SERBIA: New Time Limits in Administrative Procedures During the State of Emergency
The Government of the Republic of Serbia has provided for changes in the regime of time limits in administrative procedures during the state of emergency.
Parties to administrative proceedings shall not bear the consequences of their failure to comply with the deadlines prescribed by the Law on General Administrative Procedure or the deadlines set forth in other laws governing special administrative proceedings. Please note that this measure applies to the proceedings before the tax authorities, customs proceedings, all types of inspection control and monitoring procedures, proceedings before the Real Estate Cadastre as well as the proceedings before the Companies Register and any other public administration and local self-government authorities, all public institutions, public enterprises, agencies, institutions and companies which may exercise public authority. (Regulation on the Application of Deadlines During the State of Emergency,” RS Official Gazette”, No 41 dated 24 March 2020 “Regulation”).
The Regulation specifically governs the following time limits in administrative proceedings:
1. Deadlines, which otherwise cannot be regularly extended, and which begin to run from the date of the submission of the claim, that is, from the date of the actions taken to notify the parties in the administrative procedure. In this regard, the delivery and/or notification actually carried out during the state of emergency will be considered to have been executed only after the expiry of an additional period of 15 days, beginning to run from the termination of the state of emergency.
Thus, for example, the deadline for appealing a tax decision submitted to a party during the state of emergency begins to run on the 15th day after the end of the state of emergency. Please note that this measure does not preclude parties from filing complaints and other remedies during the state of emergency, but an important relief is that the time limits will not apply for the duration of the state of emergency, but (under the above conditions) only 15 days after the state of emergency has been lifted.
2. Deadlines relating to taking administrative actions, terminating administrative procedures and deciding on the legal remedies claimed, which expire during the state of emergency. Thus, the deadlines, which would expire in the normal course of things during the state of emergency, will be extended by an additional 30 days, running from the end of the state of emergency.
The regulation makes special provisions for the suspension of time limits in an administrative procedure relating to the current situation. These are the deadlines for filing a legal remedy (appeal) against an oral decision of a competent authority issued in the implementation of emergency measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 disease during the state of emergency, and the deadlines for submitting a written copy of such decision. These deadlines are suspended during the state of emergency and shall begin to run from the first day the end of the state of emergency is announced.
TSG will keep you updated on this and other current legal topics during the state of emergency in Serbia.