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Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

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The Trade Inspection Authority - to investigate, advise, and help

< previous | next > 24.10.2022

The Trade Inspection Authority  - to investigate, advise, and help
  • Do you know what’s the Trade Inspection Authority’s job? The scope of its activities is really extensive and its potential to help consumers - quite big.
  • The International Mediation Day, marks an opportunity to learn more about the Trade Inspection Authority as an intermediary enabling us to effectively assert our rights in disputes with entrepreneurs.

As most of us know, the Trade Inspection Authority controls the safety and quality of products on the market, ensures that their composition and properties are correctly labelled. Similarly, there should be no doubt about its control function over the entrepreneurs’ business activities. Yet the Trade Inspection Authority has much more to offer – it is, inter alia, an institution which, on our behalf, intermediates, engages in mediations, helps resolve disputes amicably.

Mediations through the Trade Inspection Authority.

Your complaint has not been handled properly or recognised at all? Do you want to withdraw from an agreement but it proves to be a problem? The goods do not conform to what you’ve ordered? When, despite the measures taken to resolve the conflict, the dispute with the entrepreneur continues, why not seek help from the Trade Inspection Authority.

The Trade Inspection Authority acts as an intermediary in out-of-court consumer dispute resolution (so called ADR - alternative dispute resolution). Upon agreement between the consumer and the entrepreneur, it assists in working out a mutually satisfactory solution. If, on the other hand, mediation does not produce the desired result and the reconciliation of the parties' positions is still difficult, the Authority shall, in accordance with the conciliation principles, present its recommendation for ending the conflict. The involvement of an independent entity is of great help in resolving the conflict between the consumer and the entrepreneur.

The Trade Inspection Authority has its representative in each province – it is the Voivodship Inspector of the Trade Inspection Authority (WIIH). It is precisely this entity that you can notify of problems with exercising your statutory right of withdrawal from the agreement, poor performance of services, non-conformity of goods, unsatisfactory resolution of a complaint, untimely handling of a complaint or delays in the execution of post complaint arrangements.  The Trade Inspection Authority is competent to amicably resolve disputes between consumers and entrepreneurs regarding the sale of everyday goods, e.g. footwear, clothing, consumer electronics and household appliances, computer devices, furniture and public services such as renovation and construction, automotive, cosmetics, hairdressing or catering services. In 2021 and the first half of 2022, a total of 6,293 motions were received by the Trade Inspection Authority.

Arbitrary court action

The consumer can also turn to the Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Trade Inspection Authority for assistance in resolving a conflict with an entrepreneur. In such proceedings, the dispute shall be resolved by one or more arbitrators. The principle of mediation or conciliation is no longer applicable here. A ruling is given with the same legal effect as a judgment of a common law court, and the parties are obliged to yield to this ruling. Again, both the consumer and entrepreneur must grant their consent to this proceeding. The 2021 figures show that of the 545 arbitration applications filed, nearly 40 per cent were rejected due to lack of entrepreneur's consent. Meanwhile, half of the cases taken up ended with an amicable settlement.

That’s not all

Consumer counselling is also an important part of the Trade Inspection Authority's activities.  It enjoys great interest - TIA's experts have provided nearly 80,000 counselling tips and instructions, which have benefited both consumers and entrepreneurs.  More than half of the topics concerned warranty and guarantee, two terms which tend to be often confused. Inspectors provide advice on sales, services, product defects, complaints, use of guarantee rights and other rights due. You can get counselling support at the TIA's head office, by phone or by e-mail.

Consumer Support:

Phone: 801 440 220 or 222 66 76 76 – consumer helpline
e-mail: [SCODE]cG9yYWR5QGRsYWtvbnN1bWVudG93LnBs[ECODE]
Consumer Ombudsmen – in your town or district
Voivodship Inspectorates of the Trade Inspection Authority

Additional information for the media:

UOKiK Press Office
pl. Powstańców Warszawy 1, 00-950 Warszawa, Poland
Phone: 22 55 60 246
Email: [SCODE]Yml1cm9wcmFzb3dlQHVva2lrLmdvdi5wbA==[ECODE]
Twitter: @UOKiKgovPL
You can also follow us on Instagram: @uokikgovpl

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ICPENICNPolish Aid