- 29 czerwca 2023
- Category: Advocacy Bulletin
We are delighted to share with you our latest advocacy bulletin, summarizing our recent activities in the field of advocacy. As AmCham, we remain committed to promoting strong and fruitful relations between Poland and the United States, while supporting business development and fostering a stable and predictable legal environment to attract new investments and drive the growth of the Polish economy.
In this issue:
1. Top Advocacy Priorities in the Context of the Upcoming Parliamentary Elections
AmCham has prepared a document outlining the advocacy priorities of U.S. companies operating in Poland in relation with the upcoming parliamentary elections. Besides summarizing the most important advocacy priorities, the document aims to show the impact of AmCham member companies on Poland’s economy, and to be used during AmCham’s meeting with politicians.
Some of the most important advocacy priorities for AmCham member companies include:
- Stable and predictable laws and regulations;
- Energy transformation;
- Ensuring the development of internet networks and 5G technology;
- Streamlining procedures and reducing the processing time for issuing work permits to foreign nationals;
- Modern vocational education that corresponds to the changing needs of employers and industry;
- Matters of defense and security in Poland.
According to the latest AmCham and SGH Warsaw School of Economics Report, there are currently 1,576 businesses in Poland owned by American entities. These companies have invested $26 billion in the country, and the value of their assets is estimated at nearly $59 billion. Poland is a key location for American businesses in Central and Eastern Europe, with some industries seeing all American investment projects in the region being concentrated in Poland. American investors are also responsible for creating 327,000 jobs in Poland, with over 90% of them being employment contracts. American companies have supported Poland during challenging times, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the situation in Ukraine.
The entire document presenting AmCham’s advocacy priorities and postulates is available here.
2. World Radiocommunication Conference 2023 (WRC-23)
AmCham has submitted its position paper to the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-23) due to WRC-23’s significant importance and impact on the regulatory system, as well as considering the interest of our member companies and the request from the Chancellery of the Prime Minister.
The World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) is an international conference organized by the ITU (International Telecommunication Union) every four years. It brings together representatives from member states, the private sector, regulators, and other stakeholders to discuss and negotiate global radio spectrum and frequency management issues. The plays a significant role in developing and harmonizing telecommunications systems worldwide, ensuring effective and efficient utilization of the limited resource that is the radio spectrum. This year, the conference is set to take place in Dubai from November 20th to December 15th.
In our position paper, we have addressed three main points of the WRC agenda, namely:
- Point 1.2: Regarding the frequency range of 6425-7125 MHz;
- Point 1.5: Concerning the frequency range of 470-694 MHz;
- Points 1.5 and 10: Regarding the frequency range of 902-928 MHz.
AmCham’s position paper on WRC is available here.
3. The Healthy Legislation 4.0 Report
The AmCham Pharmaceutical Committee has prepared the 4th edition of the “Healthy Legislation” report, which focuses on the legislative process regarding healthcare. The report examines the quality of consultations, government-imposed deadlines, and the stability and predictability of new laws.
One of the key findings of the report is the dynamic nature of the legislative process in Poland. For instance, within the span of one year, from June 2021 to May 2022, the Ministry of Health introduced 215 new legal acts, of which only around 60 percent underwent consultations. This indicates a high frequency of new draft laws being introduced, with almost daily occurrences excluding holidays.
AmCham believes that fostering dialogue between the public and private sectors, conducting legislation in a predictable and stable manner through extensive public consultations, and ensuring sufficient Vacatio Legis (the period between the publication of a law and its entry into force) are crucial elements for attracting new investors and encouraging the expansion of existing businesses.
The “Healthy Legislation 4.0” report is available here.
4. AmCham’s Position on the Amendment to the Road Traffic Act
AmCham has issued a position paper directed towards the Senate Committee on Infrastructure regarding the amendment to the Road Traffic Act aimed at enhancing safety in the passenger transport market.
AmCham member companies supported the proposed legislation and regulations aimed at increasing safety for passengers. However, we requested that the Senate Committee on Infrastructure consider the necessity of introducing a requirement for foreign drivers (including those from European Union countries) providing transportation services in Poland to possess a Polish driver’s license.
In opinion of AmCham member companies the requirement that foreign drivers must possess a Polish driver’s license will pose significant challenges to the passenger transport industry in Poland. With a range of other obligations already placed on foreign drivers, such as e.g., the requirement to demonstrate a clean criminal record and provide real-time footage of service provision through a camera on their phone, the demand for a Polish driver’s license will influence the passenger transport market already experiencing a shortage of drivers. It is important to note that the majority of drivers in Poland are foreigners, especially from Ukraine, which allows individuals coming from that country to find employment quickly and a means of livelihood, which is crucial in the current challenging situation caused by the war.
Our member companies are committed to enhancing safety and are open to dialogue aimed at finding the best possible solutions. However, the proposal to introduce the requirement of possessing a Polish driver’s license was introduced at the stage of the third reading in the Sejm and was not consulted with entrepreneurs. With this in mind, we have drawn attention to the quality of legislation and the lack of an assessment of the potential negative impact on the situation of entrepreneurs and employees, as well as the ability of companies to quickly adapt to new obligations.
Currently, the Regulation of the Minister of Infrastructure of May 18, 2023 amending the regulation on issuing documents confirming the right to drive vehicles has been issued. This regulation, in the case of exchanging a foreign driving license for a Polish driving license, exempts from the obligation to confirm any data and information in relation to countries on the territory of which an armed conflict is taking place.
AmCham’s position is available here.
5. Development of Green Energy in Poland
AmCham Poland has joined the appeal of other business organizations and international companies operating in Poland against the amendments to the legislation on windmills which aim to increase the minimum distance of new windmills from residential buildings from 500 metres to 700. AmCham fully supports abolishing the so-called 10H rule, but changing the minimum distance from 500 to 700 meters significantly reduces the potential for onshore wind power in the coming decades consequently reducing the availability of green energy on the grid. We believe that Polish law should respond to the needs of the renewable energy industry and implement energy efficiency solutions.
The entire document is available here.
6. Law of Electronic Communication
AmCham was active in the legislative process regarding the draft act of the Law of Electronic Communications, that was intended to implement into the Polish legal system the provisions of Directive (EU) 2018/1972 of the European Parliament and of the Council of December 11, 2018, establishing the European Electronic Communications Code.
Due to the importance of the draft regulations and many comments from our member companies, AmCham has prepared a position paper and addressed them to key stakeholders in Poland. Particularly controversial from a business perspective were provisions such as:
- Imposing data retention obligations within the territory of the Republic of Poland.
- Failing to consider the distinct nature of services provided, such as NB-ICS (Non-Interpersonal Communication Services) and NI-ICS (Non-Interpersonal Communication Services), and applying the same rules to different entrepreneurs.
- Changes in the scope of “must carry” and “must offer” obligations.
- Changes in the obligations related to offering “à la carte” programs and applying uniform prices to all distributors.
A representative of AmCham also participated in a meeting of the parliamentary Committee on Digitization, Innovation, and Modern Technologies, during which a public hearing was held regarding the present laws. According to a letter dated April 21, 2023, from the Chancellery of the Prime Minister, the legislative draft was withdrawn due to the raised comments and doubts concerning the provisions.
The AmCham position paper is available here.
7. The Problem of Counterfeits/Piracy/IPR
AmCham receives signals from its member companies regarding counterfeits, piracy, and the infringement of intellectual property rights (IPR). These practices are undesirable in many aspects, ranging from violating the rights of producers and limiting their profitability to limiting tax revenues from the shadow economy to the state budget. Therefore, it is crucial for AmCham to identify all member companies struggling with this problem, and in the selected group, plan further activities and dialogue with the public sector aimed at reducing this harmful practice in Poland.
Bearing this in mind, if your company is experiencing these or similar problems and you are interested in participating in the group, we kindly request that you contact us.
8. Other AmCham Advocacy Activities
- Position on the EU Directive project on improving working conditions through online platforms
- Position of the AmCham Medical Devices Committee on the draft amendment to the reimbursement act
- Letter from the AmCham Pharmaceutical Committee to the US Ambassador, Mr. Mark Brzeziński – amendment to the Reimbursement Act
- Position on the Cybersecurity Certification Scheme for Cloud Services (EUCS)