Contributor: Karanovic & Partners

Author: Ana Stanković, Marjan Poljak

1. Which authority is in charge of the civil aviation registry in Serbia? Does Serbia use a single-registry system or is there a dual-registry system in place?

There is no legislation in Serbia governing specifically the use of documents executed with the use of digital platforms/electronic signatures by the Civil Aviation Directorate of the Republic of Serbia, as the local Aviation Authority (the “Directorate”).

Electronic signing is generally governed by the Law on Electronic Document, Electronic Identification and Trust Services in Electronic Business (the “Law”). In accordance with the Law, only qualified electronic signatures have the equivalent legal effect of handwritten signatures.

However, in practice, the Directorate does not accept submissions of electronic documents such as PoAs, Lease Agreements, Novation Agreements or Mortgages. Therefore, such documents which are filed with the Directorate should be signed in wet ink.

2. Is the registry an operator registry or an owner registry (or both)?

As mentioned, submission of specific documents mentioned in question 1) above in electronic form to the Directorate is not possible.

The qualified e-signature is the only substitute for a handwritten signature under the Law. Therefore, whenever it is specifically required that a document be signed in wet-ink (and there are no prohibitions for such document to be e-signed), the qualified e-signature is the only viable option for e-signing. A qualified e-signature is defined as an advanced e-signature that is: (i) created by a qualified electronic signature creation tool, (ii) based on a qualified electronic signature certificate, and (iii) issued by a competent certification authority, in accordance with the Law.

3. What are the requirements and documentation to register an aircraft in Serbia? Include references to formalities such as notarisation, legalization, etc.

No, the Directorate does not keep an electronic register for Aircraft Documents. The Directorate keeps an electronic aircraft register containing data on registered aircraft (manufacturer and manufacturer sign, operator, plates, serial number, and type of aircraft). Other data (leases, mortgages) are not publicly available and can be obtained based on a written request submitted to the Directorate.

4. What fees are payable to register an aircraft in Serbia?

No, this is not possible.

5. Are there any weight and/or maximum age restrictions to register an aircraft in Serbia?

Yes. Generally, under the Law, any agreement (unless specifically prohibited by special regulations), except agreements, which must be concluded before a notary public, can be executed with the use of an appropriate type of e-signature.

The Law recognizes three types of e-signatures – simple, advanced and qualified e-signature. The Law further stipulates that the advanced signature must meet the following requirements:

• it must be uniquely linked to the signatory;

• it is capable of identifying the signatory;

• it is created using e-signature creation data that the signatory can, with a high level of confidence, use under his sole control;

• it is linked to the data signed therewith in such a way that any subsequent change in the data is detectable.

In practice, a wide set of agreements can be e-signed, provided that general rules of the Law regulating e-signing are followed. “Simple” agreements and documents are the ones typically signed by e-signatures. These include, for example, commercial agreements, including invoices, purchase orders, leases, simple loan and sales agreements, consumer agreements, etc.

A qualified e-signature is the only substitute for a handwritten signature under the Law. Therefore, whenever it is specifically required that a document be signed in wet-ink (and there are no prohibitions for such document to be e-signed), the qualified e-signature is the only viable option for e-signing.

It should also be noted that, due to the undeveloped practice of competent authorities and uncertainty concerning their position, contractual parties, in practice, tend to conclude any commercially important agreements in writing (or at least with the use of a qualified e-signature), in order to avoid any ambiguities concerning their validity.

6. Does registration of an aircraft in the national registry constitute proof of ownership under the laws of Serbia?

Yes, this is possible. Electronic documents can be submitted via e-mail to the designated court e-mail address for receiving electronic submissions. In practice, it is still usual to submit documents to courts physically.

7. How is an aircraft title transfer effected in Serbia? What are the formalities required to register such title transfer in the national registry of Serbia (e.g., notarization, legalization etc.)? Please summarize the related costs and procedures.

Even this possibility is foreseen under the law. In practice, only the Serbian Administrative Court accepts procedural documents executed digitally.

There is a distinction between official and private digital signatures in Serbia. A qualified e-signature is the only official digital signature recognized in Serbia, as solely qualified e-signatures are issued by competent certification authorities, public or private entities, in Serbia. Exceptionally, these could also be foreign providers of trust services in electronic business, which are registered in the countries with which Serbia has entered into a bilateral agreement on mutual recognition of providers of such services.

Advanced and simple e-signatures fall into the category of private digital signatures. Advanced e-signatures can generally be used by private entities for “simple” transactions and include, for example, Adobe or DocuSign AES solutions. Simple e-signatures cover the widest range of e-signatures in practice, including “tick-box” signatures, signatures created by a stylus or typed signatures used, e.g., for signing e-mails but are not considered as officially recognized, which is only the qualified digital signature issued by public or private entities.

8. What information and details are reflected in the certificate of registration of an aircraft?

No, there are no other formal requirements for the validity of such documents.

This means that, except for agreements that must be concluded before a notary public and agreements where digital signing is prohibited by special regulations, documents executed by digital signatures are valid with no additional requirements.

The consent of the parties to digital signatures does not have to be expressly referred to in the agreement.

9. Are the entries in the aircraft registry of Serbia made available to the public upon submission of a specific application to the competent authority? Are there any fees payable for this?

No. Documents submitted to the Directorate have to be executed in wet ink. For example, documents such as IDERA (please note that Serbia didn’t ratify the Cape Town Convention and an equivalent to IDERA would be a deregistration PoA) must be notarized under Serbian law, which means that such documents signed by entities not located in Serbia would have to be notarized and depending on country of notarization, apostilled (or legalized).

10. What kind of aircraft operations can be conducted with aircraft registered in Serbia (i.e., private use, commercial air transport or both)?

No, printed paper aviation documents are generally used. The Directorate does not use blockchain technology.

11. Does the civil aviation authority in Serbia authorise the operation of foreign registered aircraft? If so, with which countries has Serbia entered into bilateral agreements on the basis of article 83-bis of the ICAO Chicago Convention for the delegation of regulatory oversight?

a. Has Serbia implemented the e-Apostille program?

Yes, there are notary and (in certain cases) apostille requirements for specific documents (for example, deregistration PoA has to be signed before a notary and, depending on the country of signing, apostilled or legalized). The Law stipulates those agreements and other legal transactions which, under law, must be performed before a notary public, and cannot be executed with the use of electronic signatures. These agreements cannot be executed with the use of digital platforms or any electronic signatures, regardless of whether they must be submitted to the Directorate.

Serbia has not implemented the e-Apostille program. Except the Serbian Business Registry, no other Serbian authority accepts e-Apostille from other countries.

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