National legislation

The Act of 11 July 2014 on the amendment of Geological and Mining Law and of certain other Acts

DZ.U.z 2014 r. poz. 1133

The Act introduces the following key changes: a combined exploration/production concession (instead of existing two concessions – one for exploration and appraisal of deposits and the other for oil or gas production). The concession will be awarded for a period of 10 to 30 years. It is permitted to start oil or gas production already at the stage of exploration upon partial proving of reserves. Permits for geophysical surveying are withdrawn and replaced with a notification to streamline the operations. Moreover, the procedures of environmental decision granting – a key reason behind protracted formalities before launching gas exploration projects – are changed. Now, the environmental decision will have to be obtained prior to drilling permit rather than at the stage of concession application. Furthermore, the Act provides for a new scheme of sharing the revenues from a higher oil and gas royalty.


Geological and Mining Law of 9 June 2011

Dz.U. z 2011 r. nr 163  poz. 981 z późn. zm.

The Law lays down, inter alia, the principles and conditions of activities in the area of mining operations and extraction of mineables from deposits, as well as requirements for the protection of mineable resources, groundwater and other elements of the environment in association with delivery of the aforementioned activities. The Law stipulates in detail specific principles of exploration, appraisal and production of mineables, with special attention to hydrocarbons. Furthermore, the requirements for the design and delivery of geological works, maintenance of geological documentation and the principle of mining plant operations are specified. The Law sets the rates of fees for exploration of mineable deposits and of royalties. Mining damage liability issues are addressed.


Act on Freedom of Economic Activity, dated 2 July 2004

tekst jednolity: Dz. U. z 2013 r. poz. 672

The Act regulates the process of setting up, performing and winding down business activity in the Republic of Poland, as well as related tasks of government authorities. Chapter 4 of the Act enumerates business activities that are subject to licensing. Exploration or appraisal of hydrocarbon resources and extraction of mineables from deposits are among the listed activities.


Environmental Protection Law of 27 April 2001 

tekst jednolity: Dz. U. z 2013 r.  poz. 1232 z późn. zm.

The Law lays down the principles of environmental protection, the conditions for the use of the environment and public administration's responsibilities in the area of environmental protection.


Act of 3 October 2008 on the access to information on the environment and environmental protection, public involvement in environmental protection and on assessments of environmental impact

tekst jednolity: Dz.U. z 2013 r., poz. 1235

The Act provides for the principles and procedures of providing information on the environment and environmental protection, environmental impact assessment procedures, the principles of public involvement in environmental protection. Moreover, public administration authorities competent in these matters are specified. According to the Act, investors may be required to obtain a decision on environmental preconditions and, if mineral resources are to be explored for or appraised within Natura 2000 sites or in their vicinity, an assessment of environment impact on Natura 2000 Site may be required.


Prevention and remedying environmental damage Act of 13 April 2007

Dz. U. z 2007 r. nr 75 poz. 493 z późn. zm.

The Act defines the principles of liability for environmental damage responsibilities for damage remedying. Operations that are considered as environmental damage risks are specified along with responsibilities of environment users and local/central government authorities with regard to preventive measures, costs thereof, reporting environmental risks, damage and completion of preventive or remedial measures.


Farm and timber land protection Act of 3 February 1995

Dz. U. z 2013 r. poz. 1205

The Act set forth the principles of farm and timber land prevention and of land reclamation. Provision of the Act apply in particular to drilling location selection and site reclamation upon completion of drilling operations.


Extractive Waste Act of 10 July 2008

Dz. U. z 2008 r. nr 138 poz. 865 z późn. zm.

The Act specifies, among other things, the principles of extractive waste management and the procedures of granting extractive waste management permits and permissions. Furthermore, the Act lays down waste management obligations of both public administration authority and waste producer/holder. Provisions of the Waste Act, dated 14 December 2012, apply to extractive waste handling matters other than those regulated by this Act.


Waste Act of 14 December 2012

Dz. U. z 2013 r. poz. 21 z późn. zm.

The Act lays down the waste management principles, including waste handling steps. Furthermore, waste handling certificates (waste collection permits and waste processing permits), waste processing (waste storage, thermal waste processing) requirements, including the principles of granting waste management certificates, are defined. The Act provides for waste management obligations of both public administration and waste producer/holder. The Act does not regulate extractive waste management matters other than waste producer/holder's accounting and reporting obligations.


Water Law of 18 July 2001

Dz. U. z 2012 r. nr 0 poz. 145 z późn. zm.

The Law regulates water management issues and provides a basis for the protection of the waters.

author: Anita Starzycka

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