Port Package in Polish ports


Port Package will improve the competitiveness of Polish ports
On the 11th of October, public and inter-ministerial consultations began on the so-called IV Act of Deregulation. This “Port Package” will improve the competitiveness of Polish ports by reducing border controls and thus the waiting time in ports, and furthermore extend the deadline for the settlement of VAT on imports of authorized economic operators.
The most important change this Act will effect is the shortening of the time of official functions (other than quarantine and laboratory tests) to 24 hours. The authorities empowered to conduct these functions will be informed by the customs office about any imported goods, and the place and time of the control audit. In justified cases, the time taken to conduct this audit can be extended to  48 hours. This is consistent with the requirements of the EU Parliament and the Council ( 2010/65 ) for the facilitation of maritime transport, whilst still reducing the administrative burden on shipping companies.
The IV Act of Deregulation will require the use of electronic data transmission and information exchange systems, with a view to, as far as possible, the simultaneous elimination of barriers to maritime transport and the achievement of a free European maritime transport space. This requires the implementation of an electronic workflow platform in ports (Port Community Systems). Data entered into this system will be sent to all active ports and inspection service agencies without workflow between departments , which should theoretically reduce the time to enact control procedures. The core benefit for all parties involved would therefore be higher efficiency and speed regarding port processes, achieved through administrative automatisation and the reduction of paperwork this would entail. However, there are concerns that the implementation of the platform providing the technical coordination of the various institutions may take place after the entry into force of the Act of deregulation, which is scheduled for early 2014.
Another important change contained in the “Port Package”  is the extension of the deadline for the settlement of VAT on imported goods by the AEO  (Authorised Economic Operator). The new proposals provide the opportunity for entrepreneurs to submit their tax declarations for the period in which the liability to tax on imported goods originates. Despite the simplified facilitation of customs controls, the AEO will still have to pay VAT within 10 days of notification by the customs authorities of the amount due. The authors of the Act emphasize that similar rules regarding  have been applied in other EU countries (including Germany , Netherlands , Slovakia , Czech Republic , Estonia and Austria). However it should be noted that the obligation to pay VAT on imported goods in these countries extends for a longer period of 45 to 90 days.
Marlena Kaźmierczak