The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) is a government administration body with statutory responsibility for the implementation of tasks in the field of consumer protection. Its activities can be divided into legislative, information, educational and control works.
In 1991, pursuant to the Act on Counteracting Monopolistic Practices of February 24, 1990. the Antimonopoly Office was established, adjacent to the Council of Ministers. He was the main organ of the state administration in matters related to monopolistic practices and the antimonopoly authority. In 1996, the Antimonopoly Office was transformed into the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection.
President of the Office
Currently, the President of the Office acts as an anti-monopoly authority. With the help of UOKiK, he performs tasks in the field of counteracting monopolistic practices, development of competition and protection of consumer interests.
The President of the Office performs his tasks with the help of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection. The President of the Office manages and carries out his tasks with his help and with the help of vice presidents, general director, directors of the Office delegations and directors of the following organizational units:
- President's office;
- Office of the General Director;
- Law Department;
- Market Analysis Department;
- Department of Competition Protection;
- Department of Concentration Control;
- Department of Public Aid Monitoring;
- Department of Consumer Interests Protection;
- Market Surveillance Department;
- Department of Trade Inspection;
- Department of Budget and Administration;
- Independent Stand for the Protection of Classified Information;
- Specialized Laboratory of Fuels and Products of Economic Chemistry with its registered office in Bydgoszcz
- Specialized Toy Test Laboratory based in Lublin;
- Specialist Laboratory of Textile Products and Instrumental Analysis based in Łódź;
- Control-Analytical Laboratory based in Katowice;
- Control-Analytical Laboratory based in Kielce;
- Control and Analytical Laboratory based in Olsztyn;
- Control and Analytical Laboratory based in Poznań;
- Control and Analytical Laboratory with headquarters in Warsaw;
- Control-Analytical Laboratory based in Wroclaw.
The Office consists of 9 UOKiK delegations:
- Bydgoszcz - Area of the delegation's operations: Kuyavian-Pomeranian and Warmian-Masurian voivodships,
- Gdańsk - Area of the delegation's operations: Pomorskie and Zachodniopomorskie Voivodships,
- Katowice - Area of the delegation's activity: Śląskie and Opolskie voivodships,
- Kraków - Area of activity of the delegation: małopolskie and podkarpackie voivodships,
- Lublin - Area of the delegation's activity: lubelskie and podlaskie voivodships,
- Łódź - Area of the delegation's activity: Łódzkie and Świętokrzyskie provinces,
- Poznań - Area of activity of the delegation: Wielkopolskie voivodship,
- Warsaw (Headquarters in Warsaw at pl. Powstańców Warszawy 1) - Area of activity of the delegation: Mazowieckie voivodship,
- Wrocław - Area of the delegation's activity: Dolnośląskie and Lubuskie voivodships.
Activity of UOKiK
The Office's main objective is
- controlling the proper development of competition and eliminating any disturbances in its functioning,
- controlling mergers and acquisitions,
- controlling public aid,
- protection of collective consumer interests.
On the website of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection, there is a center of free e-advice for consumers. The Office conducts educational activities addressed to consumers and competition. Consumers will find there information on their rights and advice on purchases or repayment of consumer and mortgage loans. Portal users that qualify for the 'competition' group will find information about the merger and their rights there.
Appeals against administrative decisions issued by the Presidents of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection are considered by the Court of Competition and Consumer Protection
Other institutions for consumer protection
Consumer protection is the task of many institutions in our country. Institutional consumer protection in Poland is currently formed by:
- The office of Competition and Consumer Protection,
- Trade inspection,
- Poviat (urban) consumer ombudsman.
Organizations for which consumer protection is a statutory activity are:
- Consumer Federation,
- Association of Consumers,
- Association of Polish Consumers.