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On 16 July 2020, Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) has rendered a landmark decision declaring the Decision 2016/1250 of the European Commission on the adequacy of the protection provided by the EU-US Data Protection Shield (“Privacy Shield Framework”) invalid with the immediate effect. This decision has caused a major shift in the way in which personal data may be transferred to the United States of America. However, the scope of the decision is far broader and includes far more restrictions than it may appear at first glance.

On 26 June 2020, the Government of Serbia adopted a decree* allowing citizens to obtain cadastre excerpts at the notary public office or at a geodetic organisation. Hence, when citizens are in need of the public notary services or of services provided by the geodetic organisation, it will be possible from now on to finalize the procedure in the public notary’s or geodetic organization’s office.

Recently we have received many inquiries from our clients regarding the e-signature regulations applicable in Serbia. The possibility of using an electronic signature has been especially explored since the outbreak of COVID 19 pandemic, due to the fact that working from home and social distancing have become a part of our everyday life. Below you will find some key considerations regarding the use of electronic signatures in Serbia.

Ever since General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/679, “GDPR”) entered into force in 2018, companies around the world have put their best effort in achieving full compliance. Despite their best efforts, some companies have found themselves on the receiving end of enormous fines imposed by their national Data Protection Authorities.

On 26 May 2020, Republic of Serbia ratified the Protocol to the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data, (CETS 223, “Protocol 223”). This makes Republic of Serbia the fourth country to ratify the Protocol 223 out of 38 signatory states.

As a negative social phenomenon, corruption is present everywhere in the world and is often the topic of legal, sociological, political and philosophical debates. One of the most comprehensive definitions of corruption was offered by the economist Vito Tanci, who believes that corruption exists if there is a deliberate violation of the principle of impartiality in decision-making in order to gain some benefit.

The Alternative Investment Funds Act (“Act”) came into force on 19 October 2019 and applies as of 20 April 2020, except certain provisions whose application is postponed. Additionally, the Securities Commission adopted 7 bylaws implementing the Act, which came into force on 5 May 2020.

As we witness the progress of technological achievements in our society, certain advancements in this field may give cause for concern in others, such as privacy and personal data protection laws. Although facial recognition technology has been around for a while, an increasing number of countries are starting to implement this technology in dealing with the ongoing pandemic. Its use is not limited only to special circumstances such as health emergencies; its use far exceeds a narrow scope of crises and extends into anything from preventing terrorist activities to keeping track of class attendance at school. Naturally, while this technology should be welcomed as its possibilities are further explored, there is a legitimate reason for legislators to stay alert, approach regulation of this issue carefully, and not abolish the privacy rights of citizens.

The Alternative Investment Funds Act (“Act”) came into force on 19 October 2019 and applies as of 20 April 2020, while the provisions governing small investors and public offering will be applicable from 1 January 2021, and the provision governing cross-border activity will be applicable from the date of accession of the Republic of Serbia to the European Union. Besides harmonization of the Serbian law with EU law, one of the main aims for adopting the Act was the improvement of the Serbian financial market and development of micro, small, and medium-sized businesses (MSMEs).

Since the state of emergency was declared in Serbia on 15 March 2020, the status of foreign citizens has been uncertain. This is because the Directorate for Foreigners has been closed for serving parties at the counters (as well as all other public institutions except for Tax Administration, Customs Administration and Treasury Department). Due to the fact that the Directorate for Foreigners has not yet introduced the possibility of submitting requests and documentation electronically, foreign citizens residing in Serbia were basically unable to initiate proceedings in order to regulate their stay.

Attendees to the 2019 CEELM Winter Party were cornered, over the course of the evening, and asked, without warning or an opportunity to prepare, what achievement over the past 12 months they were proudest of.

The outbreak of COVID-19 in Serbia, which resulted in Government declared State of emergency, has strong impact on companies across all industries, creating a number of challenges that need to be addressed by the employers. Over the last few days, we’ve received many enquiries from our clients about business implications of the current situation. We present you below some of the most common ones, followed by answers that will help you in your response to the immediate key issues affecting your business.

As of 2011, the Serbian Capital Market Act has been changed multiple times due to the need for improvement of domestic legislation and alignment with the market’s demands, as well as harmonization of Serbian legislation with the EU acquis. Once again, on 3 February 2020, the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia adopted amendments to the Capital Market Act, which came into force on 12 February 2020.

The Buzz in Serbia: Interview with Milos Velimirovic of Samardzic, Oreski & Grbovic

Milos Velimirovic, Partner at Samardzic Oreski & Grbovic in Belgrade, declares that "two things are hot right now in Serbia: the matter of Kosovo and the Parliamentary elections that are in April.“

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SOG / Samardzic, Oreski & Grbovic at a Glance

SOG / Samardžić, Oreški & Grbović is a full service business law firm providing the highest quality legal advice across a wide range of key areas of corporate law in Serbia and the Western Balkans. We are particularly noted for legal expertise, high professional and ethical standards, attention to detail, and responsiveness. SOG is firmly committed to providing advice at the highest level and achieving lasting results for our clients.

In order to provide our regional and international clients having business interests in more than one jurisdiction, we have also established a strong regional presence through our partner offices in Bosnia & Herzegovina, Macedonia, and Montenegro. This way, our clients gain a full spectrum of support and the most up to date and nuanced advice on the business and regulatory environment across the entire region.

Firm's website: www.sog.rs