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The National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia adopted on 23 December 2019 the Law on amendments and supplements to the Law on games of chance (“Official Gazette of RS”, no. 91/2019) (hereinafter referred to as the “Law”).

On 16 December 2019, new provisions regarding the minimum gross salary guaranteed at national level were announced in the Romanian Official Gazette.

Do you need a company to be established in Hungary? You will find below some hints and tips that will make your life easier.

ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law, acting as outside counsel for Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. (“Wikimedia”), has secured an affirmative decision from the Turkish Constitutional Court in the matter of an universal access ban on the Wikipedia website (www.wikipedia.org) in Turkey.

As with each year, December was one of the busiest months and the Serbian Parliament was especially industrious. The aforementioned resulted in adoption of a very welcome set of amendments to the Serbia’s Company Act by the Serbian Parliament.

2019 has been an eventful year for anti-corruption compliance in Russia with an extension of enforcement actions against companies, the strengthening of anti-corruption laws and new domestic compliance requirements. The crucial developments for companies are summarised below:

The authority to initiate dumping or subsidy examinations, upon complaint or, where necessary, ex officio, has been given from the Ministry of Economy to the Ministry of Trade (“Ministry”). Within the scope of this authority, the Ministry announces its decisions with the communiqués published on the Official Gazette.

Following the adoption of the Regulation (EU) 2016/679 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC („GDPR“) on April 27, 2016, the Croatian GDPR Implementing Act („GDPR Act“) entered into force on May 25, 2018, simultaneously with the start of application of the GDPR.

Turkish Constitutional Court recently granted two remarkable decisions on November 19, 2019 and on November 28, 2019 regarding individual applications claiming violation of the applicants’ freedom of expression. The decisions have been published in the Official Gazette respectively on December 24, 2019 and on January 3, 2020. In both decisions, the Constitutional Court accepted the applicants’ violation claims by concluding that the contents posted by the applicants on social media are in the acceptable limits of freedom of expression and the applicants’ freedoms of expression are violated.

Regulation (EU) 2018/1912 and Directive (EU) 2018/1910 amending Regulation (EU) No 282/2011 and Directive 2006/112/EC regarding certain exemptions for intra-Community transactions entered into force on 1 January 2020

Competition authorities at both European and national level develop and update policies regarding the enforcement of competition legislation.

In late November 2019 the Croatian Parliament passed a series of laws amending Croatian tax legislation. The new laws, in the most part, came into effect on 1 January 2020. The changes form part of wider efforts of the Croatian Government to ease the tax burden on both citizens and businesses.

On 3 August 2019, National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia has adopted the long-awaited amendments to the Enforcement and Security Act (“Act”), which entered into force on 1 January 2020. Having in mind the extent of amendments (more than 170 Articles), we can say the we practically have a new Enforcement and Security Act.

Most have heard of the difference between Anglo-Saxon case law and the continental courts – and perhaps that Hungary has so far firmly belonged to the latter camp. However, an amendment to the law that has recently been adopted represents a major step in the opposite direction – one that could result in thousands of Supreme Court rulings becoming precedents overnight. 

The National Tax and Customs Administration (“Authority”) has presented its vision for the future at a taxation conference held at the end of November 2019. The Authority has outlined that the emphasis will continuously be on the tax inspection of companies alongside with seizing the benefits of digitalisation and development. The principal objective of the Authority is to promote and enforce compliance with legal obligations. This objective will be supported by a new obligation (applicable as of July 2020) that requires taxpayers to provide complete data on their invoices.

Right to a copy of personal data

At the beginning of December 2019, the Hungarian Parliament accepted an amendment to the Hungarian Duty Act, which is supposed to enter into force on 1 February 2020.

Recent amendments to the Turkish legislation regarding electronic marketing communications introduced a centralized management system for obtaining, exercising and tracking the opt-in/opt-out requests as well as complaints of the recipients of electronic commercial communications. Service providers sending electronic commercial communications to customers will need to register with this new centralized management system, and notify and/or process opt-in and opt-out requests and complaints regarding electronic commercial communications through this centralized management system.

The provisions of the Hungarian Labour Code on the employees’ leave entitlement will be modified as of 1 January 2020. The new provisions are aimed at extending the employees’ entitlement to take leave for the purpose of providing care for their child.

According to the press release issued on 6 December 2019, the Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) imposed a fine of HUF 1.2 billion (EUR 3.6 million) on Facebook for misleading users by claiming its services were free.

A new amendment package was approved in the middle of December 2019. The package includes many novelties affecting the validity and issuance of driver’s licenses, the documents of newborns, document modifications due to marriage, procedures related to death and identity checks conducted by the police.

Republic of Serbia (“RS”) has recently amended its tax law provisions on individual income tax by adopting Act on Amendments of the Individual Tax Act, published in the Official Gazette of the RS, No. 86/2019 (“Act”). Among many changes, the one that attracts the most attention is the inclusion of a test on “dependence” and its influence on the tax status of entrepreneurs. The Act sets out the criteria which are to be applied by the tax authorities (“TA”) to determine cases in which the entrepreneur is not actually independent from his client. Entrepreneurs that do not pass this test will be similarly treated as if they were employees, and will, therefore, be subject to a different tax regime.

Affiliated enterprises have to report their related undertakings in a Country-by-Country (furthermore “CbC”) report until 31 December 2019 for the financial year of 2018. The information therein is used for high level transfer pricing examination and risk assessment. If a company fails to comply with the deadline mentioned above, it may expect a default penalty up to HUF 20 million (~ EUR 60,420) from the Hungarian Tax Authority.

Since 2013 and adoption of the Rulebook on conditions of breeding of Cannabis Sativa L, a.k.a industrial hemp, the Republic of Serbia acknowledged its production and cast a new light on domestic agriculture. Even though industrial hemp has been a prodigy to older generations for its miraculous multi-purpose benefits, younger generations often misplace it for marijuana, derived from a similar sort – Indian hemp. Regrettably, a similar misunderstanding in regards to its effects is often made by competent state authorities.