2017-2020 NATIONAL ACTION PLAN
1. History of the initiative [page 5]:
The Plan also aims to take into account the principles of corporate social responsibility in EU trade and investment agreements. In the above-mentioned document, the European Union and its Member States declared that they would develop national action plans for practical implementation of the UN Guiding Principles.
Pillar I: The state’s duty to protect human rights
5. Planned changes in national legislation
Act on Counteracting the Unfair Use of Contractual Advantage in the Trade in Agricultural and Food Products [page 20]:
The Act on Counteracting the Unfair Use of Contractual Advantage in the Trade in Agricultural and Food Products was prepared by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Signed by the President on 28 December 2016, it will enter into force on 12 July 2017. The new law’s primary goal is to ensure the effective resolution of disputes between suppliers and buyers of food and agricultural products. A contractual advantage occurs when there is considerable disproportion between economic potential, while the weaker party has insufficient ability to sell or buy agricultural or food products from other entrepreneurs.
2021-2024 NATIONAL ACTION PLAN
|8. Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development
Implementation of the Act on Counteracting the Unfair Use of Contractual Advantage in the Trade in Agricultural and Food Products
Since July 2017, the provisions of the Act on Counteracting the Unfair Use of Contractual Advantage in the Trade in Agricultural and Food Products (Journal of Laws of 2020, item 1213) have been in force in Poland. The provisions of the Act are aimed at eliminating the use of unfair trade practices in the supply chain of agricultural raw materials and food. A situation of considerable imbalance in the economic potential of enterprises may lead to unfair trade practices whereby larger and stronger trading partners try to impose practices or contractual arrangements favourable to them on the weaker party. The issue of imbalance among the participants of the food supply chain occurs not only in Poland but is also observed in the majority of the European Union countries due to the presence of economically strong consolidated entities of the distribution sector – frequently also the processing sector – and weaker fragmented entities producing agricultural raw materials and foodstuffs. Directive (EU) 2019/633 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 April 2019 on unfair trading practices in business-to-business relationships in the agricultural and food supply chain (OJ L 111, 25.4.2019, p. 59) introduced a common minimum framework across the EU for applying a uniform approach to unfair trading practices in the food supply chain. The implementation of the provisions of said Directive significantly changes the scope of the previously applied Act of 15 December 2016 on Counteracting the Unfair Use of Contractual Advantage in the Trade in Agricultural and Food Products. In view of the foregoing, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has drafted a new Act on Counteracting the Unfair Use of Contractual Advantage in the Trade in Agricultural and Food Products. Compared to the legislation currently in force, the definition of agricultural and food products has been extended to include, inter alia, feed, live animals, oilseeds and oleaginous fruit, the definition of a purchaser and a public authority, and a catalogue of prohibited unfair trading practices. The possibility of voluntary submission to penalties has also been introduced (reduction of the penalty to 50%). The President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection will remain the competent body in matters of practices unfairly exploiting contractual advantage; the anonymity of the notifier will also be ensured, as is currently the case, and the possible penalties for entrepreneurs will be maintained in their current shape. Pursuant to Article13 of the aforementioned directive, the provisions implementing the directive must be in force from 1 November 2021 at the latest. The new Act on Counteracting the Unfair Use of Contractual Advantage in the Trade in Agricultural and Food Products will be more effective in limiting practices which may negatively affect the efficient functioning of the agricultural and food product supply chain and will also ensure effective mutual cooperation of relevant authorities of the Member States, and their cooperation with the European Commission. – page 28
Authorisation to export arms and military equipment
The Security Policy Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will take into account the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in the course of assessment procedure regarding applications for granting permission to export arms and military equipment, in accordance with Articles 12 and 12 a. of the Act of 29 November 2000 on Foreign Trade in Goods, Technologies and Services of Strategic Significance for State Security and for Maintaining International Peace and Security and Article 88 of the Act of 13 June 2019 on Conditions of Business Activity related to the Production of and Trade in Explosives, Weapons and Ammunition, as well as Products and Technologies to be used for Military or Police Purposes. A criterion taken into account by the Department when assessing applications for the granting of export licences is, inter alia, a risk assessment as to whether the arms to be exported could be used for activities in violation of international humanitarian law or whether the granting of the licence would have a negative impact on respect for human rights. – page 30/31