The basis of E-commerce in Poland is enacted in the Civil Code and the Act of 18 July 2002 on the provision of electronic services. The Act defines the obligations of the service provider related to the provision of electronic services, the rules for excluding the service provider’s liability in this respect, as well as the rules for the protection of personal data of natural persons using such services. An entrepreneur providing services by electronic means must have regulations for the provision of electronic services and make certain information public. It is forbidden to send unsolicited commercial information by means of electronic communication.
Electronic signing of documents in Poland is possible by means of an electronic signature verified with a qualified certificate (the so-called qualified signature). The electronic signature is available from private suppliers, the so-called trust services. The activity of trust service providers is regulated by the Act of 5 September 2016 on trust services and electronic identification.
In official matters where electronic contact with the office is possible via the ePUAP platform (electronic Platform of Public Administration Services), it is possible to use an electronic signature verified with a trusted profile (the so-called trusted signature). The trusted signature is free of charge and requires only an active and confirmed trusted profile (profile on the ePUAP platform). However, it will not be appropriate for internal documents or when the document is required to be signed by at least 2 people, according to the representation rules.
The consumer is subject to special protection under Polish law, which is already provided for by the Civil Code, as the basic legal act regulating civil law relations. In Poland, the consumer has rights under the warranty in regards to defects in the product or service during sale. The Civil Code also specifies a sample catalog of prohibited provisions in standard contracts.
Special regulations apply to distance and off-premises sales, where consumer rights are guaranteed in the Act of 30 May 2014 on consumer rights. The act provides for a maximum period after which the seller’s failure to respond to the complaint means its recognition, the entrepreneur’s obligations towards the consumer, the obligation to obtain the consumer’s express consent for additional payments, the consequences of unsolicited services, the conditions and manner of exercising the right to withdraw from the contract and other minimum guarantees to protect the consumer’s interests.
The bodies appointed to protect consumers are the Consumer Ombudsman and the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK), whose operation is regulated by the Act of 16 February 2007 on competition and consumer protection. It provides for a clear prohibition of practices violating collective consumer interests and proceedings before the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection, including the procedure for recognizing the provisions of a standard contract as prohibited.
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*This article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute a legal advice.