Chapter

POLAND

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
Published Date:
September 2004
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(Position as of December 31, 2003)
Status Under IMF Articles of Agreement
Article VIIIDate of acceptance: June 1, 1995.
Exchange Arrangement
CurrencyThe currency of Poland is the Polish zloty.
Exchange rate structureUnitary.
Classification
Independently floatingThe exchange rate of the zloty is determined on the basis of supply and demand in the foreign exchange market, and the zloty is traded freely against all currencies.
Exchange taxNo.
Exchange subsidyNo.
Forward exchange marketA liquid swap market exists.
Arrangements for Payments and Receipts
Prescription of currency requirements
Use of foreign exchange among residentsSettlements in foreign currency among residents in Poland require a foreign exchange permit, except for those that are (1) not related to the conduct of business activities between natural persons; (2) related to sales of goods or property rights abroad; or (3) conducted between employers and employees regarding business trips or work abroad.
Payments arrangements
Bilateral payments arrangements
InoperativeThere are agreements with Iraq, the Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, and Turkey. Outstanding balances are being settled in accordance with the terms of the agreements.
Regional arrangementsPoland is a member of the CEFTA.
Clearing agreementsThere are inoperative agreements with members of the former CMEA.
Administration of controlThe authority to make basic changes in the Foreign Exchange Law rests with parliament. Regulations are promulgated by the MOF, in cooperation with the president of the National Bank of Poland (NBP). General foreign exchange permits are granted by the NBP in the form of regulations. Decisions concerning individual foreign exchange permits are subject to appeal to the Supreme Administrative Court. The NBP exercises controls over issuance of foreign exchange permits, exchange offices activities, and submission by commercial banks to the NBP of their banking statistics, for the purpose of compiling balance-of-payments data and the external asset and liabilities position of the country.
International security restrictions
In accordance with IMF Executive Board Decision No. 144-(52/51)In accordance with UN Security Council resolutions, Poland imposed and maintained a ban on trade with Iraq and on exports of certain products to Libya. The Polish government bans, in line with relevant UN Security Council resolutions, exports of arms and military equipment to the following countries: Angola (for UNITA forces), Haiti, Iraq, Liberia, Libya, Rwanda, and Somalia.
In accordance with UN sanctionsYes.
Payments arrearsNo.
Controls on trade in gold (coins and/or bullion)
Controls on domestic ownership and/or tradeResident individuals may hold gold in any form; trading in gold, other than in jewelry form, is subject to permission from the NBP.
Controls on external tradeThe exportation of foreign gold coins requires a permit, except for exports by nonresidents (who had previously imported them into the country) and imports by residents for conducting business in precious metals. However, the exportation of gold coins issued by the NBP is permitted. Coins made from precious metals are not legal tender in Poland.
Controls on exports and imports of banknotes
On exportsThe exportation of foreign or domestic banknotes with a total value exceeding the equivalent of €10,000 requires permission, with the following exceptions: (1) exportation by nonresidents of banknotes previously imported into the country or banknotes purchased or exchanged at a bank for banknotes previously imported into the country; (2) exportation by residents and nonresidents of banknotes withdrawn from a bank account or purchased from a bank for banknotes in a bank account; and (3) exportation by nonresidents of traveler’s checks signed by them.
Domestic currencyResidents and nonresidents may export up to the equivalent of €5,000 in any currency without documentary proof of origin. There are no limitations on nonresident exports of foreign securities or traveler’s checks. Residents must repatriate foreign exchange within two months of returning to Poland.
Foreign currencyPolish nationals may take abroad up to €5,000 or its equivalent in foreign currencies, checks, and traveler’s checks. Documentary proof of origin is necessary for amounts exceeding this limit. Residents must repatriate foreign exchange within two months of returning to Poland. For official and business travel, allowances are based on separate regulations on business travel and on collective wage agreements.
On importsImports of domestic or foreign banknotes exceeding the equivalent of €10,000 must be reported to the customs administration authorities.
Domestic currencyResidents and nonresidents may import up to the equivalent of €10,000 in any currency without notification to the customs authorities. There are no limitations on nonresident exports of foreign securities or traveler’s checks. Residents must repatriate foreign exchange within two months of returning to Poland.
Foreign currencyResidents must repatriate foreign exchange and domestic means of payment within two months after returning to Poland.
Resident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedYes.
Held domesticallyYes.
Held abroadResidents (individuals and enterprises) are allowed to maintain accounts in the member countries of the EU, the EEA, and the OECD without permission. Accounts in other countries may be maintained in connection with the economic activity conducted in these countries or in connection with management of portfolio investments by residents in these countries. Activity in these accounts must be reported quarterly to the NBP.
Approval requiredYes.
Accounts in domestic currency held abroadThe regulations for foreign exchange accounts held abroad also apply to these accounts.
Accounts in domestic currency convertible into foreign currencyNo.
Nonresident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedYes.
Domestic currency accountsThese accounts may or may not pay interest, depending on the agreement with the bank, and they may be credited with funds from any source that is in compliance with foreign exchange regulations.
Convertible into foreign currencyThese accounts may be converted into foreign currency.
Blocked accountsNo.
Imports and Import Payments
Foreign exchange budgetNo.
Financing requirements for importsNo.
Documentation requirements for release of foreign exchange for importsNo.
Import licenses and other nontariff measuresLicenses are not required for imports from the convertible currency area, with the exception of imports of radioactive materials and military equipment; specific substances that deplete the ozone layer; nutritive gelatin; used textile articles; articles for fairs; table or parlor games; alcoholic beverages other than beer; tobacco products; crude oil and oils obtained from bituminous minerals; gasoline and light oils; natural gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons; coal; and goods for the industrial assembly of motor vehicles.
Negative listImports of specific ozone-depleting substances and goods are prohibited.
Licenses with quotasImports of petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals originating from the Czech Republic or the Russian Federation are subject to quantitative quotas.
Import taxes and/or tariffsAll commercial imports, regardless of country of origin or provenance, are subject to an ad valorem import tariff. Import tariffs are based on the Harmonized System and the Combined Nomenclature of the EU, with six basic rates: zero on equipment for the disabled, mineral resources, textiles, and cattle hides; up to 3% on other raw materials; 6% to 9% on basic parts of semifinished and finished goods; 12% to 25% on industrial goods; 25% to 30% on agricultural products; 9% to 18% on textile products; and 30% on luxury goods. Imports from developing countries are granted preferential treatment under the GSP. Also, imports from 45 developing countries, tropical products, and many goods that are of interest to developing countries enter Poland duty free. For the remaining goods imported from non-European developing countries whose per capita GDP is lower than Poland’s, duties are reduced by 20% to 30% of the MFN rate. Duties and taxes on imports for export production are refunded. Imports of capital goods for new joint ventures are exempt from customs duties.
State import monopolyNo.
Exports and Export Proceeds
Repatriation requirementsNo.
Financing requirementsNo.
Documentation requirementsNo.
Export licensesLicenses are required for exports carried out within the framework of international agreements that stipulate bilateral settlements and for temporary exports of capital goods and transport equipment for leasing motor vehicles.
Without quotasLicenses are required for exports of radioactive materials and military equipment, as well as of goods subject to export quotas. Exports of specific species of live poultry and of ozone-depleting goods are prohibited, as are exports to Serbia and Montenegro of petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals.
With quotasExports of waste and scrap of copper, nickel, aluminum, lead, zinc, and tin are subject to quota restrictions.
Export taxesNo.
Payments for Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Controls on these transfersWhen payments exceed €10,000, all current operations must be effected through domestic banks. Residents and nonresidents must document the payments or transfers to the bank if these exceed €10,000.
Credit card use abroadCredit card use abroad is permitted, but the transactions must comply with regulations.
Proceeds from Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Repatriation requirementsNo.
Restrictions on use of fundsNo.
Capital Transactions
Controls on capital transactionsAll capital transactions with residents of the member countries of the EU, the EEA, and the OECD are free of controls.
Controls on capital and money market instruments
On capital market securities
Shares or other securities of a participating nature
Purchase locally by nonresidentsThe purchase of Polish securities with a maturity of less than one year by nonresidents other than the residents of the EU, the EEA, and the OECD (residents of “third countries”) is prohibited.
Sale or issue locally by nonresidentsA Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) permit is required for residents and nonresidents to trade in securities.
Purchase abroad by residentsResidents are allowed to purchase securities with maturities exceeding one year issued by nonresidents from “third countries” with which Poland has concluded agreements on mutual promotion and protection of investment (BIT countries).
Sale or issue abroad by residentsResidents are permitted to issue or sell securities with maturities exceeding one year in BIT countries.
Bonds or other debt securitiesApproval of the NBP is required with respect to transactions with non-BIT countries.
On money market instrumentsThe regulations governing bonds or other debt securities apply.
Controls on derivatives and other instrumentsNo.
Controls on credit operations
Commercial creditsAn NBP permit is required in cases for which the repayment date on more than one-half of the debt involving residents of BIT countries is less than one year.
Financial creditsAn NBP permit is required in cases for which the repayment date on more than one-half of the debt involving residents of BIT countries is less than one year.
Guarantees, sureties, and financial backup facilities
By residents to nonresidentsAn NBP permit is required for guarantee transactions related to claims resulting from residents of BIT countries.
Controls on direct investment
Outward direct investmentAn NBP permit is required for direct investments, with the exception of the purchase of shares and interests in companies based in OECD countries and in BIT countries.
Inward direct investmentThe foreign exchange law does not impose controls on these transactions but contains sectoral restrictions.
Controls on liquidation of direct investmentThe transfer of invested capital (and profits from joint ventures and from shares in Polish companies) is not restricted, and invested capital may be repatriated once outstanding obligations to creditors are discharged.
Controls on real estate transactions
Purchase abroad by residentsAn NBP permit is required when natural persons residing in Poland purchase real estate located in non-BIT countries if the purchase price is in excess of the equivalent of €50,000. An exchange permit is also required for the transfer abroad of the foreign currency used for the purchase of such real estate.
Purchase locally by nonresidentsNonresidents may acquire real estate or other immovable property in Poland only with permission from the Ministry of the Interior, except when in the form of an inheritance. Under the Law on Acquisition of Real Estate by Foreigners, foreigners may also acquire real estate without a permit if (1) it is an apartment; (2) they have lived in Poland for at least five years after obtaining a permanent residence visa; (3) they have been married to a Polish citizen for at least two years (the purchased real estate must constitute a part of matrimonial community property); or (4) real estate is purchased by nonresident juridical persons for statutory purposes, and the size of the real estate does not exceed 4,000 square meters in urban areas. The Council of Ministers may issue a regulation defining other cases for which a permit is not required, provided that the size of acquired real estate does not exceed 4,000 square meters in urban and 10,000 square meters in rural areas. The Council of Ministers may also extend the area to be acquired without permit to 12,000 square meters in urban and 30,000 square meters in rural areas.
Sale locally by nonresidentsYes.
Controls on personal capital transactions
LoansThere are no controls on family loans.
Gifts, endowments, inheritances, and legacies
By residents to nonresidentsNBP approval is required for gifts exceeding the equivalent of €10,000 to residents of non-BIT countries.
Settlement of debts abroad by immigrantsYes.
Transfer of gambling and prize earningsYes.
Provisions specific to commercial banks and other credit institutions
Lending to nonresidents (financial or commercial credits)Banks are permitted to purchase securities abroad within the limits approved by the NBP.
Differential treatment of deposit accounts in foreign exchange
Reserve requirementsThe reserve requirement on foreign currency accounts differs from that on zloty accounts.
Open foreign exchange position limitsA bank’s overall foreign exchange position is defined and regulated in accordance with the Basle Committee 1988 Capital Accord (as amended in 1995) and EU Directive No. 93/6/EC on Capital Adequacy of Investment Firms and Capital Institutions.
Provisions specific to institutional investorsIn compliance with EU directives, an MOF permit is required to commence insurance business; an MOF permit is required for investments in the shares of insurance companies, allowing for 25%, 50%, and 75% control of votes at general shareholders’ meetings; and prudential regulations establishing limits for the investment of insurance funds in the country and abroad are provided by the statute on insurance operating activity.
Open pension funds are allowed to invest not more than 5% of their assets abroad, and such investments may only be in OECD member countries or in countries with which Poland has entered into agreements on the promotion and protection of investments. Further, these investments may only be in (1) securities issued by companies listed on major stock exchanges; (2) securities issued by treasuries or central banks; and (3) mutual fund certificates, provided that they are redeemable on demand and issued by entities domiciled in one of the aforementioned countries.
Limits (max.) on securities issued by nonresidentsThe limit for insurance business is 5% if denominated in foreign currency or 12% if denominated in euros, except for the risks situated abroad, to which technical provisions in the respective currency apply.
The limit for open pension funds is 5%.
Limits (max.) on investment portfolio held abroadThe regulations governing limits (max.) on securities issued by nonresidents apply.
Limits (min.) on investment portfolio held locallyThe limit for insurance business is 88%, and for open pension funds, 95%.
Other controls imposed by securities lawsNo.
Changes During 2003
No significant changes occurred in the exchange and trade system.

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