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Foreign Investors Council
47, Gospodar Jevremova Street, IV Floor, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
Phone: +381 11 3281 958, 3281 965
e-mail: office@fic.org.rs

MENI

Member News

24. March 2020.

Impact of COVID-19 on contractual relations, default due to force majeure (vis maior) and elimination of adverse consequences

March 23, 2020 The COVID-19 pandemic has not yet reached its peak from a medical point of view, but the economic consequences are already taking effect. First of all, most affected are suppliers from the PRC and the Chinese domestic market, but also the inability to fulfill obligations due to the suspension of traffic and the reduced of movement of people and goods at the international and domestic levels has taken consequences. The Government of the People’s Republic of China has already taken appropriate measures to counteract the economic consequences and has secured the issuance of a “force majeure certificate” by the Chinese Council for the Advancement of International Trade (CCPIT) to provide written proof of the force majeure of companies based in the People’s Republic of China , which are predominantly suppliers to the foreign market.

Force majeure by nature, by it’s definition, is some external event that could not be predicted or eliminated. As the consequences of force majeure in a business relationship are generally borne by one party, resorting to force majeure clauses defining the extraordinary rights to terminate the contract for the benefit of one or both parties. In the absence of such provisions, the fate of the contract depends on the rights that apply to it, so it is necessary to determine which law is relevant to that business relationship and to clarify in the light of the relevant legislation the consequences for the business relationship.

Whether you are in business with suppliers from the PRC, other COVID-19 affected countries, or within the Republic of Serbia, causing your business relationship to be disrupted and goods not delivered or services not delivered, or some other obligation that cannot be fulfilled from your contract causing one or both parties to suffer damage, it is imperative that you know the path by which you can exercise your rights. Also, if you have a manufacturing facility in the PRC, you should carefully apply for a force majeure certificate, and not without first analyzing the consequences.

Although standard vis maior clauses are used in contracts, it is very important that each contract is individually reviewed so that the consequences can be interpreted properly, so if you have doubts about the inability to fulfill contractual obligations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, please contact our resolution team disputes, lawyers Miloš Milosević and Ivan Ljubisavljević, respectively email office@zslaw.rs.

 

REGULATION OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA ON TAX MEASURES FOR MITIGATION OF ECONOMIC CONSEQUENCES CAUSED BY THE DISEASE COVID-19 INDUCED BY THE VIRUS SARS-CoV-2 FOR THE DURATION OF THE STATE EMERGENCY

The Government session held on March 20, 2020 adopted, inter alia, a Regulation on Tax Measures for Mitigation of Economic Consequences Caused by the Disease COVID-19 Induced by the Virus SARS-CoV-2 for the Duration of the State of Emergency.

Article 2 of the Regulation refers to taxpayers who have been granted a rescheduled payment of tax due within the meaning of Articles 73 to 74b of the Law on Tax Procedure and Tax Administration.

Against taxpayers who already have a Tax Debt Rescheduling Agreement with the Tax Administration referred to in Article 2 of this Regulation, measures prescribed by Article 74 paragraph 7-9 of the Law on Tax Procedure and Tax Administration shall not be undertaken starting from the installment due in March 2020. This practically means that during the state of emergency, the Tax Administration will not ex officio annul the agreement, i.e. terminate the decision on the rescheduling of payment of the tax due and will not carry out the enforced collection procedure, without interest being calculated within the stated period within the meaning of Article 75, and 76 of the Law on Tax Procedure and Tax Administration.

Also, Article 3 of the Regulation stipulates that to the taxpayers – legal entities, entrepreneurs, farmers and natural persons during the state of emergency for the amount of more or less paid taxes and incidental charges, besides interest, interest shall be calculated and paid at a rate equal to the annual reference rate of the National Bank of Serbia.

For all additional information and clarifications, follow our announcements or contact us.

The Decree on deadlines in Court proceedings during the State of Emergency

On March 20th 2020, at its session, the Government of the Republic of Serbia rendered the Decree on deadlines in court proceedings during the state of emergency in order to protect parties in civil and extrajudicial proceedings.

This Decree implies that the deadlines for filing appeals and lawsuits, motions for initiating proceedings, as well as enforcement and security proceedings, shall cease to run for the duration of the State of emergency, starting on March 15th 2020.

The Decree on deadlines in court proceedings during the state of emergency has not yet been published, but is expected in tomorrow’s edition of the Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia.

At today’s session of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, a number of other measures were adopted regarding the prevention of the spread of the COVID-19 virus, among which one of the most significant is the Regulation on tax measures during the state of emergency.

For any additional questions regarding the course of civil and extra-judicial proceedings during the state of emergency, please follow our announcements or contact Milos Milosevic, Ivan Ljubisavljevic or your regular contact at the Živković Samardžić law office.

 

OPERATION OF THE TAX ADMINISTRATION OF THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA AND MEANS OF COMMUNICATION FOR THE DURATION OF THE STATE OF EMERGENCY

On March 18th 2020 the Tax Administration of the Republic of Serbia issued a notice to taxpayers regarding the altered mode of its operating and the means of communication with taxpayers during the state of emergency, in order to protect the health and safety of citizens and to harmonize their work with the recommendations and measures currently implemented by the Government of the Republic of Serbia.

Electronic services ePorezi will work smoothly in the coming period, which includes the uninterrupted submission of electronically signed forms, monitoring the status of submitted applications, checking the account balance and issuing of e-certificates. The Tax Administration advises the use of this service, as well as increased use of all available forms of electronic communication (such as e-mail) and the use of services of the Contact Center instead of visits to its organizational units.

Also, in order to support the increased use of electronic communications, the Tax Administration has opened special e-mail addresses for receiving submissions electronically, which are listed on its website and prominently displayed in the form of notifications at the facilities of all organizational units of the Tax Administration. 

For the immediate receipt of submissions (if necessary), the following 4 tax offices will operate:

  1. Tax Administration office at Despot Stefan Street no. 118 in Belgrade;
  2. Tax Administration Office at Modena Street br. 7 in Novi Sad;
  3. Tax Administration office at March 27th Street, no. 14 in Kragujevac and
  4. Tax Administration office at  Nikola Pasic Street no. 24 in Nis.

Citizens can contact the Tax Administration Contact Center every working day from 8 AM to 6 PM for all information within the jurisdiction of the Tax Administration on the numbers 0700-700 007 and 011-33 10 111.

For any additional questions about filing and payment of taxes and contributions during the state of emergency, follow our announcements or contact Nataša Sarić or any of your regular contacts at Živković Samardžić law office.

 

Chambers Of Commerce And Industry Information Regarding Curfew

March 18, 2020

Dear all, 

Please be informed about the appeal of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia for all those who have organized work on night shifts or work outside the prescribed permitted movement area to report to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia.

Having in mind that at the session of the Government of the Republic of Serbia the Decision on the introduction of curfew in the territory of the Republic of Serbia was adopted, which enters into force today, and which prohibits the movement from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia invites all companies that have organized work in night shifts or work outside the prescribed permitted movement area to email: igor.kronja@pks.rs and ahamovic@gmail.com until today, March 18, 2020, at 12 noon and send the following information:

  • Name of the business entity;
  • Business entity identification number;
  • Name and surname and contact details of the person in charge of coordination;
  • Registered seat of the Company.

Although the deadline was 12 noon today, we advise you to report to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia during the day, should you have the need for work on night shifts or work outside the prescribed permitted movement area.

A meeting with representatives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs is underway about functioning of the system for issuing permits for movement, after which we will have more information, and we will inform you without delay about all the details.

 

COVID-19 / Legal Alert – 90 Days Moratorium on Loan Repayments in Serbia

March 18, 2020

National Bank of Serbia has adopted a Decision on interim measures to preserve the stability of the financial system in the Republic of Serbia (‘Decision’). The Decision came into force today (March 18, 2020).

The Decision introduces an obligation to banks to offer debtors a delay on bank loan repayments (moratorium) within next three days. The moratorium shall not be shorter than 90 days or shorter than duration of the state of emergency caused by COVID-19.

During the state of emergency, banks are not allowed to calculate statutory interest or to initiate the enforcement procedure or to conduct any other legal actions toward debtors aimed on debt collection.

However, the Decision leaves a lot of room for different interpretation and uncertainties about its practical application (e.g. when the moratorium starts to count, and consequently, when it ends?; how it affects cross-border syndicated loans?; does it lead to change of the loan repayment plans or to annexation of bank loan agreements?; does moratorium relates to non-Serbian debtors as well?, etc.).

In order to find out whether this Decision affects your bank loan obligations and how, please contact Sava Pavlović, Živković Samardžić Corporate/M&A Senior Associate, or any of your regular contacts at Živković Samardžić.

 

The Decree on the Organization of Operation of Employers During the State of Emergency

March 17, 2020

The Government of the Republic of Serbia published the Decree on the Organization of Operation of Employers During the State of Emergency (the Decree) in the Official Gazette No. 31/2020, which entered into force on 16 March 2020.

The Decree stipulates that the employer is obliged, during the state of emergency, to enable employees to perform work outside the employer’s premises (teleworking and work from home), at all workplaces where it is possible to organize such work in accordance with the general act and employment agreement. The employer is obliged to keep records of employees who work outside the employer’s premises.

If such work is not provided by the general act and the employment agreement, the employer may issue a decision allowing the employee to perform work outside the employer’s premises (the Decision), if the organizational conditions allow it.

Such Decision must contain:

  1. Working hours;
  2. The way of supervising the work of the employee. 

An employer whose nature of activity is such that it is not possible to organize work outside the employer’s premises, should harmonize business with the state of emergency, as follows:

  1. to organize shift work, so that as few employees and all other employed persons as possible can work simultaneously in one room, if such a thing is possible and if it doesn’t require additional resources;
  2. to hold all business meetings electronically, i.e. via video link, video call, etc.;
  3. to postpone official travel in the country and abroad, in accordance with the decision of the competent authority on the ban, i.e. temporary restriction of entry and movement;

In order to ensure the protection and health of employees, all those who are engaged for work and clients, the employer is obliged to provide all general, special and extraordinary measures related to the hygienic safety of facilities and persons in accordance with the Law on Protection of Population from Infectious Diseases.

For all employees and all those who are engaged for work,  who are in direct contact with clients or share a work space with more than one person, it is necessary to provide sufficient protective equipment in accordance with special regulations.

If you have any questions or need any assistance, we are at your full disposal so feel free to contact Ana Popović, Živković Samardžić Employment Partner, or any of your regular contacts at Živković Samardžić.

 

COVID-19

March 16, 2020

Dear clients and colleagues,

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic affecting not only our daily lives but also our businesses, and a state of emergency declared by the Serbian authorities, Živkovic Samardzić will continue to serve our clients as usual.

We intend to act responsibly towards our clients, colleagues, and employees and have taken all the measures necessary to adhere to social distancing requirements. Part of our team shall work remotely, following the recommendation from the officials.  We highly appreciate if all communication is sent to us via e-mail, but are also available via phone, Viber, WhatsApp, Skype or other available communication platforms, with an aim to avoid physical contacts and meetings as much as possible.

If you have any questions, please contact any of your regular contacts at Živković Samardžić. We are here to help and are willing to make any efforts necessary to overcome this unusual situation together.

Note: Information provided here is contribution from FIC members and does not present FIC legal advice.


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