At the end of 2020, there were 26 banks operating independently from other banks in Serbia. At the end of 2021, there were 23 such banks. A few merger processes are still ongoing and will lead to that number shrinking to just 19 before the end of 2022.
Global economic movements have led the real estate and construction sectors across CEE to face several issues: supply chain problems, rising construction material prices, and labor shortages, to name but a few, have made it difficult for real estate and construction projects to be completed with the same efficiency as before. Bojovic Draskovic Popovic & Partners Partner Marija Bojovic, SOG Law Firm Partner Milos Gledovic, and Andrejic & Partners Partner Aleksandar Andrejic look at the extent to which these issues are reflected in the Serbian real estate market.
NKO Partners has advised CTP on its acquisition of almost 33 hectares of land in Simanovci, near Belgrade, from EBP Development. The SOG Law Firm advised EBP Development.
Recently, non-fungible tokens (“NFTs”) have become the subject of significant public attention, primarily due to the high amounts of money allocated for their purchase. For example, it is estimated that the worth of the global NFT market in 2021 was about 41 billion dollars, which is more than the value of the market of classical works of art. For the sake of comparison, that is approximately twice the amount of the budget of the Republic of Serbia for 2022. Bearing in mind the nature and manner of functioning of NFTs, the nature of things raises the question of their relationship with intellectual property law, and above all, the relationship with trademark law.
The Government of the Republic of Serbia enacted the Decree on Establishing the Investment Program “Recovery and Development” (the “Program”) to establish a new credit line for the allocation of favourable credit funds to entities for the implementation of new investments, which will accelerate the recovery and growth of economic activity in the Republic of Serbia in difficult economic conditions caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Did You Know that, according to the Activity Rankings function of the CEELMDirect website, the NKO Law Firm (with four) and SOG Law Firm (with two) are the only two law firms in Serbia to have reported working on more than one Real Estate deal in that country in the past year, with a total of 14 other firms reporting having worked on one.
On 3 March 2022, Serbian banks received a letter from the National Bank of Serbia stating that Serbia did not implement sanctions against the Russian Federation and that the banks must continue to provide services to their clients who are in any way connected to the Russian Federation. The banks were told to do so without delay, in any case not later than 4 March 2022, and to report back on undertaken actions.
Recently, the Serbian Government (“Government“) adopted a Regulation on the Quota in the Market Premium System (“Quota Regulation“), and soon after, the Regulation on Market Premium and Fid-In Tarif (“Tarif Regulation“) and the Regulation on the Model Agreement for the Market Premium for Renewable Energy Sources (“Model Agreement Regulation“). This package of by-laws has been adopted to create conditions for the organization of the first market premium auction in accordance with the Law on the Use of Renewable Energy Sources (“Law“).
NKO Partners and Lovric Novokmet Smrcek have advised French Conforama on the sale of furniture and appliance company Emmezeta and subsidiary Emma Real Estate to Poland's Merkury Market. Marohnic, Tomek & Gjoic advised LCN Capital Partners on the sale of a related real estate portfolio. Glinska & Miskovic, Samardzic Oreski & Grbovic, and Brzozowska & Barwinska advised the buyer.
Not so long ago (12 years!) Serbia adopted the amendments to the Agricultural Land Act which was supposed to allow the use of agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes, mainly to support the growing renewable energy sector. Of course, this was conditioned with adopting an adequate Regulation by the Serbian Government, which everyone waited for since 2009. Finally, patience paid off and in July 2021, the Serbian Government adopted the Regulation on the conditions, manner and procedure for giving state-owned agricultural land for use for non-agricultural purposes (hereinafter: “Regulation”).
On 2 September 2021 Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) announced a 225 million euro fine for WhatsApp and ordered the company to amend its practices within three months. It is the largest fine ever from the DPC, and the second-highest under Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
In the age of digital philosophy, when the electronic management of documents become more and more prominent in both private and public sectors, digitalization of invoices is rather a logical development than an innovative approach in the functioning of the supply chain. Harmonization of e-invoicing regulation in B2G sector has been in effect for seven years in the EU, while Serbia established an e-invoice system in 2019, prescribing mandatory registration of invoices issued in commercial transactions with the public sector on the central registry of invoices (CRF). The most recent novelty in the field happened with adopting the Electronic Invoicing Act and its by-laws when a comprehensive set of rules regulating e-invoicing came into effect.