In general, the Serbian Law on Agricultural Land (“TO THE“) consider granting the use of agricultural land free of charge to state-owned subjects or, in cases where particular plots have not been leased for three or more agricultural years, agricultural land may be brought into auction for use by registered farmers farms.
However, on an exceptional basis, the ALA mandates the government-regulated use of state-owned agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes. On this note, in July 2021, the Government of the Republic of Serbia adopted a decree on the conditions, modalities and procedure for granting state-owned agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes (“Decree“).
General remarks and conditions
The detailed conditions, modalities and procedure for granting state-owned agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes, as well as the criteria for determining the amount of compensation for such use, are regulated.
The decree only applies to land which is registered in the real estate cadastre kept by the Geodetic Authority of the Republic as agricultural land in property of the Republic of Serbia. Cadastral plots subject to restitution may not be used for non-agricultural purposes.
The Land subject to the decree is non-cultivated state agricultural land (pastures, reeds and swamps), and / or agricultural land of the arable state (fields, meadows, gardens, orchards and vineyards) of sixth, seventh and eighth cadastral class.
The land being used cannot be alienated by transferring the right of use to third parties, while the duration of use granted cannot exceed 30 years.
State agricultural land can be granted to individuals or companies in the following cases:
- when energy is produced from renewable energy sources (wind and solar), by building or installing:
1. a wind power plant with accompanying infrastructure and equipment; Where
2. a solar power plant with accompanying infrastructure and equipment;
- during geological exploration work and / or exploitation of raw minerals (clay, gravel, sand, stone, oil and natural gas, etc.) agricultural land for a fixed period with delivery of the necessary authorizations issued by the Ministry of Mines and geology; and
- when carrying out activities related to the construction of facilities declared as facilities of importance for the Republic of Serbia, as well as activities related to the construction of energy and municipal infrastructure, telecommunications and protection against natural disasters, which, due to and other characteristics, cannot be constructed elsewhere.
Procedure and remuneration
The competent authority of the local self-government unit (“KJV“) includes state agricultural land intended for use in particular by public tendering units.
A decision to publish the public tender notice is adopted by the competent authority of the LSG with the prior agreement of the ministry responsible for agricultural affairs.
The allocation of State agricultural land for use is made by public tender in accordance with the application of the regulations governing the rental of State agricultural land.
The starting annual remuneration in the public call for tenders is:
- five times the amount of the average rental price per hectare of public agricultural land in the territory of the Republic of Serbia – intended for use in the production of energy from renewable sources and / or the performance of activities related to the construction of facilities; and
- thirty times the amount of the average rental price per hectare of public agricultural land in the territory of the Republic of Serbia – For use in carry out geological exploration work and / or exploitation of raw minerals and / or preforming work on the removal of tailings, ash, slag and other hazardous and noxious substances.
This remuneration is paid in advance once a year.
The designated user of the land is required to deposit 30% of the amount intended for the return of the land to its previous state, into the bank account of the ministry in charge of agriculture, before the execution of the use agreement with the ministry. . The remaining 70% must be deposited by the Identified User no later than five years before the expiration of the period of use.
After the public tender, the competent body of LSG, with the prior consent of the competent ministry, adopts a decision on the allocation of state-owned agricultural land for use to the most favorable bidder. Against this decision, an appeal may be lodged within 15 days of the adoption of the decision.
Finally, on the basis of this decision, and upon payment of a land fee, the relevant ministry and the highest ranked bidder will conclude an agreement on the use of state land.