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Documentary Type System of Registration

The Polish system of pledges’ registration is of a documentary type, not the notice filing system. It is a system of registration against an asset. Generally entry into the pledge registry is made upon an application by pledgor or pledgee. Such application must be accompanied with a document establishing validity of titles. Most commonly a contract on establishing pledge will be provided; however other types of documents are allowed as for example a contract of acquiring shares in a movable subjected to the registered pledge (art. 39 of the Registered Pledge Act). Only in rare occasions courts will proceed without an application. Such a possibility is envisaged in art. 18a of the Registered Pledge Act according to which a court may erase an entry after the lapse of 20 years from the moment of the entry, unless the parties have agreed to maintain registration for longer period (under the condition it is less than 10 years). To facilitate the availability of information there has been an electronic system established which gathers information from all the courts running the registry (art. 42 of the Registered Pledge Act).

The requirement of providing the document proving the validity of titles flows from the fact that the registration affects third persons. It is stated that from the day of registration nobody can plead ignorance of the data provided in the registry. Accordingly, a presumption of general knowledge of the registered data is introduced. Such a presumption may be overturned if a third party proves that regardless of due diligence he could not have known about it. Moreover, Polish law introduces a presumption of truthfulness of the registered information. Therefore, the pledgor or pledgee aiming at questioning the data revealed in the registry bears the onus of proof to the contrary (art. 38 of the Registered Pledge Act). With regard to a third party in good faith the pledgor or the pledgee may not assert that the data evidenced in the registry are false, unless the entry in the registry was not made in accordance with the application and the pledgor or the pledgee immediately requested a motion to correct, complete, or erase the entry from the registry.

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