The issue of personal data protection has become particularly relevant in recent years, especially with the development of the digital era. The latest regulation adopted by the EU to govern this issue is General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) (hereinafter: GDPR).
GDPR is not directly applicable in North Macedonia, but as a candidate for membership of the European Union, North Macedonia is in a continuous process of harmonizing its legislation with the EU acquis.
As a result, North Macedonia adopted the Law on Personal Data Protection (hereinafter: Law) which is almost fully in conformity with the GDPR. There are only small variations in some areas which include: specific deadlines for response by the controllers to the subjects’ requests and specific conditions for the data protection officer.
In line with the GDPR, the Law provides for the following main obligations of the controllers:
The controllers have to ensure in each specific case that they have legal basis for the processing. Some of the basis provided by the Law are: obtaining consent from the subject; processing based on a contract to which the data subject is party; processing based on a legal obligation etc.
The controllers have an obligation to provide the subjects with certain information defined by the Law before starting the processing. This includes information about the controller and the data protection officer, details about the processing (purpose, duration, scope, recipients), information about the rights of the subjects etc. The controllers also have to ensure that the subjects can exercise their rights stipulated by the Law.
The controllers have to identify if they are about to engage with other parties to process personal data on their behalf (processors). In such cases, the main obligations of the controllers are to conduct analysis of the processor to determine if can provide sufficient guarantees to implement the necessary technical and organizational measures required by the Law. The controllers also have to enter into an agreement with the processor to regulate the mutual relations.
With some exceptions, the Law provides obligations for the controllers to keep records of the activities of the processing. The information that should be included in these records is defined in details with the Law.
The Law stipulates that the controllers have to implement appropriate technical and organizational measures to ensure protection of the personal data. A detailed list of measures is further given in the Rulebook for Security of the Processing of Personal Data (Official Gazette of Republic of North Macedonia no.122/20). The controllers also have an obligation to adopt many internal policies to define those measures.
The controllers have to determine if they transfer personal data outside North Macedonia. If the transfer is made to a country within the EU, the controller solely has to inform the Agency for Personal Data Protection about the transfer. If the transfer is made to a third country, the Law provides for other specific conditions to be met for the transfer to be considered secure and legal.
The Law provides that when a type of processing is likely to result in high risk to the rights and freedoms of the subjects, especially when introducing new technologies, the controller is obliged to conduct a data protection impact assessment. The Law and the bylaws provide for a list of cases when this analysis is to be carried out.
The Law provides that in most cases, the controllers have an obligation to designate a data protection officer whose responsibility is to ensure that the controller operates within its legal obligations and takes appropriate measures to protect the personal data of the subjects.
The DPO may be employed by the controller or perform the duties on the basis of a service contract
The conditions that DPO has to meet before his/her appointment are the following:
These conditions are specific for the Law in North Macedonia and are not provided with the GDPR.
Even though GDPR is not directly applicable in North Macedonia, the Macedonian Law on Personal Data Protection is almost in full conformity with the GDPR and provides for the same obligations for the controllers with some minor variations.
The main obligations of the controllers include: ensuring lawfulness of the processing; providing information about the processing to the data subjects; identifying the processors and governing the relations with the processors; keeping records of the processing activities; implementation of technical and organizational measures; Identifying transfer of data and taking appropriate legal measures to protect the data; carrying out a data protection impact assessment; designation of a data protection officer.
Is your company struggling with clients who consistently delay or refuse to pay their invoices? In this blog post, our Law Firm provides valuable insights into effective debt recovery strategies. While the decision on the best approach ultimately lies with you, these methods are shaped by a commitment to fair business practices and cooperation.
One of the most effective, money efficient and straightforward debt collection methods our Law Firm recommends is sending a pre-suit notice letter, either in written form or via email. This serves as a preventive measure and can have a significant impact. Debtors often find it more convenient to settle the debt than face potential expensive legal fees.
Additionally, if the Debtor doesn’t fulfill their obligations even after receiving the pre-litigation notice, they may incur costs associated with legal, notary and executor proceedings, as well as interest on the principal debt, and a fine imposed in accordance with the Law on financial discipline (Official Gazette of Republic of North Macedonia no. 187/13, 201/14, 215/15, 124/19, 122/21 and 129/23) in amount of 2.400,00 denars, or approx. 40,00 Eur per invoice, that needs to be paid to the Creditor.
If the debtor doesn’t respond positively to the pre-suit notice letter, creditors can seek to collect their outstanding monetary claims by proposing the issuance of a notarial payment order based on credible documentation – invoice or extract from company books. This order serves as a notarial public instrument and carries the authority of an executive instrument.
Here’s a breakdown of the decision issuance procedure:
These debt recovery strategies can be vital for businesses facing payment delays or non-payment. However, it’s essential to consult with legal professionals for specific situations. The above mention procedure is fast, relatively non-expensive, and the Creditors can in relatively short timelines, collect they debts.
Our law firm has extensive experience in this field, and over 20.000.000,00 Eur in collected receivables for our clients.
For more detailed guidance and to ensure compliance with North Macedonian law, reach out to our Law Firm.
The process for purchase and sale of real estate in North Macedonia is one of the safest and most reliable in the whole Europe.
Th purchase and sale of real estate in North Macedonia are governed by a structured process involving multiple key actors, including Law firms, Notaries and the Real Estate Cadastre Agency. This collaborative approach serves to fortify the legal safeguards for both natural and legal entities entering into such transactions. The same methodological framework governs the establishment of contractual relationships between parties.
The prerequisites and stipulations for the formation and maintenance of a legally binding Agreement are as follows:
Phase 1: As a prospective buyer, diligent attention must be devoted to ascertain the proper registration and possession of a title deed for the selected property. In instances of properties under construction, the presence of a notice sheet should be confirmed, alongside an examination of any encumbrances, such as liens or mortgages. In this stage, the engagement of a law firm is crucial to safeguard rights and execute due diligence.
Phase 2: Post-conduction of requisite checks, pursuant to legal mandates, a law firm is mandated to prepare a comprehensive purchase and sale contract for the chosen real estate.
Phase 3: Once the contract is formulated, mutually endorsed, and officially stamped by legal authorities, it is subsequently submitted, along with supplementary documentation, to the local tax authority for the assessment of sales tax. Notably, the real estate sales tax within the region is highly competitive and one of the lowest, spanning from 2% to 4% of the assessed property value.
Phase 4: Upon approval and implementation of the Real Estate Sales Tax Decision, the Agreement attains solemnity through the oversight of a competent Notary.
Phase 5: Subsequent to the solemnization, the notary promptly instigates the process of ownership registration through enrollment within the Real Estate Cadastre.
In summation, the successful realization of a real estate purchase and sale contract necessitates the engagement of a proficient law firm, ensuring the preservation of rights throughout the transaction’s entirety and a law firm that furnishes advisory services concerning the effective execution of the process, culminating in the preparation of an Agreement that maximizes protective measures for rights.
It is pertinent to underscore that the real estate acquisition and transfer procedure within North Macedonia upholds a reputation for being one of Europe’s most dependable, safe and expeditious. Should additional information or legal counsel be required, we invite you to initiate correspondence with our law firm, equipped to furnish apt solutions and legal guidance pertinent to Real Estate Purchase Agreements.
The Internship Law (“Official Gazette of the Republic of North Macedonia” number 98/19 and 103/21) introduced a novelty in the labor law legislation of the Republic of North Macedonia, i.e. a clear and precise system was established for the employment of interns, ways of securing them, duration of the employment relationship, amount of compensation that must be paid to them, as well as all other details regarding the engagement of the specific category of Employees.
Our Law Firm offers appropriate legal assistance to legal entities in the Republic of North Macedonia that have the need of hiring interns in the course of their business operations. In the following text, we will present the most important details regarding the hiring of interns.
First of all, as a precondition for the employment of interns in accordance with the applicable labor law legislation, it is necessary for the Company – Employer to publish an advertisement for an intern in the Employment Agency of the Republic of North Macedonia, whereby at least 3 (three) working days must pass from the publication of the advertisement to the registration and employment of a specific person as an intern.
The need for an intern, apart from being published in the Employment Agency, can also be published on the website of the Company, on LinkedIn or on another medium, whereby such announcement should contain information about the terms of the internship, as well as the expected goals for hiring the intern, the tasks and the process of the internship.
An intern can be any person who:
An intern can also be a person who has not reached 18 (eighteen) years of age, but in this case one of his/her parents will need to sign the Internship Agreement.
The intern can be hired by the Company for a period of maximum 6 (six) months.
The compensation of the intern hired full-time must be from 42% to 74% of the minimum net salary in the Republic of North Macedonia for internship work up to three months, while in the amount of the minimum net salary in the Republic of North Macedonia for internship work over three months, counted from the fourth to the sixth month.
If the intern is hired on a part-time basis, the compensation for the internship will be calculated in proportion to the time spent on the internship.
The intern has the right to a leave in a duration of 2 (two) days/month if he/she works on full time basis (40 hours/week), i.e. 1 (one) day/month if he/she works part-time.
The Law provides for a maximum number of interns that can be hired by the Company depending on how many permanent employees the Company has.
So for example, a Company that has from 1 (one) to 5 (five) employees can hire 1 (one) intern, while a Company that has from 151 (one hundred and fifty one) to 250 (two hundred and fifty) employees can hire up to 15 interns.
If you need additional information and details about the employment of interns in the Republic of North Macedonia and according to the labor law legislation of the country, feel free to contact our Law Firm, which has employed specialists who deal with labor law and who can offer you answers and appropriate solutions within the legal framework of the applicable labor law legislation.
Ljupka Naumoska Gjorgjievska
In the last decade Investors are increasingly applying the above mention non-financial factors as part of their analysis process to identify material risks and growth opportunities. Approximately 72% of global investors in 2022 said they use ESG principles in their investment approach and decision making.
Meanwhile, Business and law firms in North Macedonia are having trouble to understand the meaning of the ESG principles, and how it benefits in their everyday business activities. Also, ESG principles may not always fit into one specific category. However, climate change is a good example. As a result, we usually think of it as an environmental issue, but it has far-reaching implications that include social and governance risks. In the same manner, changing weather patterns can disrupt supply chains, while company boards can support or oppose requests from shareholders for transparent climate-related disclosures.
|climate change||employee health and safety||executive pay|
|greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions||supply chain risk||bribery and corruption|
|biodiversity||cybersecurity and data privacy||board diversity and structure|
Moreover, Traditionally, a manager chooses to invest in companies based largely on their financial metrics and reports. In the same way, they might look at things like earnings, profit margins and debt levels. However in recent years, there has been a growing focus on looking beyond the balance sheet. Therefore, when you integrate material ESG principles into the investment decision-making process, you can assess many other kinds of risks a company faces. For example, investors may ask:
|Environmental: How does a company’s business impact the environment?||Social: How does the company interact with its employees, customers and communities?||Governance: How does the company govern itself? Is it free from bribery and corruption?|
On the other hand, ESG risk refers to a risk a company may face due to weak ESG practices. Here are some examples of strong versus weak ESG practices:
|Company Focus||Strong ESG||Weak ESG|
|Employees||Engagement, strong culture, innovation||Lack of training, unsafe conditions, high turnover rate|
|Customers||Responsiveness, availability, dispute resolution||No returns policy, poor labelling, over-charging|
North Macedonia business are recently starting to implement and noticing the ESG principles as important factor for growth of their business. In that line the Macedonian Stock Exchange, has recently adopt a ESG REPORTING GUIDE FOR LISTED COMPANIES, which helps the listed companies on Macedonian Stock Exchange, to adopt, understand and implement the ESG principles.
Taking into consideration the growing development of ESG principles, which will be determined factor for investors in future, Tosic & Jevtic law firm, as one of the leading law firms in the corporate sector, joint their forces with ESGPRO, UK based company, one of the leading companies in implementation of ESG sustainability reporting in UK, to help and assist the Macedonian business to implement the ESG factors.
We believe that in the next 5 years, ESG principles, will become one of key factors for foreign investors which will determine if they will be investing in Macedonian companies or their A&M.
Also, we as a law firm believe that if Macedonian companies want to export their products to western countries and companies, especially within the EU, UK, Canada or USA, their ESG or sustainability report will be one of the key factors that the foreign partners will require and ask.
Additionaly, if Macedonian companies, want to be part of the global trade, expend their export, cooperate with foreign companies, or attract foreign capital, investors of buyers, it will be inevitable to adopt and implement the ESG principles and standards. In the end the ESG principles, stand for better environment, better inclusion, better protection of the employees, and better customer satisfaction, then business that implement these factors, will show of with better financial results and profit.
Our law firm and our partners from ESG PRO are ready to take you to the next principles step and make your business more attractive and profitable.
Ivica Jevtic - Managing partner at Tosic & Jevtic law firm
North Macedonia as successor of Yugoslavia is member of almost all the international conventions regarding the protection of intellectual property rights, which guarantees safety and reliability in this matter. The laws applying in North Macedonia regarding intellectual property are completely harmonized with the international conventions and agreements regulating this matter.
North Macedonia is member of the Paris Convention for the protection of industrial property since 1921, member of the Convention establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) since 1967, member of the Agreement on Trade-related aspects of intellectual property (TRIPS agreement) since 2003, member of the Madrid agreement concerning the international registration of marks since 1921, member to the Nice agreement concerning the international classification of goods and services for the purposes of registration od marks since 1966, member to the Vienna agreement establishing an international classification of the figurative elements of marks since 2010.
In this article, we will present the procedure of trademark registration in North Macedonia which is conducted in accordance with the intellectual property law that is applied in North Macedonia.
The answer to this question depends on several factors. However, if you wish for local protection of an individual trademark and protection to up to three classes of goods and services the administrative costs are as follows:
The process of protection of a trademark lasts for approximately 9 months. The reason for this is that the trademark application is published in the Official gazette of the State office of intellectual property of North Macedonia and any party having an opposition to such registration may file an objection within a term of 3 months from the date of publication. What is also worth mentioning here is that the Paris convention for the protection of intellectual property determines that any person who has duly filed an application for a trademark in one of the countries of the Union, or his successor in title, shall enjoy for the purpose of filing in the other countries, a right of priority during the period of six months. This period shall start from the date of filling the first application and the day of filing shall not be included in the period.
However, you should be aware that protection is granted from the moment of filling the application for trademark registration in the State Office of intellectual property. Therefore, the duration of the administrative procedure does not affect the right itself.
North Macedonia and the State office of intellectual property obey to the international conventions and agreements concerning the protection of intellectual property rights. As members of almost all international conventions and agreements regulating this matter, you can be sure that your intellectual property right will be protected and recognized as such in almost all countries in the world, if the protection is sought there afterwards.
The administrative costs for the protection of a trademark are one of the lowest in the region which makes North Macedonia attractive for seeking protection of your intellectual property rights.
Our Law Firm has experienced lawyers that may guide and assist you in the protection of your intellectual property in North Macedonia.
Ivana Jevtic Nikolova