The President of the Republic of North Macedonia declared a state of emergency to combat the outbreak of COVID-19. The measure will initially be in place for 30 days. The Government of the Republic of North Macedonia (“Government“) also announced an initial set of economic measures for mitigating the consequences suffered by the businesses and caused by the coronavirus.
Direct financial liquidity support of micro, small and medium companies
The Development Bank of North Macedonia will support micro, small and medium companies whose economic activity has been affected by the Coronavirus, for which support in the amount of EUR 5.7 million is secured. Depending on the number of employees, companies will be able to obtain interest-free loans, with a grace period of six months and a repayment period of two years, as follows:
- micro-companies (up to 10 employees) can obtain a loan from EUR 3,000 to EUR 5,000;
- small companies (between 10 to 50 employees) can obtain a loan from EUR 10,000 to EUR 15,000; and
- medium companies (between 50 and 250 employees) can obtain a loan from EUR 15,000 to EUR 30,000.
Subsidizing salary contributions and release from advance payment of corporate income tax
The Government will subsidize salary contributions for the months of April, May and June 2020 in the tourism, transport and hospitality sectors, as well as for other affected companies. The subsidy per employee will amount up to 50% of the average salary paid in 2019, provided that the company:
- does not reduce the number of employees below the number of employees recorded in February 2020 starting from the day when the company started using the measure;
- does not pay out dividends during 2020 until the day of submission of the annual account i.e. financial statements for 2020; and
- has not paid bonuses to the employees after this measure comes into force.
Companies that have realized profit as a result of business operations in 2020 will be obliged to return the subsidies for contributions in the amount of 50% of their profit before taxation.
Additionally, subject to the same three conditions above, companies from the tourism, transport and hospitality sectors, as well as for other affected companies will be released from the advance payment of corporate income tax in April, May, and June.
Uninterrupted entry and transit of cargo vehicles
In order to enable uninterrupted entry and transit of cargo vehicles in North Macedonia, the State Sanitary Inspectorate of North Macedonia will provide entry clearances through the Association of Employers’ Unions of Transport Companies “Makam – trans” to ensure the maintenance of continuous trade exchange. The cargo vehicles and persons who enter North Macedonia will be subject to special protection conditions in accordance with the protocol of the Ministry of Health of North Macedonia.
Recommendations for factories and plants with a large number of employees
Work in factories and larger plants should be reorganized in shifts, i.e. up to four shifts if necessary. After each shift, the premises should be appropriately disinfected.
In addition to the above, the Ministry of Finance of North Macedonia announced the following measures and recommendations:
- reduction of the statutory default interest for 50% and amendment of the period for which the National Bank of North Macedonia prescribes the reference interest rate;
- reduction of the penalty interest for public duties from 0.03% to 0.015%; and
- recommendation for reducing the prices for maintenance of fiscal cash registers up to 50% to the providers of such services.