17 March 2020
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COVID -19: State of Emergency & Price Freeze – obsolete*

As the number of global COVID-19 infections continues to surge, Europe is currently considered one of the main hotbeds of the pandemic. According to the World Health Organization, Europe is now reporting more confirmed cases and deaths than the rest of the world combined, excluding China.  As of March 16, Serbia has 55 confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection.

Because of this, Serbia imposed a state of emergency on March 15, in an extraordinary constitutional procedure (official gazette announcement is available here).  The sweeping measures include, inter alia, total closure of state borders, school shutdown and imposition of quarantine rules, breaking of which will be treated as a criminal offence. On the same day, at an extraordinary Cabinet session, the Government also adopted a regulation on measures during the state of emergency, which will have considerable effects on doing business.

As part of these measures, the Government also announced the Decision on the restriction of price level of basic foodstuffs and protective equipment (“Decision”).  Measures listed in the Decision were imposed in accordance with Article 39 of the Trade Act.

In order to prevent market disturbances or to remedy harmful consequences of market disturbances on the supply of goods and services of crucial importance for life and public health, the Government can impose temporary measures which affect (i) specific types of goods and services, (ii) specific categories of traders, service providers or consumers, (iii) working hours, (iv) prices and other conditions to conduct trade, excluding measures related to import and export of goods. The Government will determine temporary measures, as well as the time period during which those measures are applied, in proportion to the objectives and expected results.

In accordance with the Decision, wholesale and retail prices of products listed below will be limited to the price level of those products on March 5, 2020. The price limit shall apply for a period of 30 days for the following goods:

  • Wheat flour;
  • Bread;
  • Edible sunflower oil;
  • White sugar;
  • Salt;
  • Water;
  • Vegetables and fruits;
  • Pasta;
  • Fresh meat;
  • Meat products;
  • Fish;
  • Heat-treated cow’s milk (pasteurized and sterilized);
  • Powdered milk;
  • Yogurt;
  • Chicken eggs;
  • Baby food;
  • Soap;
  • Shampoo;
  • Toothpaste;
  • Detergents;
  • Plastic gloves (as well as other plastic clothing and clothing accessories);
  • Diapers for children and adults;
  • Wipes;
  • Paper towels (in roll and in a piece);
  • Toilet paper;
  • Plastic masks, with a textile filter;
  • Textile surgical drapes;
  • Disposable paper surgical suits and gowns;
  • Paper masks;
  • Rubber protective suit;
  • Gloves (rubber, surgical and other);
  • Textile surgical suit;
  • Bleach and other disinfectants;
  • Asepsol;
  • Alcohol;
  • Protective glasses.


For more information, please contact us via covid19@geciclaw.com