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Amendments to the Energy Law

The latest amendments to the Energy Law (hereinafter the “Law”), published in the Official Gazette of RoS no. 62/23, primarily focus on a clear unbundling i.e. independence of transmission system operators from generator and supplier of electricity and/or gas, whose founder is the Republic of Serbia.

The amendments to the Law provide for the establishment of the Commission for Energy Networks of the Republic (hereinafter, the “Commission”), as an autonomous and independent state body, that will control transmission system operator of electricity and transmission system operator of gas, whose founder is the Republic of Serbia (namely, “Elektromreža Srbije” and “Transportgas Srbija”). The Commission reports to the Parliament that appoints and removes its chairman and four members. Once the amendments to the Law become effective, certain parts of Article 4 of the Law on Ministries, which relate to the companies engaged in electricity transmission and gas transportation and management of gas transportation system, shall no longer apply, the purpose of which is to reduce the Government’s authorities and increase those of the Parliament when it comes to activities of transmission system operators of electricity and gas.

Further, these amendments should enable the certification of gas transmission system operator, “Transportgas Srbija”, as well as the acceptance of the certification of electricity transmission system operator, “Elektromreža Srbije”, by the Energy Community. Namely, in line with the obligations undertaken by Serbia under the Treaty establishing the Energy Community, that concern harmonization of domestic legislation in the field of energy with European Union acquis communautaire, the Law, in accordance with provisions of the EU Third Energy Package, provides that before a legal entity obtains a license and thus becomes a transmission system operator, it needs to be certified. The very purpose of this certification procedure is to determine the unbundling i.e. independence of supply and generation from transmission of electricity and gas.

When it comes to the certification of “Elektromreža Srbije”, the Serbian Energy Agency, in its January 2017 decision, issued a transmission system operator certificate to “Elektromreža Srbije”; however, the issue of this certification has remained open with the Energy Community, according to whose opinion the transmission system operator’s independence from company that generate and supply electricity cannot be established. This unbundling problem should be overcome, and the issue of certification of “Elektromreža Srbije”, as a transmission system operator, should be resolved by these amendments to the Law.

The amendments to the Law came into force on 4 August 2023, and will become effective on 1 January 2024.

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Ana Čalić Turudija

Danica Gligorijević

Jelena Živanović