A Misguided Call to Put Serbian Data Protection Law on Hold

In the past two days, the recently appointed head of Serbian data protection supervisory authority announced one radical move and sharply criticised some provisions in Serbia’s new data protection law. The commitment and audacity of Milan Marinovic should be encouraging to those who feared that the new data protection tsar would be the exact opposite of his very vocal predecessor, Rodoljub Sabic. However, when examined on the merits, Marinovic’s statements give a reason for concern. The main point Marinovic made in his appearance on the state-run television and in a statement to a news portal is that, in his opinion, implementation of the Data Protection Act 2018 should be postponed. The law, adopted in November last year, provided for a nine-month grace period. Therefore, the implementation of the law should commence on 21 August 2019. Marinovic is now calling for an additional one-year deferral. To strengthen his case, Marinovic made a few policy and legal arguments which are of dubious validity.

Milica Basta Speaks at AmCham’s Data Protection Briefing Session

AmCham Serbia hosted on 5 July 2019 a session on the main aspects of the new Serbian Data Protection Act. The topic attracted a significant number of attendees, mainly general counsels and IT specialists from the local companies – members of AmCham Serbia. Milica Basta, senior associate at BDK Advokati, was one of the speakers.

BDK Advokati Advises on Valvoline’s Acquisition of FAM

Ellis Enterprises, the Serbian subsidiary of lubricant producer Valvoline (NYSE: VVV), closed on Monday, 1 July 2019 the acquisition of the core manufacturing assets of Serbian lubricant producer FAM, Krusevac for EUR 9.5 million. Closing occurred upon approval of the Serbian Competition Commission and the approval of the transaction terms by six banks which are major creditors of FAM. Valvoline will initially employ 115 employees of FAM and will invest more than EUR 5.7 million in the modernisation of the plant.

BDK Advokati on Telecoms and Media

BDK Advokati has once again contributed to the Getting the Deal Through Serbia chapter on Telecoms and Media. The chapter, authored by partner Bogdan Ivanisevic, consultant Pablo Perez Laya and junior associate Zorana Brujic, contains an in-depth legal analysis on the telecom and media sectors in the country.

A Note on Concerted Practice under the Serbian Competition Act

The Serbian Commission for the Protection of Competition ("Commission") terminated on 15 May 2019 an investigation initiated in November 2015 against Philip Morris, JT International, British American Tobacco and Imperial Tobacco [1] for allegedly having entered into a restrictive agreement in the form of a concerted practice. The investigation, the first one ever in Serbia on the allegations of a concerted practice,  was prompted by the Commission's observation that the parties engaged in parallel behaviour after a period of a price war, where one party would announce a price increase, while the other parties would follow by announcing the price increase in the same amount and with the same or close enough effective date as the effective date published by the first announcer. After three and a half years of investigation, the Commission concluded that there was not enough evidence that the observed parallel behaviour was a result of a concert rather than the market structure and the regulatory framework.

BDK Advokati at Tarabica IT conference

Partner Bogdan Ivanisevic and senior associate Milica Basta represented BDK Advokati at this year’s edition of Tarabica IT conference, held on 25 May in Belgrade. The event is traditionally dedicated to topics relevant to the IT industry and as such, it mainly gathers IT professionals from major Serbian companies and institutions.

Pledge on Bank Account in Serbia – New Confusion

The Amendments to the Registered Pledge on Movables Act (“Movables Pledge Act“), which became applicable on 7 May 2019, introduce, inter alia, new provisions on bank account pledge. The change was motivated by a desire to create a legal basis for the constitution of pledge on project accounts. However, the wording of the new provision raises some concerns.

Serbia Relaxes the Procedures for Employment of Foreigners

Modern business transcends national borders and increasing workforce mobility is a natural consequence. While the conditions for working in Serbia remain the same, the recently adopted amendments to two Serbian statutes regulating employment of foreigners make the procedures applicable to obtaining work permits in Serbia easier.

P&O Ports Acquires Luka Novi Sad

BDK Advokati represented P&O ports from Dubai in the acquisition of port Luka Novi Sad. The value of the transaction is EUR 23 million. The acquisition and investments to be made should help Luka Novi Sad to recover its devastated infrastructure and reach its full capacity of two and a half million tons of cargo loading and discharging per year. BDK Advokati’s team was led by senior partner Vladimir Dasic and also involved senior associate Tomislav Popovic on the corporate and M&A side, and associate Mladen Vujic on merger control filing.

BDK Advokati about the New Data Protection Act

Milica Basta, senior associate at BDK Advokati, was one of the speakers at the Forum Media data protection conference held on 23 April 2019 in Belgrade. At the event, which gathered a large number of Serbian companies, Milica held a presentation on requirements that Serbian new Data Protection Act imposes on local businesses. She emphasized that companies first need to thoroughly analyze their business operations to determine what kind of data processing is taking place in their organizations. Based on the results of such analysis, companies should adopt a set of documents which can be divided into two groups: documents that companies are not required to adopt but will strengthen their capacity to act in a lawful manner, and documents which the companies must adopt according to the new law.

New Health-related Legislation in Serbia

BDK Advokati's Associate Zorana Brujic provides an insight into the implications of the new  Health Protection Act in Serbia.  The new Health Protection Act (Zakon o zdravstvenoj zaštiti "Official Gazette of RS", no. 25/2019) and Health Insurance Act (Zakon o zdravstvenom osiguranju "Official Gazette of RS", no. 25/2019) have come into force on 11 April 2019.

BDK Advokati at the XI Belgrade Arbitration Conference and Belgrade Pre Moot Competition

BDK Advokati Managing Partner, Tijana Kojovic chaired the second panel at the XI Belgrade Arbitration Conference, devoted to the taking of evidence in arbitration. The conference attracted more than 150 practitioners, academics and students. The activities of BDK Advokati’s arbitration team continued during the weekend on 6-7 April when BDK Advokati hosted 24 teams competing at the Belgrade Pre Moot.