Transferral of Verification Competences to Notaries
Pursuant to the provisions of Article 29 Para. 2 and 3 of the Law on Verification of Signatures, Manuscripts and Transcripts ("Official Gazette of RS", Nos. 93/14 and 22/15), in the cities or municipalities for which notaries have not been appointed by the date of entry into force of this Law, signatures, manuscripts and transcripts may be verified, as entrusted tasks, by the basic courts i.e. municipal administrations, until 1 March 2017 at the latest. In the cities or municipalities for which notaries have not been appointed, until the appointment of the notaries, the signatures, manuscripts and transcripts shall be verified, as entrusted tasks, by the basic courts, court units, as well as the registration offices of the basic courts and the municipal administration, in accordance with Article 13 Paragraphs 4 and 5 of the Law on the Seats and Territorial Jurisdictions of Courts and Public Prosecutors Offices ("Official Gazette of RS", No. 101/13), until appointment of a notary.
Therefore, from March 2nd onwards, most courts will be liberated from the duty to provide certification services, and may allocate employees who performed these tasks to new duties.
In order to ensure the smooth transferral of competences to notaries and to inform citizens, a notice was published on the website of the Ministry of Justice, with an overview of the competent authorities for verification of documents and signatures in different territories of Serbia.
A table that lists the municipalities or cities which notaries have not yet been appointed with information on the basic courts, court units, receiving offices or local municipalities that continue to carry out verification of documents and signatures has been prepared and published, including a list of cities or municipalities in which notaries have been appointed. There are currently 77 such institutions. The Ministry of Justice will promptly inform the public of any new appointment of a notary.
1. Notary Tariff Amendments
In order not to burden citizens with additional fees having in mind the aforesaid transfer, the Minister of Justice has enacted on March 2, 2017 amendments to the Notary Tariff (“Official Gazette of RS”, 12/2016), as agreed with the Chamber of Notaries. The amendments provide exemptions from payment of rewards for the verification of signatures and photocopies and reduction of fees for the certification of transcripts and photocopies. Namely, the notary fee for the verification of signatures and photocopies will from now on not be paid for the following acts:
a) used to receive state social insurance, social protection, protection of war veterans and civil war invalids, protection of the rights in accordance with the regulations governing financial support for families with children, as well as acts initiated in the process of exercising rights of victims of domestic violence;
b) relating to enrolling of children in preschools, institutions of primary and secondary education, and for the first enrolment in higher education institutions;
c) any act used by an unemployed person for employment and the exercise of rights on this basis.
Moreover, the fee for verification of a transcript or photocopy of a public or non-public document has been decreased to 2 points per page, instead of 3 points which were prescribed for the first page (one point is currently 150 RSD = 1.22 EUR).
Refugees and displaced persons from the territory of the former Yugoslavia and displaced persons from the territory APKM, on the basis of appropriate documents proving their status, within six months from the issuance, pay the amount of fee for the certification of photocopies, reduced by 70% of the fee.
The changes are a continuation of legal reform of rationalising the costs of proceedings before notaries (for example, in February 2016 it was introduced that a solemnisation of a preliminary contract costs 50% of the price of the main contract, and, if concluded before the same notary, this price paid is calculated into the price of the main contract).Moreover, amendments to the tariff relating to real estate transfer fees and fees for certifying of contracts for movable property have widened the scope of entities for which notary fees are waived (apart from the Republic of Serbia, state organs and specialized agencies, the autonomous province and local governments and their agencies, they now include institutions established by the Republic of Serbia, autonomous province or local government units, as well as the Red Cross of Serbia). Neither party is obliged to pay any fee in the case of conclusion of these contracts.