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Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

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Paymanet gridlocks - five decisions, three penalties

< previous | next > 22.06.2022

Paymanet gridlocks - five decisions, three penalties
  • UOKiK President Tomasz Chróstny imposed fines for payment gridlocks totalling PLN 656,000.
  • The penalised companies are Reckitt Benckiser Production (Poland), Beiersdorf Manufacturing Poznań and Tire Company Dębica.
  • The President of the UOKiK also issued two decisions in which he waived the imposition of a fine.

Reckitt Benckiser Production (Poland) is a manufacturer of household chemicals marketed under such brands as Woolite, Vanish, Calgon, Finish, Cillit Bang. Beiersdorf Manufacturing Poznań is a manufacturer of Nivea and Eucerin cosmetics. Tire Company Dębica manufactures tyres. The investigations confirmed that the companies have problems with timely payments and contribute to creating payment gridlocks in Poland. The payment gridlocks generated by them amounted to PLN 153,000,000 PLN 10,000,000 and PLN 9,000,000, respectively. In turn, the fines imposed amounted to PLN 554,000 for Reckitt Benckiser Production (Poland), PLN 35,000 for Beiersdorf Manufacturing Poznań and PLN 67,000 for Tire Company Dębica.

- We work to improve payment discipline among entrepreneurs. Companies that are regularly late in paying their counterparties finance their operations at the expense of other, often much smaller, entrepreneurs. Such practices not only harm the liquidity of entrepreneurs experiencing such delays but also generate costs related to the recovery of such debts or the need to secure additional sources of financing. It is difficult to talk about development when you have to look for money to survive because the debtor does not pay on the agreed date. Particularly if the entity waiting for repayment of its receivables belongs to the SME sector and the costs of the resulting gridlock are proportionally higher for it than for large companies – says UOKiK President Tomasz Chróstny.

Due to the applicable statutory formula for their calculation, the amount of the fine imposed on the entrepreneur takes into account the scale of payment gridlock generated by these entities and the length of payment delays.

Penalty waiver – two decisions

In addition, the President of UOKiK found an excessive delay in the fulfilment of monetary payments by

  • Przedsiębiorstwo Drobiarskie Drobex – a food company engaged in the production of poultry meat and its products,
  • Ampol-Merol – a distributor of agricultural inputs such as seeds, fertilisers, plant protection chemicals, and purchasing agricultural produce.

Although these companies also generated payment gridlocks, no fines were imposed on them. The current wording of the Act on combating excessive delays in commercial transactions obliges the President of UOKiK to refrain from imposing a penalty if, during the period under examination, the sum of monetary payments received by companies after the expiry of the time limit exceeds the payment gridlock generated by them.

Powers of the President of UOKiK in combating payment gridlocks

In cases concerning payment gridlocks, the intervention of the President of UOKiK is possible if the total amount of all monetary payments not made by an entrepreneur to its contractors or monetary payments made by an entrepreneur after the expiry of the time limit exceeds the amount of PLN 2,000,000.

New regulations on payment gridlocks

An amendment to the legislation on payment gridlocks is currently under review. The planned amendments aim to clarify the regulations, simplify the reporting obligation regarding the applicable payment periods in commercial transactions and increase the effectiveness of proceedings conducted by the President of UOKiK.

The current draft amendment provides, inter alia, a new formula for the maximum fine amount and allows the President of UOKiK to take into account mitigating and aggravating circumstances occurring in a particular case when determining the fine. At the same time – according to the draft regulation prepared by the UOKiK – settlements between entities belonging to the same group of companies are to be excluded from the proceedings concerning gridlocks.

Notify UOKiK of payment gridlocks

UOKiK monitors the market to identify those entities that violate payment discipline and encourages those with information about entrepreneurs who are the most late in paying micro, small and medium-sized businesses to notify the Office. 

Anyone who suspects that they have become a victim of payment gridlocks can notify the UOKiK. The notification should include, among other things, the name of the suspected entrepreneur, a description of the facts, the probability of the occurrence of the gridlocks, data of the notifying entity and any documents that may constitute evidence in the case.

The notification may be:

  • sent as an electronic document via the ePUAP electronic platform for public administration services,
  • sent by email to [SCODE]emF0b3J5QHVva2lrLmdvdi5wbA==[ECODE]
  • sent by post to the following address: Office of Competition and Consumer Protection, pl. Powstańców Warszawy 1, 00-950 Warsaw,
  • submitted in person at the general department of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection,

SMEs – remember your rights during commercial transactions!

Are you an SME supplier of goods or services, and your debtor is a large business? Remember, the maximum period for payment of the remuneration due to you may not exceed 60 days from the date of delivery to the debtor of an invoice or bill confirming the delivery of goods or the service rendered.

Additional information for the media:

UOKiK Press Office
Pl. Powstańców Warszawy 1, 00-950 Warszawa, Poland
Phone +48 695 902 088, +48 22 55 60 246
E-mail: [SCODE]Yml1cm9wcmFzb3dlQHVva2lrLmdvdi5wbA==[ECODE]
Twitter: @UOKiKgovPL

Attached files

 

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