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The most relevant provisions of the act on the amendment of certain justice laws entered into force on 1 January 2020, affecting among others the Public Notary Act, the Company Registry Act and the Forensic Expert Act.

On February 7, 2020, the German federal competition authority prohibited Facebook from combining user data with data from its other services (WhatsApp, Instagram etc.) and third party webpages. The authority also questioned the legality of the consent to this processing, which is a condition to using Facebook. What impact will this have on Facebook and other companies, which based their business model on processing of their users’ personal data?

Serbia recently reworked its Law on Trademarks, coming into force on 1 February 2020. What has changed? In local parlance: “Everything and nothing”. The changes are not extensive, but concern key features of the local trademark rules.

The Central Bank of Hungary (MNB) has announced a new program, for the purpose of providing capital requirement benefits to those credit institutions based in Hungary that offer so called green loans for energy efficient housing goals (purchase, building or refurbishment) between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2023. During this time period, these credit institutions will receive capital requirement benefits (5 to 7% depending on the energy efficiency of the related property) after the provided green loans, and the customers taking out these loans are eligible for lower, discounted rates.

The Government of the Republic of Serbia launched Project ePaper in 2016 with the aim of simplification of administrative procedures and modernizing public administration (“Project”). The Project aims to reduce the administrative expenses by 15-20% – from 3.46% to 3.0 % of GDP by 2021.

Bulgaria is well-known for its roses, more precisely its oilseed roses (маслодайни рози). Oilseed roses are famously used to produce rose oil, which is one of the most expensive oils, commonly referred to as "liquid gold". Rose oil is used in the perfume industry, but the Bulgarian oilseed rose also has many other applications. The petals are used in jams, jellies, sweets and liqueurs. Products derived from processing the blossoms are used in cooking as flavouring, flavour enhancers and colouring agents. In addition to the oil, processing the oilseed rose blossom also produces rose water, which is used both in the perfumery and food industries.

In May, 2019, the Agency had announced the Draft Regulation on Sales, Advertising and Promotion of Medical Devices, expected to replace the Regulation on Sales, Advertising and Promotion of Medical Devices (“Regulation”), by expressing that the Regulation required an amendment as a result of practical matters presented during the implementation of the Regulation and the current needs of the sector. The draft regulation was not enacted to this date, and instead, on January 28, 2020, the Agency announced the Draft Amendment Regulation on Sales, Advertising and Promotion of Medical Devices (“Amendment Regulation”)1 which will amend the Regulation itself. The Agency has invited comments from concerned parties until February 3, 2020.

Under Bulgarian anti-money laundering law, all obliged entities must adapt their internal rules in accordance with Article 101 of the Bulgarian Anti-Money Laundering Act ("AMLA") within six months following the publication of a national assessment of the risks related to money laundering and terrorism financing ("National Risk Assessment") on the website of the State Agency for National Security ("SANS").

A new year has begun, and the build-up of tax responsibilities and pressure has peaked and is now close to the point of reset and restart. But what does 2020 hold in store for companies active in Romania in terms of anticipated tax changes? And how can they get ready for and adapt to such amendments?

Pursuant to the Bulgarian Accountancy Act (Закон за счетоводството) companies must publish in the Commercial Register and Register for Nonprofit Legal Entities ("Commercial Register") their annual financial statements by 30 June of the calendar year following the reported period. Companies which have not carried out any activity during the reported period are exempt from this obligation. Prerequisite for the exemption is that the company's lack of activity is expressly declared before the Commercial Register.

While dozens of programmers, engineers and hairdressers continue to opt for KATA [the fixed-rate tax for enterprises categorised as “small taxpayers”] in Hungary, the tax is increasingly coming under fire from all sides. Apparently, the Hungarian Tax Authority (NAV) is stepping up its investigations into businesses who employ KATA payers, and at the same time rumours are also flying about a planned KATA tightening.