The Belgrade City Parliament, on March 7th, 2016, adopted the new General Urban Plan, which provides for the new industrial zones in which the city will make major investments and which should serve as an incentive for the new investments in Belgrade.
On 29 December, 2015, the Serbian National Assembly enacted the Law on the Chamber of Commerce (Official Gazette of RS No. 112/2015). This Law will enter into force on the eighth day after publication in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia, except for Articles 10 and 33 of this Law which will be applied as from 1 January, 2017.
The new Decree on the Content and Manner of Submission of Merger Notifications (“Decree”) which entered into force on 2 February 2016, has introduced the possibility of submitting a short-form merger notification, simplifying the procedure before the Commission for Protection of Competition, being the competent authority for protection of competition in the Republic of Serbia.
JPM has advised Delta Real Estate on the sale of its ownership quota in companies that own and operate the Delta City Shopping Malls in Belgrade and Podgorica — and has advised Hemslade Trading Limited on the sale of its ownership in the company that owns and operates the shopping mall in Podgorica as well — to Hyprop Investments Ltd (South Africa) and Homestead Group Holdings Ltd. Harrisons advised the buyers on the deals, which amounted to EUR 202.75 million.
One of the characteristics of the Serbian tax system is that it deals very little with the issue of tax treatment of payments resulting from family relationships. Except for the rule specifying that transfer of property directly related to divorce does not count as capital gain, and for tax exemption in the case of gifts between persons first in line to inherit, no other issues that could arise from family relationships are regulated at all.
Adoption of the Law on Enforcement and Security Proceeding in 2011 was of great significance for the Serbian legal system, partly due to introduced novelties in the course of enforcement proceedings, as an important stage in realization of creditors’ rights, and also for having introduced a new judicial profession hitherto unknown in Serbian law - enforcement officers (in practice referred to as private enforcement officers). After more than three years of application of this law it has been noticed that numerous deficiencies could not be remedied by partial changes, only by the adoption of new law as a whole.
Serbia currently has around 250 exploitation fields where mining activities are undertaken, in addition to around 100 exploration fields where some of the world’s largest mining companies are present. Foreign mining companies invest between $10mil and $100mil on a yearly basis on geological explorations in Serbia.
Serbia’s new Energy Law was enacted in December 2014. The principle aim of the new legislation is harmonization with the aquis communautaire and liberalization of the market, ensuring the freedom to conduct business activities and free access to the system for all third parties. The law also imposes an unbundling obligation and prescribes deadlines for harmonization of the operations of the companies active in the energy sector with the new law.
The new Law on Payment Transactions which will come into force on October 1st, 2015, will introduce significant novelties into the payment services market in Serbia, and will supersede the current Law on Payment Operations. Among other matters, it will regulate the use of electronic money, and the new organization of the payment system in the Republic of Serbia.
On May 7th 2015 the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia passed the Law on Protection of the Right to a Trial within a Reasonable Time (hereinafter: “the Law”). The Law will enter into legal force and be applied starting from January 1st, 2016. The reason for this delay in the Law's coming into force is to give the judges time to prepare for compliance with the Law.