On June 23, 2021, the lower chamber of the Parliament of the Federation of Bosnia & Herzegovina, the House of Representatives, passed a decision instructing the Government to “analyze the existing legal framework in relation to the construction of small hydroelectric power plants and to initiate the parliamentary procedure of amending the existing laws in order to protect the rivers and the environment.” Such a broad and generic decision comes after months of campaigning by several NGOs, supported by local and Hollywood celebrities, aimed against the construction of SHPPs on Bosnian rivers, citing environmental concerns.
Bosnia & Herzegovina is experiencing a boom in the tourism sector, feeding the steady recovery of the Balkan country, and which spells out good things to come, according to Maric & Co Partner Ezmana Turkovic.
The Parliament of Federation of BiH adopted the amendments of the Company Law of Federation of BiH and the amendments have been published and entered into force on 23 September 2021. The amendments of the Law are aimed at achieving the goal set in the Reform Agenda of Federation of BiH related to simplification of the procedure for registration of business entities and setting up a one-stop-shop company registration system.
Up until the adoption of the Laws on Property Rights in Republika Srpska (in 2008) and in the Federation of Bosnia & Herzegovina (in 2013), the only legal basis to obtain a construction permit and erect a lawful building was to first acquire ownership over the land on which the building is to be constructed, usually through a purchase agreement, as, according to the provisions of the applicable Laws of Physical Planning, as well as the general legal framework of Bosnia and Herzegovina, an investor must obtain construction rights over real property to obtain a construction permit for that property.
On December 15, 2020 CEELM gathered legal experts from across the region for its annual Year-in-Review Round Table conversation. In a wide-ranging discussion, participants shared opinions and perspectives on their markets, on strong (and less-strong) practices across the region, and the effect of the COVID-19 crisis on both, as well as on how technology is changing the legal industry, and what the industry will look like in 2021.
Squeeze-out of minority shareholders is an important concept for joint stock companies in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). In the previous socialist system, many then-state-owned joint stock companies issued employee stocks as a form of partial privatization, leading to some companies having hundreds of minority shareholders with miniscule amounts of shares. This complicated the management of these companies, as majority ownership changed from state to private, since many small shareholders are unreachable, as they may be deceased or have relocated with unknown addresses. This situation often makes squeeze-outs essential for majority shareholders in order to efficiently manage these companies.
Under Bosnia and Herzegovina law, a pledge can be granted solely to a creditor of a claim. This hampers the creation of effective security for securing syndicated facilities (e.g., loans provided to debtor by more than one lender). In practice, this is solved by creating a “parallel debt structure” and appointing a security agent who holds pledges in favor of all lenders. Despite its broad use, this structure has not been tested before local courts. Thus, questions about its validity remain unsettled.
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.
There is an interesting legal tool in the Competition Law of Bosnia and Herzegovina (originally adopted in 2005), that is seldom seen in other jurisdictions. Per the legal framework, the governing body of the local competition authority, the Competition Council, consists of six members appointed in order to reflect the complex ethnic structure of the country: two Bosnians, two Croats, and two Serbs.
Bosnia and Herzegovina (BH) is a contracting party to the Energy Community. As such, it has undertaken the obligation to align its energy sector legislation and transpose the Third Energy Package in the gas sector, among others. Such alignment in the gas sector requires the adoption of state and entity-level legislation to ensure unbundling, third party access, the liberalization of the wholesale market, end-consumer protection, and adequate interconnectivity.