Amendments to the Law on Technological Industrial Development Zones
Another set of amendments to the Law on Technological Industrial Development Zones ("Law") was recently enacted by the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia. The amendments address the specific activities which are allowed or prohibited under the Law in the area of information and communication technology. All activities that are allowed to be conducted within these zones are now exhaustively listed in the recently-amended Law.
Carrying out activities in the area of information and communication technology is conditioned with two pre-conditions i.e. (i) such activity cannot be transferred from other locations in Macedonia and (ii) the TIDZ user must hire at least 30 employees. The amendments also provide the possibility for designing separate land lots within the zones specifically for performing activities in the area of information and communication technology.
Further regulation of the entry-exit of goods within a zone is also subject to the latest amendments. Currently, the entry-exit of transport vehicles and goods is regulated with the customs laws and is subject to supervision by the Customs Administration. According to the amendments, in addition to this, TIDZ users will be obliged to record every entry-exit of transport vehicles and goods in accordance with the Law. The new responsibilities for the TIDZ users will be applicable after the adoption of a new Rulebook by the Ministry of Finance.
Amendments to the Law on the Securing of Claims
The latest amendments to the Law on the Securing of Claims ("Law") which will be applicable starting from 1 September 2016, provide improved legal framework for the process of securing claims and the registration of such securitisation in the public records. More specifically, the lawmakers used the opportunity to further specify the text of the Law with respect to the distinction between securitisation by transfer of movable or immovable assets. New provisions are added for regulating the procedure for establishing securitisation by transfer of ownership over movable assets. The same procedure will apply for securing claims by sale of moveable assets with retention of the ownership right.
Regarding the institutional framework, creditors will be able to exercise their rights from securitisation by transfer of ownership only through the enforcement agents. The public notaries will only be in charge of their regular responsibilities (i.e. notarisation of the agreements/preparation of notarial deeds). Another novelty will be the two new registries which will be established by the Central Registry of the Republic of Macedonia i.e. (i) Registry for securitisation by transfer of ownership over objects and transfer of rights; and (ii) Registry for the sale of movable assets with the retention of ownership rights.
The establishment of the new Registries and the parties' obligation to register the secured claims at those Registries will provide better legal protection and certainty for both creditors and debtors. The Law stipulates a deadline of five days for registration, starting from the:
- notarisation of the securitisation agreement or the preparation of the notarial deed;
- amendments to the securitisation agreement; or
- termination of the securitisation agreement.
Amendments to the Law on Minerals
Pursuant to the recent amendments to the Law on Minerals ("Law"), the mineral exploitation concession is automatically terminated from the moment when a bankruptcy or liquidation proceeding has been initiated over the concessioner. Until now, the Law did not stipulate the exact moment of termination of the exploitation concession in case of bankruptcy or liquidation, which technically entitled the concessionaire to use the exploitation concession during the course of the bankruptcy/liquidation proceeding.
At the request of the Public Revenue Office ("PRO"), the lawmakers removed the obligation of the concessionaires to submit data regarding the loaded minerals to a PRO's information system. Even though this responsibility for the concessionaires was introduced in 2014, it seems that the Ministry of Economy established that there are no suitable conditions to introduce such a system.
The provisions also foresee the legalisation of undertaken boreholes for thermo-mineral water on the land which is the property of, or under lease to the applicant, for the concession of exploitation of thermo-mineral water. The rest of the amendments are used to further regulate certain aspects of the procedures (e.g. requirements, competences, etc.) for the awarding of exploitation or exploration concessions.