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The Warsaw Voice » Law » August 26, 2010
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LAW in brief
August 26, 2010   
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Tougher EU Rules on Pollution
The European Parliament July 8 endorsed a new directive strengthening pollution limits that industrial installations will have to comply with.

Starting from 2016, the new directive will introduce new stricter limits for over 52,000 industrial plants across the European Union, including around 2,000 in Poland. They will have to reduce their sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and particulate matter emissions roughly by half. Large plants, coal-fired power plants in particular, have been granted transition periods allowing them to adapt to the new requirements by June 2020. The transition period for combined heat-and-power plants in Poland has been extended until the end of 2022.

Salans Lands Award
Law firm Salans has been named “Best Legal Firm in CEE & CIS” (Capital Markets and Corporate Actions) by emeafinance magazine for its achievements and success in 2009.

Salans works with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in several Central and Eastern European countries, and its strong footprint across the region, combined with an impressive banking client list in Poland, were among the deciding factors that set the firm apart from its competitors.

emeafinance magazine said, “Our choice for the region’s best law firm is Salans, whose corporate and capital markets work across the region showed its skill in guiding emerging-market companies through their transactions at a time when many deal makers have shelved any ambitious plans.”

Tomasz D±browski, managing partner at Salans Warsaw, said, “This prominent CEE & CIS legal award is testimony that our scope of operations and lasting investments in the CEE region are paying dividends even in these difficult economic times.”

This year was the magazine’s first to include legal firm awards in its CEE & CIS awards. The winners were picked based on the deals accomplished throughout last year, the nature of the work completed (including an analysis of clients and outcomes), and recognition of firms that have a strong presence across the region.

The awards were granted at an official award ceremony—the Achievement Awards Charity Dinner—held in London June 9.

Beata Gołębiewska-Chęciak

New Tax Rules for Foreign Funds
Revenues generated by foreign investment and pension funds will be exempt from corporate income tax in Poland, under legislation approved by the government to modify laws governing corporate and personal income taxes. The proposed regulations are designed to adapt Polish laws to EU law in this area.

Cash Registers for Doctors and Lawyers
Doctors working in the private healthcare sector and law firms will have to use cash registers beginning May next year, under new rules approved by the finance minister.

The requirement also covers entrepreneurs who provide consulting and related services and those working in culture and sports.

Those providing financial and insurance services as well as businesses dealing with sewage disposal and treatment will be exempt from the cash-register requirement until Dec. 31, 2012.

Civil Servants to Pay Dearly for Errors?
The National Council of the Judiciary has criticized a proposal being examined by lower house of the parliament under which civil servants would have to pay compensation for any decisions issued in gross violation of the law. The lower house of the parliament is still working on the proposal, under which the maximum compensation would be equivalent to the civil servant’s 12 monthly salaries.

According to the National Council of the Judiciary, no new law is needed in this area, because it says it is enough to amend an article in the Labor Code that regulates the maximum amount of compensation paid by an employee.

Poor Accident Prevention at Mines
Mining continues to be one of the most dangerous sectors of the Polish economy and the industry does little to improve labor safety, according to data from the National Labor Inspectorate. Labor accidents totaled 87,052 in 2009, 3,096 of which occurred in the mining sector. The National Labor Inspectorate analyzed protocols drafted after mining accidents and found that task forces appointed to establish the causes and circumstances of accidents often fail to provide crucial information. In most cases, such investigative teams blame exclusively the people injured or killed in accidents, stating that the victims breached health regulations or failed to comply with instructions either deliberately or due to negligence. What such reports often fail to mention are irregularities that may have occurred on the accident site. This attitude of task forces means efforts undertaken to reduce the number of labor accidents at mines are ineffective.
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