RPHS http://rphs.law RAMAJ, PALUSHI, HAJDARAJ & SALIHU LLC Fri, 22 May 2020 11:44:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3.4 https://rphs.law/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/cropped-logo-footer-32x32.png RPHS http://rphs.law 32 32 The Buzz in Kosovo: Interview with Fisnik Salihu of RPHS Law http://rphs.law/the-buzz-in-kosovo-interview-with-fisnik-salihu-of-rphs-law/ http://rphs.law/the-buzz-in-kosovo-interview-with-fisnik-salihu-of-rphs-law/#respond Fri, 22 May 2020 11:43:02 +0000 http://rphs.law/?p=1703

“The current political situation in Kosovo is fragile, since the assembly, in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis, dismissed the government of Prime Minister Albin Kurti in a no-confidence vote on March 25, 2020, triggering a huge political crisis in the country,” says Fisnik Salihu, Partner at the RPHS Law Firm in Pristina. The government was dismissed, he says, “mainly after a dispute between coalition partners over whether to declare a state of emergency and the way the dialogue with Serbia should be handled in the future.”

Nonetheless, Salihu says, the government has been handling the COVID-19 crisis well. “Only two days after the first confirmed case, on March 15, the government put measures in place, such as quarantine arrangements and border control, and closed schools and businesses, except for essential ones.” However, some of these decisions did not fare as well as others, and on March 23 the country’s Constitutional Court found that the anti-movement measure was not constitutional, as the “piece of legislation the government cited as the source of this restriction was not powerful enough.”

“The former coalition political party, LDK, has initiated negotiations with other opposition political parties to form a government within the existing composition of Kosovo’s Parliament,” Salihu explains. However, that process isn’t going smoothly. “There is a political debate as to whether the parties can form a new government without elections after a no-confidence vote was successful,“ he says. “As a result, the attempt to form a new government has transformed into a constitutional debate, and ultimately has become subject to constitutional review from the Constitutional Court.” Indeed, the Court issued an interim measure, which expires on May 28, suspending the vote in Kosovo’s Parliament for a new government until it rules on the merits.

The COVID-19 crisis itself is bound to leave a mark on Kosovo’s economy, Salihu says, noting that “according to the World Bank’s projections, the country’s GDP will contract by 4.5% but rebound in 2021.” The direct effect will be felt in investments, exports, and remittances. “The Government has approved an initial fiscal stimulus package of EUR 170 million,“ Salihu reports. “This package includes covering monthly salaries up to EUR 170 for April and May for those who were affected by the crisis, as well as backing SME lending activities by guaranteeing 80% of unpaid loans and subsidizing 50% of interest payments.” Nonetheless, he isn’t convinced that even that stimulus will be sufficient, considering the full impact on the economy, and even with tax payment deadlines being extended and a three-month loan repayment moratorium placed by the Central Bank.

“The business community was quite proactive during this period, proposing measures to the government and developing innovative plans and strategies to handle the crisis,” Salihu says. “The crisis has led to the rapid development of online retail and e-commerce in Kosovo, and even restaurants, stores, and other non-essential businesses have started to rethink online sales and e-commerce.” He says that the legal market had to adapt as well, adding that “law firms have also started to rethink their business models and enquire about ways to accommodate some of the services remotely.” He says that thanks to IT solutions and resources, the market was able to adapt to the “new way of doing business” during this time.

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Regulation of the prices of pharmaceutical products in Kosovo http://rphs.law/regulation-of-the-prices-of-pharmaceutical-products-in-kosovo/ http://rphs.law/regulation-of-the-prices-of-pharmaceutical-products-in-kosovo/#respond Mon, 23 Mar 2020 21:24:55 +0000 http://rphs.law/?p=1694 Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kosovo (MoH) today has published the Prices of Pharmaceutical Products for sale in the Kosovo market, this as part of a major reform of pharmaceutical sector foreseen under Administrative Instruction 02/2019.

This publications sets and fixes: A) the maximum purchase price (price ceiling) for medicinal products on the List of Essential Medicines, B) the fixed price for reimbursement by the Health Insurance Fund, and C) the wholesale and retail fixed price of medicinal products which are sold through entities licensed for Wholesale and Retail Distribution of Medicinal Products in the Republic of Kosovo.

There is a deadline of Eight (8) days for submitting a Request for Review of the published prices, which should be filed with the Medical Product Pricing Committee.

https://msh.rks-gov.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Udhezim-Administrativ-02-2019-P%C3%ABr-rregullimin-e-%C3%A7mimit-te-barnave.pdf

Rregullimi i çmimeve të produkteve farmaceutike në Kosovë

Ministra e Shëndetësisë e Republikës së Kosovës (MSH) sot ka bërë publikimin e Çmimeve të Produkteve Farmeceutike për shitje në tregun e Kosovës, kjo si pjesë e reformës së sektorit farmaceutik parashikuar me Udhëzimin Administrativ 02/2019.

Përmes këtij publikimi përcaktohet: A) çmimin maksimal të blerjes (tavani i çmimit) për produkte medicinale në Listën e Barnave Esenciale përmes tenderëve publik, B) çmimin fiks për reimbursim nga Fondi për Sigurim Shëndetësor, dhe C) çmimin fiks për shitje me shumicë dhe pakicë të produkteve medicinale që shiten përmes subjekteve të Licencuara për Qarkullim me Shumicë dhe Pakicë të Produkteve medicinale në Republikën e Kosovës.

Prej datës së publikimit fillon të rrjedhë afati prej tetë (8) ditëve për të paraqitur kërkesë për Rishqyrtim pranë Komisionit për Çmimet e Produkteve Medicinale, kjo në përputhje me Udhëzimin Administrativ 02/2019.

https://msh.rks-gov.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Udhezim-Administrativ-02-2019-P%C3%ABr-rregullimin-e-%C3%A7mimit-te-barnave.pdf

March 23, 2020

RPHS Law

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The Buzz in Kosovo: Visar Ramaj, Managing Partner of RPHS http://rphs.law/why-you-should-hire-a-lawyer/ http://rphs.law/why-you-should-hire-a-lawyer/#respond Mon, 15 Oct 2018 10:23:46 +0000 https://demo-content.kaliumtheme.com/law/?p=786 CEE Legal Matters Magazine interviews RPHS Law Partner, Visar Ramaj for a discussion on the legal market in Kosovo; recent developments and progress on legislative framework and recent developments, opportunities and impacts on economic and industrial developments.

The full interview is accessible online through CEE LegalMatters Magazine web-site via the following link:

The Buzz in Kosovo: Visar Ramaj, Partner RPHS

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Confidentiality in Arbitration: An Essential Changing Attribute http://rphs.law/how-to-deal-with-law-tax-changes/ http://rphs.law/how-to-deal-with-law-tax-changes/#respond Sat, 13 Oct 2018 10:29:31 +0000 http://demo-content.kaliumtheme.com/law/?p=58 Fisnik Salihu, a Lawyer with RPHS Law and an Arbitrator writes about Confidentiality in Arbitration within the 2nd Volume of the Journal of Alternative Dispute Resolution in Kosovo published by American Chamber of Commerce in Kosovo, Alternative Dispute Resolution Center.

You can access Fisnik Salihu’s contribution titled “Confidentiality in Arbitration: An Essential Changing Attribute” in PDF via the following link:

Link

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Bankruptcy in Kosovo – The Case of an Attractive Market with Untested Bankruptcy Law http://rphs.law/international-investment-advice/ http://rphs.law/international-investment-advice/#respond Wed, 10 Oct 2018 11:40:05 +0000 http://demo-content.kaliumtheme.com/law/?p=37 The business environment in Kosovo is becoming highly attractive for investors, offering a favorable tax system, easy access to EU and regional markets, an abundance of natural resources, a skilled and cheap workforce, protection for foreign investments, and a generally well developed legal framework. Nevertheless, according to World Bank’s Doing Business Report, resolving insolvency remains Kosovo’s weakest indicator, as it ranks 163 out of 189 countries.

The legal framework governing Bankruptcy in Kosovo (Law No. 2003/4 on Liquidation and Reorganization of Legal Persons in Bankruptcy, hereinafter the “Bankruptcy Law”) reflects international best principles and modern developments, but it remains short in addressing important aspects of bankruptcy, and there is no developed practice by the courts. It is the lack of court practice and the business community’s distrust in bankruptcy proceedings that causes Kosovo to rank so low in the World Bank’s Doing Business Report.

Bankruptcy remains untested in Kosovo, with neither creditors nor debtors considering it a suitable remedy in times of financial difficulties, and with courts therefore unable to develop practices to enhance legal security for parties entering into bankruptcy. This approach has also been influenced by creditors’ heavy reliance on taking security interests in movable and immovable personal property, as well as in personal, bank, and corporate guarantees, mainly due to the efficient enforcement system in Kosovo and developed practice and legislation in these areas. In addition, the lack of reliable financial reporting and underdeveloped corporate governance structures in Kosovo further enforced these patterns.

Salient Features of the Current Bankruptcy Law

Kosovar Bankruptcy Law provides for two types of proceedings: one is liquidation and sale of the debtor as a whole or sale of assets, and the other is reorganization of the debtor, aimed at preserving the debtor’s business in accordance with the reorganization plan approved by the court based on voting by the creditors.

The threshold for initiating bankruptcy proceedings is very low in Kosovo, which fails to take into account short term liquidity problems and materialization of normal business risks which do not justify bankruptcy. A creditor or group of creditors may initiate bankruptcy proceedings by filing a petition with the competent court if: (1) the overdue debt exceeds EUR 2,000 and is at least 60 days overdue; (2) it is not disputed; and (3) the debtor generally is not paying debts as they become due. In addition, a debtor may initiate voluntary bankruptcy by filing a petition with the competent court if: (1) overdue debt exceeds EUR 5,000 and is at least 60 days overdue; and (2) the debtor generally is not paying debts as they become due.

In terms of efficiency, transparency, and procedural timelines, the Bankruptcy Law is in line with best practices. The World Bank’s Doing Business Report calculates that completing a bankruptcy case in Kosovo should take 2 years, compared to 1.7 years in OECD high income countries. In addition, there are mechanisms which ensure transparency of the whole bankruptcy process.

The competent court for bankruptcy cases is the Basic Court in Prishtina – the Department for Commercial Matters. While this is not a specialized court for bankruptcy, it is specialized in Commercial Law, handling disputes between business organizations. Judges have attended several specialized training programs in bankruptcy, and there have been many other investments in building the capacity of the courts. In addition, the Ministry of Justice has certified bankruptcy administrators who have undergone a rigorous training program and examination.

New Legal Framework for Bankruptcy in Sight

Bankruptcy has become a priority for Kosovo in its efforts to improve the business environment. In order to further modernize the legal framework with respect to bankruptcy, a new law on bankruptcy is foreseen in the legislative agenda of the Assembly of Kosovo, and the Ministry of Trade and Industry is already preparing a draft. The new law will purportedly bring significant changes and offer more detailed solutions. First, it will introduce a better and a more balanced solution between interests of secured creditors in relations to unsecured creditors and other stakeholders. Second, it makes Kosovo more debtor friendly, slightly favoring reorganization and empowering the debtors in cases where reorganization is an option. Third, the new law will address the bankruptcy of debtors as natural persons, which are not regulated at all by the current Law on Bankruptcy. Finally, there are requests that the new law also regulate the issue of cross-border insolvency cases, taking into account the Foreign Business Organizations and their branches in Kosovo. Therefore, the new law will greatly increase the legal security of the parties in bankruptcy.

In conclusion, the legal framework concerning insolvency in Kosovo is in line with best international practices; however, it remains untested. With the new advanced Bankruptcy Law in Kosovo’s legislative agenda and ongoing investments in capacity building of the courts, administrators, and other relevant institutions, the prospects for the future are bright.

By Visar Ramaj, Partner, RPHS

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