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It is necessary to change the laws and rulebooks in the area of catering and tourism
7 јуни 2019
 

 

ZELS Commission on local economic development, on May 28th, 2019 in the premises of the Association held its second session, where reviewed the received remarks and proposals from the municipalities on the Law on temporary residence tax; The Law on Catering Activity and the Law on Tourism. Most of the remarks pointed out the need for amending the Rulebook on conditions for categorization of facilities for performing catering activity and the procedure for categorization of houses, apartments and rooms for rent from natural persons and village households for performing catering services and keeping a register for categorized catering facilities.

The representative from the City of Skopje pointed out certain proposals regarding the regulation of the working hours of the restaurants and pubs that are located in certain zones of cities that are attractive to visitors in the late hours. He also pointed out the need for more precise regulation of important issues related to the mobile facilities (urban equipment, which is set up in the parks and squares), and pointed out the necessity for adequate regulation of the re-renting of apartments for individuals, for a tourist purpose.

The representative from the Municipality of Ohrid was supporting the idea of providing an electronic system for registering temporary residence of guests accommodated in the hotel capacities and at individuals who rent beds for tourists. He highlighted that especially natural persons do not register or do not report the total number of realized accommodations, and the number of persons who rent apartments is also high. It was pointed out the Slovenian example of the collection of the temporary residence fee by paying a lump sum annually, in accordance with a clearly defined methodology and criteria. It was also emphasized the need for each municipal council to independently decide on the amount of the tourist tax, according to a previously established methodology. The electronic system would connect all relevant stakeholders in the process (MOI, PRO, the municipality, tourist inspectors and the lessors of apartments), so that each will receive appropriate data. In this way, the municipalities will have data on the realized accommodations, and thus will know how much funds will be collected in the municipal budget. This system would increase the control of the guests, would avoid the non payment of the fee and would increase the funds on this basis.

A representative from the Ministry of Economy (ME) was invited to the session, who informed that a draft project is being prepared, which will make a similar system for our country, following the example of Croatia and the portal “e-visitor”. He also accepted the remarks of the municipalities regarding the need for changes to the Rulebook on conditions for categorization of houses, apartments for vacations and rooms for rent from individuals, pointing out that preparations for several new rulebooks are in process, which the Ministry of Economy prepares together with appropriate representatives from this area. At the same time, the participants were invited to take part in a workshop that will be held in the Ministry on May 31st, 2019 with representatives of the chambers of commerce, where the caterers' remarks about the laws in the field of tourism and catering will be discussed. They were also informed that the Ministry of Economy prepares a draft-law on the introduction of a tourist inspection. The municipalities presented the challenges with the lack of staff for performing inspection supervision and emphasized the need for determining legal provisions by which the inspectors will be able to conduct procedures not only with the registered but also with the unregistered natural persons performing tourist activities, in order to reduce the grey economy.



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