It is expected that any day, the Act of November 17, 2021 on counteracting the unfair use of contractual advantage in trade in agricultural and food products will be published in the Journal of Laws.
The new act replaces the existing one.
Its purpose is to implement the provisions of EU law, and in relation to the provisions in force so far, it introduces changes consisting in particular in:
- broadening the definition of agricultural and food products;
- changing the definition of a buyer;
- defining practices of unfair use of the buyer’s contractual advantage over the seller of agricultural and food products (practices have been divided into strictly prohibited and allowed practices, provided that they have been clearly and unambiguously agreed upon in the contract between the buyer and supplier before their use);
- introduction of the procedure of voluntary submission to a financial penalty;
- determining what is a significant imbalance in economic potential in the case of practices unfairly exploiting contractual advantage used by the buyer against the supplier and vice versa.
The act will enter into force 14 days after its promulgation.
At the same time, on the basis of the provisions of the currently binding act, the Head of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection imposed penalties on certain entities for non-compliance with it.
For example, one of the entities running retail stores was fined yesterday.
The authority indicated that among the services that were not reliably performed by the entity despite charging fees from contractors, there were, inter alia,
- ensuring that the goods are kept in the commercial offer;
- enabling and organizing promotions in the stores of the commercial network and supervising them;
- training of store personnel on techniques for selling supplier goods.
In addition, some paid activities would be carried out by the entity anyway due to the economic interest of this entrepreneur, e.g. monitoring market demand and sales trends of the supplier’s products.
This means that it is worth verifying your contractual conditions so as to minimize the risk of sanctions.