Serbia

11 May 2021

EU to apply new enlargement methodology to Serbia and Montenegro

The Council of the EU agreed on Tuesday to apply its revised enlargement methodology in the accession negotiations of Serbia and Montenegro.  The new rules within the accession process aim to increase contacts at the ministerial level and promote fundamental reforms in the two countries.  Additionally, the new enlargement methodology has the goal of improving the predictability of the accession process. Furthermore, it reorganizes chapters into clusters to speed up negotiations between the states with the EU. The decision comes after the European Commission issued a Communication in February which addressed the need to improve the accession process. The new […]

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12 Mar 2021

2020 in review – light at the end of the tunnel

At Gecić Law, we proudly look back at 2020 and remember it as a year of significant achievement. Some of our accomplishments singled out in this review testify not only to the ability of our team to quickly adapt to radically different circumstances, but to see them as an opportunity to affirm our core values, to build on them and to grow. We rose to the challenge, learned and developed, and in the process, we helped our employees, clients, and business partners gain the strength to overcome the uncertainty and grow together with us. These are the highlights of our […]

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09 Mar 2021

Bogdan Gecić, the founder of Gecić Law Firm: There is a lot of room for innovation

Diplomacy & Commerce magazine, a syndication of London’s The Economist magazine for Serbia, prepared a special InFocus supplement as part of its February 2021 issue, with the aim of providing the readers a closer insight into the development of bilateral relations and successful cooperation between Serbia and the United Arab Emirates. Bogdan Gecic, Managing Partner at Gecic Law, a founding and exclusive member of the UAE Serbia Business club since 2019, gave an interview, which can be read in its entirety below. As an industry, the legal profession has been changing significantly. We have always believed there is a lot […]

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13 Jul 2018

Case Closed: Energy Community Drops Dispute Against EPS and Republic of Serbia Over Kolubara B Project

Gecić Law has successfully advised the Republic of Serbia and EPS, one of the largest energy companies in the region, in a probe led by Energy Community Secretariat regarding alleged State support for the multi-million-euro Kolubara B project. On Monday, June 25, 2018, the Energy Community Secretariat announced the parties reached an amicable solution bringing the two-year long case to an end. The Kolubara B power plant project will enable EPS to add 700 MW of electricity annually, constituting the most important investment in the Serbian energy infrastructure in the last four decades. The ruling not only confirmed our team’s […]

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12 Dec 2017

It’s Here! Gecić Law Extends Global Footprint With TerraLex Elite Network

Following almost 12 months of meticulous research, grueling screening processes, and a series of elaborate meetings and interviews, Gecić Law is excited to announce it became the exclusive Serbian partner of TerraLex, the world’s leading international legal network and member of The Elite (Band 1) in the Chambers & Partners leading law firm networks global-wide rankings.  We are extremely grateful that TerraLex recognized our quality, reputation, international experience and dedication to excellence in the practice of law. This extensive network spans over 100 countries worldwide and provides full-service assistance to clients through its 17 practice groups.  As part of the TerraLex […]

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10 Jul 2017

The Dawn of Dawn Raids or the Twilight of Due Process in Serbia?

During the last ten days of May 2017, Serbian competition authority has hastily opened an unprecedented number of investigations.  Simultaneously, the authority announced a push for a complete revamp of the competition act.  Reviewing these developments through the lens of the New Administrative Act, which came into force on 1 June 2017, a strong argument can be made that behind these actions is a desire to circumvent the robust human rights safeguards introduced by the New Administrative Act and guaranteed under the ECHR and the Serbian Constitution. During the last ten days of May, the Commission for Protection of Competition of […]

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26 Jun 2017

Thresholds for Merger Control in Serbia – a Treasure Island of False Positives?

The Serbian 2009 Protection of Competition Act (as amended in 2013) (the Act) provides for rather low merger control thresholds, compared both to EU law and countries in the region. Thresholds set this low can (and usually do) result in excessive merger control which eventually brings more harm than good to market competition.  In order to put an end to this, a change in decisional practice and/or legislative change in regards to this important aspect of merger control is required. The Act provides for rather low merger control thresholds, compared both to EU law and countries in the region.  Namely, […]

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13 Jun 2017

Quarterly Review of Decisions Taken by Serbia’s Commission for Protection of Competition

During the first quarter of 2017, the Serbian Commission for Protection of Competition of the Republic of Serbia handed down a number of decisions in different areas of competition protection and recognized the necessity of conducting analyses of vital sectors such as telecoms, oil products and oil-derivatives: Restrictive agreements.  The Commission decided to investigate a close collaboration between two large players on the oil products market in Serbia.  On March 13, 2017, the Commission fined two direct competitors – Victoriaoil and Vital – for entering into a mutual cooperation agreement under which Vital agreed to outsource production and packaging of […]

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23 Dec 2016

The Highest Antitrust Fine to Date Issued in Serbia to EPS Distribution

Serbian Commission for Protection of Competition (the “Commission“) has fined EPS Distribution, a sole electric power distribution system operator, for the abuse of dominant position in the amount of 330 million RSD (cca EUR 2.7 million).  This is the highest antitrust fine imposed by the Serbian regulator. Having established the EPS Distribution indeed held dominant position, the Commission found several abuses of dominant position and in particular: As a result of non-transparent business policy, the company EPS Supply was placed in an advantageous position compared to competitors. Subject behavior was reflected in (i) the fact that unlike other suppliers, only EPS […]

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25 Mar 2016

Serbian Parliament Adopts the New Act on General Administrative Procedure

On 29 February 2016, the Serbian Parliament adopted the new Act on General Administrative Procedure (the Act), which came into effect on 9 March 2016 and will be enforced as of 1 June 2017, save for certain provisions which will come into effect on 7 June 2016. This is a completely new piece of legislation which will bring significant changes in the field of domestic administrative law. Therefore, a short summary of the most significant provisions of the Act is provided hereafter. The scope of the Act has been significantly extended so as to govern the actions of authorities as […]

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17 Feb 2016

Competition Commission Published Its Guidance on Individual Exemptions

On 11 February 2016, the Serbian Commission for the Protection of Competition (the “Competition Commission”) published on its official website the Guidance Concerning Requests for Individual Exemption (the “Guidance”). The overall message the Guidance sends can be seen as a warning that Competition Commission will no longer tolerate delays in notification of restrictive agreements – the deadline for such notification is immediately, otherwise annulment and fines may be incurred. Namely, the Competition Commission, having in mind frequently asked questions in its everyday practice, concluded that it should provide more detailed information regarding the notifications of restrictive agreements.  In particular, as stated […]

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17 Feb 2016

Regional Subsidies Race to the Bottom Intensifies?

A race to the bottom is a socio-economic phrase used to describe a situation in which countries or companies try to compete in order to attract and retain economic activity and the latest data from the Center for Economic Analysis (CEA) in Macedonia suggests that the country is pushing the envelope on its regional counterparts.  CEA recently published that seven companies doing business within Macedonian technological industrial development zones have have been granted a total of 56 million euros in state aid.  In certain cases, the state aid granted amounted up to 47% of overall value of the investment.  Vesna Garvanlieva, CEA […]

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19 Jan 2016

Changes to the Agricultural Land Act

On 29 December 2015 Serbian Parliament amendments to the Agricultural Land Act (the “Act”) and with the changes effective as of 7 January 2016. The amendments primarily focus on introducing new ways in which to manage and dispose of state-owned agricultural land. The key changes are: revision of the conditions for exercising the right of first refusal, establishment of the right of priority lease of agricultural land, modifications regarding lease and use rights, use without reimbursement, and disposal of state-owned agricultural land. 1. The right of first refusal can be exercised as part of the specific procedure, which local self […]

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15 Dec 2015

Gecić Law Contributes the First-Ever Serbia Chapter on Cartels & Leniency to The International Comparative Legal Guide

We are very pleased to announce that Gecić Law contributed the first-ever Serbia chapter for The International Comparative Legal Guides to Cartels & Leniency.  The publication comes at a defining moment in terms of antitrust enforcement in Serbia as the Commission for Protection of Competition (the “Competition Commission”) conducted a number of dawn raids in two ongoing investigations in 2015.  This was the first time the Competition Commission invoked such investigative powers since it was established in 2006.  We have already published a short guide on dawn raids, available here, in the light of the aforementioned developments, and a standalone piece on […]

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14 Dec 2015

Smoke and Mirrors: Tobacco Industry Faces Sweeping Antitrust Investigation in Serbia

The Commission for Protection of Competition (the “Commission”) opened an ex officio procedure against Philip Morris Services (PM), British American Tobacco South East Europe (BAT), JT International, Imperial Tobacco SCG, TDR1, and Monus, as announced on 1 December 2015.2  This followed two dawn raids against PM and BAT.  As indicated in the decision3, the Commission suspects that undertakings involved concerted in order to align their pricing policies for factory manufactured cigarettes, thereby violating Article 10 of the Competition Act (a provision prohibiting restrictive agreements, and mirroring, to considerable extent, Article 101(1) of Treaty on Functioning of the EU – TFEU).  This is the first […]

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11 Dec 2015

Serbia: Amendments to the Financial Restructuring Act

In line with the action plan included in the non-performing loan resolution strategy (“NPL Strategy”), the Serbian Parliament passed amendments to the Voluntary Financial Restructuring Act (“the Act”) on 23 October 2015. The law entered into force on 4 November 2015 and will be enforced as of 2 February 2016. Pending financial restructurings will continue in line with the provisions of the Act. The changes the Act introduces may not be monumental, but legislators expect they will contribute to developing a more favorable economic environment in the country. It remains to be seen how the Act is going to be […]

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09 Dec 2015

Gecić Law Contributes Serbian Chapter to Legal Aspects of Doing Business in Europe – Second Edition

We are pleased to announce that our partner Bogdan Gecić together with Dr. Tatjana Jovanić, an associate professor at the University of Belgrade Faculty of Law, co-authored the Serbian chapter for Legal Aspects of Doing Business in Europe – Second Edition.  The chapter provides a comprehensive overview of most important legal aspects for both domestic and foreign investors and businesses in Serbia.  The chapter provides an in-depth analysis of the following topics: Enterprises: Establishment, Acquisition & Bankruptcy Customs Regulation Investment Incentives and Currency Regulation Competition and Market Regulation Intellectual Property Employment Banking The edition is published by Juris Publishing, Inc., a full-service legal […]

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23 Oct 2015

Conversion of Right of Use Into Ownership Right

As of July 28, 2015, a relatively new piece of real estate legislation, regulating conversion of right of use into ownership right on construction land, came into force (the “Conversion Act”). The Conversion Act creates possibility for certain, strictly itemized entities (e.g. privatized entities, holders of right of use on the land previously acquired for specific development, sport organizations, public enterprises, entities subject to bilateral succession treaties) to convert right of use into ownership right in exchange for compensation fee payment. Such fee equals the market value of the land, providing that holders are registered with the Real Estate Cadaster […]

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08 Oct 2015

Croatian Trade Ban: How Economic Operators Can Protect Their Rights Against Anti-Trade State Conducts?

The purpose of this brief is to highlight the consequences of the unilateral decision by the state of Croatia, as a member of the European Union, to close its borders for transport coming from Serbia between 17 and 25 September 2015 and to emphasize potential breaches of legal principles the EU has been founded on. We take into consideration the multitude of acts, treaties and agreements which constitute legal sources of the European Union, as well as precedents set by the highest court of the EU, and explore potential avenues for legal redress for those whose interests were harmed by […]

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05 Oct 2015

A Short Guide on Dawn Raids

This Short Guide provides guidance on how to ensure an effective response to an unannounced inspection (known as a “dawn raid”) of the Commission for Protection of Competition of the Republic of Serbia (further Competition Commission).  Topics covered include: What to do at the beginning of a dawn raid Managing an ongoing dawn raid What to do at the end of a dawn raid Do’s and Don’ts at each stage This Short Guide will consider the key practical points and legal issues to bear in mind when facing a dawn raid.  It should be used to assist your company in providing […]

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05 Oct 2015

Recent Developments in Serbian Mortgage Law

On July 7, 2015, the long awaited amendments to Serbia’s 2005 Mortgage Act have been adopted.  The amendments brought several important changes, primarily aimed at increasing the efficacy of the foreclosure proceedings, but also at eliminating some provisions shown to be obsolete.  The following is a brief overview of the aforementioned key amendments. In terms of mortgage creation, one rather simple improvement is that the person having the direct possession of the real estate is no longer required to give its written statement agreeing with establishing the mortgage over the respective real estate.  This should make the procedure of creating […]

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05 Oct 2015

Advantages of Acquiring a Business Out of Bankruptcy

According to the data provided by the Serbian Privatization Agency (as of September 21, 2015), there are currently 357 companies involved in the process of privatization. On the other hand, the Privatization Act requires for the privatization process to be completed before December 31, 2015. Save for 188 companies, for which the Government already adopted an action plan for the commencement of bankruptcy proceedings (due to no productivity, no interests from potential investors and unsustainable financial performance), it remains to be seen how many companies will actually find a genuine buyer, and thus, avoid bankruptcy proceedings before the December deadline.  Hence, while awaiting […]

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