State of compliance
In 2021, Serbia amended the Energy Law, which should enable the transposition of the Network Codes and the REMIT Regulation, and facilitate access of low carbon and biogases in the grid. Nevertheless, the implementation of the Network Codes remains at low level. Capacity allocation and congestion management procedures are not in place and the balancing rules are not aligned with the respective Network Code.
In April 2021, the Government adopted an unbundling plan for Srbijagas and Yugorosgaz, the lack of which amounts to long-standing breaches of Energy Community law. The plan is not being implemented as promised. So far, only the transfer of ownership of the company Transportgas Srbija from Srbijagas to the Republic of Serbia has taken place in June 2021. The implementation of further operational steps such as the true separation of control within the Government, the appointment of a supervisory board and management completely independent from Srbijagas is delayed. Transportgas Srbija cannot apply for certification nor for a licence, and is still subordinated to Srbijagas in practice.
A precondition for unbundling of Yugorosgaz Transport is the ratification of the Intergovernmental Agreement between Russia and Serbia, which has not happened. Despite not unbundled, Yugorosgaz Transport still continues to operate under a license issued by AERS.
In addition to these severe breaches of the Third Energy Package, Transportgas Srbija continues to deny access at the interconnection point Horgos, booking the capacities only for Srbijagas, Gazprom Export and suppliers of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This practice continues despite Turk Stream and its extension pipelines bringing gas to Serbia since the beginning of 2021, and to Bosnia and Herzegovina as of April 2021. Srbijagas thus effectively prevents suppliers from more liquid central European hubs from entering the Serbian market, and the pipeline is virtually empty.
AERS approved the ten-year network development plan (TYNDP) of Transportgas Srbija in December 2020 and gave consent to draft five network codes, jointly prepared by Transportgas Srbija, Yugorosgaz Transport and Gastrans, which aim at implementing the Energy Community gas Network Codes. Their final adoption requires approval by the Government, which has not been received.
Gastrans, a project company owned jointly by Gazprom and Srbijagas, started with commercial operation at the beginning of this year. It was certified as an independent transmission operator, under an exemption decision granted by AERS which did not take into account the Secretariat’s Opinion. Both the certification and the exemption decision are not compliant with the Gas Directive. They also violate the pan-European solidarity principle.
As all distribution system operators serve less than 100.000 final customers, they are exempted from the unbundling requirements by law.
Srbijagas continues to dominate the wholesale and retail markets. It acts as a supplier of all public suppliers in Serbia and as a supplier of last resort, appointed by the Government on a yearly basis. Regulated entry exit tariffs continue to apply. The wholesale market still consists of bilateral contracts between traders and suppliers. The price of gas sold to non-household customers is not regulated (83% of the market in 2020). In retail gas supply, Srbijagas is the dominant market player, accounting for some 90% of the retail market in 2020. Supply switching occurred but in a very limited manner (accounting for about 0,15% of the total sales of gas).
Transportgas Srbija as well as Gastrans have implemented the Network Code on Interoperability by signing interconnection agreements with adjacent transmission system operators.
National security of supply rules are in place.