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The Government of the Republic of Serbia adopted a new Regulation on the Terms and Conditions of Attracting Direct Investments, in place of the previous Regulation which was in force since March 2016. The new Regulation is expected to secure continuity of economic growth, to obtain new capacities and technology, and to induce job creation. Furthermore, it introduces stricter controls regarding fulfillment of contractual obligations, and especially promotes investments in “devastated areas”.

According to the Stabilization and Association Agreement between the EU and the Republic of Serbia1 (hereinafter:”SAA”), Serbia has an obligation to address the issue of the acquisition of the real estate property in Serbia by foreign citizens and to enable such practice by no later than the fourth quarter of 2017.

The new Serbian Housing Act is a long-awaited codification of all the statutes pertaining to housing. The Building Maintenance Act and Housing Act were passed in its original texts more than two decades ago, and were rendered obsolete by the changes in society and economics climate. But the big question is – will there be enough funds for carrying out all the ideas laid out by the legislators?

After years of continued negative trend, Belgrade Stock Exchange (BELEX) recorded a positive turnover of 75% in 2016. As this is the second straight year in which BELEX recorded a growth, it is valid to claim that a new era for BELEX is around the corner.

Changes to existing Serbian public procurement framework are expected in 2017, as it was announced by the Serbian Public procurement office. The main motive for amendments is the harmonization of the existing public procurement framework in Serbia with EU Directive 2014/24/EU on public procurement, which features the principle of “most economically advantageous tender” (the “MEAT” criteria) as the main selection criteria. The MEAT criteria shall now gain a prominent place in the Serbian public procurement procedure, too.

Based on the Payment Services Act which was adopted in 2014 and came into force on 1 October 2015, a new type of payment service has been introduced to the Serbian Payment Service Market.

Following the adoption of a completely new Insolvency Act in 2009, which introduced significant changes to the existing Serbian insolvency framework, and changes thereof which followed in 2014, the Insolvency Act is once again about to be amended.

After several months of tiresome trilateral negotiations between the representatives of the Government, employers and employees, a new minimum salary amount has been adopted in Serbia.

The Serbian Commission for Protection of Competition (the “Commission”) announced that on August 29, 2016, it had initiated an investigation procedure against Inter Turs Plus (“ITP”), a transportation company from Arandjelovac, in order to determine the assumed abuse of its dominant position.

Introduction

Following David Cameron’s resignation and establishment of the new cabinet, it has become almost certain that the United Kingdom will eventually activate the Treaty on the European Union’s Article 50 mechanism and withdraw from the EU.

The Negotiation Chapter 23 (hereinafter: “Chapter 23”) for Serbia’s accession to the European Union was finally opened on 18 July 2016. This Chapter is part of the acquis communautaire and it is dedicated to the Judiciary and Fundamental Rights, which is strongly related to the issue of consistency of courts’ practice in Serbia.

Bid rigging in public procurement has caught significant attention of the Serbian Competition Commission (the “Commission“) in the past year. Following several letters of complaint from the public authorities and the Republic Commission for Protection of Bidders` Rights, regarding alleged cases of bid rigging involving companies from the same undertaking, the Commission has issued an official opinion on the matter (the “Opinion”).

In the last few months we could see that the Serbian Competition Commission (the “Commission”) was active in the area of public utility services, which are usually operated by a local public enterprise, traditionally a monopolist.

Negotiation Chapters 23 and 24 have been opened at the Third Intergovernmental Conference between the European Union and Serbia, which was held on 18 July 2016. Chapter 23 is related to judiciary and fundamental rights and Chapter 24 is dealing with justice, freedom and security. Opening of these significant chapters is a big step for Serbia toward the European Union.

At the beginning of this year the Central Register of Temporary Restrictions of Rights of Entities Registered with the Serbian Business Registers Agency Act (RS Official Gazette No 12/2015) (hereinafter: “Act”) entered into force and on 1 June 2016 it became applicable so the Central Register of Temporary Restrictions of Rights of Entities registered with the Serbian Business Registers Agency (hereinafter: “The Central Register”) commenced with its function.

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SOG / Samardzic, Oreski & Grbovic at a Glance

SOG / Samardžić, Oreški & Grbović is a full service business law firm providing the highest quality legal advice across a wide range of key areas of corporate law in Serbia and the Western Balkans. We are particularly noted for legal expertise, high professional and ethical standards, attention to detail, and responsiveness. SOG is firmly committed to providing advice at the highest level and achieving lasting results for our clients.

In order to provide our regional and international clients having business interests in more than one jurisdiction, we have also established a strong regional presence through our partner offices in Bosnia & Herzegovina, Macedonia, and Montenegro. This way, our clients gain a full spectrum of support and the most up to date and nuanced advice on the business and regulatory environment across the entire region.

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