Newsletter EULEO

When creditor is German and debtor is Polish

These days, Poland seems to be a growing market for export and import. According to data gathered in 2017, Germany is the biggest business partner for Poland. Last year they were responsible for 27,5% export and 23,1% of import, which gives an increase of 12,2% in export and 13,1% in import compared to 2016.

Specifics of international debt collection

How does it all apply to debt collection in Poland? The growth of German-Polish relationship can be a two-edged sword. On one hand, it means new development possibilities for entrepreneurs from these two countries, however on the other hand, it may mean more risk of problems that originate from payment issues, which then lead to indebtedness formation.

The first potential issue that comes to mind is simply language barriers. Even though English is supposed to be the main language of international business, it is still not a standard that documents, such as invoices or agreements, should be created in this language.

Another issue may be inconsistency in regulations regarding trading documents. Every country has its own specific rules which may cause many misunderstandings. The attitude to payment dates and payment morality may differ from country to country. This is due to a diversity of business styles applied in both cultures and it is natural, however it may affect such basic matters as settlements.

However, one of the most common and maybe even trivial problems is lack of time. Asset recovery may consume:

  • many e-mails sent,
  • hours spent on the phone
  • letters written.

Having that in mind and adding the culture, language and business style differences, the easiest way to cope with debtor is stop caring about him.

What can be done in such situations?

The situation when Polish debtor does not fulfill terms of contract regarding payments does not mean that the other party would cease their agreements. Often, it leads to quite an opposite reaction – orders are renewed and German entrepreneur wants to maintain contact with Polish business partner. It may cause a situation when it is awkward to demand payments.

Experience shows that in this kind of impasse, the best decision is to introduce a third party into the contact, or, as in this situation, a Polish debt collection company with an international expertise.  Such local collector will take upon the burden of frequent contact with Polish debtor. They have specialized knowledge of law, business customs, debtor’s behaviour, market, debt collection methods allowed in their region. They will take care of not invading business relationship and they will assist with completing documentation needed to start debt collection in Poland. Additional asset of using local debt collection company’s services is a possibility to access their reports online, for example, through an online reporting platforms, such as

Poland is a major business partner for German companies, which may be a great opportunity for them, but in the same time, it can lead to many additional responsibilities. It does not mean that they should not consider doing business in Poland, however they should probably think about minimizing the risk. One of the possible solutions is starting a cooperation with a Polish debt collection agency.  I know  how intimidating it may be, but based on my experience, it can only lead to a feeling of relief and a confidence, that your liabilities are well handled.