5% of the amount in dispute).
However in standard procedure it is quite easy for defendant to postpone the case. When defendant argues at the order of payment in this kind of procedure than it can take a long time before final verdict due to the lack of judges and large number of cases held in courts.
Since the term of limitation for receivables arising from a merchandise sales contract, and any ensuing past-due interest, is only two years, suppliers should exercise extreme vigilance.
From 1st January 2004, interest may be claimed as of the 31st day following delivery of the product or service, even where the parties have agreed to a longer payment time. The legal interest rate will apply from the 31st day until the contractual payment date.
Thereafter, in case of late payment, the tax penalty rate will apply and it will very often be higher than the legal interest rate, unless the contracting parties have agreed on a higher interest rate.
A Bill to implement the directive 2011/7/EU of 16 February 2011 on “combating late payment in commercial transactions” provides between the contracting parties a maximum payment term of 60 days. Similarly, default interest will be due the day after the deadline, without the need for a formal notice.
Implementing EU Directive, Poland introduced new rules regarding compensation for payment default in commercial transactions. The Act (Ustawa z dnia 8 marca 2013 r. o terminach zapłaty w transakcjach handlowych (Dz.U. 2013 nr 0 poz. 403)) imposed on debtors to pay the costs of recovery when the payment term expires. This amount is 40 euros - lump sum and it is possible to demand a larger amount if the costs of recovery will prove to be higher.
It is also advisable to seek an out-of-court settlement based on a payment schedule drawn up by a public notary, which includes anenforcement clausethat allows creditors, in the event of default by the debtor, to go directly to the enforcement stage, subject to acknowledgement by the court of the binding nature of this document.
Creditors may seek an injunction to pay (nakaz zaplaty) via a fast-track and less expensive procedure, provided they produce positive proof of debt (like unpaid bills of exchange, unpaid cheques orwekselsin blanco, or else acknowledgements of debt). If the judge is not convinced of the substance of the claim – a decision he alone is empowered to make – he may refer the case to full trial.
Since 1st January 2010, when the claims are certain, the district court of Lublin has jurisdiction throughout the country, to handle electronic injunctions to pay.
The clerk of the court examines the merits of the application, to which is attached the list of the available evidence, then, with its electronic signature, he validates the ruling granting the injunction to pay.
This procedure appeared to be fast, economic and flexible but it turned out that it can be quite opposite due to enormous amount of cases which are conducted.
Ordinary proceedings are partly in writing with the parties filing submissions accompanied by all supporting case documents (original or certified copies) and partly oral with the litigants, their lawyers, and their witnesses heard on the main hearing date.
At such legal proceedings, the judge is required, as far as possible, to attempt conciliation between the parties.
Although each party bears his own legal costs incurred in the course of the proceedings, after making a ruling the court will generally require the losing party to bear most of the cost of the procedure.
Commercial disputes are generally heard by the economic courts (sąd gospodarczy), falling under the jurisdiction of either district courts (sąd rejonowy) or regional courts (sąd okręgowy), depending on the value of the claim.
*It is important to be noted that in 2016 the new regulation on bankruptcy proceedings enters into force. It is called restructuring law and will be based on two basic principles: protecting the legitimate rights of the debtor and the rules of dominance group (collective) interests of the creditors. The purpose of the Act is to be at the same time to avoid declaring bankruptcy by debtor and allowing him to restructure through an arrangement with creditors, and in the case of the rehabilitation proceedings also by carrying out the remedial action, whilst safeguarding the legitimate rights of creditors.