In the latest amendment of the Agricultural System Act, the legislator changed the provisions of Article 2b sec. 1, among other things.
According to the amendment, the owners of an agricultural real property who acquired it from 29 April 2016 onwards are obliged to pursue farming operations involving the acquired real property for a minimum period of five years (from the date of the acquisition).
In the course of these five years, the acquired property cannot be sold and its possession cannot be handed over to other entities without an extraordinary consent of the General Director of the National Support Centre for Agriculture (KOWR).
As a result, the owners of such property are required to apply to the General Director of KOWR for consent to the sale of agricultural real property. The consent to the sale of the real property prior to the lapse of the statutory five-year period may only be granted in cases justified by an important interest of the real property’s owner or by important public interest.
There are, however, some exceptions from the rules implemented under Article 2b sec. 1 of the Agricultural System Act.
Exceptions from the rule
Exceptions from the aforementioned rule involve selling or handing over the possession of the real estate:
- to next of kin (i.e. family);
- as a result of performing an agreement with a successor as stipulated under Article 84 of the Farmers’ Social Insurance Act of 20 December 1990, provided that upon such acquisition the successor is an individual farmer;
- to a local government unit, the State Treasury or a National Centre acting on its behalf;
- to a legal person owned by the State or by a local government, if such agricultural real property is intended for public purposes stipulated in the final decision on the location of a public purpose investment;
- to a person granted assistance as stipulated under Article 3 sec. 1 item 6 a) of the Act on Supporting the Development of Rural Areas using the Funds of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development within the Scope of the Rural Areas Development Program 2014-2020;
- to a company stipulated under Article 2a sec, 3 item 1 ca) of the Act, Terms of Purchasing Agricultural Real Property (a commercial law company whose sole shareholder is the State Treasury);
- to a corporation or a capital group (conducting operations in the electrical energy, crude oil or gas fuel sector);
- with respect to an agricultural real property acquired by way of inheritance, inheritance division or a specific bequest;
- with respect to agricultural property located within the administrative boundaries of a locality with an area smaller than 1ha;
- with respect to agricultural real property located in a mining area or in a mining territory in the meaning of Geological and Mining Law of 9 June 2011.