What authorities can control entrepreneurs?
Every entrepreneur has an obligation to conduct their own business in line with the rules in force. Depending on the nature of the activity each entrepreneur may expect verification activities, which aim to demonstrate and confirm that the operations of the controlled are in accordance with the applicable legislation.
Rules governing the control of economic activity are laid down in the Act on freedom of economic activity, in special laws, and may derive directly from Community law or ratified international agreements. In the Act on freedom of economic activity are laid down general rules for carrying out checks. However, the scope, types and bodies authorised to conduct are laid down in special Acts.
Depending on the type of activity, entrepreneur can be checked inter alia by the following public authorities:
National Labour Inspectorate — checks are intended to ensure compliance with labour legislation, in particular: health and safety provisions and provisions concerning the legality of employment, employment relationship, remuneration and other benefits resulting from an employment relationship, such as compliance with minimum hourly rate, working time, leave entitlements of staff related to parenting, employment of minors and people with disabilities. Details on the scope and principles of control activities undertaken by can be found in the Act on the National Labour Inspectorate.
Social insurance Institution — controls the regularity and fairness of the tasks and obligations in the field of social security. ZUS inspectors when carrying out the control have the right to examine whether the contributions payer in due time registered to social and health insurance all persons he should, calculated from the correct assessment bases and in the correct amount all the contributions due and declared them, correctly calculated the amount of social insurance benefits and documented the right to those benefits, paid and accounted for in the contributions, correctly, on time and without errors has drawn up applications for pensions, accurately issued certificates and reported data for insurance purposes. Monitoring the performance of social insurance is governed by the Act on the social insurance system.
KRUS — during the inspection officials shall verify the right of the controlled to KRUS insurance and check whether the insured persons actually exercise an agricultural activity. Functioning of KRUS is regulated by the Act on social insurance of farmers.
Tax Office — controls whether the entrepreneurs fulfils the obligations arising from the provisions of tax law, for example concerning the refund of VAT, correct calculation and payment of income tax and a correct record keeping and accounting records. The control is carried out under the conditions laid down in the Tax Code.
Customs and tax authority - conducts control covering inter alia compliance with the provisions of tax law, customs law and other rules concerning the import and export of goods moved between the customs territory of the European Union and third countries, the provisions governing the organisation and running of gambling, foreign exchange law and conditions of implementation of currency exchange office. Customs and tax controls focus on combating economic crime, grey economy and minimise offences and irregularities. The primary task of the inspections is to detect and address irregularities on a large scale — tax and customs fraud, extortion and other criminal offences which cause substantial harm to state budget such as VAT extortions. Customs and tax control has no territorial jurisdiction. This means that a given office may carry out controls throughout the country. In the framework of the customs and tax control powers of officers are much broader than it is apparent from the general principles of the Freedom of Economic Activity Act. Officers are additionally entitled to carry out so-called operational and exploratory activities. Customs and tax control shall be carried out by customs and tax offices according to rules laid down in the Act on National Tax Administration and the Tax Code.
The State Sanitary Inspection is responsible for the control of entrepreneurs engaged in activity related to life and health of customers, including the supervision of the hygiene conditions of environment, health and safety in establishments, radiation hygiene, food safety, nutrition, and objects for the sanitary use. It supervises the proper application of the principles of the HACCP system in the establishments subject to supervision of the State Sanitary Inspectorate. Details on the scope and actions of the work undertaken by the SSI are included in the State Sanitary Inspectorate Act and the Act on Food Safety and Nutrition,
General Veterinary Inspectorate — carries out border veterinary checks and the veterinary control of trade in and export of animals and products. It also conducts controls of devices for vitro diagnostic used in veterinary medicine, in order to determine whether the products placed on the market or use are in the list of in vitro diagnostic devices used in veterinary medicine and control of the activities of the breeder, who keeps animals intended to be used or used for scientific or educational purposes. Detailed information on the checks carried out by Veterinary Inspectorate defines the Act on Veterinary Inspectorate
Trade Inspectorate - tasks are carried out by the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (the authority) and the provincial governors assisted by the Provincial Inspectors of Trade Inspectorate. The Trade Inspectorate's task is protection of consumers' interests and rights and the national economic interest. It checks the legality and fairness of entrepreneurs activities in production, trade and services. The checks include compliance of a product with the essential and specific requirements, the conformity of a product with the general safety requirements and the quality of products and services. Details on the scope and modalities of the work undertaken by the Trade Inspectorate are included in the Act on Trade Inspection.
State Fund for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled (PEFRON) — is a fund which supports professional and social rehabilitation and employment of people with disabilities. The Fund is authorised to carry out checks the use by traders of reductions in contributions to PFRON. It shall also examine the powers of entrepreneurs receiving subsidies for the wages of disabled persons, and the reimbursement of adaptation and equipment costs for workplaces for disabled persons. It verifies whether the funds have been used for their intended purpose. Detailed information on the control activities of PEFRON are set out in the Act on Vocational and Social Rehabilitation and Employment of Disabled Persons and in the Regulation of the Minister of Labour and Social Policy on the procedure and method for carrying out checks.
Concession granting authority - checks whether the entrepreneur operates in the scope of granted concession. Types of activities are listed in the Act on freedom of economic activity. They include, inter alia, the marketing of fuels, energy, protecting persons and property, air services, casino, manufacture and trade in explosives and arms, prospection and exploration of deposits, underground storage of waste and carbon dioxide, etc. In general, the concessions are granted by the minister responsible for the subject of the economic activity licence.
The authority keeping the register of regulated activity - verifies whether entrepreneurs meets the conditions required for the performance of regulated activity. List of regulated activities requiring entry in the register includes, inter alia, tourist services, vehicle inspection stations, investigation services, driving schools, currency exchange offices, post office activity etc. The detailed issues such as conditions for pursuing the activity, authority keeping the register, the manner in which the register is kept, are laid down in the provisions of the acts governing the activity in question.
Border Guards - checks the compliance with rules on the legality of work carried out by foreigners, pursuing by them economic activity. It cooperates with the National Labour Inspectorate and the other public authorities, in particular the police, Customs Service, Social Security Institution, the treasury tontrol offices. Details are laid down in the Act on the Border Guards
Inspector General for Personal Data Protection - checks the compliance of data processing with personal data protection rules. During the inspection the inspector draws particular attention to the conditions for the lawfulness of personal data processing and sensitive data, scope and purpose of data processing, the substantive accuracy of data and their adequacy to the purpose of processing, whether the person whose data is being processed has been clearly informed, whether data set was registered and security of data processing. Details of the GIODO's control activities are laid down in the Law on the protection of personal data and the Regulation of the Minister of Internal Affairs and Administration on personal data processing documentation and the technical and organisational conditions to be met by equipment and IT systems used for processing personal data.
The Environmental Protection Inspectorate — deals with compliance by entrepreneurs with the provisions on environmental protection e.g. including compliance with decisions laying down the conditions for utilisation of environment, compliance with the scope, frequency and method of measuring emissions and its impact on the state of environment, the operation of installations and appliances protecting the environment against pollution, performance of the tasks specified in the provisions on international waste shipments, prevention from serious accidents, and exercise of supervision of removing their consequences. Control may also cover compliance with the rules on packaging and packaging waste, compliance with the provisions on the obligations of undertakings regarding the management of certain waste and on product charges, handling of substances that deplete the ozone layer, compliance with rules on the recycling of end-of-life vehicles, compliance with the rules on waste electrical and electronic equipment, batteries and accumulators, compliance with the legislation of the Act on the maintenance of cleanliness and order in municipalities. Checks may also concern devices placed on the market or put into service, subject to conformity assessment, in terms of their compliance with the essential or other requirements relating to the protection of the environment. Inspection tasks of the Environmental Protection Inspectorate are largely governed by the Environmental Protection Inspectorate Act and the Environmental Protection Law Act
State fire brigade - carries out operational and exploratory activities in order to identify risks and to supervise compliance with fire safety regulations. Operational and exploratory activities are carried out with respect to: monitoring compliance with fire regulations, assessment of compliance with the fire requirements of technical solutions used in buildings, assessment of conformity of the execution of the buiding with construction project, the establishment of safety requirements at establishmenti posing risk of major industrial accident, identifying possibilities and conditions for rescue operations by the fire service units, identifying other local hazards, initial determination of irregularities which contributed to the occurrence of fire and its spread and to collect the information needed for analysis of major industrial accident and make recommendations to the operator. Detailed information on the activities of the fire brigade control are laid down in the Law on the State Fire .
Since 2017 we have a new control provisions. They aim at reducing . Below you will find information on the most important changes.
The tax control cannot undermine the findings of previous audits
If you applied in VAT settlements a reduced rate of tax for the product in question and the tax control at your company shows that you have done it correctly, then any subsequent review, until legal interpretation has been amended, cannot call into question the previous findings.
One inspection in one case
In accordance with the new provisions of the Freedom of Business Activity Act, the authority cannot check your company several times in connection with the same matter. Exceptions to this rule are, e.g. suspicion of having committed a criminal offence.
Detailed control procedures (step-by-step) published on the internet
Regardless of which office carries out your business, you can find information regarding the control procedure online. Control authorities will be required to include detailed step-by-step information on procedures for controls on their websites.
Action brought against the excessive duration of the audit
If a check at your company is lengthy, you can submit a complaint to the court about the audit authority extending the duration of the inspection.
Joint audits of several offices - for your agreement
If you want to avoid long term controls of the different offices, your agreement must be joint inspections of different authorities - where they relate to the same issue