The fee for using the radio receiver is PLN 7.50 per month, and owners of TV or TV and radio equipment must pay PLN 24.50 per month. In line with the new regulation of the National Broadcasting Council in this regard, prices will start from next year It will rise to PLN 8.70 and PLN 27.30 per month. People who decide to pay longer in advance can count on a reduction in fees.
In Poland, at least 3.7 million people do not have to pay an RTV subscription. T.About, among others, persons over 75 years of age, citizens who have a significant degree of disability, are completely unable to work or have the first disability group. The contribution does not have to be paid by war and military disabled persons, persons repressed during the Polish People’s Republic, as well as persons receiving a pension not exceeding half the average salary.
More and more controls, and the rules are outdated
Recently, more and more people are facing problems due to non-payment of subscription. From January 1 to March 31, 2022 7,979 enforcement bonds were issued to tax offices Issued by the creditor – Poczta Polska SA, with the legal basis for the enforced obligation “OPAB – Unpaid Subscription Fee for Recipient Use” – Announced in May Wirtualnemedia.pl Ministry of Finance. This is three times more than the previous year, because 2,714 of these titles were released in that time. The execution order is the basis for initiating execution procedures. The penalty for not paying an RTV subscription is 30 times the monthly amount. Any person or company caught doing so must also pay the contributions due.
The obligation to register the receiver and pay the subscription fee applies not only to ordinary people with televisions and radio tuners, but also to companies, Company and private car users, if they do not have a registered device at home. – Poczta Polska performs tasks related to the RTV service in accordance with the provisions of the Law of April 21, 2005 on subscription fees (Consolidated Text, Code of Laws 2020, item 1689) in the field of acceptance, registration and monitoring of the obligation for the registration of radio and television equipment and the obligation to pay the subscription fee. The relevant law obliges the owner to register a radio or television set and pay the subscription fee, without distinguishing whether the equipment is in the house or, for example, in the car – Daniel Witowski, a spokesperson for Poczta Polska, explained in an interview with Wirtualnemedia.pl in August.
The Law on Subscription Fees was passed in April 2005. At that time, no one in the Polish market used smart TVs, which do not necessarily need to be connected to an antenna and a set-top box, allowing reception of linear TV channels. According to the regulations, the fee is applied to a “recipient who is conditioned for immediate receipt of the Program”. According to lawyers from Law Firm Media A person using streaming platforms like Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, HBO Max, Player, Polsat Box Go, and Viaplay do not have to pay. The situation is similar for users of smartphones equipped, for example, with Spotify applications or for receiving Internet radio.
Radio photography is not enough
It is impossible to check the contents of the TV or smartphone without the consent of the owner. The situation is different with a car radio. It may seem that it is enough to look through the windshield, take a picture and check whether the owner of a particular car pays the subscription and bears the possible consequences. According to representatives of Kancelaria Prawna Media, this oversight does not meet all the requirements of the law.
– It can be read from the provisions of the Participation Fees Law that the subject of supervision is the performance of two obligations: the obligation to register the receiver and the obligation to pay the fees. As described earlier, both obligations arise when a total of three conditions of the subscription obligation are satisfied: (1) the presence of a receiver, (2) the receiver is a technical equipment adapted to receive the Program, and (3) a condition that enables the receiver to immediately receive the Program. When considering the conditions for carrying out supervision over the underwriting obligation, it must be remembered that all three of these conditions must be met – in particular, the third condition is forgotten. It is known from publicly available information that there were inspections in which employees authorized to conduct the examination prepared a protocol and issued a decision on the award of fees solely on the basis that they noticed a radio receiver through the window of the car. In such cases, employees build the statement in the protocol on the first hypothesis, that is, the fact of the presence of a receiver, which does not require any special evidence and its removal is quite sufficient. however Whether the receiver is a technical device adapted to receive the program does not result from the image or from viewing the receiver from a distance, but, among other things, from checking the technical specifications – Referenced by Alexandra Kolbusz and Sebastian Urban of Media Law Firm.
In order for the examination to result in a fine of PLN 225 for non-payment of the subscription fee to a radio tuner, Poczta Polska employees have to provide more evidence than just a picture of the receiver behind the windshield. – Above all, a properly performed check should include checking that the receiver’s condition allows for the immediate reception of the program. This approach can be supported by the reasoning contained in two rulings of the Supreme Administrative Court. In the ruling of the Supreme Administrative Court of June 29, 2020, file ref. Law: II GSK 325/22, the court stated that the obligation to collect all evidence from which the established circumstances would arise rests with the authority. The Court upheld the judgment of the Court of First Instance in this case and shared the reasons for that Court in so far as the Court stated that the fact of the existence of unregistered radio receivers could only be established on the basis of an authority officer’s statement. The court decided that in such a case, the authority should have based its statements also on evidence other than just a statement by company employees, for example by questioning authorized employees or making documentary checks.This indicates whether the applicant owns vehicles with radio receivers. On the other hand, the authorities have not taken any steps in this direction. Accordingly, the court held that the administrative procedure was not properly implemented because the authorities did not clearly specify whether the applicant possessed unregistered radio receivers and, if so, how many such devices and for how long – they recall Colbus’s and Urban.
A Poczta Polska employee will have to turn on the receiver or request the user’s device to be turned on to check if reception of radio stations is possible. Without this procedure, the console cannot ascertain whether the hardware is fake or if it is not damaged. – Based on the ruling of the Supreme Administrative Court on September 27, 2016, file reference. Law: II GSK 633/15, Arrangements regarding the possibility of “immediate reception of the program” by radio or television equipment and the fact that it is not registered are elements of facts. (…) In the case where it appears from the facts that the televisions and radios in the possession of the party are in such a condition as to permit the immediate reception of the programme, there are no grounds for supposing that the supposition has been refuted. A subscription commitment can only be created when recipients are in a condition to immediately receive the Program. At the same time, representatives of Kancelaria Prawna Media indicate whether the recipient is in such a state or not, and therefore is not covered by the assumption.
There are no consequences for not allowing controllers
The rulings of the Supreme Administrative Court show that it is extremely difficult for Poczta Polska to conduct effective inspections. – It is clear from the above that the verification of the third hypothesis, that is, whether the state of the receiver allows immediate reception of the program, can be carried out not through the car window, but by actually starting the device and determining whether the device is able to receive the program immediately. This means that The participation of the car user in the examination is indispensable, and the examination is carried out “silently” in a defective manner. In the current legal situation, the vehicle user has no obligation to make the vehicle available to the person performing the inspection – just as there is no such obligation for the person living in the building to be inspected – argue Kolbusz and Urban.
According to the lawyers, there are no consequences for those who refuse to control. So the inspectors won’t come back with the police to search the apartment. – This is due to the constitutionally guaranteed principle of legality (according to which public authorities act on the basis and within the limits of the law) and the freedom contained in Article. 50 of the Constitution – In the second sentence of this clause we read that it is not permissible to search an apartment, room or car except in the cases specified in the law and in the manner specified in it. However, the law – that is, neither the Subscription Fee Law, nor the implementing law thereto, i.e. the Regulation of the Minister of Administration and Digitalization of September 10, 2013 on monitoring performance of obligations related to subscription fees – does not specify, how to control compliance with the subscription obligation. And therefore The vehicle user and the renter are under no obligation to allow the person performing the inspection to perform an inspection of their vehicle or premises, respectively. Moreover, no negative consequences may arise from the refusal to provide a car or a place. Therefore, the wording on the official website of Poczta Polska that the controlled person must enable verification of the obligation to register radio and television equipment or show evidence confirming the registration of radio and television equipment, expresses an assumed or desirable approach, but not a description of an obligation Actual common law, since it does not find a legal basis in law – note representatives of the media law firm. Polish Post did not answer our questions about control.
in the budget for this year. Telewizja Polska saved 2.066 billion PLN from RTV subscription and subscription compensation. This is more than last year, when the public broadcaster received 1.71 billion PLN in compensation and 331.4 million PLN in subscription fees. Even in the years 2014-2016, before receiving the first compensation, the broadcaster had from 366 PLN to 444 million per year from the same subscription. However, in 2010-2013 it was less than 300 million PLN per year. Polish radio will receive 110,004 million PLN (a year ago: 125.91 million PLN). Less money will also be allocated to 17 regional stations of Polish Radio: 99 million PLN (last year – 112.66 million PLN) will be distributed.
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