Poland: Sejm almost unanimously adopts draft amendment to the energy law.
The amendment bill will change the rules on security institutions. Currently the grant of a concession by the President of the Energy Regulatory Office (URE) may be conditional on the applicant delivering property security in order to satisfy third party claims that may arise as a result of misconduct of activities covered by the concession, including environmental damage.
Due to the current imprecise regulations, the legislator decided to clarify the rules for applying property security procedures. The entry into force of the act will have a significant impact on entrepreneurs as a result of the emergence of new concession-related obligations.
Entrepreneurs will be required to provide security in the amount of not less than 1/12 of the highest annual revenues planned by the applicant for the next 3 calendar years from the business activity for which the concession is to be granted. In order to calculate the amount of property security, the President of URE would require the applicant to indicate the planned revenues already mentioned within not less than 30 days, at the risk of the form not being processed.
In the event of satisfying claims secured by property, the energy company would be required to supplement the security up to the required amount each time within 30 days from the date of using the security and – within 14 days of receiving notification – to inform the President of URE about submission of a security claim.
Although the Supreme Court, in its opinion on the bill, stated that the amendment contained the necessary solutions, it also expressed some concerns.
The doubts of the Supreme Court may be related to the new competences that the legislator has granted to the President of URE. What is new is that the President of the Energy Regulatory Office would issue decisions regarding property security, by which for example he could release the enterprise from property security within 6 months from the date of termination of the concession. Moreover, he could also release the entrepreneur from security obligations before the end of the concession if the amount of the energy enterprise’s equity resulting from its financial statements audited by a statutory auditor, exceeded the value of this security.
The amendment is intended to implement the provisions contained in Regulation (EU) 2015/1222 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 July 2015.
Source: Act amending the Energy Law and certain other acts passed at session no. 28 on 15 April 2021