Browse topics

  • Governing law
    NameLaw or Code?
    The Code of Ethics in Advertising of the Advertising Council (Rada Reklamy) Code
    The Code of Ethics in Direct Marketing of the Polish Marketing Association - SMB (Polskie Stowarzyszenie Marketingu - SMB) Code
    The Civil Code of 23 April 1964 (Journal of Laws 2016, item 380 as amended) Law
    The Gambling Act of 19 November 2009 (Journal of Laws 2016, item 471) Law
    The Consumer Rights Act of 30 May 2014 (Journal of Laws, item 827, as amended) Law
    The Act on Rendering Services by Electronic Means of 18 July 2002 (Journal of Laws 2016, item 1030) Law
    The Act on the Protection of Personal Data of 29 August 1997 (Journal of Laws 2016, item 922) Law

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • Extra-territoriality

    Under Polish law, regulation of prize promotions is very limited. The Polish Civil Code states only that a person that has promised a reward for the performance of a particular act by a public announcement to an unspecified number of people is obliged to keep the promise. There are no other specific legal regulations regarding prize promotions (unless the promotion is considered to be a lottery or other game set forth in the Gambling Act in which case additional obligations apply).

    However, consumer law and data protection law should be taken into consideration. Moreover, if the prize promotion is operated online, the Act on Rendering Services by Electronic Means should also be also taken into consideration.

    In relation to prize promotions which are operated online and outside the Polish jurisdiction, the Polish Act on Rendering Services by Electronic Means should not generally apply. According to the relevant provision of this regulation, the provision of electronic services is subject to the law of the member state of the European Union in which the service provider is a resident. However, there are some exceptions to this general rule: for example, irrespective of the location of the service providers, when a prize promotion is directed to Polish consumers. Polish consumer law determined in separate legal acts applies. Therefore, the terms and conditions of the prize promotion must be in line with the Polish Act on Consumer Rights and the Polish Civil Code's provisions regarding business to consumer relations.

    Furthermore, generally, the Polish Personal Data Protection Act should not apply to the terms and conditions of the prize promotion if the data controller of the participants' data is not an entity located in Poland.

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • Skills competitions

    Yes, under the following circumstances:

    • The winner must be chosen on the basis of skills (ie the best work or act), and not on the basis of chance.

      Even if a promotion contains elements of skill but the final result is determined on the basis of chance, this would likely be considered as a lottery and official approval (by public authority) would be required. Elements of chance are acceptable as long as they are not decisive as to the final decision about the winner (eg it is acceptable that at the first stage of the promotion a limited number of participants are chosen by a draw if the final results regarding the winner are based on skill).

    • Terms of the prize promotion should be notified to the participants prior to their participation in the promotion.

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • Prize draws

    This is unlawful (it may be considered as a lottery, which requires obtaining official approval under the Gambling Act), unless participation in the promotion is not conditional on the purchase of goods, services or another game ticket.

    Under Polish law, it will be deemed to be a lottery where the outcome is significantly conditional on chance (the main condition), the prize is either cash or a material prize (there is no legal definition of material prize under Polish law, however a prize is considered to be material if it is neither cash nor its equivalent (eg gift certificates, vouchers etc.); thus, for instance material prizes are cars, books, trips etc.), and participants purchase goods, services or another game ticket to enter the lottery.

    If the purchasing of goods, services or another game ticket is optional, the game should be generally treated as a prize promotion, not as a lottery.

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • Selection of winners

    There are no specific legal requirements for the selection of winners and the award of prizes.

    However, promoters must determine the rules for selecting winners and awarding prizes. For skills competitions, the terms should also include the criteria for assessing the participants' skills.

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • Judges

    There are no particular requirements in relation to judges or judging in skills competitions. However, the decision of the judges should be taken by a simple majority and in the form of a resolution.

    The criteria and mechanism for judging must be notified to the participants before they enter the promotion.

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • Prizes

    There are no specific legal restrictions on the prizes awarded, unless - based on general regulations - economic circulation of a particular item/service is excluded or restricted. In addition, the terms of the prize promotion should determine the amount, value and type of the prize, as well as information on whether it is possible to receive a cash equivalent of the prize instead of the prize itself.

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • Registration requirements and fees

    Registration Requirements

    There are no requirements to register prize promotions.

    Fees/Taxes payable

    The tax consequences must be determined on a case by case basis, as different types of the prize promotions are subject to different tax consequences - especially if a given prize promotion is considered to be a 'premium sales program'. Taking into account that in many cases also the intermediary companies are engaged in organizing prize promotions, determining the tax aspects of such promotions is a very complex issue. At the same time, the tax consequences shall be determined not only from the perspective of the company organizing the promotion, but also from the perspective of the individual receiving a prize - as some prizes are subject to Personal Income Tax Law (and the company giving away the prize may be considered as a tax remitter).

    From the Perspective of a company organizing the prize promotions - the following aspects of the transaction shall be taken into account, whether:

    • The cost of the promotion can be considered as a tax deductible cost (in most cases - yes, they can)

    • The input VAT on expenses incurred in relation to promotion can be deducted from the output VAT

    • The prize obtained by a given individual is subject to personal income tax or its is exempted from taxation, and consequently, whether the company organizing the game is responsible for withholding tax (and in practice) economically paying any tax

    The above issues, especially the one related to Personal Income Tax, must be verified before organizing the prize programme - as, in practice, the tax issue may influence the prize amount. In Poland if a prize is not covered by the exemption from Personal Income Tax (ie for a specific prize programme the prizes of value lower than approx. EUR 170 are exempted from PIT), the company organizing the prize promotions usually gives additional prizes in cash to cover the Personal Income Tax).

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • Other local requirements

    The promoter is obliged to respect the terms of the prize promotion notified to the participants. These terms cannot be, generally, changed during the promotion.

    The promoter’s name and address must be notified to the participants.

    There are also some restrictions regarding prize promotions in other legal acts, eg it is forbidden to organize prize promotions conditional on the purchase of tobacco products.

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • Timing

    There are no special requirements in this regard.

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • Translations

    Yes.

    The terms and conditions and other documents needed to enter the prize promotion must be translated into Polish where the prize promotion is directed to consumers.

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • Penalties for non-compliance

    If the prize promotion is considered to be a lottery, the party that organizes it without a permit must pay a penalty equal to 100% of the promotion's income. Furthermore, under the Fiscal Penal Code, running or organizing a lottery contrary to the law or a permit is subject to a fine (maximum fine = approximately £3,800,000).

    Where there is a breach of the law on personal data protection, the Polish Data Protection Authority (GIODO) may - ex officio or upon a motion of the person concerned - issue an order to restore the proper legal state. Furthermore, non-compliance with the Personal Data Protection Act may be treated as a criminal offense.

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • Restrictiveness of regulations

    Under Polish law there are a limited number of restrictions and formal requirements regarding the organizing of prize promotions. Therefore, most prize promotion mechanics are allowed (provided the promotion is not considered as a lottery or other game set forth in the Gambling Act).

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • Regularity of sanctions

    No information publicly available. However, in our experience, the risk of criminal liability for breach of the relevant laws is rather low in Poland.

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • Key contacts
    Ewa Kurowska-Tober
    Ewa Kurowska-Tober
    Partner DLA Piper Giziński Kycia sp.k. [email protected] T +48 22 540 7402 View bio
    Justyna Wilczyńska-Baraniak
    Justyna Wilczyńska-Baraniak
    Counsel DLA Piper Giziński Kycia sp.k. [email protected] T +48 22 540 74 15 View bio
    Damian Karwala
    Damian Karwala
    Senior Associate DLA Piper Giziński Kycia sp.k. [email protected] T +48 22 540 74 16 View bio

Governing law

What are the applicable governing laws or codes for prize promotions?

Poland

Poland

NameLaw or Code?
The Code of Ethics in Advertising of the Advertising Council (Rada Reklamy) Code
The Code of Ethics in Direct Marketing of the Polish Marketing Association - SMB (Polskie Stowarzyszenie Marketingu - SMB) Code
The Civil Code of 23 April 1964 (Journal of Laws 2016, item 380 as amended) Law
The Gambling Act of 19 November 2009 (Journal of Laws 2016, item 471) Law
The Consumer Rights Act of 30 May 2014 (Journal of Laws, item 827, as amended) Law
The Act on Rendering Services by Electronic Means of 18 July 2002 (Journal of Laws 2016, item 1030) Law
The Act on the Protection of Personal Data of 29 August 1997 (Journal of Laws 2016, item 922) Law