On 26 October 2018 the Law on the Amendments and Supplements to the Air Transport Law ("Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia", no. 83/2018) (hereinafter: the "Law") was adopted and entered into force on 6 November 2018.
The Law enables further harmonization with international standards and recommended practices of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), as well as the European regulations in this field. The main novelties introduced by the Law are related to the provisions concerning planning and construction of the airports, environmental protection and in particular, the transport of dangerous goods, which constitutes a completely new chapter by which domestic legislation implements the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), that will be elaborated in the text below.
In addition to the aforementioned, we would like to highlight the novelties regarding the designation of a route in the public interest as well as performing of the international public air transport with the Republic of Serbia.
When it comes to the transportation on a public interest route, the Law extends the authority of the Government to declare, in form of a decision, the air transport on a route as public interest. These changes relate to the situations where the need for performing regular air transport is determined by a specific bilateral or multilateral agreement. In addition to this amendment, the six-month deadline by the expiry of which the ministry responsible for traffic affairs could initiate a public procurement procedure for determining the air carrier was deleted. The Law now prescribes that the competent ministry can do this in case no air carrier starts or does not show that it can start scheduled air services in "short term".
In the part relating to the performance of the international public air transport with the Republic of Serbia, now it is the Law which prescribes the conditions that an air carrier must fulfill in order to obtain the approval for conducting international public air transport with the Republic of Serbia.
These conditions include, inter alia, obtaining of prescribed authorizations for conducting requested public air transport, the fulfillment of international standards in the field of safety and security in aviation by the state whose competent authority has issued the aforementioned authorization and the state of aircraft registration, possession of the appropriate liability insurance for damages of the foreign air carrier etc.
In addition to the above, the Law also introduces an exception to obtaining the approval of the Civil Aviation Directorate of the Republic of Serbia (hereinafter: the "Directorate") on the flight plan submitted by the foreign air carrier carrying out international public air transport with the Republic of Serbia to the air navigation service provider. Namely, the Law excludes the obligation to obtain the approval of the Directorate on the flight plan, when ratified international agreement stipulates that the approval is not necessary.
One of the major novelties of the Law represents the introduction of completely new chapter that regulates in detail the transport of dangerous goods by air. The Law here governs, inter alia, the conditions under which a foreign air carrier can transport dangerous goods to the territory and from the territory of the Republic of Serbia, which conditions are prescribed by the Directorate, in respect of which objects and materials the air transport is prohibited, as well as the obligations of the shipper of dangerous goods before transport and the obligations of the aircraft operator. Foreign air carrier who intends to transport dangerous goods to the territory of the Republic of Serbia or from the territory of the Republic of Serbia needs to obtain the approval issued by the Directorate at the latest 30 days prior to the planned transport.
By Anja Sakan, Senior Associate JPM Jankovic Popovic Mitic