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The Warsaw Voice » Law » March 18, 2009
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March 18, 2009   
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Business-Friendly Laws Praised
Some of the latest changes in business regulations in Poland will have a positive influence on the economy, according to the Polish Chamber of Commerce, which has analyzed legislation passed by the lower house of parliament in the last quarter of last year.

In the last three months of 2008, parliamentarians approved 57 laws that will have a beneficial effect on Polish businesses, the chamber says. The chamber praised legal changes including a tax amendment under which tax authorities will have wait for a final court verdict before they are able to seize taxpayers' property, for example.

Other welcome changes include reduced minimum equity ceilings for limited-liability and joint-stock companies, the chamber said, and a decision to abolish an obligation under which the largest civil partnerships must automatically be converted into commercial companies.

Preferential Tax Treatment for Companies
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can look forward to preferential treatment as they pay off their tax liabilities, under a draft government resolution being reviewed in detail by individual ministries. Such preferential treatment would constitute state aid for SMEs and would be provided as long as it complies with EU regulations, the government said.

The new rules are designed to stimulate the development of Poland's SMEs by offering them support for investment, paying for consulting services provided by outside consultants and covering the costs of their participation in trade fairs and exhibitions.

Allowances in the form of extended tax payment deadlines and spreading payments over installments would be granted on an individual basis under decisions made by local tax authorities.

The new regulations would remain in force until June 30, 2014.

Poland Tops EU Court Statistics
The European Court of Justice is examining 12 legal cases filed against Poland by the European Commission. Nine of these complaints were lodged last year. Poland tops the list among new EU member states in this area, whereas Latvia, for example, has faced no legal action and Slovenia is at the center of only one case.

Among the old member states, Spain, Italy and Greece have faced the largest number of legal proceedings.

The most well-known case against Poland brought by the European Commission concerns a road construction project in the valley of the Rospuda River in northeastern Poland protected under EU law. Even though work to build a beltway across this environmentally sensitive area has been put on hold, officials in Brussels have not dropped the case.

Russia Cuts Permits for Hauliers
The Russian government has reduced the number of permits available to foreign companies wanting to provide road transportation services in Russia.

The decision may lead to the bankruptcy of dozens of Polish transportation firms, especially companies based in provinces near Poland's eastern border, said Maciej Wroński from the Polish Association of Road Transportation Employers.

"Instead of 200,000 permits, we are only eligible for 40,000," Wroński said. "Under an international agreement, any limitations must be approved by a committee of officials from both countries, but Russia has reduced the number without asking anyone."

Many Polish carriers say the Polish government should respond with similar legal restrictions for Russian carriers.

Bad Spelars Bewear
The third nationwide legal spelling competition will take place April 3 at the Auditorium of the Old Library of Warsaw University at 26/28 Krakowskie Przedmie¶cie St. The competition aims to encourage correct use of the Polish language among university students and to promote solid orthography in legal texts. The competition is open to all students of public and non-public institutions of higher education aged under 28. The prize for the winner, who will be able to revel in the title of Legal Orthography Champion, is a 12-month language course.

The test will be held during an academic conference entitled Law, Language, Ethics. To see the conference program go to the website of the Lingua Iuris Academic Society at www.iuris.uw.edu.pl

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