Payment gridlocks

A payment gridlock refers to a situation where an undertaking does not receive its receivables from a counterparty on time. The accumulated debt is passed on to subsequent related parties, adversely affecting the liquidity of the entire business environment. Untimely payments or excessively long payment periods for received goods or services are a hindrance to business operations. Gridlocks are particularly damaging for micro, small and medium-sized undertakings, contributing to their liquidity problems and constituting a barrier to investment and growth. 

The President of UOKiK conducts administrative proceedings and imposes fines on entities that are in arrears with payments to their counterparties. Proceedings are only instituted ex officio on the basis of evidence and information obtained by UOKiK. They may originate from notices submitted by entities suspecting that they have fallen victim to a payment gridlock.

An excessive delay in the fulfilment of financial obligations occurs when, over a period of 3 consecutive months, the sum of the value of all financial obligations unfulfilled or fulfilled after the deadline by a given entity amounts to at least PLN 2 million. This applies to arrears under invoices issued after 1 January 2020 or earlier if they became due after 1 January 2020. If the above conditions are met, the President of UOKiK imposes a financial penalty on the undertaking, the amount of which depends on the size of the debt and the length of the payment delay. 

The President of UOKiK automatically waives the penalty if the value of the benefits that the undertaking had not received or had received with delay during the period under scrutiny exceeds the amount of obligations that the undertaking had failed to pay or had paid with delay. 

Undertakings have the right to request the President of UOKiK to reconsider the case or file a complaint with the Voivodeship Administrative Court in Warsaw.

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