PNR in Poland – Dates & Facts for 2024

In February 2022, the Polish government took temporary steps to address the overly excessive penalties for not transferring PNR data, suspending for two years the initiation and conduct of administrative proceedings for past non-transmission of PNR data, the enforcement and execution of these penalties, as well as the punishment period for violations of the PNR Law of Poland.

Although the suspension period is coming to an end, there is no information about specific actions or planned changes in the law. This means that carriers must prepare that once the suspension period is over, all proceedings will resume and continue, which can result in cumulative number of administrative penalties.

From what date will PNR proceedings resume?

From 6 February 2024 the following proceedings regarding PNR data suspended on 5 February 2022 will resume:

  1. proceedings initiated by Commandant of the Border Guard for not providing PNR data related to the flights carried out before 5 February 2022,
  2. proceedings to execute the imposed administrative penalty for not providing PNR data.

The proceedings will be resumed based on the provisions of law. The deadlines to provide documents or statements initiated before the suspension on 5 February 2022 as well as to submit motions for reconsideration of issued decisions will continue (they will not run anew).

New PNR proceedings for flights carried out before 5 February 2022

Moreover, from 6 February 2024, Border Guard authorities will be able to initiate new proceedings for not providing PNR data for flights carried out before 5 February 2022. The deadline for imposing an administrative penalty was also extended from 3 years from the date of infringement to 5 years, unless it expired before 5 February 2022.

Also, the Border Guard authorities will initiate new proceedings to enforce the already imposed administrative penalties for not providing PNR data, which have not been opened due to the 2-year suspension period.

How to prepare for end of PNR suspension period?

Air carriers that have been subject to PNR suspensions should plan ahead to ensure they meet the resumed deadlines, including:

  1. verifying the penalties imposed before 5 February 2022, which payment was suspended until 6 February 2024, it may happen that the penalties will accumulate, the deadline to pay the penalty is 30 days from the date the decision on imposing the penalties in final,
  2. recalculating the expiry of claims in pending cases – as they are extended to 5 years, however, if the statute of limitations has expired before 5 February 2022, and the proceedings are still pending, the new statute of limitations will not apply, and the carrier will be able to demand that the proceedings be discontinued,
  3. recalculating the deadlines to provide documents, information and statements of the parties that were suspended on 5 February 2022, they will continue on 6 February 2024 (they will not run anew, which means that there may be very little time to act),
  4. recalculating the deadlines to request reconsideration of the proceedings if the 14-day deadline has been suspended on 5 February 2022 (they will not run anew, which means that there may be very little time to act).

CJEU verdict regarding PNR Regulation

After the suspension that took place on 5 February 2022, the Court of Justice of the European Union issued a verdict of 21 June 2022 (C-817/19), in which, among other things, declared national regulations that automatically extend the obligation to transfer PNR data to all intra-EU flights to be contrary to EU law. The intra-EU transfer of PNR data should, according to the Court, be limited to specific travel itineraries or airports selected on the basis of a real terrorist and criminal threat.

This verdict can impact the proceedings carried out before the Polish authorities, as the Polish PNR Act extended the obligation to provide PNR data to all flights, including intra-EU flights. The aforementioned judgement is cited by airlines in their complaints to the administrative courts against the penalties imposed on them for not transmitting PNR data on intra-EU flights. We are still waiting for the first judgments of the administrative courts relating to the Court's position.

PNR Law and Practice - Updates

It is worth noting that in some proceedings the Commander-in-Chief of the Border Guard has decided to suspend proceedings pending against carriers until the administrative courts have considered appeals regarding the lack of grounds for imposing administrative penalties for failure to transfer PNR data on intra-EU flights. Air carriers whose proceedings will be resumed on 6 February 2024 may use this argument to try to obtain a new suspension for that reason.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.