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The transportation sector is one of the most important factors for a country’s progress. Montenegro’s transportation sector has been transforming over the past few years towards the goal of harmonizing its infrastructure and services with European Union regulations. The Transportation Development Strategy of Montenegro for 2019-2035 (the “Strategy”) was adopted to regulate the guidelines and plans for future projects as well as to present the current state of the transportation sector in Montenegro. The Strategy aims to improve transportation in Montenegro and thus significantly enhance both tourism and business.

Read more: The Current Status of Montenegro’s Transportation Sector

If the Western Balkan countries are in your business spotlight, you must have heard about the “Little Schengen” project that was discussed between the governments of Albania, Serbia, and North Macedonia, and the signing of the consequent Declaration on Establishment of Free Movement of People, Goods and Services on October 10, 2019 between the leaders of these countries (“Little Schengen Declaration”). Although it may be argued that the “Little Schengen” project comes as an answer to the fact that the “Big Schengen” is still out of the reach for these Balkan countries, closer economic cooperation between the Western Balkan countries is a trend that’s being going on for a while. In particular, four months prior to the signing of the Little Schengen Declaration, North Macedonia and Serbia signed an agreement to establish joint controls at the border crossing point of the road between North Macedonia and Serbia (the “Bilateral Agreement”).

Read more: “Little Schengen” Project in a Nutshell – What Does It Mean For Your Business?

Slovenian national air-carrier Adria Airways is one of many European airlines that filed for bankruptcy in 2019. While passengers with planned trips and prepaid tickets were left to their own ingenuity, the Slovenian Government worried about the effects of Adria Airways’ bankruptcy on Slovenia’s air traffic and important airline connections from Ljubljana Airport to other important cities and regions.

Read more: Can EU Member States Protect Vital Air Routes After the Bankruptcy of National Air Carriers by...

The words which probably best describe trends in the field of logistics and transportation are “information connectivity” and “automatization.” The aim of both is the same – to increase efficiency and to achieve effective control of time, costs, quality of services, etc.  In Croatia, as elsewhere, these concepts have resulted in some new legal challenges.

Read more: Trends in Logistics and Transportation: The Struggle Between Technological Development and...

The automobile part-and-component-production sector’s expansion in recent years has become a motor of the Bulgarian industry and economy. Since the Japanese company Yazaki’s investment some 15 years ago, and following Bulgaria’s EU accession in 2007 – and thanks to the common European market and the globalization of car production – Bulgarian car part manufacturers have successfully integrated into European and international supply chains as suppliers and subcontractors for global brands such as BMW, Mercedes, Renault, Nissan, Audi, Ford, Porsche, and Tesla. Nowadays, 80% of all cars have parts produced in Bulgaria. In some specific segments, Bulgarian manufacturers have become absolute market leaders - for example, 90% of the airbag sensors in all European cars are produced in Bulgaria.

Read more: Bulgaria: The Automotive, Logistics, and Transportation Hub of the Balkans

After a period of uncertainty arising from the absence of any regulations related to ridesharing activities through digital platforms, which included a tumultuous series of strikes and protests by traditional cab service providers in major Romania cities, on June 25, 2019, the Government of Romania passed Government Emergency Ordinance 49/2019 on Ridesharing by Cars with Drivers.

Read more: Ridesharing Through Digital Platforms Regulated in Romania

Throughout its history, Serbia, located as it is at the intersection between major trading centers, has been recognized as a point of utmost importance in terms of transportation, and it remains so today. This requires constant improvement in transportation conditions and compliance with European Union regulations. In order to meet these requirements, the General Master Plan for Transport in Serbia (TMP) was adopted in 2009, providing the guidelines and plans for each transportation sector until 2027. The TMP is also the platform for current and future transportation-related projects, irrespective of the funding modality.

Read more: Recent Developments in the Field of Transportation in the Republic of Serbia

Slovakia is essentially a global superpower in the per-capita production of cars, producing more new cars per capita than any other country in the world. According to statistical data from 2018, four global car manufacturers located in Slovakia – Volkswagen Slovakia, Kia Motors Slovakia, PSA Group Slovakia, and Jaguar Land Rover – produced more than a million cars. The Slovak Automotive Industry Association reports that over 1.08 million cars were manufactured in Slovakia in 2018. It will be interesting to see whether this number will be surpassed given the recent challenges and potential slowdown in the automotive industry.

Read more: Successful Year for E-Mobility in Slovakia

The new Law of Ukraine “On Concession” (the “2019 Concession Law”) became effective on October 19, 2019, following several years of discussion. As the previous concession law (which was adopted in 1999) provided outdated and unenforceable regulations and was inconsistent with other laws regulating concessions and public-private partnerships in Ukraine, no significant concession projects had been developed in Ukraine for more than 20 years. The 2019 Concession Law provides a chance for Ukraine to overcome legal barriers to the development of concession projects and attract much needed investment into the country’s infrastructure.

Read more: Ukraine’s New Concession Law

Due to the complex constitutional structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina (composed as it is of two entities, Republika Srpska (RS) and Federation of BiH (FBiH), and the Brcko District), logistics, transportation, and shipping matters are regulated on the state level, entity level, and – in FBiH – cantonal administrative level.

Read more: State of Logistics/Transportation/Shipping in Bosnia and Herzegovina

We will start the overview of the transport and logistics sector in Lithuania by showing the key figures of carriage of goods performed by Lithuanian carriers. The amount of goods carried by all means of transport in Q1 and Q2 of 2019 was 35,025 billion tonne-kilometres – over 16% more than over the same period in 2018, when the amount was 30,175 billion tonne-kilometres.

Read more: Transport & Logistics Overview of Lithuania in 2019

The law on carriage of goods is a well-harmonized area of international law –  a streamlined set of rules that allows cargo owners and carriers to save valuable time and resources. While freight forwarders are an important element of every consignment it is surprising that many elements of forwarder’s liability are still regulated by national law.

Read more: Forwarder or Carrier? Liability of a Freight Forwarder Under Latvian law

The GDPR, which canceled previous European data protection regulations, represents the biggest change in those regulations in 20 years. Naturally, this amendment affects the methods of obtaining and processing personal data regardless of the size and structure of the companies doing so. All institutions in the transportation sector, including land, sea, air, and rail operators, agencies, airlines, and municipalities are also subject to the GDPR’s requirements.

Read more: The GDPR’s Effects on the Transportation Sector

Although not specifically related to Russia, the agreement by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) between it and the Apollo Aviation Group (Apollo) on the monetary compensation for the settlement of violations by Apollo of the Sudanese Sanctions Regulations that was announced on November, 7 2019, affects the aircraft leasing sector worldwide.

Read more: Aircraft Leasing and Sanctions: Know Your Risks

Scott Senecal is an American lawyer with Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton in Moscow. His practice focuses on financial and corporate law, and he has extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions, capital market transactions, and syndicated loans.

Read more: Expat on the Market: Interview with Scott Senecal of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Sanctions imposed by the U.S.A, the EU, and other jurisdictions in relation to certain Russian individuals and legal entities have had a substantial impact on international arbitration involving Russian parties. There exist serious concerns as to the ability of sanctioned Russian parties and their contractual counterparts to realize their right to defend themselves in the course of arbitration proceedings. These concerns have led to changes in market practice regarding the choice of the arbitration forum and to some legislative proposals in Russia that, if implemented, would have a dramatic impact on international arbitration involving Russian parties.

Read more: Russia Reacts: Impact of Sanctions on International Arbitration Involving Russian Parties

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