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Provision of cross-border services in Poland by citizens of EU countries

Principles of providing cross-border services in Poland

If you are an EU citizen, you have a company in your country but you want to provide services in Poland? You do not need to register a company in Poland. This is possible due to existing EU rules on cross-border provision of services.

Remember that if you provide cross-border services in Poland, the authorities cannot impose additional requirements on you (e.g. special permits) only because you are a foreigner.

Go to the case:

Note! If you are not a citizen of an EU country, you may provide services in Poland on the basis of international agreements or on the basis of reciprocity.

However, temporary provision of services may be associated with the obligation to obtain a licence, permit, entry in the register of regulated activity or a certificate, if required by Polish regulations.

Basic rights of providers of cross-border services

EU law guarantees the service provider rights which must not be restricted by Member States. In line with the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union:

  • the provider may not be required to be established in the country where the service is to be provided (judgment),
  • the requirement that key personnel must have their habitual residence in the State where the service is provided is prohibited (judgment),
  • it is forbidden to request an authorisation to provide certain services without taking into account the guarantee of the proper performance of the service already guaranteed in the home country where the service provider is established (additional restrictions may apply to services of a specific nature, such as medical services (judgment)
  • it is not possible to force a Polish service provider to pay insurance contributions for his/her employees in the country where the services are provided if the service provider has already paid insurance contributions in Poland (judgment),
  • the requirement for the service provider to have an appropriate legal form (judgment) is prohibited.

Basic rules for the provision of cross-border services in Poland in regulated professions

Nationals of Member States who practice their profession/conduct activity in one EU country in accordance with the legislation of that Member State are allowed to provide services in another Member State for the same profession/activity.

The terms and conditions of the service are as follows:

  • the service provider moves to another Member State on a temporary and occasional basis to provide services
  • if the profession is regulated in the host Member State and it is not a regulated profession in the home Member State, the service provider must prove that he has pursued that profession/activity in the home Member State for at least two years during the 10 years preceding the provision of the service. This requirement shall not apply if the training for the pursuit of the profession/activity in question was specifically regulated.

Provision of services for the first time

Before services are provided for the first time, you will have to submit to the competent authority for recognition of qualifications a written declaration on the intention to provide the service. It should contain information on the insurance policy you have or other means of personal or collective insurance related to the exercise of the profession in question. You submit the declaration again each year in which you intend to provide cross-border service.

The administrative body may require from you to attach the following documents:

  • document proving nationality,
  • an attestation certifying that you practise profession or activity in another Member State and that at the time of submission you are not subject to prohibition (even temporary) from practising a profession or business activity,
  • documents proving professional qualifications,
  • document proving you exercised your profession or activity for at least two years during the last ten years or regulated training or activity — if the profession or activity is not regulated in the Member State of establishment,
  • Certificate of No Criminal Record if it is required from Polish nationals who intend to pursue a regulated profession or activities related to public security.

As a service provider you are subject to Polish legislation which are directly linked to consumer protection and safety, and relate to the mode of pursuit of a regulated profession or activity.

The general rule is that the host Member State exempts service providers from requirements relating to obtaining permission, registration or membership in a professional organisation or body, however, it may introduce a simplified temporary registration or membership in a professional organisation or institution (however this cannot result in additional costs, delays or complications in the provision of the services)

Provision of services for professions which have public health or safety implications

In case of  provision of services for the first time for regulated professions which have public health or safety implications and defective execution could expose users to serious consequences, the competent authority of the host Member State can check the qualifications of the service provider before the first provision of services (so-called prior check).

The list of professions for which the competent Polish authorities can verify the qualifications is specified in the Annex to Regulation.

Within one month from the submission of your declaration of the intention to provide services (along with the necessary documents), the competent authority is obliged to issue a decision on the recognition of qualifications or notify on withdrawal from examination of qualifications.  In exceptional cases the competent authority may extend the deadline to reply, up to a maximum of two months.

If during the examination of qualifications the competent authority identifies substantial differences between qualifications required in Poland and the qualification held by you (lack of knowledge or skills which might endanger public health or safety), it may require you to take an aptitude test.

If your qualifications have been verified and recognised, you can use the professional title laid down for the profession in Poland.

Service providers intending to provide services in Poland are obliged, before concluding a written contract for the provision of services (and if it has not been concluded - before commencing the provision of services), to provide the service recipient with the following information in an unambiguous form (if any):

  • the company, the address of its registered office or the address of its place of residence and principal place of business
  • the registration authority and the number in the register in which the service provider is registered as an entrepreneur or the number in the register of economic activity
  • e-mail address or other contact details of the service provider
  • indication of the authority which issued the certificate, licence, authorisation, approval or made an entry in the register or issued another document authorising the service provider to provide the service
  • indication of the professional organisation to which the service provider belongs, the professional title and the country in which that title was awarded
  • main characteristics of the service
  • the price of the service, if it was determined
  • the provider's standard contract terms and conditions and the contractual terms which determine the law applicable to the contract in question, or a court or other competent dispute resolution body
  • tax identification number (NIP) or other identification number which the service provider is obliged to use for the purposes of value added tax
  • of compulsory insurance or financial guarantee, together with the identity of the insurer or guarantor, and of the territorial cover of the insurance
  • on guarantees of the quality of the service provided, which are not required by law

Upon request, the provider shall make available to the recipient the following additional information:

  • of the method of calculation of the price for the service, if the price has not been fixed in advance or if it is impossible to give an exact price
  • on the regulation of the regulated profession of service provider and how to access it
  • codes of good practice to which the provider is subject, with an indication of where they are published
  • where the provider is subject to a code of good practice or is a member of a trade association or professional body which provides for recourse to a non-judicial means of dispute settlement, the provider shall indicate this, as well as how to access detailed information on the characteristics of, and conditions for the use of non-judicial means of dispute settlement

The provider must make this information available in such a way as to enable the recipient to acquaint himself with it, in particular:

  • at the place where the service is provided
  • at the place of the conclusion of the contract
  • on its Internet site
  • in the information documents supplied to the recipient

It should be noted that a service provider temporarily offering or providing a service in Poland may be both a natural person from another Member State, not conducting business activity, and an entrepreneur from another Member State, as well as a natural person who has a place of residence in Poland and who does not conduct business activity.

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