Yes It’s Possible! We Discover How To Successfully Collect A Foreign Invoice In Executive Procedure In Serbia In 3 Steps
Serbia is open to foreigners
Thanks to the demanding legal and economic reforms implemented in the previous period, Serbia has positioned itself as one of the most important investment destinations in Central and Eastern Europe. The list of companies successfully operating on the Serbian market is led by Bosch, Michelin, Siemens, ZF, Panasonic, NCR, Microsoft, Gorenje, Brose, Continental, Magna, Cooper Tires and many others.
Also, the latest amendments to the regulations greatly liberalize the arrival of foreign nationals in Serbia, shortening the administrative procedure and easing the conditions for obtaining a residence and work permit, as well as citizenship.
3 steps for successfully managing the execution of a foreign invoice in the enforcement procedure
The position of foreign companies in Serbia largely depends on what kind of protection they can get in court proceedings. What can a foreign company do if the local debtor does not make payment according to the invoice that was issued abroad and duly delivered to the debtor?
Step 1 – Hiring a lawyer or other representative
A foreign company or its legal representative located abroad, if they initiate court proceedings, must have a lawyer or other representative to receive documents in the Republic of Serbia. If the foreign company or its legal representative does not appoint such a representative, the court will appoint a temporary representative authorized to receive letters and will inform the foreign company or its legal representative thereon.
Step 2 – Motion for Execution to the Competent Court of Law
Law on Enforcement and Security of the Republic of Serbia (“Official Gazette of RS”, No. 106/2015, 106/2016 – authentic interpretation, 113/2017 – authentic interpretation, 54/2019 and 9/2020 – authentic interpretation, hereinafter: “the Law”) equally recognizes the invoice of a foreign legal entity as well as the invoice of local legal entity, as authentic documents on the basis of which enforcement can be carried out by the competent court. The invoice must be accompanied by a delivery note or other written evidence that the enforcement debtor has been informed of his obligation.
The provisions of the Law do not prescribe any special condition for the execution of an invoice by a foreign legal entity, except for the duty of the foreign legal entity to translate the authentic document into serbian language. Therefore, there is no obligation for the foreign invoice to be previously recognized in court proceedings, as may be the case, e.g. concerning foreign verdicts. Otherwise, the invoice as a reliable document can be issued both in electronic form and in ordinary form.
Step 3 – Collection
The law stipulates that the transfer of funds has to be made to the account of a foreign company as an enforcement creditor, the transfer to the account of another person is not allowed, even if that person is the creditor’s attorney.
How then to collect the claim assigned in the enforcement procedure? There are two ways to do this, bearing in mind that the payment must be made in RSD currency:
The first way means that a foreign company, as the enforcement creditor, opens a non-resident account in Serbia in accordance with Part IV of the Instructions for the Implementation of the Decision on the Conditions and Method of Performing Payment Transactions with Foreign Countries (“Official Gazette of the RS”, No. 24/2007, 31/2007, 41 /2007, 3/2008, 61/2008, 120/2008, 38/2010, 92/2011, 62/2013, 51/2015 111/2015, 82/2017, 98/2020, 154/2020, 66/2021 and 92/2021), item 45-47).
Another way is that the foreign company transfers the claim to the domestic company by means of a contract, which is certified by a notary public.
P.S. The assignment of the claim must be concluded after the issuance of a relevant foreign invoice, provided that the subject of the assignment must be correctly marked as a claim from the same foreign invoice.
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