Serbian government adopts several tax and judiciary bills

The Serbian government adopted on Thursday and submitted to parliament for urgent adoption four tax-related bills to enable the funding of the revised budget, six judiciary-related bills, and a new decree on oil imports and processing.

The bill on administrative fees introduces fee stamps as means of payment in Serbia, harmonising these fees for the first time since 1998.

The bill on changes and amendments to the Law on excise stamps envisages an increase of excise fees on gasoline by 2.5 dinars per litre and on diesel by 1.53 dinars per litre. This will not affect consumer prices.

The bill on changes and amendments the Law on corporate profits tax is harmonised with international accounting standards. It also enables a more efficient implementation of a measure relieving companies that invest no less than 600 million dinars and create more than 100 new jobs from paying corporate profits tax for 10 years.

The bill on changes and amendments to the Law on financial transactions tax, will replace the financial transactions tax rate with a 0.22 percent proportionate rate, and reduce the tax burden for all orders not exceeding 5 million dinars.

The government also adopted a Decree on special terms for oil imports and processing, to take effect on May 1, allowing for the full liberalisation of crude oil imports. Companies in this business will be able to import crude oil and process it in domestic facilities under equal terms. Oil importers will pay a fixed processing fee, aimed at modernising and upgrading the existing refining capacities, reads a statement by the Serbian government.

Also at today’s session, the Serbian government approved four drafts of the laws in the field of the judiciary:

– The Draft law on changes and amendments to the Law on Judicial Supreme Council which stipulates that the public prosecutor be appointed by the National Parliament after the government’s proposal, while the deputy public prosecutor should be appointed by the government following the proposal of the line ministry.

– The Draft law on changes and amendments to the Law on public prosecution which stipulates that a deputy public prosecutor’s term not be indefinite, but should instead be appointed every eight years. Only the public prosecutor’s term is to remain indefinite.

– The Draft law on changes and amendments to the Yugoslav Criminal Code and Draft law on changes and amendments to the Serbian Criminal Code that strengthens punishment policy in order to prevent the spread of crime. By changing the Yugoslav Criminal Code, its title changes to the General Criminal Code and introduces an additional punishment for confiscation of property for criminal acts that have an element of organised crime. When a sentence is being given to a person convicted of several criminal acts, the court can issue a cumulative sentence.

In order to reach its objectives in the fight against organised crime, the Serbian government approved two draft laws that place additional sanctions on perpetrators of organised crimes:

– The Draft law on changes to the Law on weapons and ammunition, which stipulates lengthier prison sentences for criminal acts including the illegal purchase, possession, production, trafficking and sale of ballistic weapons, ammunition or explosives.

– The Draft law on changes and amendments to the Law on organisation and jurisdiction of state organs in fighting organised crime.