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Changes in competition and consumer protection law and policy 

We invite you to attend a business breakfast designed for in-house lawyers and managers responsible for consumer sales, including procedures for consumer transactions, rules for promotions and sales (including online), complaint procedures and marketing campaigns.

The bill to amend the Competition and Consumer Protection Act was adopted by the Polish Parliament on 4 September 2015. The new regulations are based on studies by the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Justice and the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection showing that consumers are not adequately protected on the financial services market and are offered products not suited to their needs, and that the existing system for eliminating impermissible form contract clauses is not effective. This is supposed to change when the amended regulations enter into force. 
The Consumer Rights Act and related amendments to Poland’s Civil Code went into force on 25 December 2014. Violation of obligations set forth in those laws can also constitute a violation of the Competition and Consumer Protection Act—that is, infringement of the collective interests of consumers, which is subject to a fine of up to 10% of the business’s entire annual revenue. 

The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) has announced that in early 2016 it will review whether businesses have adapted to the new regulations. Apart from the fundamental tool UOKiK uses to check whether a business is violating competition and consumer protection law—an unannounced inspection, also known as a “dawn raid”—beginning in April 2016 UOKiK will be authorized to send out its staff to act as a “mystery customer,” posing as a consumer to check how goods are offered and sold to consumers and whether consumers are fully informed of their rights. This change will take place in connection with another amendment of the Competition and Consumer Protection Act entering into force on 17 April 2016.

Learn about the consequences of revolutionary changes in protection of competition and consumers.

During the meeting we will discuss:
  • The changes occurring during the first year of experience following changes in the law of consumer contracts, and more specifically the new requirements concerning complaint procedures and indemnity issues going back up the supply chain
  • Key conclusions for businesses involved in consumer sales, based on the latest decisions from UOKiK
  • Changes arising out of amendment of the Competition and Consumer Protection Act specifically concerning collective interests of consumers, including the planned use of the “mystery customer” approach and the revised model for oversight of form contracts.
The event will be conducted in Polish.

 

 

The conference will offer an excellent opportunity to discuss with a group of experts all of the unclear aspects arising from the interpretation of the regulations, as well as the most burning issues, and to share knowhow gained during implementation of the existing regulations. The speakers will present the most important changes in the amending act, identify the regulations which financial institutions should pay particular attention to, and discuss how the changes will impact the financial market.
The agenda includes such as issues as: 
The legal system for consumer protection and its impact on the financial sector 
The prohibition against offering consumers financial services that do not meet their needs, and offering services in a manner that is inappropriate given the nature of the services 
The new model for review of impermissible contract clauses 
The practical effects of entry into force of the amendment—preparing firms for introduction of the new regulations.
At the conference, Paulina Józefczuk, attorney at law and manager of the Competition Law Practice at Wierzbowski Eversheds, will discuss the key changes in the act. She will devote particular attention to such issues as: 
The institution of the “secret customer” 
Expression of views relevant to the matter 
Publication of free communiqués and warnings in public radio and TV
Interim decisions. 
For more, see the agenda and registration form for the conference.