Fee in the Water Law – what we should pay for and when


Any charges in the Water Law are nothing new. In the current law, they function as a catalog of economic instruments, as dues for issuing approvals and decisions, and as fines and penalties. Nine types of fees and charges for water management are listed in Article 267 of the law. We will discuss them briefly to give an idea and possibly clarify when and for what we incur statutory “water” fees.

1. water service charge

These fees, like environmental dues, are to be classified as public tributes. These are the most important of the statutory fees. They are borne mandatorily by any entity that holds a water permit for activities covered by Article 35 of the Water Law, i.e. water services.

2 Increased fee

An increased fee is incurred if water services are used without the required water permit, without an integrated permit, or as a result of exceeding the conditions set forth in these documents. The amount determined is significant, amounting to 500% of the variable fee, which is the amount that could have been charged for the water service in question as a result of properly conducted procedures.

(3) Payment for the use of inland waterways and their sections and water facilities owned by the State Treasury, located on inland surface waters

These fees are paid for the carriage of passengers by passenger and cruise ships; for the carriage of goods by cargo ships; for the navigation of empty cargo ships; for towing or floating timber and for the use of locks or slipways. Each of these activities has a price set in an annually updated decree of the minister in charge of water management.

(4) The legalization fee referred to in Article 190 (2).

Fee paid as a type of penalty for carrying out a water facility without the required water consent. It amounts to PLN5,000.15 and is a one-time payment. It must be paid after the legalization decision is issued.

(5) The annual fee referred to in Article 261 paragraph 1.

Annual fee paid for the transfer of state-owned water-covered land for use. The contract shall be concluded in writing with Polish Water. The application should go to the director of the Regional Water Board. The time between submitting a complete application and signing a contract can be as long as 120 days. This is one of the most important fees covered by many entities and individuals. We will soon devote a separate article to it in Water Issues.

(6) Proceeds from the disposal of real estate, as referred to in Article 264 paragraph 1.

Fee for rental, lease or lending of land developed with water facilities located beyond the shoreline or for water facilities or parts of water facilities. Fees are collected by the Water Authority for goods owned by the State Treasury.

7. the annual fee referred to in Art. 6d para. 4 of the Law of April 18, 1985. on inland fishing

The fee for commissioning a fishing circuit depends on its area, location and water type. It is handed over for use through a bidding competition organized by Wody Polskie.

8. proceeds from the fee referred to in Art. 7 paragraph. 8 of the Law of April 18, 1985. On inland fisheries, in cases where the Polish waters are the entity authorized to fish

Fees for the issued permit for amateur fishing. They are collected by the fishing entity in an amount determined by it. In the article“Discounts for seniors in some fisheries,” we wrote about preferential rates applied on fishing circuits administered by the Polish Waterways.

(9) Proceeds from inland fishing performance contracts referred to in Art. 534 para. 1 point 5

This is the charge discussed in Item 7, but applies to the case where the fishing circuit was commissioned before the Water Law of July 20, 2017 came into effect.

Other fees charged under the Water Law include:

  • Fees for the issuance of water law permits – in 2023, respectively, PLN 250.00 for a water law permit; PLN 100.23 for a notification; PLN 1000.04 for a water law assessment.
  • proceeds from participation in the costs of maintaining water or water facilities – values specified in water permits;
  • Fees for providing information from the water management information system – the amount of the fee depends on the type and amount of information provided;
  • Drainage fees – depend on the value of the investment.

The Water Law still includes fees seemingly unrelated to water management. These include, among others: a fee for an opinion on a nitrogen fertilization plan, which is collected from an agricultural operator by a district chemical and agricultural station. A separate group of financial instruments also includes administrative fines, penalties and penalties under the provisions of the law. They concern, among other things, the non-compliant use of fertilizers or fertilization without a plan, or the failure to submit a report on the implementation of the national wastewater treatment program. Knowing how many questions there are about paying water fees, we will try to discuss the specifics of some of them in the pages of our newspaper.

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