On 12 November 2019 in Belgrade, Ministry of Justice signed a cooperation agreement with EUROJUST, an EU agency dealing with judicial co-operation in criminal matters among agencies of the member states. The signing of the agreement took place in Belgrade after Serbia fulfilled the prerequisite by adopting the new Act on personal data protection, which was the final step in complete harmonization with EU regulations and directives. Eurojust has cooperation agreements with 12 countries, 3 of which are Western Balkan countries: Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Albania.
The State Secretary of the Ministry of Labor, Employment, Veteran and Social Policy of the Government of the Republic of Serbia announced the new Act on health and safety at work, which is to be adopted by the end of the year. The new Act is intended to enhance the level of protection at work and to impose a general standard of safety which would lead to a better and healthier work environment.
On its way to becoming an EU Member State, Serbia has been harmonizing its law with the EU acquis. Within the Negotiating Position of the Republic of Serbia for Chapter Nine – “Financial Services”, the RS undertook, inter alia, to transpose Directive 2011/61/EU of the European Parliament on management of alternative investment funds in the national legal framework of the RS by adopting a separate law governing alternative investment funds.
BIFIDEX (Business and Financial Data Exchange) is the service delivery platform of the Regional Business Registry Portal (RBRP) which, as of March 2019, has officially started operating. This portal offers transparent and easy access to information regarding the companies in the Western Balkan countries.
The draft of the new Act on Trademarks will be on public debate until August 13, 2019. The need for enacting the new Trademark Act is twofold. Firstly, the problems and experiences in the day to day appliance of the provisions of the current Trademark Act need to be implemented in the new text. Additionally, the trademark system in Serbia needs to be made compliant with the EU Directive 2004/48/EZ.
In the last five years significant changes have occurred in the Serbian business and political environment. This has been a time of dramatic change – with the general goal of transforming the position and the image of Serbia both regionally and globally, strongly affirming a pro-EU stance and making Serbia much more attractive for foreign investment. Obviously, both of these goals are interconnected because improving the image of a country brings more investments, and foreign investors generating profits in Serbia improves Serbia’s global image.
National Alliance for Local Economic Development (“NALED”) has submitted its proposal for the changes of the flat-rate taxation system to the National Coordination Body for Battling Underground Economy (“NCB”). This Government body will review the proposed changes, which would substantially alter the system of flat-rate taxation of independent contractors (i.e. individual entrepreneurs) as it exists now, and have a particular impact on certain industries which rely on it to a great extent, such as the IT sector.
The National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia has on 20 April 2018 adopted amendments to the Foreign Exchange Operations Act (“FEXO”) in order to meet the requirements stemming from the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) with the European Union. These provisions, now allow, amongst other things, for the free movement of capital related to portfolio investments and short-term finance loans and credits.