The Serbian parliament has adopted new amendments to the Law on Planning and Construction (“Construction Law”), introducing a series of novelties expected to significantly impact the construction industry, urban planning, and energy efficiency. The most important amendments are:

    • abolishment of the land conversion fee,
    • mandatory energy passports for all buildings,
    • mandatory installation of chargers for electric vehicles,
    • obligation for investors to have third-party liability insurance policies, and
    • improving the electronic system for issuing construction permits.

One of the primary changes pertains to the abolishment of the land conversion fee. In practice this is expected to allow the current land users to convert their usage rights into ownership rights with no compensation, enabling further development and trade with no restrictions. Entities which have been the subject of privatization, bankruptcy or enforcement procedures as well as their legal successors will need to obtain the information on location issued by the soon-to-be-established Urban Planning and Urbanism Agency. In order to complete the conversion procedure, this information on location must verify that the purpose of the subject land is not intended for the construction of public purpose facilities or public areas. Additionally, all ongoing disputes regarding ownership rights on the land must be resolved before the conversion procedure can be finalized.

In the area of energy efficiency, the amendments to the Construction Law introduced requirements for all buildings to obtain mandatory energy passports. These passports will serve as a certification of a building’s energy efficiency and environmental impact and will be a mandatory requirement for all sales going forward. Owners of existing commercial buildings are similarly obligated to obtain energy passports for buildings or their separate units within five years from the date of implementation of these amendments.

Another key addition in this area is the mandatory installation of chargers for electric vehicles in all new buildings and parking areas. With the growing popularity of electric vehicles and the increasing need for accessible charging infrastructure, this amendment aims to promote electric mobility and reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

Moreover, the new amendments prioritize accountability and protection for all parties involved in construction projects. It is now mandatory for investors to have third-party liability insurance. This measure aims to safeguard the interests of stakeholders and provide financial security in case of unforeseen incidents.

The amendments also focus on improving the electronic system for issuing permits by introducing more accountability for meeting prescribed deadlines.

In conclusion, the new amendments to the Construction Law mark a progressive step forward in the construction sector and are expected to create a more resilient and environmentally conscious environment.

3rd August 2023

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