Based on Law no. 10081, dated February 23, 2009, which reforms the business licensing process in Albania, the National Licensing Center (NLC) has started it’ s activity as a central public institution, which is subordinate to the minister responsible for economic issues, since June 2009. This law aims at improving the business climate, through reduction of administrative barriers regarding free initiatives to conduct economic, commercial, or professional activities, or regarding the use of public goods, guaranteeing at the same time the safeguard of public interests, while carrying out the above-mentioned activities and using public goods.
With its one-stop-shop services and shortened, transparent and quick procedures, the NLC has reduced the administrative barriers to free enterprise, reduced the costs of business related to the licensing process and minimized the level of informality, thus improving considerably the business climate in Albania.
Licenses and permits, and/or respective subcategories which fall under the competence of the NLC are divided, into three groups:
- The first group included those categories or subcategories that require only the applicant’s self-declarations, in order to evaluate whether criteria are properly fulfilled.
- The second group included those categories or subcategories that besides the applicant’s self-declarations require also proof documents to be submitted by the applicant, at least for one of the criteria.
- The third group included those categories or subcategories for which assessment of criteria (at least for one of them) must be based, not only in what is provided for in paragraphs 2 and 3 of this article, but also on a process of inspection, testing, competition, interview, or any other assessment method.
Depending to their nature and requirements to which they are subject, not all licenses and permits are subject to the examination by the National Licensing Center. As a general rule, applications for obtaining an authorization are examined directly by the competent public authorities without intervention of the National Licensing Center. Authorization process may become part of the licensing process in the case of the license belonging to Group III, as well as, only when the authorizations requirements coincide with one or more licensing requirements.
Furthermore, the law regulates 12 licensing areas, where licenses/permits are processed by/through the NLC or without the involvement of NLC. As regards to the areas where the licenses/permits are processed without the involvement of NLC, the licensing system is regulated by the sector related legislation. Such licensing legislation exist in the following sectors :
- Banking financial service ;
- Non-banking financial services (insurance, securities, bondsof joint stock companies and local governance, collective investment enterprises, retirement funds etc.)
- Broadcasting services ;
- Services in energy sector (production, transmission, distribution, supplying and trading the electrical power ; transmission, distribution, supplying and trading of natural gas ; operation in the depositing premises of natural gas and operation in the NLG plants) ;
- Air, maritime and road transport services ;
- Gambling ;
- Postal services ;
- Concessions (law on concessions provides that certain economic activities are subject to a concession agreement).