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Trade Development Center – trader obligation until March 31st, 2011 inclusive

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The Act on Trade (Official Journal No. 53-10) which became applicable on January 1st, 2011, with the purpose of trade improvement, introduces the institution of the Trade Development Center (hereinafter referred to as the Center). The center is organized as the unit of the  Sector for trade, prices and consumers protection at the Ministry of Trade and Services of the Republic of Serbia (http://www.mtu.gov.rs/cms/?page_id=32). The Center has been projected to be organized and function under the principle of a public agency.

The Act on Trade provides that the Center should engage in the development and professional activities from the field of market and trade development with the following scope of activities:

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·         Collection of the data, monitoring of the market trends and trade network development (group of sales facilities on the territory of the Republic of Serbia) and certain sectors of trade (the Center shall propose the measures for elimination of the market disturbances, analyze the trends of the products and services prices and their impact on the inflation rate and standard of living, implement the economy policy in the field of the prices)

·         Managing of the integrated information system for monitoring of the trade and market (establishing of the data base on the market and the trade sector, with all the data on certain tradesmen within the integrated system being treated as confidential)

·         Preparation of professional base for regulations in the field of products and services trade (the Center shall prepare the regulations governing the trade, prices and competition protection as well as supervision over implementation of the rendered regulations, prevention of the monopoly position abuse, damping and speculative transactions)

·         Granting approval for the Impact Study, should it be established that such an impact is not unfavorable for the market structure (the Study on impact on the market structure shall be made for the companies having the total sales and storage area in excess of 2000 square meters) 

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·         Granting approval for the elaborate establishing the requirements for issuance of the special properties designation and criteria for assessment of the products or servicies properties and issuance of the designation, all on the ground of the request to be submitted by issuer of the designation, taking care not to disturb the equality of the participants on the market.

·         Electronic trade development

·         Engagement against other development and professional activities in compliance with the Act and the Incorporation Act (the Center shall make analysis and extend proposals for more efficient management and planning of trade development, give guidelines for strategic research and setting of the strategic priorities and shall reply to the questions asked by the companies and provide legal explanations).

Pointing out the above, we would like to draw your attention to the legal novelty in terms of the obligation for traders, specified in Article 48 of the Act on Trade. Namely, the trader is obliged to once a year, no later that on Match 31st, of the current year, provide the Center with the data for the previous year.

The data to be provided to the Center shall include all data on trade and the trade network structure. These data shall be provided in writing, on the special form or in the e-form.

Subject to the law, the so provided data shall be deemed confidential (business secret).

The purpose of providing the Center with such data is to ensure monitoring of the effects of the economy policy in the field of the market and trade.

On the other hand, the Center, at its own discretion, may request the data available to the governmental authorities or holders of the public authorizations, who have collected such data for the purpose of records and statistical research. Therefore, the traders shall not provide such data.

Subject to the verbal information obtained from the Ministry of Trade and Services, the said form for the data presentation is still in the process of preparation and the contents and form thereof shall be governed by a separate sub-legal act, on which you will be informed in time. 

Should a trader fail to satisfy the obligation specified in Article 48 of the Act and fail to deliver to the Center the data of the contents and within the term defined by the Act, such trader shall be sanctioned by initiation of the offense proceeding, with the fines ranging from RSD 100.000 up to RSD 1.000.000 for the legal entity and fro RSD 5.000 up to RSD 50.000 for the person in charge in the legal entity.

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