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In recent years, the Serbian government has rolled out various modern digital solutions aimed at facilitating business operations.
These include a new online platform for electronic sales in insolvency proceedings, e-invoices, and an online portal enabling citizens to obtain the documents and certificates necessary for loan approval.
A new platform for electronic sales in insolvency proceedings is expected to be fully operational in 2022. The platform will be run by the Bankruptcy Supervision Agency ("BSA") and will function similarly to online auction houses. Basically, each will need to register on the BSA website, where bankruptcy sales will be conducted through the e-sales system. Currently, public sales in bankruptcy (either of a company's assets or sale of a debtor as a legal entity) are often plagued by inefficiency, high costs and corruption. This new system should guarantee efficiency and fairness.
To facilitate the implementation of the e-sales platform, both the Insolvency Act and BSA Act need to undergo several changes. The draft Insolvency Act amendments permit the sale of the debtor's assets through electronic auctions hosted on the BSA website (the specific technical steps are yet to be outlined in the bylaws). Additionally, the draft amendments prescribe the publishing of insolvency court decisions on the BSA website, which should guarantee the transparency of insolvency proceedings and allow creditors to actively monitor the status of the proceedings. Overall, the BSA platform will serve as an information hub and centralised platform for selling debtors' assets in bankruptcy proceedings.
The recently adopted Electronic Invoices Act regulates all aspects of issuing electronic invoices and applies to both public and private sector entities. Starting from 1 January 2022 (for certain invoices between public entities and between public and private entities) and 1 January 2023 (between all private entities that are VAT payers), each invoice needs to be processed through the electronic invoicing system. This system is used for sending, receiving, recording, processing and storing e-invoices, and is administered by the Ministry of Finance.
In addition to various services ranging from issuing non-conviction certificates to services related to health insurance, the e-Government portal now enables users to forward all data necessary for loan approval from the respective government bodies (including social insurance and tax data) to eligible Serbian banks. Previously, loan applicants needed to physically collect many different documents and government certificates. "My Data for Bank" should greatly reduce the time and costs of loan approval.
The digital solutions that the Serbian government has rolled out in recent years have proven to be successful and have had a positive impact on the business environment and on the everyday life of Serbian citizens. New digitalisation developments (such as the E-sales platform) are praised as positive advancements, and hopefully this trend will continue.
authors: Dušan Obradović and Nikola Babić
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