As an update to our Newsletter on New Financial Reporting Obligation, please note that the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications of the Republic of Serbia has enacted amendments to the Rulebook on technical and technological conditions for issuing a qualified electronic signature (Pravilnik o tehničko-tehnološkim postupcima za formiranje kvalifikovanog elektronskog potpisa i kriterijumima koje treba da ispune sredstva za formiranje kvalifikovanog elektronskog potpisa, "Official Gazette of RS" nos. 26/2008, 13/2010 and 23/2015) ("Rulebook"). The amendments resolve the issues created by the requirement that the financial statements be signed by a statutory representative by means of electronic signature only. As a reminder, the problem arose because the Rulebook was interpreted to require that an electronic signature certificate used for the signing of financial statements contain a personal identification number, whereas such number can be obtained by a foreigner only if he/she has a temporary residence permit in Serbia.

According to the amendments to the Rulebook, electronic signature certificate issued without a personal identification number can be used for the signing of financial statements. This means that foreign directors of Serbian companies will be able to obtain electronic signature certificate and use it to sign the financial statements of the companies they manage even if they do not have temporary residence in Serbia. However, the certification bodies maintain discretion as to whether to issue a certificate without a personal identification number or not.

Unofficial information is that the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, as one of the certification bodies, will not condition the issuance of electronic signature certificate to a foreigner by requiring a personal identification number.

In order to obtain a qualified electronic signature certificate, the following is required:

  1. Photocopy of the statutory representative’s passports;
  2. Excerpt from the Serbian Business Registry for the company;
  3. Photocopy of the Signature Specimen Form (OP form) for the statutory representative of the company;
  4. Agreement with a licensed certification body on the issuance and use of qualified electronic certificate;
  5. Payment of the fee in the amount of approx. EUR 60.

The procedure takes several days.