As of February 2, 2021, the new Law on Archival Materials is applied in Republic of Serbia.  

The most important novelty for business entities and companies in the Republic of Serbia is the introduction of new obligations regarding the handling of archival material and documentary material, where the goal of the Legislator is to induction discipline in this area by evident introduction of procedures in a way of periodic reporting like in the European Union.  

 This law is applicable to any legal entity (   or individual) whose business activities create archival material. 

It is important to distinguish documentary material from archival material.   

Documentary material represents all documents that are created by the work of entities, both in the private and in the public sector and archival material is a specific type of documentary material that has a certain cultural, historical, and social significance.  

Archival material is kept permanently, while documentary material can be extracted and destroyed after expiring storage period applying the deadlines prescribed by special laws.  

Companies are obliged to adopt appropriate internal general acts in this area in accordance with the Article 14. of the Law, according to which, each creator is obliged to adopt:  

-General act on the manner of recording, classification, archiving and storage of archival material and documentary material.  

-List of categories of archival material and documentary material with retention periods.  

-General act on the manner of recording, protection, and use of electronic documents.  

The competent public archive gives consent to the List of categories of archival material and documentary material with retention periods.  

 A responsible person must be appointed for the protection and the handling of archival material and documentary material.  

Archival material in electronic form that was originally created in electronic form must be kept in accordance with the Law governing reliable electronic storage of documents.  

Furthermore,  the creator of archival  material    will have an obligation  to submit to the competent public archive regarding the place of the headquarters, a transcript of the Archive Book no later than April 30 of the current year, for documentary material created in the previous year., 

All legal entities that have not kept the archive book properly in the past, will be obliged to compile it retroactively.  

 In case of failure to comply with this obligation, the legal entity can be punished with a penalty of up to 2,000,000.00 din. and representative of legal entity up to 150,000.00 din.

The Law also introduces an obligation for the creators of archival material that they must inform the competent public archive about the any change during business activity and any future status change, change of address or business name, as well as in case of opening bankruptcy or initiating liquidation.   

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.