The electronization of proceedings before the Polish register courts keeping the National Court Register (KRS), announced for July 1, 2021, is fast approaching. The changes are far-reaching and concern not only the form of submitted documents.
The electronization of registration proceedings has been announced for many years. The relevant provisions were already enacted on 26th January 2018, but their entry into force was postponed several times. We can already see some of the effects of this law. Since April 9, 2018, the Central Repository of Electronic Extracts of Notarial Deeds (CREWAN) has been in operation, and since October 1, 2018, certain entities have been submitting financial statements to the KRS only electronically. However, the biggest change awaits us on July 1, 2021. As of that date, all proceedings in cases in which the regional court keeping the National Court Register is competent will be held only in electronic form.
What do the changes mean in practice for the participants of register proceedings and their attorneys?
- The proceedings before the registry court are to be held only in an electronic form, which means that the participants have to use a special electronic signature. When a participant files an application in a paper form, the court should summon him to file that motion via the ICT system. If the petitioner fails to do so, the motion will have no legal effect. In the case of appeals (except for those filed with the Supreme Court), failure to maintain the electronic form will result in their rejection.
- Not only the application has to be in electronic form, but also its attachments. If the attachment has the form of a notarial deed, e.g. the minutes of the general meeting, the applicant will only provide the number of the deed from CREWAN, and the document will be automatically attached to the application. If, on the other hand, the attachment is in paper form, the applicant has two choices. Firstly, the applicant may attach its scan, the conformity of which with the original will be certified electronically by a notary public or an attorney-at-law. Secondly, the applicant may attach an uncertified scan, and then send the original or an officially certified copy to the court.
- From the point of view of proxies, it is also important that a power of attorney or its copy should be attached to an application addressed to the KRS via an ICT system. As in the case of attachments, a proxy who is an attorney-at-law will be able to certify electronically a copy of the power of attorney as a true copy of the original, or send the original to the court by mail.
- Another important change concerns application fees. Until now, motions which were not paid or were paid incorrectly were subject to return, and in the case of supplementing the missing fee, the motion had effect from the moment it was filed. From July 2021, the application not paid at all will have no legal effect, and the applicant will not be able to supplement the fee. In such a situation, the application will simply have to be filed again.
- The proceedings shall be conducted electronically as long as they are conducted by the registry court. If the case, as a result of an appeal (filed electronically), is referred to the court of second instance, further letters in the case should be filed in paper form.
- Electronization of the registration procedure also imposes changes in access to the registration files. This access is also to be electronic. From July 1, 2021, registration files will be kept only in electronic form. Importantly, existing paper files will not be digitized, and electronic files will not be printed and attached to paper files. Consequently, for a company registered before July 1, 2021, both paper (covering events up to July 1, 2021) and electronic (covering later events) files will be maintained.
The legislator assures that the system enabling submission of applications to the National Court Register records will be intuitive and user-friendly and will prevent the most common mistakes from being made, including leaving as blank the fields that are obligatory to be filled in. Users of the system are also to be notified by e-mail of any changes that occur in relation to their applications.
Konrad Oleszczuk, attorney-at-law, Senior Associate