NEW ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF SERVITUDES IN LARGE INVESTMENT PROJECTS
Attracting investment is gaining increasing importance and becoming one of the crucial challenges for Lithuania in international politics, contributing to the creation of new jobs and economic development. The more favorable the investment environment Lithuania will create for investors, the greater will be the country's ability to compete with other countries for attracting investment or its development in Lithuania.
The implementation of large production projects with high added value has a significant impact on economic development (taxes are paid, local suppliers' services and goods are purchased, high value-added jobs are created).
When choosing a country to invest in, priority shall be given to countries where clear, understandable, fully efficient, and reasonable procedures are in place to implement investment projects. The anticipation of a special regulation about high value-added projects allows a great increase in the attraction of significant investments to the Republic of Lithuania.
In many cases, public land plots are needed for the implementation of investment projects, where investors plan to build buildings and installations.
To encourage the attraction of investment, economic development, amendments to the Law on Investment of the Republic of Lithuania and the Law on Land of the Republic of Lithuania, which will enter into force from 1 January 2021, were adopted in the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania.
The Investment Act enshrines the concept of a major project and establishes legal regulation of the implementation of a major project. A major project recognizes a project of data processing, web server (hosting) services, and related activities or manufacturing investment, for which a major project investment contract is concluded and valid, under which the investor undertakes that, within five years of its entry into force, at least 150 new jobs will be created in the Republic of Lithuania for this investment project and, in the case of investments in Vilnius, at least 200 new jobs, and will maintain each created job for at least five years from the date of the first employee's admission to the created place of work. Besides, the investor undertakes that he will invest at least 20 million euros in the Republic of Lithuania and, in the case of investments in Vilnius, at least 30 million euros worth of private capital investments.
The Law on Land provides for the provision that state land shall be leased without an auction in cases established by the Investment Act when it is necessary for the implementation of large investment projects. Such legal regulation makes it possible to ensure more attractive investment conditions, the right of the National Land Service to lease public land to investors more quickly and easily.
For investors with large project investment contracts, the state land plots needed for the implementation of a large project shall be leased without auction following the procedure established by the Law on Land.
The amendments to the Investment Act and the Law on Land, which will enter into force on 1 January 2021, also re-regulate the establishment of servitudes. The land servitude can be determined in various ways – by law, by transaction, or by a court decision. In cases provided for by law, land servitudes may be established by an administrative act.
The servitude is established by an administrative action when a plot of land is newly formed. However, exceptions are provided for when the servitude can be established for land plots owned by the State or municipalities formed by an administrative act and registered in the Register of Real Estate and owned by private persons. From next year, as part of major projects, servitudes for already formed state and municipalities, as well as land owned by private individuals, can be established by administrative act if they are necessary to build, use and maintain engineering infrastructure networks (underground and terrestrial communications), roads and paths. Such servitudes will be determined by the National Land Service.