News

99
August 1, 2019

On 31 July 2019, Bulgaria’s parliament adopted new transfer pricing rules in line with recommendations of the OECD. The new rules set out obligations for Bulgarian companies, Bulgarian permanent establishments of non-resident foreign companies and locally registered sole trades to maintain mandatory transfer pricing documentation evidencing the arm’s length basis of their transactions with related parties. Exemptions exist, and are relevant to the following taxpayer categories: Persons exempt from Bulgarian corporate income tax (certain collective investment schemes, national investment funds…

January 20, 2019

Hungary has recently amended its labour code in order to increase permissible overtime levels. On an annual basis, permissible overtime has increased from 250 hours per year to 400 hours per year. Such overtime overrides any collective labour agreements in place. The new legislation leaves the 48 hours/week work limit unchanged but raises the overtime banking period to 3 years from 1 year. In practice, it will be possible for an employer to pay the employee for overtimes in one…

January 5, 2019

As of the close of 2018, Serbia has now established its central register of ultimate beneficial owners. Henceforth, Serbian companies, institutions, as well as branches and representative offices established by foreign investors in Serbia are required to register their UBOs with the central register no later than 31 January 2019. The register has established an online portal in order to facilitate quick and efficient UBO registration. While disclosure is required, actual documentary support underlying UBO disclosure is not. Nevertheless, entities…

November 5, 2018

Just this past October, Government Emergency Ordinance GEO 8/2018 was published, which set out certain new amendments to Romania’s insolvency regime. The ordinance amends: (i) Law no. 85/2014, regarding Romania’s insolvency law itself; (ii) ordinance no. 2/2000 regarding judicial application; (iii) ordinance no. 90/2017 regarding fiscal budgetary matters; and (iv) ordinance no. 86/2006 regarding the insolvency practitioner profession. Essentially, GEO 88/2018 was adopted in order to improve mechanisms for the recover of state receivables from insolvent companies, and to take…

October 10, 2018

On October 4, 2018, ESMA (the European Securities and Markets Authority) updated its view on the applicability Directive 2011/61/EU on alternative investment fund managers (AIFMs). The update provides guidance with respect to the cross-border management of alternative investment funds (AIFs), which have an umbrella structure with multiple compartments, or sub-funds, via the EU passport regime. Henceforth, AIFMs that wish to engage in cross-border management of AIFs must notify their respective national competent authority regarding the general umbrella fund as well as the names and…

September 1, 2018

Just this past August, Slovenia introduced a new collective agreement baseline for companies. The new collective agreement regulates business times for employers – specifically, it prohibits the scheduling of work on public holidays and bank holidays. With respect to weekends, it limits the use of Sundays. WHAT DOES IT ENTAIL? Most rights and obligations under the new collective agreement baseline is essentially the same as the previous act. There are some notable exceptions, as follows: •work week: The maximum weekly…

August 15, 2018

In the wake of GDPR, Poland has adopted a number of measures related to employee monitoring. Enshrined in the Polish Labor Code, there are a number of issues one should be aware of now when carrying on business in Poland. Video monitoring An employer can now utilise video monitoring only when it is considered necessary for furthering employee safety, property protection, production supervision and ensuring the confidentiality of information. Utilization is allowed in places of work; whereas monitoring is forbidden…

August 13, 2018

Bulgaria has recently adopted new appeal procedures related to public procurement. Designed to speed-up appeals and to bring an end to bad faith actions, the new rules are designed to place Bulgaria in line with more general European norms. Public procurement makes up approx. 9% of Bulgaria’s annual GDP; thus, the new measures are designed to protect and enhance this very important aspect of Bulgaria’s economy. Prior to the adopte…d measures, Bulgaria has found it difficult to implement large infrastructure…

August 10, 2018

This past July, Croatia’s parliament adopted a new Capital Markets Act in order to align Croatian legislation with the EU acquis. The at meets the EU’s cornerstone financial markets regulation – the Directive on Markets in Financial Instruments repealing Directive 2004/39/EC and the Regulation on Markets in Financial Instruments; commonly referred to as MiFID II and MiFIR. MiFID II and MiFIR are designed to ensure fair, safe and more efficient markets, and to better facilitate greater transparency for all market participants. More precisely,…

July 24, 2018

Russia has slowly moved forward in terms of its response to a recent push by the US to levy sanctions in April 2018 against certin Russian state-controlled entities and individuals, and the companies they control. Last month, legislation was passed in Russia providing the Russian government with the authority to impose certain restrictive measures against certain foreign persons and goods and services in accordance with a decision of th…e Russian president. This new law does not in itself impose restrictions….

June 27, 2018

The Hungarian government has recently proposed legislative changes designed to enable regulatory screening of foreign acquisitions of certain Hungarian companies. Designed to protect strategic businesses, the proposed changes would include oversight of certain services (such as finance and telecoms) and critical infrastructure and technologies subject to potential interest by non-European bidders. Legislative motivation is on national security and public policy grounds. Proposed oversight would be applicable for acquistions in excess of 25% of Hungarian companies (10% if the target is…

June 22, 2018

Quite recently, a Romanian government emergency ordinance regarding certain amendments to Romania’s public procurement regime (“GEO 45/2018”) has been approved and gazetted. Essentially, GEO 45/2018 amended and supplemented four laws and two government emergency ordinances as follows: Law no. 98/2016 on public procurement; Law no. 99/2016 on sectoral procurement; Law no. 100/2016 on concessions of works and concessions of services; Law no. 101/2016 on remedies and appeals; Government Emergency Ordinance no. 13/2015 regarding the establishment, organization and functioning of the…

June 11, 2018

The Serbian parliament has recently adopted a new law regarding the introduction of a central registry of ultimate beneficial owners (UBOs). In force as of June 8th, the UBO law stipulates that entities and their authorized persons conducting business in Serbia shall have 30 days henceforth to identify their UBOs. Applicability is broad in scope, as the UBO law applies to both Serbian entities but also foreign companies conducting business in the Republic. With respect to foreign entities, the UBO…

June 4, 2018

Poland has recently introduced another public registry related to debtors. Poland is in the process of introducing the Register of Public Law Dues, which is desiged to provide information related to any financial liabilities of an individual or corporate entity. With the legal foundation already in place, the registry is set to go live in the second half of 2018. The aim is to create a system whereby potential business partners, banks, etc. have comfort in terms of increased… security…

September 9, 2017

Albania performs reasonably well overall with respect to the quality of its energy (electricity and natural gas) sector. A recent EBRD energy law reform assessment, for example, shows that the country’s regulatory independence remains strong although private sector participation and market framework are the key weaknesses. Within the electricity sector, Albania has a regulatory framework in place that is relatively compliant with EU requirements, with partial market opening. Major challenges remain the country’s singular dependence on, aside from imports, hydro…

August 20, 2017

The National Assembly of the Republic of Srpska (RS) adopted amendments to the Profit Tax Law on 28 December 2016. The main changes have become effective as of 1 January 2017 and will be briefly presented in this article. With the amendments, the Law clarifies the definition of “taxable person” and harmonizes the concept of residence with the Profit Tax Law of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) and Brcko District in order to avoid double taxation. Namely, a…

June 15, 2017

A draft law that would amend the Tax Code of the Republic of Belarus has been posted on the website of the Belarusian Ministry of Finance (the “Draft Law”). This time the draft has been published long before the start of the calendar year in which the amendments are to take effect, giving taxpayers a chance to understand the changes and prepare for them. In addition to the traditional indexation of tax rates in Belarusian rubles, the draft law contains…

September 29, 2016

The purpose of the new amendment to the Hungarian Civil Code, effective as of 1 October 2016, is to make effective the independent mortgage, which was used under the former civil code, along with refining rules with respect to the security deposit. The independent mortgage is a security that does not require enforcement dependent on the loan or other security relationships between a creditor and debtor. It is inspired from the German Civil Code. Starting with 1 October 2016 the…

September 12, 2016

One of the most popular enquiries after Brexit is how expats and people who own property in Bulgaria will be affected. There are approximately 1.3 million UK citizens living in Europe many of which chose Bulgaria for their second home or just bought a holiday home in Bulgarian resorts on the Black Sea. Around 7000 UK citizens reside permanently in Bulgaria as of March 2016, according to UK embassy data. In Bulgaria, non-EU citizens are allowed to buy built property…

August 30, 2016

Serbia’s new Enforcement and Security Act (ESA) was adopted on 18 December 2015, and has become effective as of 1 July 2016. The most relevant new rules are: the provision of new mechanisms to ensure effective enforcement; new competence of the courts and the bailiffs; and the status/role of the bailiffs. Most importantly, ESA introduces the possibility to lodge an appeal against both the decisions of the court and the bailiff, except in cases where the law explicitly excludes the…

August 9, 2016

A limited liability company is the most common corporate form established by foreign investors in Czech Republic. The activity is governed by a Memorandum of Association, which is signed by all shareholders. It is essential to note that it is executed in a form of notorial deed of a Czech notary. The notary fee usually does not exceed CZK 5,000 (180 EUR) and is depending on the amount of the registered capital. This founding deed must contain basic information about…

July 25, 2016

Pursuant to a judgement dated 29 February 2016, the Bulgarian Supreme Court repealed Regulation no 196 of the Council of Ministers of 10 July 2014 with respect to the approval of the fee rates applicable to proceedings under Chapter Eleven of the Public Procurement Act before the Commission for the Protection of Competition and the Supreme Administrative Court (promulgated in The State Gazette, no 58 of 15 July 2014 and entered into force on 15 July 2014). The Commission for…

May 19, 2016

Slovenia has amended the Financial Operations, Insolvency Proceedings and Compulsory Dissolution Act, which follow on amendments in 2013, amending preventive restructuring, simplified compulsory settlement and personal bankruptcy proceedings. Amendments to Slovenia’s Insolvency Act, which were adopted by the National Assembly on 31 March 2016, will come into force on 26 April 2016. The main modifications introduced by the amendments are as follows: small companies may now rely on proceedings on preventive restructuring, in addition to medium-sized and large companies as was…

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99
August 1, 2019

On 31 July 2019, Bulgaria’s parliament adopted new transfer pricing rules in line with recommendations of the OECD. The new rules set out obligations for Bulgarian companies, Bulgarian permanent establishments of non-resident foreign companies and locally registered sole trades to maintain mandatory transfer pricing documentation evidencing the arm’s length basis of their transactions with related parties. Exemptions exist, and are relevant to the following taxpayer categories: Persons exempt from Bulgarian corporate income tax (certain collective investment schemes, national investment funds…

January 20, 2019

Hungary has recently amended its labour code in order to increase permissible overtime levels. On an annual basis, permissible overtime has increased from 250 hours per year to 400 hours per year. Such overtime overrides any collective labour agreements in place. The new legislation leaves the 48 hours/week work limit unchanged but raises the overtime banking period to 3 years from 1 year. In practice, it will be possible for an employer to pay the employee for overtimes in one…

January 5, 2019

As of the close of 2018, Serbia has now established its central register of ultimate beneficial owners. Henceforth, Serbian companies, institutions, as well as branches and representative offices established by foreign investors in Serbia are required to register their UBOs with the central register no later than 31 January 2019. The register has established an online portal in order to facilitate quick and efficient UBO registration. While disclosure is required, actual documentary support underlying UBO disclosure is not. Nevertheless, entities…

November 5, 2018

Just this past October, Government Emergency Ordinance GEO 8/2018 was published, which set out certain new amendments to Romania’s insolvency regime. The ordinance amends: (i) Law no. 85/2014, regarding Romania’s insolvency law itself; (ii) ordinance no. 2/2000 regarding judicial application; (iii) ordinance no. 90/2017 regarding fiscal budgetary matters; and (iv) ordinance no. 86/2006 regarding the insolvency practitioner profession. Essentially, GEO 88/2018 was adopted in order to improve mechanisms for the recover of state receivables from insolvent companies, and to take…

October 10, 2018

On October 4, 2018, ESMA (the European Securities and Markets Authority) updated its view on the applicability Directive 2011/61/EU on alternative investment fund managers (AIFMs). The update provides guidance with respect to the cross-border management of alternative investment funds (AIFs), which have an umbrella structure with multiple compartments, or sub-funds, via the EU passport regime. Henceforth, AIFMs that wish to engage in cross-border management of AIFs must notify their respective national competent authority regarding the general umbrella fund as well as the names and…

September 1, 2018

Just this past August, Slovenia introduced a new collective agreement baseline for companies. The new collective agreement regulates business times for employers – specifically, it prohibits the scheduling of work on public holidays and bank holidays. With respect to weekends, it limits the use of Sundays. WHAT DOES IT ENTAIL? Most rights and obligations under the new collective agreement baseline is essentially the same as the previous act. There are some notable exceptions, as follows: •work week: The maximum weekly…

August 15, 2018

In the wake of GDPR, Poland has adopted a number of measures related to employee monitoring. Enshrined in the Polish Labor Code, there are a number of issues one should be aware of now when carrying on business in Poland. Video monitoring An employer can now utilise video monitoring only when it is considered necessary for furthering employee safety, property protection, production supervision and ensuring the confidentiality of information. Utilization is allowed in places of work; whereas monitoring is forbidden…

August 13, 2018

Bulgaria has recently adopted new appeal procedures related to public procurement. Designed to speed-up appeals and to bring an end to bad faith actions, the new rules are designed to place Bulgaria in line with more general European norms. Public procurement makes up approx. 9% of Bulgaria’s annual GDP; thus, the new measures are designed to protect and enhance this very important aspect of Bulgaria’s economy. Prior to the adopte…d measures, Bulgaria has found it difficult to implement large infrastructure…

August 10, 2018

This past July, Croatia’s parliament adopted a new Capital Markets Act in order to align Croatian legislation with the EU acquis. The at meets the EU’s cornerstone financial markets regulation – the Directive on Markets in Financial Instruments repealing Directive 2004/39/EC and the Regulation on Markets in Financial Instruments; commonly referred to as MiFID II and MiFIR. MiFID II and MiFIR are designed to ensure fair, safe and more efficient markets, and to better facilitate greater transparency for all market participants. More precisely,…

July 24, 2018

Russia has slowly moved forward in terms of its response to a recent push by the US to levy sanctions in April 2018 against certin Russian state-controlled entities and individuals, and the companies they control. Last month, legislation was passed in Russia providing the Russian government with the authority to impose certain restrictive measures against certain foreign persons and goods and services in accordance with a decision of th…e Russian president. This new law does not in itself impose restrictions….

June 27, 2018

The Hungarian government has recently proposed legislative changes designed to enable regulatory screening of foreign acquisitions of certain Hungarian companies. Designed to protect strategic businesses, the proposed changes would include oversight of certain services (such as finance and telecoms) and critical infrastructure and technologies subject to potential interest by non-European bidders. Legislative motivation is on national security and public policy grounds. Proposed oversight would be applicable for acquistions in excess of 25% of Hungarian companies (10% if the target is…

June 22, 2018

Quite recently, a Romanian government emergency ordinance regarding certain amendments to Romania’s public procurement regime (“GEO 45/2018”) has been approved and gazetted. Essentially, GEO 45/2018 amended and supplemented four laws and two government emergency ordinances as follows: Law no. 98/2016 on public procurement; Law no. 99/2016 on sectoral procurement; Law no. 100/2016 on concessions of works and concessions of services; Law no. 101/2016 on remedies and appeals; Government Emergency Ordinance no. 13/2015 regarding the establishment, organization and functioning of the…

June 11, 2018

The Serbian parliament has recently adopted a new law regarding the introduction of a central registry of ultimate beneficial owners (UBOs). In force as of June 8th, the UBO law stipulates that entities and their authorized persons conducting business in Serbia shall have 30 days henceforth to identify their UBOs. Applicability is broad in scope, as the UBO law applies to both Serbian entities but also foreign companies conducting business in the Republic. With respect to foreign entities, the UBO…

June 4, 2018

Poland has recently introduced another public registry related to debtors. Poland is in the process of introducing the Register of Public Law Dues, which is desiged to provide information related to any financial liabilities of an individual or corporate entity. With the legal foundation already in place, the registry is set to go live in the second half of 2018. The aim is to create a system whereby potential business partners, banks, etc. have comfort in terms of increased… security…

September 9, 2017

Albania performs reasonably well overall with respect to the quality of its energy (electricity and natural gas) sector. A recent EBRD energy law reform assessment, for example, shows that the country’s regulatory independence remains strong although private sector participation and market framework are the key weaknesses. Within the electricity sector, Albania has a regulatory framework in place that is relatively compliant with EU requirements, with partial market opening. Major challenges remain the country’s singular dependence on, aside from imports, hydro…

August 20, 2017

The National Assembly of the Republic of Srpska (RS) adopted amendments to the Profit Tax Law on 28 December 2016. The main changes have become effective as of 1 January 2017 and will be briefly presented in this article. With the amendments, the Law clarifies the definition of “taxable person” and harmonizes the concept of residence with the Profit Tax Law of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) and Brcko District in order to avoid double taxation. Namely, a…

June 15, 2017

A draft law that would amend the Tax Code of the Republic of Belarus has been posted on the website of the Belarusian Ministry of Finance (the “Draft Law”). This time the draft has been published long before the start of the calendar year in which the amendments are to take effect, giving taxpayers a chance to understand the changes and prepare for them. In addition to the traditional indexation of tax rates in Belarusian rubles, the draft law contains…

September 29, 2016

The purpose of the new amendment to the Hungarian Civil Code, effective as of 1 October 2016, is to make effective the independent mortgage, which was used under the former civil code, along with refining rules with respect to the security deposit. The independent mortgage is a security that does not require enforcement dependent on the loan or other security relationships between a creditor and debtor. It is inspired from the German Civil Code. Starting with 1 October 2016 the…

September 12, 2016

One of the most popular enquiries after Brexit is how expats and people who own property in Bulgaria will be affected. There are approximately 1.3 million UK citizens living in Europe many of which chose Bulgaria for their second home or just bought a holiday home in Bulgarian resorts on the Black Sea. Around 7000 UK citizens reside permanently in Bulgaria as of March 2016, according to UK embassy data. In Bulgaria, non-EU citizens are allowed to buy built property…

August 30, 2016

Serbia’s new Enforcement and Security Act (ESA) was adopted on 18 December 2015, and has become effective as of 1 July 2016. The most relevant new rules are: the provision of new mechanisms to ensure effective enforcement; new competence of the courts and the bailiffs; and the status/role of the bailiffs. Most importantly, ESA introduces the possibility to lodge an appeal against both the decisions of the court and the bailiff, except in cases where the law explicitly excludes the…

August 9, 2016

A limited liability company is the most common corporate form established by foreign investors in Czech Republic. The activity is governed by a Memorandum of Association, which is signed by all shareholders. It is essential to note that it is executed in a form of notorial deed of a Czech notary. The notary fee usually does not exceed CZK 5,000 (180 EUR) and is depending on the amount of the registered capital. This founding deed must contain basic information about…

July 25, 2016

Pursuant to a judgement dated 29 February 2016, the Bulgarian Supreme Court repealed Regulation no 196 of the Council of Ministers of 10 July 2014 with respect to the approval of the fee rates applicable to proceedings under Chapter Eleven of the Public Procurement Act before the Commission for the Protection of Competition and the Supreme Administrative Court (promulgated in The State Gazette, no 58 of 15 July 2014 and entered into force on 15 July 2014). The Commission for…

May 19, 2016

Slovenia has amended the Financial Operations, Insolvency Proceedings and Compulsory Dissolution Act, which follow on amendments in 2013, amending preventive restructuring, simplified compulsory settlement and personal bankruptcy proceedings. Amendments to Slovenia’s Insolvency Act, which were adopted by the National Assembly on 31 March 2016, will come into force on 26 April 2016. The main modifications introduced by the amendments are as follows: small companies may now rely on proceedings on preventive restructuring, in addition to medium-sized and large companies as was…

99
August 1, 2019

On 31 July 2019, Bulgaria’s parliament adopted new transfer pricing rules in line with recommendations of the OECD. The new rules set out obligations for Bulgarian companies, Bulgarian permanent establishments of non-resident foreign companies and locally registered sole trades to maintain mandatory transfer pricing documentation evidencing the arm’s length basis of their transactions with related parties. Exemptions exist, and are relevant to the following taxpayer categories: Persons exempt from Bulgarian corporate income tax (certain collective investment schemes, national investment funds…

January 20, 2019

Hungary has recently amended its labour code in order to increase permissible overtime levels. On an annual basis, permissible overtime has increased from 250 hours per year to 400 hours per year. Such overtime overrides any collective labour agreements in place. The new legislation leaves the 48 hours/week work limit unchanged but raises the overtime banking period to 3 years from 1 year. In practice, it will be possible for an employer to pay the employee for overtimes in one…

January 5, 2019

As of the close of 2018, Serbia has now established its central register of ultimate beneficial owners. Henceforth, Serbian companies, institutions, as well as branches and representative offices established by foreign investors in Serbia are required to register their UBOs with the central register no later than 31 January 2019. The register has established an online portal in order to facilitate quick and efficient UBO registration. While disclosure is required, actual documentary support underlying UBO disclosure is not. Nevertheless, entities…

November 5, 2018

Just this past October, Government Emergency Ordinance GEO 8/2018 was published, which set out certain new amendments to Romania’s insolvency regime. The ordinance amends: (i) Law no. 85/2014, regarding Romania’s insolvency law itself; (ii) ordinance no. 2/2000 regarding judicial application; (iii) ordinance no. 90/2017 regarding fiscal budgetary matters; and (iv) ordinance no. 86/2006 regarding the insolvency practitioner profession. Essentially, GEO 88/2018 was adopted in order to improve mechanisms for the recover of state receivables from insolvent companies, and to take…

October 10, 2018

On October 4, 2018, ESMA (the European Securities and Markets Authority) updated its view on the applicability Directive 2011/61/EU on alternative investment fund managers (AIFMs). The update provides guidance with respect to the cross-border management of alternative investment funds (AIFs), which have an umbrella structure with multiple compartments, or sub-funds, via the EU passport regime. Henceforth, AIFMs that wish to engage in cross-border management of AIFs must notify their respective national competent authority regarding the general umbrella fund as well as the names and…

September 1, 2018

Just this past August, Slovenia introduced a new collective agreement baseline for companies. The new collective agreement regulates business times for employers – specifically, it prohibits the scheduling of work on public holidays and bank holidays. With respect to weekends, it limits the use of Sundays. WHAT DOES IT ENTAIL? Most rights and obligations under the new collective agreement baseline is essentially the same as the previous act. There are some notable exceptions, as follows: •work week: The maximum weekly…

August 15, 2018

In the wake of GDPR, Poland has adopted a number of measures related to employee monitoring. Enshrined in the Polish Labor Code, there are a number of issues one should be aware of now when carrying on business in Poland. Video monitoring An employer can now utilise video monitoring only when it is considered necessary for furthering employee safety, property protection, production supervision and ensuring the confidentiality of information. Utilization is allowed in places of work; whereas monitoring is forbidden…

August 13, 2018

Bulgaria has recently adopted new appeal procedures related to public procurement. Designed to speed-up appeals and to bring an end to bad faith actions, the new rules are designed to place Bulgaria in line with more general European norms. Public procurement makes up approx. 9% of Bulgaria’s annual GDP; thus, the new measures are designed to protect and enhance this very important aspect of Bulgaria’s economy. Prior to the adopte…d measures, Bulgaria has found it difficult to implement large infrastructure…

August 10, 2018

This past July, Croatia’s parliament adopted a new Capital Markets Act in order to align Croatian legislation with the EU acquis. The at meets the EU’s cornerstone financial markets regulation – the Directive on Markets in Financial Instruments repealing Directive 2004/39/EC and the Regulation on Markets in Financial Instruments; commonly referred to as MiFID II and MiFIR. MiFID II and MiFIR are designed to ensure fair, safe and more efficient markets, and to better facilitate greater transparency for all market participants. More precisely,…

July 24, 2018

Russia has slowly moved forward in terms of its response to a recent push by the US to levy sanctions in April 2018 against certin Russian state-controlled entities and individuals, and the companies they control. Last month, legislation was passed in Russia providing the Russian government with the authority to impose certain restrictive measures against certain foreign persons and goods and services in accordance with a decision of th…e Russian president. This new law does not in itself impose restrictions….

June 27, 2018

The Hungarian government has recently proposed legislative changes designed to enable regulatory screening of foreign acquisitions of certain Hungarian companies. Designed to protect strategic businesses, the proposed changes would include oversight of certain services (such as finance and telecoms) and critical infrastructure and technologies subject to potential interest by non-European bidders. Legislative motivation is on national security and public policy grounds. Proposed oversight would be applicable for acquistions in excess of 25% of Hungarian companies (10% if the target is…

June 22, 2018

Quite recently, a Romanian government emergency ordinance regarding certain amendments to Romania’s public procurement regime (“GEO 45/2018”) has been approved and gazetted. Essentially, GEO 45/2018 amended and supplemented four laws and two government emergency ordinances as follows: Law no. 98/2016 on public procurement; Law no. 99/2016 on sectoral procurement; Law no. 100/2016 on concessions of works and concessions of services; Law no. 101/2016 on remedies and appeals; Government Emergency Ordinance no. 13/2015 regarding the establishment, organization and functioning of the…

June 11, 2018

The Serbian parliament has recently adopted a new law regarding the introduction of a central registry of ultimate beneficial owners (UBOs). In force as of June 8th, the UBO law stipulates that entities and their authorized persons conducting business in Serbia shall have 30 days henceforth to identify their UBOs. Applicability is broad in scope, as the UBO law applies to both Serbian entities but also foreign companies conducting business in the Republic. With respect to foreign entities, the UBO…

June 4, 2018

Poland has recently introduced another public registry related to debtors. Poland is in the process of introducing the Register of Public Law Dues, which is desiged to provide information related to any financial liabilities of an individual or corporate entity. With the legal foundation already in place, the registry is set to go live in the second half of 2018. The aim is to create a system whereby potential business partners, banks, etc. have comfort in terms of increased… security…

September 9, 2017

Albania performs reasonably well overall with respect to the quality of its energy (electricity and natural gas) sector. A recent EBRD energy law reform assessment, for example, shows that the country’s regulatory independence remains strong although private sector participation and market framework are the key weaknesses. Within the electricity sector, Albania has a regulatory framework in place that is relatively compliant with EU requirements, with partial market opening. Major challenges remain the country’s singular dependence on, aside from imports, hydro…

August 20, 2017

The National Assembly of the Republic of Srpska (RS) adopted amendments to the Profit Tax Law on 28 December 2016. The main changes have become effective as of 1 January 2017 and will be briefly presented in this article. With the amendments, the Law clarifies the definition of “taxable person” and harmonizes the concept of residence with the Profit Tax Law of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) and Brcko District in order to avoid double taxation. Namely, a…

June 15, 2017

A draft law that would amend the Tax Code of the Republic of Belarus has been posted on the website of the Belarusian Ministry of Finance (the “Draft Law”). This time the draft has been published long before the start of the calendar year in which the amendments are to take effect, giving taxpayers a chance to understand the changes and prepare for them. In addition to the traditional indexation of tax rates in Belarusian rubles, the draft law contains…

September 29, 2016

The purpose of the new amendment to the Hungarian Civil Code, effective as of 1 October 2016, is to make effective the independent mortgage, which was used under the former civil code, along with refining rules with respect to the security deposit. The independent mortgage is a security that does not require enforcement dependent on the loan or other security relationships between a creditor and debtor. It is inspired from the German Civil Code. Starting with 1 October 2016 the…

September 12, 2016

One of the most popular enquiries after Brexit is how expats and people who own property in Bulgaria will be affected. There are approximately 1.3 million UK citizens living in Europe many of which chose Bulgaria for their second home or just bought a holiday home in Bulgarian resorts on the Black Sea. Around 7000 UK citizens reside permanently in Bulgaria as of March 2016, according to UK embassy data. In Bulgaria, non-EU citizens are allowed to buy built property…

August 30, 2016

Serbia’s new Enforcement and Security Act (ESA) was adopted on 18 December 2015, and has become effective as of 1 July 2016. The most relevant new rules are: the provision of new mechanisms to ensure effective enforcement; new competence of the courts and the bailiffs; and the status/role of the bailiffs. Most importantly, ESA introduces the possibility to lodge an appeal against both the decisions of the court and the bailiff, except in cases where the law explicitly excludes the…

August 9, 2016

A limited liability company is the most common corporate form established by foreign investors in Czech Republic. The activity is governed by a Memorandum of Association, which is signed by all shareholders. It is essential to note that it is executed in a form of notorial deed of a Czech notary. The notary fee usually does not exceed CZK 5,000 (180 EUR) and is depending on the amount of the registered capital. This founding deed must contain basic information about…

July 25, 2016

Pursuant to a judgement dated 29 February 2016, the Bulgarian Supreme Court repealed Regulation no 196 of the Council of Ministers of 10 July 2014 with respect to the approval of the fee rates applicable to proceedings under Chapter Eleven of the Public Procurement Act before the Commission for the Protection of Competition and the Supreme Administrative Court (promulgated in The State Gazette, no 58 of 15 July 2014 and entered into force on 15 July 2014). The Commission for…

May 19, 2016

Slovenia has amended the Financial Operations, Insolvency Proceedings and Compulsory Dissolution Act, which follow on amendments in 2013, amending preventive restructuring, simplified compulsory settlement and personal bankruptcy proceedings. Amendments to Slovenia’s Insolvency Act, which were adopted by the National Assembly on 31 March 2016, will come into force on 26 April 2016. The main modifications introduced by the amendments are as follows: small companies may now rely on proceedings on preventive restructuring, in addition to medium-sized and large companies as was…

99
August 1, 2019

On 31 July 2019, Bulgaria’s parliament adopted new transfer pricing rules in line with recommendations of the OECD. The new rules set out obligations for Bulgarian companies, Bulgarian permanent establishments of non-resident foreign companies and locally registered sole trades to maintain mandatory transfer pricing documentation evidencing the arm’s length basis of their transactions with related parties. Exemptions exist, and are relevant to the following taxpayer categories: Persons exempt from Bulgarian corporate income tax (certain collective investment schemes, national investment funds…

January 20, 2019

Hungary has recently amended its labour code in order to increase permissible overtime levels. On an annual basis, permissible overtime has increased from 250 hours per year to 400 hours per year. Such overtime overrides any collective labour agreements in place. The new legislation leaves the 48 hours/week work limit unchanged but raises the overtime banking period to 3 years from 1 year. In practice, it will be possible for an employer to pay the employee for overtimes in one…

January 5, 2019

As of the close of 2018, Serbia has now established its central register of ultimate beneficial owners. Henceforth, Serbian companies, institutions, as well as branches and representative offices established by foreign investors in Serbia are required to register their UBOs with the central register no later than 31 January 2019. The register has established an online portal in order to facilitate quick and efficient UBO registration. While disclosure is required, actual documentary support underlying UBO disclosure is not. Nevertheless, entities…

November 5, 2018

Just this past October, Government Emergency Ordinance GEO 8/2018 was published, which set out certain new amendments to Romania’s insolvency regime. The ordinance amends: (i) Law no. 85/2014, regarding Romania’s insolvency law itself; (ii) ordinance no. 2/2000 regarding judicial application; (iii) ordinance no. 90/2017 regarding fiscal budgetary matters; and (iv) ordinance no. 86/2006 regarding the insolvency practitioner profession. Essentially, GEO 88/2018 was adopted in order to improve mechanisms for the recover of state receivables from insolvent companies, and to take…

October 10, 2018

On October 4, 2018, ESMA (the European Securities and Markets Authority) updated its view on the applicability Directive 2011/61/EU on alternative investment fund managers (AIFMs). The update provides guidance with respect to the cross-border management of alternative investment funds (AIFs), which have an umbrella structure with multiple compartments, or sub-funds, via the EU passport regime. Henceforth, AIFMs that wish to engage in cross-border management of AIFs must notify their respective national competent authority regarding the general umbrella fund as well as the names and…

September 1, 2018

Just this past August, Slovenia introduced a new collective agreement baseline for companies. The new collective agreement regulates business times for employers – specifically, it prohibits the scheduling of work on public holidays and bank holidays. With respect to weekends, it limits the use of Sundays. WHAT DOES IT ENTAIL? Most rights and obligations under the new collective agreement baseline is essentially the same as the previous act. There are some notable exceptions, as follows: •work week: The maximum weekly…

August 15, 2018

In the wake of GDPR, Poland has adopted a number of measures related to employee monitoring. Enshrined in the Polish Labor Code, there are a number of issues one should be aware of now when carrying on business in Poland. Video monitoring An employer can now utilise video monitoring only when it is considered necessary for furthering employee safety, property protection, production supervision and ensuring the confidentiality of information. Utilization is allowed in places of work; whereas monitoring is forbidden…

August 13, 2018

Bulgaria has recently adopted new appeal procedures related to public procurement. Designed to speed-up appeals and to bring an end to bad faith actions, the new rules are designed to place Bulgaria in line with more general European norms. Public procurement makes up approx. 9% of Bulgaria’s annual GDP; thus, the new measures are designed to protect and enhance this very important aspect of Bulgaria’s economy. Prior to the adopte…d measures, Bulgaria has found it difficult to implement large infrastructure…

August 10, 2018

This past July, Croatia’s parliament adopted a new Capital Markets Act in order to align Croatian legislation with the EU acquis. The at meets the EU’s cornerstone financial markets regulation – the Directive on Markets in Financial Instruments repealing Directive 2004/39/EC and the Regulation on Markets in Financial Instruments; commonly referred to as MiFID II and MiFIR. MiFID II and MiFIR are designed to ensure fair, safe and more efficient markets, and to better facilitate greater transparency for all market participants. More precisely,…

July 24, 2018

Russia has slowly moved forward in terms of its response to a recent push by the US to levy sanctions in April 2018 against certin Russian state-controlled entities and individuals, and the companies they control. Last month, legislation was passed in Russia providing the Russian government with the authority to impose certain restrictive measures against certain foreign persons and goods and services in accordance with a decision of th…e Russian president. This new law does not in itself impose restrictions….

June 27, 2018

The Hungarian government has recently proposed legislative changes designed to enable regulatory screening of foreign acquisitions of certain Hungarian companies. Designed to protect strategic businesses, the proposed changes would include oversight of certain services (such as finance and telecoms) and critical infrastructure and technologies subject to potential interest by non-European bidders. Legislative motivation is on national security and public policy grounds. Proposed oversight would be applicable for acquistions in excess of 25% of Hungarian companies (10% if the target is…

June 22, 2018

Quite recently, a Romanian government emergency ordinance regarding certain amendments to Romania’s public procurement regime (“GEO 45/2018”) has been approved and gazetted. Essentially, GEO 45/2018 amended and supplemented four laws and two government emergency ordinances as follows: Law no. 98/2016 on public procurement; Law no. 99/2016 on sectoral procurement; Law no. 100/2016 on concessions of works and concessions of services; Law no. 101/2016 on remedies and appeals; Government Emergency Ordinance no. 13/2015 regarding the establishment, organization and functioning of the…

June 11, 2018

The Serbian parliament has recently adopted a new law regarding the introduction of a central registry of ultimate beneficial owners (UBOs). In force as of June 8th, the UBO law stipulates that entities and their authorized persons conducting business in Serbia shall have 30 days henceforth to identify their UBOs. Applicability is broad in scope, as the UBO law applies to both Serbian entities but also foreign companies conducting business in the Republic. With respect to foreign entities, the UBO…

June 4, 2018

Poland has recently introduced another public registry related to debtors. Poland is in the process of introducing the Register of Public Law Dues, which is desiged to provide information related to any financial liabilities of an individual or corporate entity. With the legal foundation already in place, the registry is set to go live in the second half of 2018. The aim is to create a system whereby potential business partners, banks, etc. have comfort in terms of increased… security…

September 9, 2017

Albania performs reasonably well overall with respect to the quality of its energy (electricity and natural gas) sector. A recent EBRD energy law reform assessment, for example, shows that the country’s regulatory independence remains strong although private sector participation and market framework are the key weaknesses. Within the electricity sector, Albania has a regulatory framework in place that is relatively compliant with EU requirements, with partial market opening. Major challenges remain the country’s singular dependence on, aside from imports, hydro…

August 20, 2017

The National Assembly of the Republic of Srpska (RS) adopted amendments to the Profit Tax Law on 28 December 2016. The main changes have become effective as of 1 January 2017 and will be briefly presented in this article. With the amendments, the Law clarifies the definition of “taxable person” and harmonizes the concept of residence with the Profit Tax Law of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) and Brcko District in order to avoid double taxation. Namely, a…

June 15, 2017

A draft law that would amend the Tax Code of the Republic of Belarus has been posted on the website of the Belarusian Ministry of Finance (the “Draft Law”). This time the draft has been published long before the start of the calendar year in which the amendments are to take effect, giving taxpayers a chance to understand the changes and prepare for them. In addition to the traditional indexation of tax rates in Belarusian rubles, the draft law contains…

September 29, 2016

The purpose of the new amendment to the Hungarian Civil Code, effective as of 1 October 2016, is to make effective the independent mortgage, which was used under the former civil code, along with refining rules with respect to the security deposit. The independent mortgage is a security that does not require enforcement dependent on the loan or other security relationships between a creditor and debtor. It is inspired from the German Civil Code. Starting with 1 October 2016 the…

September 12, 2016

One of the most popular enquiries after Brexit is how expats and people who own property in Bulgaria will be affected. There are approximately 1.3 million UK citizens living in Europe many of which chose Bulgaria for their second home or just bought a holiday home in Bulgarian resorts on the Black Sea. Around 7000 UK citizens reside permanently in Bulgaria as of March 2016, according to UK embassy data. In Bulgaria, non-EU citizens are allowed to buy built property…

August 30, 2016

Serbia’s new Enforcement and Security Act (ESA) was adopted on 18 December 2015, and has become effective as of 1 July 2016. The most relevant new rules are: the provision of new mechanisms to ensure effective enforcement; new competence of the courts and the bailiffs; and the status/role of the bailiffs. Most importantly, ESA introduces the possibility to lodge an appeal against both the decisions of the court and the bailiff, except in cases where the law explicitly excludes the…

August 9, 2016

A limited liability company is the most common corporate form established by foreign investors in Czech Republic. The activity is governed by a Memorandum of Association, which is signed by all shareholders. It is essential to note that it is executed in a form of notorial deed of a Czech notary. The notary fee usually does not exceed CZK 5,000 (180 EUR) and is depending on the amount of the registered capital. This founding deed must contain basic information about…

July 25, 2016

Pursuant to a judgement dated 29 February 2016, the Bulgarian Supreme Court repealed Regulation no 196 of the Council of Ministers of 10 July 2014 with respect to the approval of the fee rates applicable to proceedings under Chapter Eleven of the Public Procurement Act before the Commission for the Protection of Competition and the Supreme Administrative Court (promulgated in The State Gazette, no 58 of 15 July 2014 and entered into force on 15 July 2014). The Commission for…

May 19, 2016

Slovenia has amended the Financial Operations, Insolvency Proceedings and Compulsory Dissolution Act, which follow on amendments in 2013, amending preventive restructuring, simplified compulsory settlement and personal bankruptcy proceedings. Amendments to Slovenia’s Insolvency Act, which were adopted by the National Assembly on 31 March 2016, will come into force on 26 April 2016. The main modifications introduced by the amendments are as follows: small companies may now rely on proceedings on preventive restructuring, in addition to medium-sized and large companies as was…