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Monitoring of transport of sensitive goods – new laws


5 July 2018


New rules for the monitoring of transport of the so-called sensitive goods, such as engine fuels, biodiesel, lubricating oils, solvents, diluents (thinners), dried tobacco, entered into force on 14 June 2018 (Journal of Laws of 2018, item 1039).

The new rules extend the list of entities obliged to report the transportation of such goods to and through the Republic of Poland in the electronic register, and to add and update the report in the SENT system. The new rules are meant to better combat VAT refund abuses and secure access to life-saving drugs for those undergoing treatment in Poland.

Below is an outline of the key changes. Using this opportunity we would like to remind you to report shipments of sensitive goods in SENT. Every enterprise which buys and sells sensitive goods may be obliged to do so. A failure to fulfil the reporting obligations is subject to high fines.

New entities covered by monitoring

With the amendment of 10 May 2018 the lawmakers have extended the list of entities covered by SENT to include railway freight carriers (which used to be an easy target for abusers). Remember that the new obligations have applied since 18 April 2018 to entities which dispatch, collect and transport goods of certain CN and PKWiU codes.


Railway transportation is covered by modified procedures to accommodate the nature of that shipping mode. One of the principles is no liability of the engine driver for the violations committed by the consignor. Engine drivers will not have the same responsibilities as truck drivers.

CN classification preferred over PKWiU

In the same amendment the lawmakers abandoned the PKWiU classification, which means that the system now follows exclusively the Combined Nomenclature (CN). Thus, the obliged entities will be able to avoid problems with the classification. Yet, this is not the only measure making life easier. If a shipment goes from one consignor to one consignee by one means of transport, one report may cover different goods, provided that the quantity of each does not exceed 500 l or 500 kg.

Another significant change is the exclusion of goods classified under 2905 and 3824, which are not excise goods, from SENT.

New goods covered by SENT

SENT will now cover shipments of certain medicinal products, foodstuffs for special nutritional purposes and medical devices – a detailed list can be found in the Health Minister's special announcement. This applies above all to all specialty and modern products, especially life-saving ones. The Chief Pharmaceutical Inspectorate (CPI) will monitor and, in case of any irregularities, detain goods. The detained goods will be moved to a pharmaceutical warehouse contracted by the CPI to protect and store such goods.

New rights of the National Tax Administration

The National Tax Administration has new rights to check shipments. In case of an increased risk, they may notify the carrier of the inspection in a location stipulated by law. If the addressee of the request fails to fulfil the obligations, the fine is from PLN 20,000 to 100,000.

New penalty rules

Under the new laws, fines will be calculated on the basis of the gross value of the goods, instead of the net value. And this is not the only change in the penalty department. PLN 10,000 will be slapped on a carrier's failure to deliver a notified shipment to the destination or carriage terminal in Poland.

The lawmakers have also added two changes to alleviate the penalties. If goods are shipped from a bonded warehouse, the excise duty and VAT are paid by the consignor, and the irregularities are caused by an obvious error in details other than of goods, then the consignor, the consignee or the carrier will face a penalty of PLN 2,000, instead of PLN 10,000.

If any breaches of obligations under the laws on road carriage monitoring are found in the course of a tax or a combined tax and customs inspection but at the same time they do not understate VAT and excise revenues for the state, no fine will be imposed. This, however, does not apply if the non-conformities are found on-site during a traffic inspection. No fines will be imposed for breaches of obligations in carriage by railway until 31 July 2018 to let the carriers and other market players adapt to the new regulations.

Who is affected?

The changes affect only the taxpayers already covered by SENT and railway carriers of goods covered by SENT as well as those which manufacture, despatch or distribute drugs, medicinal products and foodstuffs for special nutritional purposes.

As the reporting obligations under the SENT have expanded, we recommend checking if you have obligations in this respect. If you have any questions or doubts about the requirements in the wake of this recent legislative amendment, Rödl & Partner's experts will be happy to help you.


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Tadeusz Piekłowski

Customs agent (Poland)

Senior Associate

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