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Fuel platform – electronic reporting and new obligation

Pursuant to the Regulation of the Minister of Climate and Environment dated of June 21st, 2023, on the ICT system maintained by the Chairman of the Government Strategic Reserve Agency and Reporting of Information on Liquid Fuels (Journal of Laws 2023.1252) (hereinafter: “the Regulation“), modifications were made to Article 43f of the Energy Act of April 10th, 1997 (hereinafter: “Energy Act“). Under to these modifications, a system known as the “Fuel Platform” was launched on July 1st, 2023. This regulation stipulates, i.a. the manner in which the Chairman of the Government Strategic Reserve Agency (hereinafter: “RARS“) maintains the aforementioned ICT system, the manner in which reports/information will be submitted, and their templates.

An important change introduced is the replacement of paper-based declarations with electronic ones. As of July 1st, 2023, paper filing is no longer possible. In this regard, however, the deadlines for submission of reports/information have not changed. The crucial modification is also the change of the entity, mentioned at the beginning, which will now be responsible for the constructed system – this duty has been assumed by RARS, and not, as before, by the President of the Office of Regulation and Energy (hereinafter: “URE“). As we read on the website of the URE, the purpose of these changes is to improve the flow of information between public administration authorities and entrepreneurs performing information and reporting obligations.

Obligated entities

According to Article 4ba of the Energy Act, energy enterprises involved in the storage, handling, transmission or distribution of liquid fuels are obligated to register on the Fuel Platform. This obligation will also apply to energy enterprises holding a license for the production of liquid fuels or a license for trading liquid fuels with foreign countries, as well as to the importing entity (Article 43d,43e of the Energy Act), which are obliged to submit reports on the types and quantities of liquid fuels produced, imported and exported, as well as their destination, or information on the types and location of the liquid fuel infrastructure used for their operations. The deadline for submission of the report is provided by Energy Act up to 20 days from the end of the month to which the report relates, and in the case of information – within 7 days from the date of commencement of operation of the infrastructure or permanent abandonment of operation.

It is worth emphasizing at this point that in the case that the process of removal from the Register of Importers (hereinafter: “RPP“) is “ongoing” – the moment of entry until the moment of removal from the RPP, the entrepreneur registered there is still obliged to fulfill the reporting obligation. Therefore, this also applies to the situation where the importing entity is already taking action in deleting the company from the RPP – in which case the last report on the types and quantities of liquid fuels produced, imported and exported, as well as their destination, would still have to be submitted for the month of duration in which the deletion from the register took place.

What is liquid fuel within the meaning of the Act?

According to the statutory glossary derived from the indicated Article 3 of the Energy Act, liquid fuels are understood to be liquid energy carriers, including those containing additives:

  • refinery intermediates,
  • LPG,
  • naphtha,
  • motor gasoline,
  • aviation gasolines,
  • gasoline-type fuels for jet engines,
  • kerosene-type fuels for jet engines,
  • other parafin types,
  • diesel fuels, including light fuel oils,
  • heavy fuel oils,
  • white spirit and industrial gasolines,
  • liquid biofuels,
  • lubricants.

It is worth adding that this obligation does not apply to entities that purchase and sell already filled LPG bottles. Entities that sell fuels via fuel cards are also exempt from this obligation.

As can be seen from the Q&A section provided on the RARS website, companies that have LPG bottling stations are required to register and submit Article 43e information on the Fuel Platform. RARS reasons this on the grounds that a liquefied petroleum gas bottling facility is engaged in the filling and distribution of propane-butane liquefied petroleum gas and propane in cylinders already meets the definition of trading in liquid fuels.

Access to the Platform – how to get it?

If the entrepreneur, after analysis, determines that it is obliged to comply with reporting or information obligation and is required to register, access to the Fuel Platform may be granted upon request by certain entities, including:

  • the person authorized to represent the entity from Article 4ba (4), Article 43d (1) or Article 43e (1) of the Energy Act;
  • the authorities from Article 4ba (9), Article 43d (6) of the Energy Act;
  • the Chairman of the URE and the minister responsible for public finance with respect to access to and collecrtion of data stored in the System to the within the scope referred in Article 43e (1) of the Energy Act.

It is worth adding that obliged entrepreneurs may perform activities on the Fuel Platform through a proxy. However this it is necessary to submit a signed power of attorney, a current extract from CEIDG or KRS, a completed statement defining the scope of the proxy and the RARS information clause, which must be signed by hand. This means that the entrepreneur’s attorney, upon submission of the required documents, may submit the reports and information referred to above instead of the entrepreneur. It should be remembered that an entrepreneur who owns liquid fuel infrastructure (liquid fuel production, storage and handling facilities, liquid fuel transmission or distribution pipeline, liquid fuel station and also a means of transporting liquid fuels resulting from Article 3 (10d) of the Energy Act) will also be required to list registration on the Platform and submit the relevant information. However, if, an entrepreneur does not import from abroad, export or produce liquid fuels, he will not be required to apply for registration.

It should be emphasized here that the reports are submitted from the moment of entry to the moment of deletion – so in the event that the entrepreneur has not even made any imports into Poland, he will be obliged to fulfil the reporting obligation.

Reporting elements

In accordance with the applicable model, in the report on the types and quantities of liquid fuels produced, imported and exported, as well as their destination, entrepreneurs are required to provide, among other things, the type of liquid fuels indicating the relevant CN code, information on the quantities of liquid fuels produced, including, i.a., information on quantities of liquid fuels imported and their destination (e.g. mandatory stocks or own consumption) and the  quantities of liquid fuels imported and their destination, including, i.a., their processing into liquid fuels, conversion into products other than liquid fuels, as well as the quantity of exported liquid fuels and their destination (including sale and destination).

Penalties for failure to comply with the obligation

The entrepreneur should take in mind that there is a penalty from PLN 10,000 to PLN 50,000 for submitting a report under Article 43d of the Energy Act containing false information or failing to submit it on time. Similarly, failure to submit information on time or submission of false information under Article 43e carries a fine of PLN 10,000 separately for each type and location of liquid fuel infrastructure. These penalties are regulated in Article 56 (2h) in conjunction with Article 56 (1) points 12b, 12c and 48 of the Energy Act.

The future of the System

RARS successively wants to expand the already launched Fuel Platform. In the future, it is planned that it will cover a wider range of reporting by the Chairman. We assume that the system will be covered by a broader range of mandatory obligations to entrepreneurs and, consequently, they will have to reckon with more activities performed during the transportation of liquid fuels.

Each time entrepreneurs should analyze whether they are required to register on the Fuel Platform. It may turn out that even the simple transport of lubricating oil will be subject to such an obligation. It is worth remembering that the mere transport of lubricating oil used for personal use may already give rise to an obligation to register with the RPP, which may automatically result in an obligation to register on the Fuel Platform and submit the relevant documents.