After the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia rendered the decision to revoke the state of emergency on 6 May 2020, both administrative authorities and businesses have gradually started to return to their regular activities.
However, even though the epidemic of COVID19 is abating, increased precautionary measures are still present both in the people’s everyday behavior and in rules rendered by the competent authorities.
In light of the recent events, the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia has passed the Law on Amendments and Modifications of the Law on Protection of People from Infectious Diseases. The most important change in the law concerns the increased minimum fines for both natural and legal persons for misdemeanors prescribed in this law. The lawmaker’s rationale behind the increased fines is the misdemeanor courts’ practice to impose minimal fines on the offenders, which is believed not to be sufficiently contributing to abiding the precautionary measures during the epidemic.
For these reasons, the minimum fine for both legal and natural persons has been increased from RSD 30,000 to RSD 50,000, whereas the maximum fines remain RSD 500,000 and RSD 150,000 for legal and natural persons respectively. Therefore, a legal entity can be fined in the said amount if it, exampli causa, fails to conduct or enable disinfection in accordance with the law or organizes business trips to the country in which there are diseases that represent a threat to international health. In addition to the legal entity itself, fine for the same misdemeanor is also imposed on the responsible person within the legal entity, whereas the fine range for the responsible person is between RSD 50,000 and RSD 150,000
Additionally to the acts that were already qualified as a misdemeanor, some of which are listed above, the amendments introduced one new violation – failure to act in accordance with the regulations, decisions, and orders that contain measures for the protection of people from infectious diseases, and that is rendered by the competent authorities in accordance with the Law on Protection of People from Infectious Diseases. This blanket provision leaves the possibility to specify the particulars of the violation in the act rendered by the executive authority, therefore allowing a more efficient response to the threat for people’s health.
By Jelena Milinovic, Partner, and Ivana Petkovic, Senior Associate, JPM Jankovic Popovic Mitic