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Gecic Law Successful for Serbian Government in Anti-Dumping Investigation and Decision by European Commission

Gecic Law Successful for Serbian Government in Anti-Dumping Investigation and Decision by European Commission

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Gecic Law has advised the Government of Serbia and the Smederevo steel mill before the European Commission in relation to an anti-dumping investigation involving imports of hot-rolled flat steel products originating in Brazil, Iran, Russia, Serbia, and Ukraine. 

According to a Gecic Law report, "in a historic development for Serbia, as the most important positive decision before the EC thus far, the EU watchdog said on Friday it would not impose anti-dumping measures on steel producers from Serbia, simultaneously imposing said measures against products originating from the other four countries, following months of investigation into alleged anti-competitive practices."

Gecic Law, which also advised the Government of Serbia and Zelezara Smederevo on EU, regulatory, and corporate matters in connection with the sale of assets of Zelezara Smederevo through a public tender procedure to Hebei Iron and Steel Company Limited (HBIS), assisted its clients on what it describes as "intricate matters relating to relationship between EU law and Serbian law, Serbia’s EU accession negotiations, and the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA)."  

According to Gecic Law, "the Smederevo steel mill is Serbia’s leading producer of steel and is the second largest Serbian exporter and is currently responsible for nearly 1% of Serbia’s GDP.  The previous company, Zelezara Smederevo, was formerly owned by US Steel, having been acquired through the privatization process and sold back to the Government of Serbia in 2012, marking the exit of US Steel from the country. In April 2016, China’s HBIS submitted a binding offer to buy a considerable number of assets of Zelezara Smederevo for a total of EUR 46 million (USD 53.9 million) and established HBIS Group Serbia Iron & Steel d.o.o. Beograd."

According to Gecic Law, Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic thanked the "team of lawyers" working on the matter, congratulated the entire Serbian Government and President Aleksandar Vucic, and noted that the EC decision allowing Serbia to export steel to the EU without anti-dumping duties would enable the country to be significantly more competitive. She added that this decision is of “enormous significance” for the country and the steel mill in Smederevo and is “a huge victory for Serbia and all of us."

"I am incredibly pleased with the final decision of the European Commission," stated Bogdan Gecic, Partner at Gecic Law, who led his firm's team on the matter. "These anti-dumping measures are aimed at protecting European jobs and industry from unfair trade practices and this decision by the European Commission explicitly shows that Serbia respects and adheres to those European standards."

In addition to Gecic, the firm's team included Partner Nikola Aksic, Senior Associate Marija Papic, and Associates Milusa Okiljevic, Tatjana Sofijanic, and Rastko Pavlovic. International legal counsel in this investigation was provided by a Van Bael & Bellis team led by Richard Luff and including Steve Ross. Among the economic consultants assisting the Government of Serbia and the steel mill was Gecic Law’s Ognjen Popovic.

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Karanovic & Partners is a regional legal practice in Southeast Europe with tradition spanning two decades and cooperating offices in Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Bosnia & Herzegovina. With more than 100 attorneys at law cooperating across the region, we take pride in our work, dedication and understanding of our clients' industries and needs.

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