Anna Smagowicz-Tokarz

Attorney at law (Poland)
Associate Partner
Phone: +48 12 378 66 39

The Special Economic Zones in Poland Act was amended with effect from 6 January 2015. We would like to draw your attention to, among other things, its Article 5(3) and newly-added Article 17a. The incentives they introduce for large enterprises include an option to extend the SEZ regime to the land outside the zone if the enterprise is the owner or perpetual usufructuary of such land. To be able to bring such land under the SEZ regime the enterprise must, in the first place, plan there a new investment project that would create new jobs or involve capital expenditures in a specified amount or result in the manufacturing of new or significantly improved goods, or in the carrying out of such processes or services, or that would focus on services in the following areas:

a) research and development;
b) IT;
c) accounting and controlling;
d) bookkeeping, excluding tax returns;
e) call centres, or a project that is going to require the SEZ area to grow by no more than 2 hectares.  
Subject to meeting the aforesaid conditions and being a large enterprise in the meaning of the Commission Regulation (EU) No 651/2014,  the entity may apply for state aid to the minister competent for the economy. The application must go through the same procedure as the application for a SEZ permit. This means it can be filed in the course of a tender or negotiations undertaken on the basis of a public call for proposals. Along with the state aid application, the interested enterprise must submit documentation confirming the existence of the "incentive effect". In this regard, the SEZ Act refers to Article 6(3) of Commission Regulation (EU) No 651/2014, which defines this term. A project should be considered to have the incentive effect if it would not have been carried out, or would not have been sufficiently profitable for the beneficiary in the absence of the aid. The documentation in question will be examined by the minister competent for the economy. If the minister finds the project to have the incentive effect, the enterprise may launch it on the land originally not included in the SEZ area. 

Pursuant to the second paragraph of Article 17a, a large enterprise is not entitled to any claim if a plot of land is not incorporated in the SEZ area, or if it is denied a permit to conduct a business activity on that land.

Rödl & Partner is ready to help you if you are interested in this subject. Furthermore, our tax advisers working in Rödl & Partner offices in Cracow, Gdansk, Gliwice, Poznan, Warsaw and Wroclaw will gladly review your calculation of the zone exemption and propose a solution allowing minimising your tax risks. We are also on hand to answer any other tax-related questions you may have. Our offices offer legal advice in Poland with conducting business within a Special Economic Zones and with any other aspects of your operations.