COVID-19 Update #26: Serbia/Montenegro/Bosnia and Herzegovina

Changes to the yesterday report are marked.

Serbia

  • 3105 registered cases.
  • State of emergency declared.
Health measures
  • Self-isolation at home or quarantine for 28 days for those who entered the country after 14 March 2020 (14 days for health professionals, prison guards, officials of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and military personnel). Isolation at home can be suspended before its expiry to those going abroad, if they show no symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Self-isolation at home for 14 days for cured patients.
  • Mass testing and quarantine for COVID-19 positive announced.
Movement of people
  • Total closure of borders, except for road transport crews and other persons with special permit.
  • Foreign crew transiting Serbia by inland waterways cannot be replaced within Serbia; Serbian crew members to self-isolate at home upon disembarking for a period of 14 days if they continue travel thereafter or otherwise for 28 days.
  • Total ban on movement of:
    • senior citizens 65+ in populated areas with more than 5,000 inhabitants, except on Fridays between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m.;
    • senior citizens 70+ in populated areas with less than 5,000 inhabitants, except on Fridays between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m.
    • other citizens between 5 p.m. and 5 a.m. on week days and between 5 p.m. on Friday and 5 a.m. on Monday (with the exception of 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. window for 20 minute pet walks on week days and 8 a.m. to 10. a.m. on weekends).
  • Total ban on movement does not apply to:
    • licenced healthcare workers;
    • officers on duty;
    • persons granted a special permit for movement by the Ministry of Interior (such as employees working 3rd shift);
    • persons in urgent need of medical assistance with two persons accompanying them;
    • crew members in international road, rail, water and air transport.
  • Permits for movement of employees previously issued for the 8 p.m. – 5 a.m. curfew will be valid also from the extended 5 p.m. – 5 a.m. curfew. Requests for new permits can be submitted to the Ministry of Economy electronically. Employers must issue electronic/hard copy certificates confirming that the specific employee is required to work to each employee with permit. Employers with less than 100 employees per shift during the ban on movement must issue daily certificates and employers with more than 100 employees per shift during the ban on movement must issue weekly certificates.
  • Reasoned requests for permits for movement of citizens to be submitted to the local self-government.
  • Ban on public transport without special permit from the Ministry of Transport.
  • Ban on gatherings of more than 5 people in indoor spaces.
  • Ban on gatherings of more than 2 people outdoors, except for parents/caretakers with underage children.
  • Ban on outdoor activities in parks and public areas intended for recreation and sports.
  • Closure of hairdressing beauty salons, fitness clubs, gyms, slot machines and betting sites.
  • Closure of indoor and outdoor markets announced.
  • Employees in the healthcare and social security sectors are subject to a travel ban to countries with intensive COVID-19 transmission.
  • Movement of asylum seekers and irregular migrants housed in asylum centers and reception centers in Serbia is temporarily restricted, and an increased surveillance and security of these facilities established. These categories of people will be allowed to leave the facilities exceptionally and in justified cases (e.g. visit to a doctor), for a limited period, and with a special permission of the Commissariat for Refugees and Migration of the Republic of Serbia.
International traffic
  • All border crossings (road, river and rail) closed from 8 a.m. 20 March 2020, except for road transport crews and other persons with special permit.
  • International airports in Belgrade and Niš closed for commercial traffic. The airports will still be open for:
    • Cargo and mail transport;
    • Search and rescue;
    • Humanitarian flights;
    • Emergency medical transport;
    • Technical landing and positioning of Serbian aircrafts;
    • Emergency landing of aircrafts;
    • State aircrafts and special purpose flights.
Courts, notaries, bailiffs
  • Procedural deadlines in court and administrative proceedings suspended for the duration of the state of emergency.
  • Court hearings adjourned, except in cases requiring urgent action. In criminal proceedings held before basic courts, judge of the president of council may decide on skype video call between the defendant and the courtroom.
  • Recommendation to bailiffs to suspend debt collection and other enforcement actions.
  • Certification of signatures, manuscripts and transcripts before notaries, as well as hearings in non-contentious cases suspended, except in particularly urgent and justified cases.
Universities/schools/kinder-gardens
  • Closed until further notice.
Work place
  • Sick leaves automatically extended for 30 days.
  • Simplified procedure for paid leave longer than 45 days during the state of emergency – opinion of the union no longer required and the Ministry of Labour will be issuing consents electronically.
  • Employers are obliged:
    • to enable remote work or all employees whose work can be done from home; a separate decision on remote work has to be issued to each employee; all employees working from home must be recorded;
    • where remote work is not possible, work should be, if possible, organized in shifts, and employer must provide protective equipment;
    • enable business meetings to be held electronically (video link, video call, etc);
    • postpone official travel in the country and abroad;
    • implement enhanced hygienic measures at facilities.
  • Urban and suburban transport is organized healthcare workers and for employees who have to work during the state of emergency in Belgrade. Employers can submit requests for transport of their employees.
  • Work permits of foreign workers that were valid on 16 March 2020 when the state of emergency was declared will remain valid until the end of the state of emergency even if they expire in the meantime.
  • Recommendation to employers to compensate full salary and not just 65% to employees who are on sick leave because of COVID-19 infection contracted as a result of work-related exposure.
  • Recommendation to employers to allow employees whose work at workplace is required during the state of emergency to use the remainder of their 2019 annual leave by 31 December 2020 (statutory cut-off date in normal circumstances is 30 June 2020).
  • Recommendation to employers to allow employees exhaust annual leave before sending them to forced leave of absence.
Trade and hospitality
  • Shopping malls closed, except for supermarkets, grocery stores and pharmacies.
  • All hangout venues (bars, cafes, restaurants, shopping centers etc.) closed except for take away and food delivery.
  • Price control imposed for essential basic foodstuffs, protective equipment and disinfectants until 18 April 2020. Prices can only be raised within the limits of the annual inflation rate.
  • Export ban on oil, semi-processed oil, sugar beet molasses, yeast, whole sunflower seeds, soaps, detergents, sanitizers, alcohol and protective equipment.
  • Export ban on medications (both medications produced in Serbia and those which are currently on the territory of Serbia) until 15 April 2020.
  • Limitation on purchases of protective equipment (10 masks/protective gloves per person) and disinfectants (2 large packs/5 small packs per person).
  • Exemption on payment of custom duties for ethyl-alcohol ›80%.
New stimulus package announced for companies which have not reduced their work force for more than 10% during the state of emergency (regulations still to be enacted)
  • Tax measures
    • Moratorium on payroll tax and social security contributions during the state of emergency, repayment in 24 instalments starting in 2021;
    • Deferral of advances for corporate income tax payment due in the second quarter;
    • VAT relief on donations during COVID-19 crisis.
  • Direct aid measures
    • 3 net minimal wages per employee to entrepreneurs and SMEs (first payment expected in mid-May);
    • 50% of the net minimal wage to large companies during the state of emergency for each employee sent on forced paid leave during the state of emergency.
  • Measures for maintenance of liquidity
    • Subsidized working capital loans to entrepreneurs, SMES, registered agricultural households and registered cooperatives, through the Development Fund of the Republic of Serbia;
    • Guarantees for banking loans to entrepreneurs, SMEs and agricultural households.
  • Other measures
    • EUR 100 to each adult citizen;
    • Prohibition of dividend payments until the end of 2020 for companies who apply for financial aid.
Other financial measures and relief
  • National Bank of Serbia reduced reference interest rate to 1.751.5%.
  • Moratorium on loan and financial leasing (re)payments.
  • Moratorium on loans granted by the Republic Development Fund until 30 September 2020.
  • One-off aid in the amount of RSD 4,000 (cca. EUR 34) to retirees.
  • Interest-free three-month moratorium on payment of utility bills for retirees.
  • 10 % salary increase for healthcare sector starting from 1 April 2020.
  • Moratorium on enforcement and interest calculation on tax debt under reprogramme.
  • Interest on tax debt reduced to annual reference interest rate of the National Bank of Serbia (normally, the interest rate is equal to NBS reference rate plus 10 percentage points).
  • During state of emergency, the Deposit Insurance Agency may invest foreign exchange assets it manages into securities issued by the Republic of Serbia without limitation (normally, it cannot invest more than 1/4 of its assets into the state paper).
Other relevant measures
  • Healthcare facilities will only accept emergency cases.
  • All election campaign activities are suspended.
  • All public institutions serving citizens at counters closed except for Tax Administration, Customs Administration and Treasury Department.
  • Serbian Agency for Business Registers closed for clients.
  • All identity documents issued by Serbian authorities to foreign nationals and asylum seekers will be considered valid during state of emergency even if they expire in the meantime. During state of emergency police officials will not collect biometric data from foreigners.
  • All identity documents of Serbian citizens (ID cards, passports, driver’s licenses, vehicle permits and weapon certificates) will be considered valid during state of emergency even if they expire. The Ministry of Internal Affairs will be issuing new traffic permits only for new vehicles and in case of transfer of vehicle.
  • During the state of emergency, certain unregistered medicines and medical equipment may be put on the market with appropriate documentation.

Montenegro

  • 252 registered cases.
Health measures
  • Montenegrin nationals and foreigners with temporary or permanent residence who enter Montenegro on or after 28 March 2020 to be isolated for 28 days (previously, 14 days). Currently, Montenegrin citizens and foreign citizens with residence permit in Montenegro may enter the country only under special organization and must go into a quarantine upon the entry.
  • Quarantine for persons who have been or are suspected to have been in contact with infected persons or with persons suspected to be infected. After the expiry of the quarantine, the persons have to self-isolate at home for additional 14 days if they do not exhibit COVID19 symptoms.
  • Institutional isolation is mandatory for asymptomatic COVID19 positive persons who were previously in quarantine, self-isolation, or hospital treatment.
  • Vrela Ribnička, a neighbourhood in Podgorica, sealed.
  • Publication of the identity (name and address) of the persons in isolation.
  • Strict control of compliance. Obligation of the authorities to file criminal charges for non-compliance.
  • Compulsory sale of protective equipment and disinfectants owned by wholesale drug stores to the public health system, at market prices.
  • Adjustment of the functioning of the health system to the situation, through cancellation of non-urgent screening procedures.
Movement of people
  • Entry to Montenegro possible only to Montenegrin nationals with special permit.
  • Ban on any cross-border passenger transport until 25 April 2020.
  • Ban on public passenger intercity, suburban, and city transport, including taxi service.
  • Ban on intercity transport by private vehicles except for transport of goods, employees working outside their place of residence and people returning to their place of residence until 25 April 2020.
  • Curfew imposed between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m. from Monday until Friday, from 1 p.m. on Saturday until 5 a.m. on Sunday, and from 11 a.m. on Sunday until 5 a.m. on Monday, except for (i) employees on duties in public interest with confirmation from the employer (health workers, inspectors, police, army, communal workers,  firemen, journalists and guest in media shows); (ii) employees of foreign diplomatic and consular missions; (iii) those caring for persons with health conditions, as evidenced by the confirmation issued by the general practitioner; (iv) pet walks for a maximum of 60 minutes; and (v) children with autism and persons in wheelchair accompanied with one person.
  • Ban on any gathering at public or private spaces, including at homes; walk outside permitted only if the person is alone, except for (i) those on duty; (ii) children up to twelve years of age and children with autism and other disabilities, who may be accompanied by one adult from the same household; and (iii) persons in wheelchair who may be accompanied by one person.
  • Ban on visits to hospitals and social and child-care institutions.
  • Ban on visits to prisons except for attorneys and court-appointed experts.
  • The Ministry of Interior and Real Estate Cadaster closed for services at counters. In other state administrative bodies, limited number of people allowed on the premises (one person per counter), until 17 April 2020.
  • Hairdressers and cosmeticians closed.
  • Funerals only within family.
  • Maximum two adults can be in a passenger vehicle at the same time.
  • Entry ban for cruisers and yachts to ports: Bar, Budva, Kotor, Kumbor Port – Portonovi, Tivat (Gat I and Gat II) and Zelenika, until 17 April 2020.
  • Recommendation for chronic patients and 65+ not to leave homes.
Cargo transport
  • Transport of goods is not banned, but special health and sanitary measures are taken at the borders.
Courts
  • Commercial Court of Montenegro postponed all hearings until 13 April 2020.
  • Judges of the Higher Courts to decide which non-urgent hearings will be held.
  • Other courts postponed hearings until further notice, except in employment, family law cases and cases where accused is in detention.
Universities/schools/kinder-gardens
  • Closed.
Employment
  • During the shut-down of schools and kinder-gardens, one parent of a child not older than 11 years of age is entitled to a paid leave from work, with the exception of healthcare employees, and employees in certain state institutions. State has not undertaken to refund the employers.
  • Recommendation to employers to organize remote work where possible.
  • Sick leave can be extended to 30 April 2020 by GPs (normally, a committee is required for this long extension).
Construction

Until 23 April 2020:

  • Construction workers must wear masks and gloves during work including during transport to and from the construction site.
  • Leaving the construction site during working hours is prohibited.
  • Food must be delivered to the construction site.
  • Physical distance between employees during their transport must be ensured.
  • On bigger sites (with 40 or more employees) work and accommodation (if provided) must be organized in groups of maximum 20 employees. Physical distance between groups should be kept at all times.
  • Notice on the above measures must be visible on the construction site.
Trade and hospitality
  • Closure of commercial shops (except for online shopping).
  • Until 25 April 2020, pharmacies and grocery shops, shops for hygiene products, gas stations, shops for construction products, plant protection products and seedling products, shops for animal food and medicines, baby shops and funeral homes may be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and newsstands open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., and work must be organized in two 4 hours shifts.
  • Ban until 15 April 2020 on:
    • on-premise consumption in hotels, except for hotel guests;
    • nightclubs, on-premise consumption outlets (except for food delivery), playrooms, fitness centres, casinos, betting and gaming outlets.
  • A limited number of customers can be present in a shop at once (one customer per 10 sqm and no more than 50 customers at the same time (100 in markets); at least 2-meter distance between two customers in a line; shops must publish a notice on the maximum number of people permitted on the premises at the same time.
Financial aid
  • 90-day moratorium on loan/financial leasing repayments upon request of the borrower.
  • Prohibition on the banks to pay dividends to shareholders, except in the form of treasury shares. The measure applies until revoked.
  • Banks allowed to increase exposures to a single entity or a group of related entities beyond the statutory limits of 25% of the bank’s own funds, with the Central Bank’s prior approval.
  • The Investment-Development Fund offers working capital loans to companies in the sector of medical supplies, tourism and hospitality, and food processing, up to EUR 3 million per borrower.
  • Moratorium on rent payments to the state as lessor.
  • State will make advance payments on capital investment projects against bank guarantee.
  • Ministry of Culture earmarked EUR 500,000 for cultural workers (musicians, actors, freelancers as well as companies in the film industry); funds to be granted on public tender.
  • Excise on medical alcohol sold in pharmacies removed.
  • Extension of the deadline for submission of financial statements and tax returns until 15 April 2020.
  • Extension of the deadline for submission of income tax returns for natural persons until 15 May 2020.
Trade
  • Market inspections will monitor whether there is price abuse with respect to basic food products, hygiene products, drugs and medical devices.
Other relevant measures
  • Ban on public procurement except urgent ones and in the health sector.
  • Personal ID documents issued after 2008 which have expired will be deemed valid until 17 April 2020.
  • Permanent and temporary residence and work permits, and vehicle permits if the vehicle is insured and has passed technical inspection which have expired will be deemed valid until 25 April 2020.
  • Health certificates of persons who work on jobs with severe conditions which have expired will be deemed valid until 30 June 2020.
  • Licences and other documents necessary for public passenger and cargo transport which have expired will be deemed valid until 30 June 2020.
  • Strict control of legality of transport of passengers and goods.
  • State and local authorities and state companies with public authorities ordered to deliver decisions by post.
  • Municipal police officers asked to file criminal complaints for non-compliance with the measures.
  • Removal of chairs and tables in front of restaurants and cafes ordered.
  • One-off aid in the amount of EUR 50 to retirees.
  • Online birth certificates and certificates from the register of Montenegrin citizens available free of charge until 25 April 2020.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  • 895 confirmed cases (Republika Srpska 381; Federation B&H 497; Brčko 17).
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina declared emergency situation.
  • Republika Srpska declared state of emergency; in force as of 3 April 2020.
Health measures
  • Anyone with residence in Bosnia coming from abroad to be isolated for 14 days; citizens with residence in Republika Srpska coming from abroad  are quarantined in special facilities (quarantine measures do not apply to drivers in international traffic – local drivers have to isolate in their homes in between the tours while foreign drivers are not allowed to leave their vehicles while in transit; accredited diplomatic and consular staff; health workers; President, Prime Minister, members of Government and Serbian member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina).
  • In Banja Luka (Republika Srpska), infected persons are placed in facilities for isolation.
  • Publication of the identity (name and address) of persons who have breached home isolation measures; peoples who breached isolation measures to be isolated in quarantine facilities.
  • Healthcare facilities to be organized to serve, as priority, persons infected by coronavirus.
Movement of people
  • Ban on entry to Bosnia and Herzegovina for foreign citizens. The ban does not apply to:
    • health workers;
    • persons in need of medical assistance;
    • civil protection representatives, members of the military forces of NATO countries, members of EUFOR’s and staff of the NATO’s headquarters in Bosnia;
    • foreigners with residence in Bosnia;
    • cargo road transport crews performing international transport; cargo transit is limited to 12 hours from entry into Bosnia and Herzegovina and foreign crews to be isolated in their vehicles;
    • aircraft crews whose final destination is Bosnia and Herzegovina;
    • diplomatic and consular staff accredited/with residence in Bosnia and Herzegovina;
    • persons granted a permit by the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina;
    • drivers and persons accompanying them in funeral vehicles;
    • international cargo railway and waterway crews;
    • foreigners in transit through Bosnia to their country of residence.

Republika Srpska

  • Ban on movement of all citizens between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m.
  • Ban on leaving the municipality/city of residence during weekends (between 12 p.m. Saturday and 6. p.m. Sunday).
  • Senior citizens (65+) living in urban areas may leave their homes only on Tuesdays and Fridays between 7 am and 10 am; senior citizens in rural area (up to 75) may leave their homes to engage in agricultural activities; persons having registered apiaries allowed to move between their home and apiary on Tuesdays and weekends.
  • Bans do not apply to:
    • Healthcare workers on duty;
    • Officers on duty;
    • Persons granted by employers a confirmation on required movement for the purpose of work process;
    • Persons granted a special permit for movement by the Ministry of Interior;
    • Persons in urgent need of medical assistance;
    • Cargo road transport crews.
  • Ban on all public gatherings until 13 April 2020.
  • Intercity and suburban public transport suspended.
  • Truck drivers must have special permits issued by their employers for each transport.

Federation B&H

  • For citizens younger than 18, movement allowed only in vehicles. For citizens older than 65, total curfew except between 6 April 2020 and 10 April 2020 (8 a.m. – 12 p.m.) for the purpose of receipt of pensions.
  • Ban on movement of all citizens between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m., except for those engaged on the implementation of COVID- 19 related measures, cargo road transport drivers, and employees on shift regime.
  • Persons must keep distance of at least 1.5 m while outdoor and use protective mask, scarf or similar face covers.
  • Ban on public transport, excluding taxi, until further notice.
  • Employees of health institutions not to leave Federation B&H.
  • Ban on public gatherings until further notice.
  • Truck drivers must have special permits issued by their employers for each transport.
Air traffic
  • Closure of all airports for passengers flights until 30 April 2020.
Road traffic
  • Closure of border crossings with Serbia:
    • Mali Zvornik (in the area of BP BiH BPU Zvornik) and IBCP Brasina – railway station inside the territory of Serbia (in the area of BiH IBCP Zvornik – railway border crossing point);
    • Priboj (in the area of BP BiH GP BPU Mokronozi) and Most in Carevo Polje (in the area of BiH – under the Agreement within IBCP Uvac;
    • Jamena – river (scaffolding) BCP (in the area of BP BiH BPU Donje Crnjelovo).
  • Cargo transport in transit through Bosnia directed to the following border crossings: Croatia-Bosnia (Bijača – Nova Sela, Gradiška – Stara Gradiška, and Šamac – Slavonski Šamac), Serbia-Bosnia (Rača – Sremska Rača), Montenegro-Bosnia (Klobuk – Ilino Brdo).
  • Closure of 28 border crossings for border area traffic between Croatia and Bosnia.
Railway/waterway traffic
  •  Inter-entity and local railway lines cancelled.
Courts and state administration
  • Procedural deadlines in court proceedings suspended in Republika Srpska during the state of emergency, except in urgent proceedings (family law cases, discrimination and harassment at work place cases, company registration, detentions, criminal proceedings for public health and state of emergency related crimes, etc); statute of limitations tolled during the state of emergency.
  • Hearings postponed except in urgent cases (detentions, criminal cases under risk statute of limitations to expire, misdemeanours for breaching COVID-19 related measures, security measures).
Universities/schools/kinder-gardens

Republika Srpska

  • Shut-down of kinder-gardens, schools, universities.

Federation B&H

  • Shut-down of universities, schools and kinder-gardens.
Work place

Federation B&H

  • Time spent in isolation or self-isolation is treated as sick leave. It will be paid by employer but will be refunded by the cantonal health fund within 45 days from the request for refund. Sick leave certificate can be issued in a state-run healthcare institution or in a private practice.
  • Recommendations for employers:
    • reduction working hours and organization of remote work if possible;
    • annual and other leaves to be allowed according to the law;
    • to allow leave to parents of children not older than 10 years (one parent per family); unclear whether paid or unpaid leave;
    • all business trips to be cancelled;
    • meetings with a larger number of participants to be cancelled, and if necessary, to be organized in large rooms ensuring with sufficient distance between participants (1-2 meters).
Trade and hospitality

Republika Srpska

  • Until 13 April 2020, closure of:
    • hospitality facilities for on-premise consumption;
    • Wellness and spa centres, and swimming pools;
    • Retail shops and shopping malls (except for stores selling food products and other FMCG, animal food stores, pharmacies, agri-pharmacies, wholesales, hotel and hostels, gas stations, stores selling appliances and electronics, stores selling hygienic goods, construction, plumbing, electrical or ceramic materials, cars and agricultural machinery);
    • Private dental ordinations;
    • Gaming outlets;
    • Children playrooms;
    • Sport events, schools, fitness and training places;
    • Beauty salons and hairdressers.
  • Retail outlets which are permitted to remain open must limit the number of customers in the shop and put a notice at the shop entrance of a shop; distance between customers at the counter must be at least 1 m.
  • Delivery of FMCG allowed between 7 am – 6 pm.
  • On-premise consumption in hotels allowed only for hotel guests.
  • Restriction on the quantities of certain products (flour, salt, oil, sugar, hygienic products) that may be purchased by one person.

Federation B&H

  • Closure of cinemas, museums, theatres, concert halls, art galleries, public swimming pools and bathing areas, sports and recreation centres, until further notice.
  • Closure of hospitality facilities (restaurants, bars, nights clubs, fast foods, casinos, betting shops and all similar facilities) excluding services of food production and delivery, public kitchens, production and serving food for hotels’ guests, until further notice.
  • Closure of beauty and hairdressing outlets, and children playrooms, until further notice.
  • Closure of open markets excluding those selling agri-food products, until further notice.
  • Closure of retail outlets (excluding those selling food products, hygienic products, fish stores, specialized stores of medical and veterinary products and equipment, animal food stores, pharmacies, agri-pharmacies, wholesale of food, drinks and hygienic products, kiosks, gas stations, specialised stores of equipment for children, stores of orthopaedic and other assisting products, stores of construction, plumbing and electrical materials, chemical cleaning facilities, bakeries, bookstores, car parts stores and services, car washes, stores selling appliances and electronics, and stores selling furniture), until further notice. Retail outlets which are permitted to remain open must limit the number of customers in the shop; distance between customers must be at least 1.5 m.
  • Closure of private dental practices.
Banking
  • Banks obliged to devise a set of relief measures to be offered to clients whose ability to repay the loans has been affected by the COVID-19 crises (including six-month moratorium on loan repayments, grace periods, debt reprogramme, modification of exposures). The measures should be selected by the banks themselves, and offered on individual or portfolio basis. No fees can be charged to, and no higher interest can be imposed on, the clients in this respect. Relief does not apply to non-performing loans.
Price control
  • Price control imposed on a number of products.
Government support

Republika Srpska

  • Tax and social contributions for March 2020 to be financed from the Solidarity Fund for employees whose employers ceased work due to COVID-19 related measures but paid net March salaries to employees. Requests to be submitted until 11 May 2020. The list of employers entitled to this benefit to be prepared by the Ministry of Economy and Entrepreneurship and Ministry of Finance.
  • Three-month moratorium, starting on 1 April 2020, for loans granted by Investment-Development Bank of Republika Srpska. Six-months moratorium or grace period for individuals, upon request.
  • Deadline for submission of tax returns due by the end of March extended until 30 April 2020.
  • Deadline for payment of annual income tax and forest and fire protection fees, extended until 30 June 2020 for taxpayers affected with COVID-19 related measures who must submit an affidavit to that effect; payment in instalments allowed until the end of 2020.
  • Three-month moratorium on concession fees and rent for agricultural land leased from Republika Srpska.

Federation B&H

  • Proposal for measures to aid employers with payment of social contributions for employees in private sector; repeal of monthly advance corporate income tax payment; suspension of default interest;  a guarantee fund of BAM 80 million to be established for working capital banking loans to the most affected sectors. Further details still to be published.
  • Rent for the facilities leased from the Federation B&H reduced for 50%.
  • Special health insurance contributions payable for employees working abroad reduced for BAM 10,00 (EUR 5).
  • Deadline for submission of tax returns due by the end of March extended until 30 April 2020; communication with Tax Administration only via registered mail, e-mail or fax; entry into Tax Administration’s facilities forbidden.
  • Recommendation to taxpayers to submit requests for reduction of advance corporate income tax payments in accordance with Article 52, paragraph 4, point c) of the Income Tax Act which provides a monthly advance tax to be reduced upon request of a taxpayer in the case of natural or other disaster significantly affecting taxpayer’s business.
  • Tax Administration of the Federation of B&H instructed to accept taxpayers’ requests for debt rescheduling.
  • Lump-sum tax applicable to private entrepreneurs to be reduced.
Other relevant measures
  • Fake news or allegations spreading panic or significantly disturbing public order and impeding implementation of public authorities’ measures publishable by fine ranging from approx. EUR 500 to 1,500 for individuals, EUR 1,500 – 4,500 for legal entities, and EUR 500 – 1,500 for responsible persons of legal entities.
  • Relief on indirect tax for equipment (masks, gloves, disinfectants, protective suits, respirators and similar equipment) donated by Bosnian and international entities for the prevention, control and elimination of COVID-19.
  • All citizens of Republika Srpska will have health insurance until 30 April 2020 without having to obtain certificate on paid contributions.
  • Reduced hours of post offices; international shipping for certain destination countries suspended.
  • All public institutions and private entities in Federation of B&H serving clients at counters must ensure at least 1.5-meter distance between persons.
  • Visits to persons in social care institutions and detention-rehabilitation centres banned until further notice.
  • All administrative authorities and other public institutions in Republika Srpska ordered to organize work with minimum number of people.

 


Note: Dear readers, you will appreciate that the governmental measures we report on are not always clear and straightforward. We give our best to interpret them properly. However, this CORONA-19 Update is not a legal advice and we do not undertake any responsibility to the readers for accurateness of information and interpretations reported here.

For more detailed information and advice, you can contact us at covid-19@bdkadvokati.com

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