The National Assembly of the Republic of Srpska, during the first part of the 14th regular session held on February 9, 2021, adopted the Law on Free Zones of the Republic of Srpska.
In relation to the valid legal solution, this Law Proposal specifies the procedure for establishment and work commencement of free zones, since this procedure requires the involvement of several competent bodies and institutions of different levels of authority, as well as parallel application of the Law on Free Zones of the Republic of Srpska and the Law on Free Zones in B-H.
In this way, the interested parties have a much clearer procedure and the necessary documentation during the procedure of establishing a free zone. Some procedures have been simplified in such a way that institutions obtain documentation ex officio.
Furthermore, in relation to the existing legal solution, the competence and role of all institutions of the Republic of Srpska in establishing and monitoring the work of free zones is more clearly regulated, and the Ministry of Economy and Entrepreneurship is designated as the competent body participating in the procedure of establishing free zones and keeping records on the number of free zones on the territory of the Republic of Srpska and the results of their operations.
In addition, one of the important novelties in this law is the prescribing of the obligation to report to the Government of the Republic of Srpska on the operations of free zones located on its territory as a precondition for monitoring the work of zones and improving this area.
Provisions on changing the free zone boundaries have also been standardized.
The draft law also regulates other important issues: tax and customs reliefs, establishment, duration and termination of employment in the free zone, establishment and operation of banks in the free zone, etc.
The current Law on Free Zones of the Republic of Srpska was adopted in 2003, and this area is also regulated by the Law on Free Zones in B-H, which was adopted in a valid form in 2009. Existing legislation allows for the establishment of free zones in the Republic of Srpska, but there was a need to modernize, refine, specify and improve it as well.