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We’re still in the aftermath of the general elections that occurred in October of 2018,” says Andrea Zubovic-Devedzic, Partner at CMS in Sarajevo, who describes the elections as “ the biggest topic in 2018.” According to Zubovic-Devedzic, “there was a lot of wait-and-see before the elections. The hope was the government would be formed quickly and things would pick up. But unfortunately that hasn’t happened yet, and we’re still waiting.”

Article 2 of the Montenegrin Law on the Protection of Competition limits the law’s application to acts undertaken within the territory of Montenegro and acts undertaken outside of Montenegro which have as their object or effect the distortion of competition in Montenegro. In practice, however, the Law on the Protection of Competition (the “Law”) seems sometimes to be applied beyond its territorial scope.

At the EU level, long-term discussions on unfair trading practices in the food supply chain have resulted in the Proposal for a Directive that is currently in process. The Republic of Croatia has already adopted a law with a similar subject matter – the Act on Tackling Unfair Trading Practices in the Food Supply Chain (the “Act”) – which entered into force at the end of 2017. The Act concerns business-to-business relations and aims to protect suppliers (including primary producers) in their relations with resellers, buyers, and processors with significant negotiating power. The authority in charge of implementing the Act is the Croatian Competition Agency (the “Agency”), which the legislator considers the most competent to handle these matters due to its experience in abuse of dominance cases in competition law.

The Polish Competition Authority has been increasingly active as the market watchdog. In assuming his position as President of the Competition Authority in 2016, Marek Niechcial announced his commitment to strengthening competition law enforcement via a stricter approach, more investigations, and higher fines for wrongdoers. The last two years demonstrate that the Authority is working towards delivering on this promise.

Significant changes have been made to Polish transfer pricing regulations in recent years. New legislation, adopted in 2017, introduced a three-tiered approach to transfer pricing documentation consisting of: (1) local file, (2) master file, and (3) country-by-country reporting. Poland was one of the first countries to introduce the changes recommended by the OECD in BEPS (Action 13).

Andrew Kozlowski is Counsel (and former Managing Partner) at CMS in Warsaw, where he specializes in energy and project finance, corporate/M&A, privatizations, and international capital markets. He has been involved in numerous infrastructure projects in Poland and across CEE and various project finance transactions in the energy and transportation sectors, from motorways, railways, and waste, to energy utilities.