In the list of legislative works of the Polish government there appeared an announcement of a draft amendment of the Act on sea areas of the Republic of Poland and the maritime administration. The project assumes regulation of a situation of a tie in the resolving  proceedings for applications for permits to build artificial islands and structures in Polish maritime areas.

The Polish Ministry of Infrastructure has authored a bill (No. UD361) to introduce important provisions for the sector, including offshore wind energy. As the description to the bill reads, the planned changes primarily affect Chapter 4 in Division II of the Maritime Areas Act (“Artificial islands, structures and facilities, and cables or pipelines”).

Due to the enactment of the Act of 17 December 2020 in February 2021, on promoting the production of electricity in offshore wind farms and growing, over the recent years, interest of entrepreneurs in offshore wind energy in Poland, the maritime administration has noticed some regulatory shortcomings. Problems with interpretation of the regulations were also noted. Furthermore, the lack of precision of certain provisions in the procedure for obtaining permits or agreements, excessive burdens for applicants in the case of implementing small, uncomplicated investments, as well as the lack of possibility for the maritime administration to issue decisions ordering the removal of illegally erected and used structures, devices, and infrastructure elements, as well as laid and maintained cables and pipelines, was noticed, the government website reads.

The draft of the new act regulates the situation of a tie in the proceedings resolving applications for permits to erect or use artificial islands, structures, and devices in Polish maritime areas.

In addition, numerous minor amendments to Art. 27a, 27b, and 27e of the Maritime Areas Act are primarily intended to simplify the procedure for issuing location permits for artificial islands, structures, and devices.

The effect of the changes being made will be the more efficient and confident selection of entities in adjudication proceedings, an ensurance that marine scientific research is conducted for peaceful purposes only. Moreover, it will simplify and speed up procedures both for investors and for organs of maritime administration, ensure that the list of international agreements in the Act on maritime areas is up-to-date, ensure competence of maritime administration to order removal of unauthorized constructed or located elements of infrastructure in Polish maritime areas, and ensure proper course of planning works in the case of commencing amendments to the plan – we read on the Polish government’s website.

The law is expected to take effect in the third quarter of 2022.