On its session of 6 May 2020, the Parliament of Serbia declared the end of the state of emergency introduced on 15 March 2020. As of 7 May, Serbia was no longer under the specific legal regime. To confirm the acts of Government issued during the state of emergency, on the same session, the Parliament adopted the Law on Validity of Regulations Issued by the Government with Co-signature of the President of Republic During the State of Emergency and Which the Parliament Confirmed (“Official Gazette of RoS” No 65/2020) (“the Law”).
Most importantly, the Law has provided basis for legal continuance of regulations on economic benefits and aid by the Government to the Serbian economy, after the end of state of emergency. Therefore, fiscal benefits, direct payments to companies regarding their employees, Government backed banking guarantees, State Fund loans, specific debt securities issue’ regime, shall continue to operate, until consumption of the respective programs contained therein.
Since the state of emergency is no longer in force, we note the following main concerns:
- the companies should be watchful of the deadlines for summoning of the annual shareholders meeting, filing of annual financial and accounting reports as well as income tax returns, since the respective deadlines have been postponed due to the state of emergency and shall resume after the end of the state of emergency. This also applies to deadlines in administrative procedures.
- In case of violation of any of the regulations and acts no longer in force, the companies should be aware that any offenses imposed under the respective acts shall be applicable further on. Therefore, the risk of fines remains.
- With the Regulation on Organization of Work of Employers During the State of Emergency no longer in force but with the Order on Declaring od the Epidemic of COVID-19 still in force, the companies should thoroughly re-examine their bylaws on safety and health at work, following the rules of the Law on Safety and Heath at Work, until any new regulation is adopted by the Government to this matter.
BOPA remains available for any assistance in adjusting the companies to the legal regime applicable after the end of the state of emergency.