All data in one place – establishment of central population register in Serbia

March 22, 2019

All data in one place – establishment of central population register in Serbia

March 22, 2019

Miloš Velimirović

Miloš Velimirović

Partner

Kristina Pavlović

Kristina Pavlović

Associate

On 14 March 2019, Serbian National Parliament has passed a new Act governing the establishment of a central population register in Serbia (“Population Register”). This long-expected regulation was prepared by the Ministry of State Administration and Local Self-Government (“Ministry”), which also shall be competent for the establishment and maintenance of the Population Register, along with the technical support of the Serbian Government.

The public debate went pretty quiet – there was not any significant objection to the proposal of the Act.

Population Database

As per this Act, the Population Register is a unique, electronically managed database containing personal data of Serbian citizens as well as foreign citizens with temporary and permanent residence permits, refugees and asylum seekers.  For instance, some of the data which the Population Register covers are the following: name, gender, marital status, date of birth, the address, personal ID number, place of birth, passport number, the degree of education, profession, etc.  This information shall be collected from the other official state registers – parish records, ID card records, Central Register of Social Security, Tax Administration records etc.

Each citizen will be entitled to access his/her data, and in case of inaccuracy, he/she may notify the Ministry in order to update it.  This is also in accordance with the new Serbian Data Protection Act, which provides these rights to each data subject.

Pros and cons

The main goal of this Act is to eliminate unnecessary burden for all citizens, who so far have had to collect each document in hard copy form, and with the different institution. By the establishing of this Population Register, all data will be available in one place, which for sure will make much easier gathering information required for different procedures before competent authorities i.e. municipality bodies, tax administration, land register, police etc.

However, bearing in mind the subject of the Act, i.e. processing of personal data, the main concern is the manner of such processing and risks of potential abuse.  Although the Act emphasizes that the unauthorized collection of personal data is a criminal offense, it is advisable to determine effective control measures aiming to persons who will maintain this database and process the data on behalf of competent state bodies.  Hopefully, this will be regulated by the bylaws which will follow in the time’s coming.

The Act shall apply as of 1 September 2020, as this is the due date for establishing of the Population Register.

This text is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. Should you require any additional information, feel free to contact us.

Contact:

Miloš Velimirović, Partner
milos.velimirovic@sog.rs

Kristina Pavlović, Associate
kristina.pavlovic@sog.rs

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