In the context of the resolution of the Supreme Court of June 22, 2017, ref. no. III CZP 24/17.

In the Act of April 11, 2003, on shaping the agricultural system (i.e. Journal of Laws from 2016, item 2052 as amended), the Polish legislator envisaged a number of obstacles in the field of agricultural real property trading, granting the possibility of acquiring agricultural land mainly to individual farmers.

A derogation from the above rule, provided for in the Act on shaping the agricultural system, is i.a. the possibility of acquiring agricultural real property by a person related to the seller within the meaning of art. 2 item 6 of the present Act, i.e. by descendants, precursors, siblings, children of siblings, spouse, adopters and adopted.

Additional restrictions were imposed on the buyer of agricultural real property in art. 2b sect. 1 of the Act on shaping the agricultural system. According to this provision, the buyer of agricultural real property is obliged to run a farm, which includes the acquired agricultural real property, for a period of at least 10 years from the date of acquisition of that property, and in the case of a natural person, to run the farm in person.

In the period referred to in the previous paragraph, agricultural property cannot be sold or given away to other entities unless it is sold or given away to another entity for reasons of chance, independent of the buyer, and the court shall, at the request of the buyer of the agricultural real property, give consent to the above activity (art. 2b sect. 2 and 3 of the Act).

Taking the above provisions into consideration, a problem arises when the parties to the agricultural real property sales agreement are relatives within the meaning of the present Act, and the sale takes place before the expiry of the period referred to in art. 2b sect. 1 of the Act. The General Court considering a case in which the above-mentioned doubts arose, turned to the Supreme Court with the following legal question:

“Is the court’s consent required under art. 2b sect. 3 of the Act from April 11, 2003 on shaping the agricultural system (i.e. Journal of Laws from 2016, item 2052) in a situation where the parties to the agricultural real property sales agreement are close relatives within the meaning of art. 2 item 6 of the aforementioned law, and previously the agricultural property was traded under the Act on shaping the agricultural system in the wording of the Act from April 14, 2016 on the suspension of the sale of real property of the State Treasury Agricultural Property Resources and amending certain acts (Journal of Laws from 2016, item 585) between persons not related to each other?”

The Supreme Court, examining the above legal issue on June 22, 2017, ref. no. III CZP 24/17: “The sale of agricultural real property by the buyer before the expiry of the period provided for in art. 2b sect. 1 of the Act from April 11, 2003, on shaping the agricultural system (consolidated text: Journal of Laws from 2016, item 2052) to a close relative within the meaning of art. 2 item 6 of the aforementioned Act does not require the consent of the court issued on the basis of art. 2b sect. 3 of that Act. “

It should be noted that the above resolution introduces an interesting loophole, allowing to circumvent the restrictions on the purchase of agricultural real property by non-farmers, with said restrictions resulting from the Act on shaping the agricultural system. A person who intends to become a buyer of agricultural property may, in the company of a close relative who is a farmer, through two successive legal actions, take possession of agricultural real property without the need of obtaining consent from the Agricultural Property Agency. It is sufficient that a person closely related to the target buyer of the property, who is an individual farmer within the understanding of the Act, will purchase an agricultural property, and then, by way of further legal action, will transfer the ownership of the property to that target buyer.