Entrepreneurs are facing further major changes to construction law, which could affect future investment processes. On 1 June 2023. The Council of Ministers submitted a broad bill to the Sejm assuming the need to further simplify and speed up procedures. At the same time, regulations were proposed that should be of particular interest to building contractors. The bill will now go through the entire legislation path, although it is already worth learning about the changes proposed by the government at this point so that you can adapt your business to the new regulations at the right time.
The proposed bill aims to create a single way of submitting documents, namely exclusively in the form of an electronic document via the e-Building portal. This change would come into effect throughout one year after the enactment of the Act. It is intended that such a regulation will help to streamline the investment process and reduce the amount of paper documentation. For the above purpose, it is proposed to introduce a single, national system for the comprehensive handling of the investment and construction process, i.e. the System for the Handling of Administrative Proceedings in Construction, or the ‘SOPAB system’. Currently, there is no such universal system. Moreover, the legislator proposes to abandon the paper form of the construction log by 2030, and a more common form will be the provision of an Electronic Construction Log to participants in the investment process. At the same time, a Database of Construction Projects is to be created, in which the investor will be able to make available, among others, construction projects, architectural and construction designs or technical designs in order to streamline the activities of offices and facilitate the process of obtaining a building permit or occupancy permit.
Also noteworthy is the intention to speed up the issuance of building permit decisions, although this mainly concerns the electronic submission of documents. This form will be prioritised by the legislator. The authority will then have 30 days – if the investor is the only party to the proceedings – or 45 days – if there are other parties than the investor. In other cases (and thus assuming paper submission), the government proposes to reduce the deadline for issuing the decision to 30 days if the investor is the only party to the proceedings.
The current general deadline (65) will apply in other cases (i.e. where the investor is not the only party to the proceedings).
Another change will be the introduction of simplified solutions with regard to commencing occupancy of a building. The principle is to be the obligation to notify the building supervisory authority of the completion of construction. However, a occupancy permit decision will be possible in two cases, i.e.: 1) if the building object is to be commenced occupancy before all construction works are completed, and 2) if the investor himself voluntarily applies for such a decision. At the same time, the proposed law introduces the possibility to commence occupancy of single-family residential buildings and construction objects classified in category III without the participation of the construction supervision authorities. It will be sufficient for the construction manager to submit a declaration on the completion of the construction and the possibility to start using the building structure.
Another important change will be the introduction of the so-called “yellow card” mechanism, i.e. a warning from the construction supervision authorities addressed to the investor in order to undertake appropriate actions required by the provisions of the Construction Law in the event of making illegal material dispensation from the design documentation without initiating administrative proceedings in this regard. Currently, such action is associated with the commencement by the construction supervision of an administrative proceeding, which is severe for the investor, whereas the so-called yellow card mechanism is intended to result in the fact that, before the construction supervision authority commences the complicated procedure, it will first give the investor a chance to rectify the irregularities (elimination of the material dispensation) and will only conduct proceedings if the investor fails to rectify the committed irregularities.
It is the intention of the drafter that a party who wishes to appeal the decision of an authority in the construction process will have to make an additional declaration subject to criminal liability for making false statements. In this way, an additional condition for exercising the constitutional right to appeal decisions issued at the first instance is introduced, and each participant in the construction process will have to
consider whether a possible appeal is actually intended to defend its interests or only to prolong the proceedings and hinder the implementation of the investment.
The above-mentioned assumptions are only a few selected issues out of many that the government intends to introduce. It is worthwhile to familiarise oneself well in advance with the assumptions that will soon be reflected in the current construction law.
If you are interested in the proposed changes or would like to learn more about the remaining amended
regulations, or have any doubts as to the effects of the assumed changes, we encourage you to contact our