Bosnia and Herzegovina does not have a foreign investment screening regime comparable to those now emerging in the European Union in light of the EU FDI Screening Regulation. However, it operates an authorisation system covering the defence and media sectors.
Regulated on multiple levels, due to the country's political and administrative structure:
- Bosnia and Herzegovina (state level) - Foreign Direct Investments in BiH Policy Act (Official Gazette of BiH, nos. 4/1998, 17/1998, 13/2003, 48/2010 and 22/2015) (“FDI
Policy Act”), which sets out rules on the state level;
- FBiH - FBiH Foreign Investments Act (Official Gazette of FBiH, nos. 61/2001, 50/2003 and 77/2015), which sets rules in the entity of FBiH; and
- RS - RS Foreign Investments Act (Official Gazette of RS, no. 21/2018), which sets out rules in the entity of RS.
Under the FDI Policy Act, a direct foreign investment is an investment into a newly established company/institution or into an existing domestic company/institution, which may be in cash, in-kind and in rights.
In addition, the RS Foreign Investment Act specifies the following forms of foreign investments:
- establishment of a legal entity fully owned by a foreign investor;
- establishment of a legal entity jointly owned by a foreign and domestic investor;
- investing into an existing legal entity;
- special forms of
The filing regime encompasses all transactions in the relevant sectors.
The defence sector, and in specific production (and sale in FBiH) of arms, ammunition, explosives for military use and military equipment, as well as the media sector, and in specific media activities (terrestrial broadcasting of TV and radio content).
Process and timetable
Competent authority: Government (on state-level), as well as:
- in the FBiH: Ministry of Energy, Mining and Industry (defence sector) and the FBiH Ministry of Traffic and Communications (media sector);
- in the RS, Ministry of Trade and Tourism and/or the RS Ministry of Energy and Mining (defence sector), and RS Ministry of Transport and Communications (media sector).
Mandatory filing requirement: Yes
Filing deadline: There is no deadline prescribed for the foreign investor to make the filing.
Responsibility for filing: The foreign investor is obliged to notify a foreign investment and procure its approval.
Sanctions: There are no specific penalties within the applicable rules.
Length of the proceedings: The Government is obliged to decide on the proposal no later than 60 days since the date of the receipt of the complete request.
By Danijel Stevanovic, Partner at Moravcevic Vojnovic i Partneri in cooperation with Schoenherr