The Decree on Conditions and Manner of Internationalization of Companies (“Official Gazette of RS”, No. 17/2009) regulates the conditions, criteria and manner of awarding grants to domestic companies for financing activities that contribute to the competitiveness of domestic products and services and increase exports from the Republic of Serbia.
Financial resources allocated to companies following the provisions of the Decree (from now on: funds) are provided in the budget of the Republic of Serbia, within the section of the Agency for Foreign Investments and Export Promotion (from now on: the Agency).
Activities that contribute to the competitiveness of domestic products and services and increase exports from the Republic of Serbia include:
- design of a new product
- testing, certification and recertification of products
- certification and recertification of the quality management system
- independent participation in international trade fairs abroad
- design of new product packaging
- design of promotional materials – promotional brochure and website
- advertising in foreign professional journals
- organized business meetings abroad
- organized visits to foreign markets.
Companies are entitled to a refund of up to 50% of the costs of the implemented activity without value-added tax.
Individual activities are financed in the maximum amount of 200,000.00 dinars, except for the activities from items 2 to 4, regardless of the total reported amount of activity costs.
The total amount of funds that can be approved to one exporter cannot exceed 1,000,000.00 dinars.
The right to allocate funds
The right to allocate funds have companies engaged in the production of goods or provision of services intended for export, which cumulatively meets the following conditions:
- that they are registered in the Republic of Serbia
- to be classified into small or medium-sized legal entities, following Article 7 of the Law on Accounting and Auditing (“Official Gazette of RS”, No. 73/2019 i 44/2021 – other law)
- to engage in the production of finished or semi-finished products or the provision of software development, design or engineering services
- that within two years before the submission of the application, a final measure prohibiting the performance of activities has not been pronounced
- to have paid due to taxes, contributions and other public duties following the regulations of the Republic of Serbia
- to operate successfully for at least two consecutive years.
Companies that meet the above conditions can apply for the allocation of funds for one or more activities, which are financed.
The activity, which is financed based on the provisions of the regulation, can be started but must not be completed before the announcement of the public call for funding.
Proper and timely applications are evaluated according to the following criteria:
- previous participation in the allocation of funds
- stability of sources of financing/success of the company
- volume of realized exports
- number of employees at the time of applying
- the importance of the results, from the point of view of improving the quality and competitiveness of products
- contribution to the increase of exports
- economic justification of the activity
- experience of the selected bidder who will implement the funded activities (from now on: the implementer of activities).
A certain number of points is awarded for each of the above criteria.
The minimum number of points required to exercise the right to allocate funds is 75.
Depending on the number of points, the amount of funds for reimbursement of activity costs is approved.
The Agency publishes the public announcement in at least one newspaper distributed throughout the territory of the Republic of Serbia and on the Agency’s website.
The public announcement contains:
- information on the amounts of funds allocated
- conditions for submitting requests for allocation of funds
- criteria based on which funds are allocated
- data on the address to which the requests for allocation of funds are submitted, the manner of delivery, as well as the deadline for submitting requests
- deadline for completion of the activity for which the request for allocation of funds is submitted
- data on the manner of obtaining additional information regarding participation in the procedure of allocating funds.
Application and procedure for allocating funds
The Agency performs the procedure for allocating funds and allocating funds.
Exporters shall apply for the allocation of funds filled in in electronic form to the Agency, on the form prescribed by the Agency, within the deadline determined by the public announcement.
Along with the application for the allocation of funds, the exporter must submit:
- original or certified photocopy of the excerpt from the Register of Business Entities, which is not older than three months
- certified statement from the balance sheet and income statement for the previous two years of operation
- certified certificate of the competent authority on paid taxes and contributions
- a certified certificate from the competent authority that the company has not been issued a final measure prohibiting the performance of activities in the last two years
- copies of three bids for the implementation of activities referred to in Article 3 of the Decree on Conditions and Manner of Internationalization of Companies (“Official Gazette of RS”, No. 17/2009)
- signed and stamped accepted bids, as well as the explanation of the accepted offer
- original or certified photocopy of the excerpt from the Register of Business Entities proving the registered activity of the implementer, not older than three months, as well as the reference list of implementers
- a signed and stamped statement under material and criminal liability on the number of persons employed for an indefinite period
- certificate from the Customs Administration on the realized export.
The application for the allocation of funds shall be submitted to the Agency by an authorized exporter or sent by registered or courier mail, in a sealed envelope marked: “Do not open – application for the allocation of funds”.
The fulfilment of the conditions for the allocation and the amounts of funds is determined by the Commission to evaluate applications and distribution of funds (from now on: the Commission).
The Commission shall be formed by a decision of the Minister in charge of the economy and regional development (from now on: the Minister), from two representatives proposed by him and one representative offered by the Minister in charge of finance, the Minister in charge of trade and services and the Director of the Agency.
Mutual rights and obligations related to the refund of approved funds are determined by a contract concluded between the user of funds and the Agency.
Participants in the grant award procedure have the right to object.
The complaint shall be submitted to the Minister within eight days from the day of receipt of the reasoned notification.
The Minister shall decide on the complaint within 15 days from the day of receipt of the complaint.
Funds are allocated based on a ranking list made according to the number of points, in accordance with the provisions of this Decree and the amounts of funds determined in the budget of the Republic of Serbia within the Agency’s section.
If two or more exporters have the same number of points, the funds are awarded according to the priority of applying.
Small and medium-sized enterprises that are ownership or management related to the implementer of activities are not entitled to the allocation of funds from this regulation.
Beneficiaries of funds are obliged to submit to the Agency a report on the results of activities for which funds have been approved within six months from the end of the action.