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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.

Gecic Law and DLA Piper have assisted Air Serbia in a European Commission investigation related to Etihad Airways’ investment in the Serbian Airline. According to Air Serbia, Karanovic & Nikolic was also involved in the first year of the process.

Non-performing loans (NPL) are one of the principal problems of Serbian banking sector.

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.

The 2016 has seen the establishment of a new and more robust mechanism for incentivizing filmmakers to use Serbia as the location of choice in the region. Besides the Government Regulation from 2015, new guidelines have been adopted and the annual public call for applications for year 2016 has been published (http://bit.ly/20pLU8x – only Serbian version available).

Serbia boasts significant mineral resources including lignite, copper, lead, zinc and industrial minerals. Geographical location and diversity of Serbia’s mineral resources are without doubt conducive factors to future investments in the mining sector.

OWith more than 6-months of delay, the Government of the Republic of Serbia finally adopted the following package of decrees setting out the new incentive scheme for green energy:

The new Enforcement and Security Act (hereinafter: the “Act”) entered into force on the 1 July 2016, except for certain provisions which came into force on 29 November 2015. The long expected innovation of enforcement and security procedures in Serbia brings significant changes. Among others, these are related to the scope of authorities of enforcement agents.

The new Law on General Administrative Procedure ("Official Gazette of RS" No. 18/2016), enacted on February 29, 2016, entered into force on March 9, 2016 ("the Law"). The Law will be applied from July 1, 2017, except for certain provision that will start being applied 90 days after the Law enters into force, i.e. from June 7, 2016.

Serbia Knowledge Partner

Karanović & Nikolić is a leading international legal practice in South East Europe that offers unrivalled regional and sector specific coverage to investors. As a market leading practice, our dedication, quality legal service, and in-depth understanding of the needs of our clients stands out as a differentiating factor. With over 100 advisors across the region, our original values remain an integral part of our philosophy and approach to client work. Karanović & Nikolić has been involved in many of the largest and most complex transactions in the region and we take pride in our reputation as a regional transactional and corporate/commercial legal powerhouse.

Because we have an active business presence in Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia, we operate seamlessly across all of these jurisdictions, providing regional services to our clients, while taking into consideration local particularities in order to provide the best legal advice under competitive terms. Renowned for the quality of our lawyers and our commercial approach to solving problems, Karanović & Nikolić advises many of the leading companies, banks, investors and government institutions doing business in the SEE region.

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