Law in brief
October 26, 2012
Poland Sells Emissions Rights to Spain
Poland has sold its surplus carbon dioxide emissions rights to Spain under an agreement between the Polish Environment Ministry and the Spanish government. The zl.160 million generated thanks to the deal will be used to finance projects designed to reduce electricity and fuel consumption by public transport and city lighting systems. In the past 24 years Poland has reduced its carbon dioxide emissions more than required under the Kyoto Protocol—by 30 percent instead of 6 percent. Consequently, Poland has the right to sell surplus emissions rights and invest the money in environmental projects. Poland has already earned zl.690 million in this way.
Sealskins Only from Eskimos
As of Oct. 1, trade in seal products—sealskin and seal oil—is legal in Poland only if these products come from animals caught by Eskimos using traditional hunting methods. Otherwise, trade in seal products is forbidden and subject to a fine. The ban was imposed by an amendment made to the law on environmental protection to bring Polish regulations in line with EU standards. The move is designed to prevent the slaughter of seals for profit.
New Rules on Joint Ops with Foreign Police
Foreign policemen taking part in a joint operation with their counterparts in Poland will have the right to wear their own uniforms and use firearms if necessary, under new rules on the participation of foreign officers in joint operations carried out in Poland. The new rules have been drafted by Poland’s interior ministry.
Joint operations carried out with officers from other countries are regulated by international agreements, but the ministry says they are not adequately coordinated. Under the new regulations, police operations will be coordinated by the chief of police in the province where the operation is conducted while firefighting operations will be coordinated by the chief of the Provincial Fire Service.
Foreign officers will have access to Polish equipment during rescue operations, under the new regulations.
Less Alcohol Advertising on TV
The European Commission has presented its first report on the functioning of the European Union’s audiovisual media services directive, which limits the proportion of advertising and teleshopping spots to 12 minutes per hour. According to the report, this provision was regularly breached and evaded in the examined period in a number of countries, among them Spain.
Alcohol advertising may represent no more than 3 percent of overall television advertising in EU countries. Cases of breaching provisions on protecting minors against the harmful impact of advertising were rare, according to the report. Several countries have banned advertising targeting children.
Poland and Belgium are the only EU countries which have yet to fully implement the directive.
Special Economic Zones ‘Beneficial’
Special economic zones are a key instrument for supporting new investment in Poland; they help attract large investment projects to the country, especially in manufacturing, according to a government report focusing on special economic zones.
Income tax breaks are the main instrument designed to encourage investment in Poland’s special economic zones, the report says. From 2007 to 2010, government receipts were zl.4.9 billion lower due to these tax breaks. However, the overall outcome for the national budget was positive, with a surplus of zl.3.3 billion due to receipts from value added tax and personal income tax paid by those employed in the zones.
Cleaner Water in the Baltic?
Poland’s chief inspector of environmental protection is preparing a preliminary assessment of the state of sea water in the Baltic. A strategy will be worked out to improve water quality. It will include a preliminary assessment of the state of the sea water environment, a sea water monitoring program and a national program for the protection of the sea. The adoption of the strategy is required under EU regulations and a government-approved draft amendment to the water law.
Before the sea strategy is worked out, the chief inspector of environmental protection will have to prepare and put into practice the sea water monitoring program.
Jobs for Foreigners
Ukrainian nationals received 10,800, or more than 50 percent, of the 21,000 job permits issued in Poland to foreigners in the first half of the year, according to the Central Statistical Office (GUS). More than 1,000 job permits were issued to Vietnamese and Chinese applicants. Over 1,600 permits were for managerial posts, experts and advisers, with 443 permits in this category, the largest number, issued to Chinese nationals, 222 to Ukrainians and 138 to South Koreans.