Expanding of possibilities for construction in Serbia

May 2023 – The Government of the Republic of Serbia, on May 4th 2023, adopted the Proposal of Amendments on the Planning and Construction Act (hereinafter: the “Proposal of the Act”). The main purpose of these amendments will be to reform the institute of conversion, facilitate the construction, speed up the procedure for the issuance of construction permits and to further spur the green construction and motivate investors to implement measures for protection of environment. Bearing in mind numerous changes, only the key novelties will be covered and introduced below.

Proposal of the Act prescribes that the conversion of the right of use into the right of ownership on construction land with compensation for most of the entities will be abolished. Obligation of payment of conversion fee will apply only to: (i) sport clubs and associations; (ii) agricultural and housing cooperatives; (iii) socially owned companies; and (iv) entities on which provisions of the regulations of the Republic of Serbia and Bilateral International Agreements governing the implementation of Annex G of the Agreement on matters of succession apply. It is expected that these amendments will unlock new locations for construction in Serbia and decrease costs for investors in order to commence the construction.

Additionally, scope of article 69 of the Planning and Construction Act has been expanded and investor will be entitled to submit a statement, that he will resolve proprietary relations on the land plots before the issuance of the use permit, inter alia for solar parks.

It is also defined that the construction permit ceases to be valid if the commencement of works is not registered within three years from the date of the decision on issuance of construction permit became final and valid, i.e., within three years since the date when the decision on amendment of the construction permit became final and valid. The same reasoning applies to the deadline for obtaining of use permit, which must be obtained within five years as of the date of finality and validity of the decision on issuance of construction permit or the decision on amendment of the construction permit. Proposal of the Act stipulates the exception to the aforementioned rule which applies to facilities listed under Article 133 of the Planning and Construction Act, facilities of communal infrastructure which are performed in phases, public purpose facilities in public ownership and family residential facilities which the investor constructs in order to resolve his/her housing needs.

Agency for Spatial Planning and Urbanism of the Republic of Serbia will be established, with task to resolve all relevant issues of spatial planning and urbanism, whereas local self-governments will be obliged to enact planning documents, which can be directly applied, for at least 70% of its territory, within four years as of entering into force of the respective amendments to the Planning and Construction Act. This is important step in finalizing the planning framework in Serbia, which was one of the main hindrances for the investors to prepare relevant designs and obtain construction permit.

Term Brownfield locations is introduced, and it comprises all locations of industrial and commercial content, which are not used for a long period of time, and have the potential for urban renewal. Agency for Spatial Planning and Urbanism of the Republic of Serbia, will have an obligation to create and keep a register regarding data on brownfield locations. From now on, Public Notaries will be also authorised to issue Information on location.

This text is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. Should you require any additional information, feel free to contact the authors of the article:

Mario Kijanović, Senior Associate, at, or
Vuk Vučković, Associate, at