Legislation Update: Serbia

Serbian Law on Enforcement and Security Amended Again

Latest amendments to the were published on 26 July 2019 in the Official Gazette RS no 54/19.  The Law entered into force on 3 August 2019, however its application is postponed until 1 January 2020, save for article 166 that is being applied immediately (most notably transferring all pending enforcement cases to the enforcement agents – even those initiated prior to the obligation to have all enforcement cases handled by an enforcement agent).

New Features

The Law has both reintroduced some institutes that were missing from the legislative framework in this area since 2011 and introduced several new and modern solutions. The Law reimplements abbreviated enforcement proceedings upon certain documents listed in the law (such as promissory note, invoice, payment certificates, etc.) before commercial courts. The abbreviation of the proceedings consists mainly in shorter deadlines for the authorities to act and decide and limited grounds to challenge the enforcement decisions. On the other side, The Law introduced several new features:

  • soft collection as voluntary settlement of receivables before initiating enforcement proceedings, which is conducted before the enforcement agent;
  • digital filing of the motion for enforcement;
  • delivery of documents within enforcement proceedings via digital bulletin board;
  • and one revolutionary solution – digitally organized public sale of debtor’s assets. Enforcement creditors will be allowed to opt for digital public auction as of 1 March 2020. However, digital public sale of debtors’ movables and real estate will be mandatory as of 1 September 2020.

Resolving Old Issues

Apart from introducing new features, the Law resolves some old issues by using more clear and elaborate wording. The most important change was introduction of debt settlement as a specific and independent ground to appeal against an enforcement decision. Lack of this appeal ground was an obvious omission from the previous amendments that lead to some troubling situations in practice.

In order to prepare the necessary infrastructure to implement the novelties, especially the digital ones, the Law obliged the Ministry of Justice to render respective bylaws within 60 days as of the day The Law entered into force.

 

The information in this document does not constitute legal advice on any particular matter and is provided for general informational purposes only.