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In the beginning of February 2023, amendments to the Civil Procedure Code (“CPC“), dedicated to the digitalization of the order for payment procedure were promulgated. In the motives of the draft law, it is noted that the changes are in line with the tendency in the European Union towards the digitalization of this procedure, as well as with the aim of allocating judicial resources in a more optimal way through the centralized distribution of the order for payment procedures among regional judges across the country. In this way, an attempt is made towards overcoming the uneven workload of the judges from the different regions, respectively towards acceleration of the court proceedings.

In January 2023, there was a significant amendment to consumer law, which on the one hand expanded the rights of consumers, and on the other hand introduced a number of new obligations for retailers.

Although negotiations regarding the method of capping electricity and gas prices are still ongoing, both at the national level and in the EU, the Government of the Czech Republic has already issued the expected amendment specifying the capping of energy prices for large enterprises.

On January 25, 2023, was promulgated an Act to Amend and Supplement the Labor Migration and Labor Mobility Act (“AAS the LMLMA”), adopted by the 48th National Assembly on January 19, 2023. The changes concern the conditions for entry and residence of citizens of countries outside the European Union (“EU”) on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria for the purposes of highly qualified employment, as well as the procedure for issuing a long-term residence and work permit of the “European Union Blue Card” type, which is regulated by the Foreigners in the Republic of Bulgaria Act (“FRBA”) and the regulations for its application.

On 1 February 2023, an amendment to Act No. 589/1992 Coll., on social security premiums and premiums to state employment policy, will come into force. The amendment introduces a discount on insurance premiums for employers who, on a part-time basis, employ designated groups of employees for whom it is usually more difficult to find employment on the labour market.

The new act on the limitation of the environmental impact of selected plastic products (the “Act”) is a transposition of the European Directives 2008/98/EC on waste and in particular the 2019/904 on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment. 

We summarize an overview of selected legislative changes applicable for 2023. However, there are other major changes to be expected this year, such as a major amendment to the Labour Code, the adoption of the Whistleblower Protection Act or an amendment to the Employment Act. We will, of course, inform you about these changes as soon as their final form is known.

On 27 January 2023, after more than a year of delay, the Bulgarian parliament adopted Act on the protection of persons who report breaches ("Whistleblowing Act"). The Whistleblowing Act finally transposes the Whistleblowing Directive (Directive (EU) 2019/1937) beyond the deadline of 17 December 2021 for all member states. The Whistleblowing Act enters into force within 3 months as from its publication in the State Gazette, which was made on 2 February 2023.

In accordance with a contemplated change of the existing EU Temporary Crisis Framework rules stipulating for state aid limits applicable to the whole European Economic Area, the amended Czech Government Regulation sets forth Czech national limits applicable to delivery points in the Czech Republic.

Waste transports with a total quantity of more than 10 tonnes must be carried out by rail or other means of transport with equivalent or lower pollutant or greenhouse gas potential (e.g. propulsion by means of fuel cell or electric motor). The decisive factor is the transport distance covered in Austria, which will gradually decrease. From 1 January 2023, this obligation applies to a transport distance of 300 km or more; from 1 January 2024, the distance will be only 200 km.

Eversheds Sutherland at a Glance

Eversheds Sutherland with offices in Bratislava and Prague and as part of an international network, provides comprehensive legal advice also in foreign jurisdictions.

Our team consists of a total of more than 40 lawyers in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, most of whom have previously worked at major international and local law firms and have extensive experience in particular in the areas of corporate law, including mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, real estate, employment law, competition law, litigation and arbitration, energy, infrastructure, as well as environmental and ESG law.

Our advisory services are offered in Slovak, German, Czech and English language. Members of our team include attorneys registered with the Austrian Bar Association. On this basis, and because we are part of Eversheds Sutherland, we are also able to offer extensive legal support on various foreign legal issues.

We listen to our clients, we understand their business and we also understand what they need. So we can always find the best solution for the particular situation. We work quickly, efficiently and take responsibility for our work.

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