Sunday trading ban - implementation stages

Service

According to the information contained on the government website, on November 24, 2017, the Sejm passed an act on the restriction of trade on Sundays and public holidays and on certain other days. The act entered into force on March 1, 2018. It sets out the rules for restricting trade and carrying out activities related to trading in retail outlets on Sundays and public holidays, and on December 24 and on the Saturday immediately preceding the first day of Easter. Who is affected by the Sunday trading ban?

Ban on trading on Sundays

Pursuant to Art. 4 above of the Act, entrusting work in trade or carrying out activities related to trade free of charge in retail outlets on Sundays and public holidays, as well as on December 24 and on the Saturday immediately preceding the first day of Easter - is prohibited. In art. 5 above The act contains a provision according to which it is forbidden to entrust an employee or an employee with the performance of work in trade and the performance of activities related to trade on Sundays and public holidays in commercial establishments. Therefore, according to the law, there is a total ban on working, both paid and unpaid, on the indicated weekends.

Industries subject to exceptions to the Sunday trading ban

It is worth adding that in Art. 6 above of the Act, exceptions were indicated, according to which the prohibition of trade does not apply in certain commercial facilities and in the performance of various types of activities specified in this provision. The list of exemptions in the Act on the restriction of trade currently covers over 30 types of activities.

Despite the trade ban, on Sunday they will be able to operate:

  • pastry shops;

  • bakeries;

  • pharmacies and pharmacy points;

  • food outlets and restaurants;

  • liquid fuel stations;

  • florists;

  • animal health care facilities;

  • commercial establishments in which the predominant activity is trading in souvenirs or devotional items;

  • commercial establishments where the main activity is trade in the press, public transport tickets, tobacco products, coupons for games of chance and mutual wagering;

  • post offices;

  • commercial outlets in critical infrastructure facilities;

  • commercial outlets in hotel establishments;

  • commercial establishments in establishments operating in the field of culture, sport, education, tourism and leisure;

  • commercial establishments organized solely for the purposes of festivals, fairs and other special, thematic or sports and recreational events, also when they are located in market halls;

  • commercial establishments in treatment facilities of health care entities and other health care facilities intended for people whose health condition requires 24-hour or all-day health services;

  • commercial outlets at stations, in ports and marinas - in the scope related to the direct service of travelers;

  • commercial outlets at airports;

  • free zones;

  • trade in means of public transport, bus, rail, river, sea and air transport, as well as on sea merchant ships, aircraft, oil platforms and other marine hydrotechnical structures;

  • trade in penitentiary establishments;

  • trade in garrisons;

  • trading in online stores and online platforms;

In addition, the ban on trading on Sundays will not apply:

  • when trading goods from vending machines;

  • in the case of agricultural retail trade;

  • in the case of trade in pharmaceutical wholesalers;

  • in the period from June 1 to September 30 of each calendar year - in commercial establishments trading only agricultural machinery and spare parts for these machines;

  • in the case of trade in flowers, bouquets, wreaths and candles at cemeteries;

  • in funeral homes;

  • in commercial establishments where trade is carried out by an entrepreneur who is a natural person only in person;

  • in ice cream parlors;

  • in agri-food wholesale markets run by commercial law companies, the main activity of which is to rent and manage real estate for the purposes of wholesale trade in agri-food products;

  • in commercial establishments operated by entities purchasing goods in agri-food wholesale markets, in the scope of activities related to purchase and entrusting the employee or employed with the performance of these activities;

  • in commercial establishments where only cereals, sugar beet, fruit, vegetables or raw milk are purchased.

The above catalog has been expanded to include additional activities that will not be prohibited from trading on Sundays.

It will therefore be possible to refuel the car, buy bread, flowers, souvenirs, medicines, tickets for transport, use animal health centers, shopping in duty-free zones, picking up and selling fish, picking up and selling gastronomic meals, etc. It is worth adding that in the above scope of running a business, it will be important which dominant activity the entrepreneur entered in the register of entrepreneurs of the National Court Register.

Stages of introducing a trade ban on Sunday and public holidays

According to the new regulations that the government introduced to limit trade on Sunday and public holidays, the changes will take place gradually:

  • in the period from March 1 to December 31, 2018, the prohibition referred to in art. 5, does not apply on the first and last Sunday of each calendar month (Art. 16 of the above-mentioned Act). If there are 5 Sundays in a month, then the fourth Sunday of the month will also be banned;

  • in the period from 1 January to 31 December 2019, the prohibition referred to in art. 5, does not apply on the last Sunday of each calendar month.

Therefore, in the first phase of the changes, Poles will be able to shop only on the first and last Sunday of the month, while in 2019, shopping will only be possible on the last Sunday of the month. From 2020, the government plans to introduce a total ban on Sunday trading with the exceptions outlined below.

Pursuant to Art. 7 above of the Act, the prohibition referred to above does not apply in:

  • the next two Sundays preceding the first day of Christmas;

  • the Sunday immediately preceding the first day of Easter;

  • the last Sunday in January, April, June and August.

On December 24 and on the Saturday immediately preceding the first day of Easter in retail outlets:

  • trade and activities related to trade,

  • entrusting an employee or employee with work in trade and activities related to trade after 2 p.m.

are prohibited, except in the cases specified above (Art. 8 of the above-mentioned Act).

For example, in the first half of 2018, Poles will be able to shop on Sunday according to the following dates:

  • March 4, 2018 and March 25, 2018; March 31, 2018 - trading only until 2 p.m. due to Holy Saturday;

  • April 29, 2018 (in April 2018, the first, second, third and fourth Sundays will be prohibited from trading);

  • May 6, 2018 and May 27, 2018;

  • June 3, 2018 and June 24, 2018

It is worth adding that on Sunday the owners will be able to trade in person, e.g. in a grocery store, but only those who run such business personally and on their own behalf. It will be unacceptable to employ the so-called self-employed to sell on Sunday for the account of the owner of the store. It will also not be possible to hire contractors whose subject of the contract and time will only cover the provision of services on the above-mentioned free Sundays.

In the event of a breach of the ban on trading and performing activities related to trading on Sundays or public holidays, a fine in the amount of PLN 1,000 to 100,000 may be imposed.

In conclusion, the restriction of trade on Sundays and public holidays will apply to the free Sundays indicated in the act. In the initial period of validity of the act, the trade ban will not apply on the first and last Sunday of the month. There are a number of exemptions (Art. 6 of the above-mentioned Act) where the ban on trading on Sundays and public holidays will not apply.