In recent years, the cultivation of cannabis for medical purposes has been a “hot” topic in North Macedonia. In 2016, the country regulated the procedure for the cultivation and production of hemp and hemp extracts. Since then, in line with publicly available information, over 60 approvals for the cultivation of cannabis for medical purposes have been issued.
With COVID-19 restrictions to kick in only after the municipal elections scheduled for October 17, the country is in for a long winter, according to ODI Law Partner Gjorgji Georgievski, despite the business sector doing well.
Data controllers and data processors had until 24 August 2021 to align with the new Law on Personal Data Protection in North Macedonia (“Law”), which introduced the GDPR in the local legislation at the beginning of 2020. Non-compliance with the new obligations for personal data protection can lead to severe penalties, such as fines of up to 2% and up to 4% of the total annual turnover from the previous financial year, per misdemeanor.
During the summer, the Assembly in North Macedonia adopted relevant amendments to the Labour Law concerning the conditions for retirement. According to the estimations by the proposers of the amendment, around 6000 employees from the public and the private sector already reached 64 years of age by the end of 2020.
"Data Protection matters have kept us extremely busy this year," Gjorgji Georgievski, ODI Law Partner in North Macedonia and Regional Head of TMT Group, reports, primarily as a result of the looming end of the transition period of the new data protection law in the country.
The year of 2020 was marked, in North Macedonia as elsewhere, by the COVID-19-induced economic crisis, which will obviously extend well into 2021. Despite the high hopes that the pandemic would be brought under control with mass vaccination programs, the North Macedonian economy’s return to pre-Covid status within the current year is highly unlikely.
The terms of a loan agreement dictate the circumstances in which a lender can enforce its loan, guarantee, or security interest. In North Macedonia, a lender can usually demand loan acceleration (repayment before a scheduled maturity date) if the borrower defaults under the loan agreement. Security documents state when the lender can enforce the security, usually following a default under the loan agreement or the lender’s demand for repayment when due. A lender can generally demand payment under a guarantee as soon as the borrower fails to pay any guaranteed obligation when due. However, the claim under a guarantee will be limited to the overdue amount. A lender will therefore often need to accelerate the loan before it can make a full claim against a guarantor. Typically, under the finance and the security documents, lenders have the right to accelerate and enforce loans when borrowers become insolvent.
If certain statutory conditions are fulfilled, companies obliged to pay the Macedonian Corporate Income Tax (CIT) should submit reports for their 2019 transactions with related parties to the Public Revenue Office before September 30, 2020. The 2019 financial year is the first for which CIT payers are obliged to file such reports, according to the CIT Law.
The COVID-19 pandemic hit the Western Balkans right during a period of accelerating economic activity and a promising economic outlook for 2020. The rapid spread of the virus forced the governments of the Western Balkans countries to introduce protective measures, lockdowns, and temporary business shutdowns. These restrictions had a devastating direct economic impact on a wide range of sectors – particularly the hospitality and transport industries – and the measures had many indirect side effects that significantly decreased economic activity.
In merger control, the standstill obligation requires that the parties refrain from implementing a concentration before obtaining the required merger clearance. This duty represents a cornerstone of many merger control regimes and is intended to protect the structure of the market and the consumers from any damage that could result from a transaction that had not been properly examined and could turn out to be anti-competitive.
As Europe begins a tentative re-opening following several difficult months of quarantining, social distancing, and working-from-home, we spoke to CMS’s Warsaw-based Employment Partner Katarzyna Dulewicz and Vienna-based Dispute Resolution Partner Daniela Karollus-Bruner for their perspective on the process.