The Serbian Act on Foreign Currency Transactions (the “Serbian Act”), coupled with restrictive interpretations and practices of the National Bank of Serbia, makes assignment of receivables with an international element a tough job. Namely, the mentioned Act allows only the transfer of receivables arising from cross-border trade of goods and services and cross-border loan transactions. The National Bank of Serbia adopted a general position stipulating that anything which is not explicitly provided for by the Serbian Act shall be considered prohibited. Generally, the assignment of local receivables to non-residents is still not recognized by the Serbian Act while the assignment of cross-border receivables either to a resident, or non-resident is possible.
The debtor’s consent, unless this has been explicitly agreed to, is not necessary. However, the reporting requirements of the National Bank of Serbia stipulate that a debtor must be informed about the assignment and the statement demonstrating his awareness is likely to be requested in the registration procedure before the National Bank of Serbia. Additionally, any transfer of a cross-border loan receivable must be reported by a resident debtor to the National Bank of Serbia within 10 days of the conclusion of the respective assignment agreement. The reporting requirements are so strict that even assignments between two residents have to be reported to the National Bank of Serbia.
On the other hand, the Montenegrin Act on Foreign Current and Capital Operations (the “Montenegrin Act”) provides that performance of current and capital transactions and transfers of assets to Montenegro from abroad and vice versa, is generally free unless otherwise determined by the Montenegrin Act. The Montenegrin Act does not explicitly regulate the assignment of receivables. Having that in mind, the assignment of receivables is free and is regulated by the Montenegrin Contracts and Torts Act.
The common practice of the Central Bank of Montenegro is that residents performing cross-border assignment of loan receivables have to submit the assignment agreement to the Central Bank of Montenegro for review. On the other hand, two non-residents assigning a local receivable are under no obligation to obtain the opinion of the Central Bank. Therefore, the more liberal approach of Montenegrin law and its Central Bank makes cross-border assignment transactions much easier.