How The Central Authority Works in Poland

This article will provide guidance on how the central authority works in Poland.  In the past, serving documents on foreign individuals needed a letter rogatory or specific procedures outlined in bilateral agreements. These processes often took months to accomplish. Poland is both a member of the Hague Service Convention and the European Union; consequently, serving papers in the country has become far more streamlined.  There are many reasons why a client seeking to serve legal documents overseas may choose a private process-serving organization such as Undisputed Legal. Click here for How the Hague Convention Simplifies International Process Service.

The right to know about legal procedures against oneself is a basic tenet of due process and a legal requirement. It is vital to properly serve legal papers to all parties involved to ensure everyone has an equal opportunity to reply and participate in legal processes. When you use experienced process servers like those at Undisputed Legal, your legal documents will be served by Polish law, including all applicable federal, state, and municipal laws. Click Here for Frequently Asked Questions About Process Servers!


The Ministry of Justice for the Department of International Cooperation and Human Rights is the Central Authority in Poland.  Serving legal papers is not something that the Polish Central Authority handles directly. Competent courts receive the documents and forward them to the Central Authority. The post, a bailiff, or officials from the court’s service may be used for formal service in these courts. Another option for the formal service is to personally deliver the document to the addressee at the court registry.  Click here for information on How To Identify A Good Process Service Agency.

It can only be considered an informal delivery by physically delivering a document to the addressee at the court registry. Police officers or a notary public, for instance, can carry out service by the applicant’s specified method of choice. However, it is preferable to ensure that papers are served via a private process service agency like Undisputed Legal for better accountability. Click here for information on How Rush Process Service Can Expedite Your Case.

The document must be generally translated into Polish to comply with the requirements of the Convention. If a foreign court or other authority requests service of a document on a person residing in Poland through a Polish court without including a Polish translation, the document can still be served on the addressee if they agree to receive said papers. Click here for information on How Service of Process Ensures A Solid Foundation.

Central Authority in Poland

The Ministry of Justice came into being due to a regulation passed by the Council of Ministers on November 3rd, 1999. The Ministry presides over cases involving finalizing bilateral international agreements about civil and criminal law transactions. According to the Constitution, the Minister of Justice is a Judiciary Council member. Adam Bodnar is the current Minister of Justice. Click here for information on How Process Servers Protect Your Rights: Myths Debunked

A major role of the Ministry of Justice is to carry out its duties as the Central Authority in civil and criminal legal transactions as outlined in EU law and international agreements. The Ministry is also a source for foreign judicial authorities regarding information about the substance of Polish law, as well as Polish courts with texts of foreign law, explanations of foreign judicial practice, and data on the existence of reciprocity in relations with a foreign country. This means that the Ministry is responsible for cooperation with international organizations in matters relating to justice, excluding matters reserved for other organizational units.

Our Undisputed Legal process servers ensure we retain a close and trusted relationship with the forwarding authorities and the Ministry of Justice in Poland. We understand that in-depth knowledge of serving papers in the country is vital to protect our clients’ documents. Consequently, we ensure that we comply with domestic law and the Central Authority’s regulations. 

European Union Regulations and Poland

Poland is a member of the European Union.  The European Parliament and Council’s Regulation (EC) No. 1393/2007 is responsible for improving and speeding up the transmission and service of judicial and extrajudicial documents between Member States in civil and commercial matters in the Union. At the same time, transmitting these documents securely, protecting the rights of addressees, and preserving privacy and personal data are of utmost importance.

If the addressee does not have a known address for service in Poland but does in another Member State, the document must be sent to that State for service. It should be known that even if service is done in the other state, the arrangement does not constitute domestic service. The document cannot be served on the recipient simply by inserting it into the court file or publishing an announcement on the court notice board. Our Undisputed Legal process servers are local to Poland and can ensure that your papers are carefully served within Polish domestic law and EU regulations.

The competent authority or authorities under national law should be held responsible as controllers for processing personal data. Upon receiving a certificate of non-service of documents, the transmitting agency must be informed whether the relevant authorities in the Member State have requested the search of domicile registries to find a new address for the individual to be served.

Any Member State may inform the Commission that a court can issue a judgment without a certificate of service or delivery of the document initiating proceedings or its equivalent. Judges have the authority to grant relief to defendants who have not appeared in court when [A.] the document initiating proceedings or its equivalent has to have been transmitted to another Member State for service purposes, and [B.] the defendant has been found guilty but has failed to appear. 

In cases where the defendant has not yet appeared in court, and a document initiating proceedings has to be sent to another Member State for service, judgment cannot be rendered until it can be proven that the defendant had enough time to enter a defense. Further, it must be proven that the document was served by the procedure established by the law of the Member State to serve domestic action documents upon individuals within its jurisdiction. To reduce the ambiguity that often comes with serving legal papers across borders, most individuals involve a private process service agency like Undisputed Legal to handle their service.

civil Procedure in Poland

Documents prepared or certified by a public authority or official are considered ‘extrajudicial documents’. Other documents that need to be formally transmitted to an addressee in another Member State to exercise, prove, or safeguard a claim or right in civil or commercial law also fall under this category. Not included in the definition of ‘extrajudicial documents’ are records produced by administrative agencies for use in administrative trials. States can choose different agencies to handle transmission and reception or an agency or agencies to handle both tasks for five years. On the other hand, they should be able to renew that designation every five years.

Any suitable modern communications technology should ensure the speedy transmission of documents between Member States for service, provided that certain conditions regarding the integrity and reliability of the received document are met.

The receiving agency should notify the addressee in writing that they can reject service of any document not in their language or one of the official languages of the place of service. This notification should be given when the document to be served does not appear in either official language. Service by diplomatic agents or consular officers, service through postal services, electronic service, and direct service should all be subject to the right of refusal. If the document is refused, it should be possible to serve the addressee with a translated copy.

A certified or otherwise suitable translation, as determined by the law of the Member State of origin, must accompany any documents that are to be served.  Everyone in the EU should be able to use registered mail with proof of receipt or something similar to serve legal documents on people living in another EU member state. 

Private or public postal services should be able to handle the delivery of documents in various letter formats, including bundles of letters. Documents sent by regular mail to an adult living in the same household as the addressee or employed by the addressee and able to accept legal documents will still be deemed validly served, even if the addressee was not physically present to receive them. 

Every reasonable effort should be made to obtain the certificate through the competent authorities or bodies of the Member State addressed before any judgment is given, in compliance with any other requirements safeguarding the interests of the defendant. All reasonable efforts should be made to notify the defendant that court proceedings have been initiated through any available means of communication, including modern communications technology, for which the court has knowledge of an address or account unless this would be in conflict with national law. In order to understand how each agency may respond to the delivery of your papers, it is preferable to involve a seasoned agency like Undisputed Legal. Our experience has been significant across Poland, and we can ensure that your papers adhere to Poland requirements.

Notary in Poland

In modern times, the notarial has evolved into an institution that ensures the safety and conformity of legal transactions, often serving as an impartial third party. When compared across Europe, notaries vary in how they operate, the transactions they handle, and the extent to which they are liable. Regardless, the notariat is instrumental in the preventive justice system of every nation, a system that is often bolstered by long-standing traditions.

Polish notaries and the Polish notarial professional organization are regulated by law, specifically the Polish Notaries Law Act of 14 February 1991. Like other European jurisdictions based on Latin law (law derived from Roman law principles), the Polish notariat system has certain commonalities within the Union. When parties in Poland need or want a notarial form for certain tasks, they can appoint a notary public to handle them. 

The actions of a notary public, such as the transfer of real estate, when carried out in accordance with the law, take on the character of an official document. The notary’s duty is to ensure that the rights and interests of all parties and other individuals to whom the notarial acts may affect are adequately safeguarded. All notarial acts in Poland must be conducted in Polish and all fees must be paid in Polish zlotys (PLN). An individual cannot be a party to a deed written in Polish unless they have a state-appointed translator who can formally translate it into English before they sign it. There are plenty of notary public offices where parties can speak with an English-speaking official to set up an appointment. As a general rule, the notary must give the parties necessary explanations about the notarial act. 

A notary’s duties also include protecting the rights and interests of everyone involved, including any third parties whose actions could be affected by the legal action. Notaries come together to form a notarial professional organization. It is comprised of the Polish National Council of Notaries as well as regional notarial chambers. The Notaries Law Act provides a foundation for its operations. The notarial professional organization is structured around regional notarial chambers, such as the one in Krakow and the Polish National Council of Notaries. Notaries who practice law within the jurisdiction of the appropriate appellate court form a regional chamber of notaries whose headquarters are in the same city as that court. Notaries are required by law to be members of a certain professional organization.

A notary’s duty to maintain secrecy regarding any information they may have learned about a case while acting as a notary continues even after their recall. If the notary testifies as a witness in court, they are no longer bound to keep the secret unless doing so would jeopardize a substantial private interest or state interest. The notary’s duty to maintain secrecy may be waived in such a case by the Minister of Justice.

The notary has the authority to make acts that either need a notarial form to comply with the law or that either party wishes to have granted the extra protection that a notarial act provides. ILegally binding notarial acts are official documents with the same weight as those from relevant government agencies. If the nature of the act or exceptional circumstances require it, a notary public can perform their duties outside of a traditional office setting.

In accordance with the notary’s instructions, the parties involved, the necessary paperwork, and any other pertinent information should be submitted to the office well in advance of the notarial act’s scheduled date.  In order to ensure that all parties involved in a notarial act can be positively identified, the Notary in Poland must request official identification such as a passport, ID card, or residence permit. It is important to make sure the information on those documents is accurate and up-to-date and that they have not expired before the appointment. As an additional requirement, legally mandated documents must be produced to verify the identity of any entity other than a natural person that is a party to the notarial acts, such as a company. 

The notarial profession in Poland is structured around the Polish National Council of Notaries and regional notarial chambers. Notaries who practice law within the jurisdiction of the appropriate appellate court form a regional chamber of notaries whose headquarters are in the same city as that court. 

Power of attorney

A power of attorney in Poland is a legal document that enables one person to assign another person the authority to act on their behalf for specific matters. Membership in the notarial professional organization is mandatory. Foreign investors who are unable to be physically present during the company incorporation formalities but who require the signature or performance of an action on their behalf may find this type of document helpful.

Among the many uses for a notarized power of attorney is the authority to make decisions on behalf of a person who lacks the mental capacity to do so themselves. The needs of the principal, who delegates authority to another party to deal with a problem or issues on their behalf, can be met by a POA. It can be utilized for personal and business purposes alike.

The power of attorney is versatile and can cover a wide range of situations and institutions.  Regardless of whether it is used to form a company or not, a business Power of Attorney must contain information about the principal or grantor, including but not limited to their tax ID, personal identification number, and other relevant details; The agent must include information about the attorney-in-fact, including their name, address, phone number, email, tax ID, or passport (if the agent is not a resident of the country.) It is important to specify the specific reasons for its issuance, down to the smallest detail, even for a General Power of Attorney. To make it clear if the power of attorney is permanent, the type of Power of Attorney must be stated. At this stage, the document becomes official, as if it were to bear the notary’s seal and signature.

The purpose of a Power of Attorney, whether general or specific, depends on the wishes of the grantor.  An adaptable and multipurpose document, a General Power of Attorney grants the named agent the authority to act on behalf of the principal in any and all transactions involving taxes, real estate, and other specified matters. A special Power of Attorney is a limited-duration document that is granted to a designated individual to carry out a specific task. A durable power of attorney, which can be either broad or specific, is defined by its ability to continue functioning even after the principal loses mental capacity. This Power Of Attorney does not take effect until the principal becomes incapacitated.

No matter the form of Power Of Attorney, the question of who will serve as attorney-in-fact is an important one. This is a crucial choice because the chosen one will have the final say over the principal’s assets and finances. An individual’s designation of an institution or professional asset management firm or manager to serve as their attorney-in-fact is accompanied by a fiduciary duty that binds the attorney-in-fact to the principal.

The Power Of Attorney can be revoked by the grantor whenever they see fit. To grant another person the power to act, one must be of legal age (more than eighteen years old) and possess full mental capacity. After the document has been prepared in multiple original counterparts, the grantor and authorized person are required to appear before a Polish notary and sign it. Names, last names, birthplaces, dates of birth, addresses, and other requested personal information must be provided by the two people.

Either an unlimited or a limited duration Power Of Attorney can be established. For example, a limited Power Of Attorney can be used to purchase or sell property in Poland, sign contracts on behalf of a company director, open a bank account for someone else or a business, make payments, submit paperwork, or carry out any other task specified by the grantor.

An individual’s Power of Attorney is a flexible legal document that can change to reflect their needs and the specifics of their case.  In Poland, a Power of Attorney can also be used for matters pertaining to divorce, such as property division. The ability to engage in legally binding contracts is a prerequisite for the appointment of an attorney. Parties need to include the proof of stamp duty payment with every power of attorney. The principal’s and the authorized person’s personal information, including an address for at least one of them, as well as a description of the authority’s scope. The Power of Attorney must also include the date, location, and duration, if applicable. The principal must personally sign the Power of Attorney and submit the original along with the inquiry.

Involving a private process service organization, such as Undisputed Legal, might be much more beneficial than just serving your paperwork. We can guarantee that your documents sail through the full legal procedure effortlessly. You never need to worry about your documents with our highly skilled local Polish process servers. 

Written By: Undisputed Legal Inc.


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1 Address: The Ministry of Justice (Ministerstwo Sprawiedliwości)
Warsaw Department of International Relations and Human Rights
Al. The eleventh Ujazdowski
Warsaw, 00-950
Box 33, P.O.

2 Polish Code Civil Procedure, Article 1132(2)

3 The one and only exception to this rule is the Poland–China Agreement of July 5, 1987, which permits the attachment of English translations of court documents. In actuality, though, the Central Authority or the appropriate regional court in Poland should translate Chinese documents sent to a Polish authority with an English translation into Polish.

4 Treaty Recast on the Service of Judgement and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil and Commercial Actions (Regulation (EU) 2020/1784) of the European Parliament and the Council of 25 November 2020) 

5 Within seven days of receiving the document, or as soon as possible, an automated response should be sent to the sending agency using the decentralized IT system or another method to confirm receipt of form D

6 Regulations (EU) 2018/1725 (5) and (EU) 2016/679 (6) of the European Parliament and of the Council, particularly the principles of data protection by design and by default, establish data protection requirements and principles

7 Notaries Act of 14 February 1991 (Journal of Laws 2017, item 2291; 2018, items 398, 723 and 1496).

8 The notarial professional organization’s guiding principles are derived from Section 17 (1) of the Republic of Poland’s Constitution.

9 Duties of a notary public as outlined in Article 79 of the Notary Law of February 14, 1991:

  1. creating notarial deeds, such as those pertaining to gifts, life annuities, sales, property division, development, preliminary agreements, property transfers, conditional agreements, exchanges, personal and land servitude, transmission easements, inheritance, ownership cessation, limited liability company, wills, powers of attorney and deeds of submission to execution
  2. drafting various documents (such as deeds, statements, and contracts) as requested by the parties
  3. creating certificates for the transfer of ownership
  4. collecting protocols (such as housing estate and shareholder meeting minutes, protocols pertaining to party attendance and statements given, and, upon request from the appearing party, a protocol for when the other party does not show up)
  5. creating protests for checks and promissory notes
  6. putting together certifications: papers (certified copies, signature confirmations, specimen signatures, certified dates, certifications of a person’s survival or location, etc.)
  7. preservation of funds, securities, papers, and data carriers (a notary public is only authorized to receive funds and securities linked to a specific notarial act in order to transfer them to an appointed representative).
  8. making accurate and verifiable copies, summaries, and extracts from the document

10 Article 33(1) of the Code of Administrative Procedure

11 The ul. location of the Bureau’s registered office is not acceptable for the payment of the PLN 17 power of attorney fee.
It is important to ensure that the payment is made to the bank account of the relevant authority with territorial jurisdiction over the power of attorney. This could be the city, municipality, or district office.


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