AMCHAM FOCUS IN 2019: PRIORITY TASKS FOR THIS YEAR

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AmCham’s mission is to support its member companies and their businesses, as well as to actively cooperate with the Serbian government in creating strategies, laws and policies that contribute to the improvement of the regulatory framework for doing business. Our goal is to provide key business-related information to our member companies, facilitate the establishment of mutual connections, support and devise successful business networking and promote the best business customs, practices and values. These are AmCham’s plans for this year.

CORPORATE AND BUSINESS LAW COMMITTEE

Corporate and Business Law Committee was established with the view of further developing corporate and commercial legislation and business practice in Serbia and to contribute to the efficient, transparent and consistent implementation of the relevant legal framework. Since the greater efficiency of the judiciary and the more extensive rule of law were highlighted as top priority reforms for AmCham members in 2018, the Committee will dedicate its future efforts to improving the constructive discussion between courts and the private sector, with the aim of creating higher consistency in judicial practice. A series of topic-based roundtables with the judiciary representatives in 2019 will tackle specific areas of judicial practice, such as bankruptcy, enforcement, labour regulations, illicit trade and IPR, real estate, tax-related issues, etc.

COMBATING SHADOW ECONOMY COMMITTEE

Combating Shadow Economy Committee strives to assist the Government of Serbia in the significant reduction of illicit trade, thus creating a level playing field and diminishing competition of black and shadow markets in relation to law-abiding businesses. Due to the transition of the illicit trade activities from the physical to the online markets, the focus of the Committee is on the regulatory and supervisory framework for curbing illicit trade on the Internet. With the Sequence of procedures for combating online illicit trade adopted by the Government`s Coordination Commission for Inspections Oversight in December 2018, the Committee will engage its resources in coordinating and assisting relevant enforcement bodies in the implementation of this milestone document.

DIGITAL ECONOMY COMMITTEE

Digital Economy Committee cross cuts all AmCham’s working groups for improving the business environment, in an effort to offer innovative solutions to overcome the traditional challenges that businesses face and facilitate Serbia’s transition to the digital economy era. Monitoring the implementation of the personal data protection regulation and its adjustments in line with the EU legal framework will be the Committee’s long-term focus, as well as the regulation of data processing in specific areas, such as video surveillance, biometric and HR data.

ENVIRONMENTAL COMMITTEE

Environmental Committee fosters a constructive partnership between the business community, Government and other stakeholders in order to promote best environmental practices and improve regulatory framework related to waste management, circular economy and other pressing environment policy issues. In 2019, the Committee will continue to work hand-in-hand with the Government in terms of adequately improving the existing Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) system for packaging and packaging waste management, through enhancing the performance and capacities of national operators, increasing investments in primary selection, increasing efficient involvement of public utility companies and local governments etc. In addition, Committee will continue to advocate for the introduction of the EPR system for specific waste streams, such as electrical and electronic waste, medical or healthcare waste, batteries, oils, pneumatic tires and other categories of waste.

ENERGY COMMITTEE

As the youngest AmCham working group, Energy Committee aims to promote the dialogue on improving the energy regulatory framework and its implementation, especially in the area of renewables, energy efficiency, development of novel energy businesses and building public-private partnerships in this domain. In 2019, the Committee will monitor the enactment of the new renewables regulation package and advocate for the proper introduction of the auction system for wind and solar energy, as a manner of bidding and setting the electricity prices for take-out of electricity from renewable sources.

HEALTH CARE COMMITTEE

Health Care Committee invests its efforts towards improving the efficiency of the health care sector and facilitating policy settings in Serbia for the purpose of providing better care of patients, business environment and society as a whole. AmCham’s Study on the financing of innovative therapies, conducted in cooperation with the EY experts, will be published in 2019 and provide clear argumentation why further investments in innovative therapies are necessary, with specific suggestions of modalities for their sustainable financing. Furthermore, the Committee will partner with the relevant stakeholders to ensure compliance with existing legal deadlines for issuing and renewal of permits for medicines and medical devices, as well as further reduction of unnecessary administration for companies in this area.

LABOUR REGULATIONS COMMITTEE

Labor Regulations Committee aims to improve labour related regulations in order to increase the competitiveness of Serbia as an investment destination, thus facilitating economic development and sustainable increase in employment. Monitoring the adoption and implementation of long-anticipated staff leasing regulation will be one of the Committee`s priority endeavours in 2019, with a focus on avoiding potential labour market distortions. Paperless administration and digitalization of labour-related records will be another important for the Committee, in addition to requesting from the Government to lower administrative burden for businesses by introducing electronic evidence in case of mandatory employment records, records related to occupational safety and health, as well as electronic delivery of resolutions.

REAL ESTATE COMMITTEE

Real Estate Committee aims to be a constructive partner to the Serbian government and other state institutions in improving the overall real estate regulatory framework, with the aim of enhancing construction, further developing real estate industry and creating conditions for the investment friendly business environment. Tightening up the implementation of the recently adopted Law on Real Estate and Utilities Registration in the Cadastre and dealing with the overall issues and deficiencies in the Cadastre procedures will be the Committee’s priority topics in 2019.

TAX AND FINANCE COMMITTEE

Tax and Finance Committee strives to fine-tune financial and tax regulations and their implementation in order to establish a transparent and effective regulatory framework in accordance with international standards and modern business practice. In the upcoming period, the Committee will continue to work on increasing transparency of fiscal and parafiscal burden and foster partnerships in advocating for improvement of foreign exchange operations regulations and its application.

TRADE FACILITATION COMMITTEE

Trade Facilitation Committee aims to assist the Government in streamlining procedures and controls movement of food and industrial goods across the national borders, with the view of reducing the associated costs and maximizing efficiency, through the dialogue with relevant enforcement bodies within the National Coordination Body for Trade Facilitation. In 2019, the Committee will engage its resources to ensure faster clearance of perishable goods through the adoption of predictable and transparent import procedures, as well as a standardized list of perishable goods requiring priority treatment. In addition, the Committee` s priority will be to facilitate recognition of foreign certificates of conformity for technical goods, where these certify conformity with EU technical regulations transposed into Serbian law.

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