cee legislation tracker: romania

18 May 2020 | newsletters

Status as of 18/05 12pm CET

Table of content

Note: recently updated content is highlighted in grey

1 Financial Support Measures

14/05:

  • Government emergency ordinance no. 70/2020 on the regulation of certain measures starting with May 15, 2020, in the context of the epidemiological situation determined by the spread of the SARS-CoV-2, for the extension of certain terms and the amendment and completion of certain normative acts (including the Moratorium Ordinance no. 37 dated 30/03/2020)
  • Applicable to requests for moratorium submitted after its entry into force, i.e.  14/05/2020.
  • Eligible borrowers who opt for moratorium under the Moratorium Ordinance  must submit their requests (by letter, e-mail or telephone) with the lenders by 15/06/2020 at the latest.
  • In order to benefit from moratorium under the Moratorium Ordinance, the debtors must provide sworn statements evidencing the reduction of their income of at least 25% in March, April or May 2020 by reference to their average income obtained on January and February 2020.

03/04:

  • Romanian Parliament passed Law no. 180/2020 (currently being challenged in front of the Constitutional Court)
  • It also institutes a Moratorium of up to 9 months, however with a more relaxed regime (no 45 days period for the borrower to submit a request and interest will not be capitalized during the Moratorium).
  • Debtors (except natural persons) only have to provide a statement showing that their income has decreased by at least 15% in the current month compared to the average of the last two months.
  • All enforcement procedures are suspended.
  • Not clear if Law 180/2020 is meant to repeal the Moratorium Ordinance and/or how the two legal enactments are to work together.

26/03:

  • Government emergency ordinance on Moratorium no. 37 dated 30/03/2020
  • Moratorium of up to 9 months (but no later than 31/12/2020), available to eligible borrowers = natural or legal persons (except credit institutions) the revenue of which was impacted directly or indirectly by the COVID-19 pandemics, which do not register overdue payments and whose loan has not reached maturity and has not been accelerated before entering into force of the Moratorium Ordinance.
  • Cumulative requirements for eligible borrowers' legal persons: (i) their activity is shut down completely or partially following authorities' decisions and they own an Emergency Certificate (per Real Estate & Construction section below) and (ii) are not insolvent at the date of the moratorium request.
  • Procedure: Eligible borrowers may opt for this benefit by submitting a request (letter, e-mail or telephone) with their lenders, no later than 45 days as of the entry into force of the Moratorium Ordinance (i.e. 30/03).
  • Implementation: No need to sign addenda to the loan documentation. Lenders shall notify the borrowers of the amended clauses within 30 days as of the moratorium request.
  • Interest accruing during the moratorium period shall be capitalized and its payment split into installments until maturity. The only exception refers to mortgage loans, for which the Ministry of Finance guarantees the payment of capitalized interest, and which will have to be repaid over a period of maximum 5 years.
  • Implementation norms for the Moratorium Ordinance have been published in the Official Gazette on 06/04.

24/03:

  • NBR Supervisory Committee press release, based on EBA Guidelines
  • Restructuring of loans due to state emergency does not constitute financial difficulty of the debtor and does not trigger reclassification of the loan and the obligation for the credit institution to create provisions on due amounts.
  • Amendments not related to COVID-19, taken on an individual basis, shall be deemed loan restructuring.
  • Banks are allowed to temporary use the capital buffers previously created.
  • Banks are allowed to use their liquidity reserves below the minimum liquidity indicator.

23/03:

  • National Bank of Romania (NBR) decided as emergency monetary policy to reduce the key interest rate from 2.5% to 2%.
  • NBR purchased government bonds in Romanian lei on the secondary market with a view to strengthen the structural liquidity of the banking system.

2 Capital Markets

08/04:

  • Regulation no. 5/2020 of the Romanian Financial Supervisory Authority
  • obligation of the listed companies to adopt measures to ensure the proper conduct of the general meetings of the shareholders during the state of emergency
  • measures have to be published as current reports to BVB and ASF and on the website of each of the listed companies
  • measure must contain express recommendations to the shareholders to make use as much as possible of electronic means for requesting/ submitting documents/ voting by correspondence
  • measure must provide warnings related to the exposure to COVID-19 in case of physical participation to the meeting and related to the issuers' choice to limit the number of participants to the meeting based on decisions of public authorities

01/04:

  • The Romanian Financial Supervisory Authority approved a norm which temporarily allows private pension funds to invest in government securities issued by the Romanian state or by other UE countries in a percent higher than 70% of the total value of the fund's assets.

16/03:

  • Based on ESMA's recommendations, the Romanian Financial Supervisory Authority lowered notification thresholds and decided that holders of net short positions in relation to shares traded on the regulated market operated by the Bucharest Stock Exchange will ensure notification to the Financial Supervisory Authority of positions starting from the threshold of 0.1% of the issuer's share capital.

3 Employment

3.1 Measures applicable during the state of alert (15/05 - 15/06)

  • Employees' obligation to wear masks at the working places.
  • Employer's obligation to organize telework and, if such is not possible, to ensure: epidemiological triage by measurement of temperature of own personnel and visitors, at the control/ access points of the premises (max. 37.3°C); mandatory disinfection of hands before accessing the working spaces; rules for performance of work in open-spaces working places.
  • For employers with more than 50 employees, postponement of working program so that there is one-hour break between work shifts, three-hour shifts and for minimum 20% of the personnel;
  • The possibility of employers to take preventive isolation measures at the workplace or other dedicated areas for certain categories of personnel is maintained, i.e. employees holding essential functions in production, transportation and distribution of electric energy and natural gas, etc.
  • Collective bargaining agreements remain in force for a period of 90 days following expiry of emergency state (i.e. 14/05).
  • Activities related to professional training programs may be performed on-line with prior notification for a period of 30 days following expiry of emergency state (i.e. 14/05).

3.2 Temporary lay-off

  • Employment agreements may be suspended by the employer during the reduction/interruption of work upon information and consultation with the employees; during such time, employees remain on call until the employer resumes the activity. 
  • A compensation of at least 75% of the base salary will be paid by the employer from the salaries fund.
  • Between 15/05 – 31/05 (with possibility of prolongation only in those areas where the restrictions will be maintained), the compensation will be borne directly from the unemployment insurance state budget, capped at 75% of the average gross salary per employee, for the employers who totally or partially reduce/ interrupt their activity due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, based on a request submitted electronically by employers, accompanied by a sworn statement and the list of employees benefiting of the indemnity. The compensation borne by the state is subject to social charges and wage taxation, except for the 2.25% work insurance contribution. The state bears said applicable social charges and wage taxation as well, for the subsidised compensation.  If possible, the compensation borne by the state may be supplemented by the employer (from the budget for personnel expenses) with amounts representing the difference of up to the minimum 75% of the base salary. Said additional compensation is subject to all social charges and wage taxation, which will be the cost of the employer.
  • Employees cumulating several employment agreements, will not benefit of the above compensation if at least one of the agreements (full-time) remains in force.
  • Other professionals, such as freelancers, individual enterprises, persons obtaining incomes exclusively from copy rights may also benefit, based on a sworn statement, of a monthly compensation of 75% of the average gross salary (from the state fund) if they interrupt their activity due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.   

3.3 Paid days off during the temporary closure of the educational establishments

  • Granted to parents of children aged up to 12 years, including children in day cares (or up to 18 years, for children with disabilities), who will benefit from a compensation paid by the employer of 75% of the salary, but no more than RON 4,071.75 gross/month (approx. EUR 800). The paid days off shall be granted also during school breaks, until the school year 2019-2020 ends (i.e. on 12 June 2020). Said compensation is subject to all social charges and wage taxation.
  • Net payment for the working days shall be compensated from the public funds, while the social charges and wage taxes will be the cost of the employer.

3.4 Traveling by employees

15/05:

  • Travelling outside the city/ metropolitan area is permitted only in specific cases, including, among others, for professional reasons, based on a sworn statement.

25/03:

  • With a view to travel to and back from the working place, employees must hold a service card (legitimatie de serviciu) or a certificate issued by the employer (electronic format of such documents is also acceptable) stating that the presence of the employee is essential for the company and telework cannot be implemented

4 Real Estate

15/05:

  • Activity of cafes, bars, restaurants, etc. remains suspended (even outside); however, serving products to go or by home delivery/ room service is permitted.
  • Stores operating in shopping malls/ centers with an area of more than 15,000 sqm remain closed, except for (i) grocery stores, (ii) dry cleaners, (iii) electronics stores that offer delivery option to customers, (iv) medical optic stores and human and veterinary pharmacies and (v) stores having direct access from outside of the shopping malls.
  • Deadline for requesting state of emergency certificates extended until 15/06.
  • Electricity, natural gas, running water, sewage and sanitation utilities providers may not discontinue the services for non-payment during the state of alert.

01/05:

  • Draft law on rent payment exemptions was adopted by the Parliament and sent to the President of Romania for promulgation:
  • Private legal entities whose activity was interrupted due to the pandemic or whose income was diminished in March 2020 by at least 15% compared to the average monthly income in 2019 and natural persons who were directly or indirectly affected economically during the state of emergency may request postponement of the rent for main and secondary seat (applicable to legal entities), respectively of the rent for housing (applicable to natural persons); the postponement applies during the state of emergency and the following month.
  • Lessee must prove that it is impossible for it/ him to pay the rent; from the legal text, it is unclear whether the lessor's approval for the postponement is necessary.
  • Lessor may require the fiscal authority to pay the rent on behalf of the lessee during the postponement; payment from the fiscal authority is capped at RON 10,000/premises for legal entities and RON 2,000/premises for natural persons; lessees will gradually reimburse the fiscal authority after the end of the payment postponement.
  • Local tax exemptions for lessors are also regulated.

01/04:

  • Draft law on rent payment exemptions (still subject to legislative procedure before The Chamber of Deputies; confirmation on the below provisions to follow)
  • right to request postponement of the rent for headquarters and secondary seats extended to all professionals and public authorities suffering from an interruption  or reduction due to decisions of the authorities as a result of the state of emergency;
  • lease term shall extend accordingly;
  • lessor is exempted from real estate tax if lessee applies for postponement.

26/03:

  • Rules on issuance of the "state of emergency certificates" ("Certificates") published. Two types of Certificates regulated:

Type 1 (blue): in case of total/partial interruption of the activity due to a decision of the authorities, or

Type 2 (yellow): in case of reduction by minimum 25% of the income obtained in March 2020, compared to the average income from Jan-Feb 2020.

  • Only one type of Certificate may be requested. Certificates will be issued online based on a statement and evidencing documents (no details on these documents provided). Electronic signature is necessary for submission. Online platform to be operational starting 30/03.
  • Construction workers who are members of the Construction Workers' House (Romanian: Casa socială a constructorilor, NGO established by law for the protection of employees in the construction field) may request a compensation of 75% of their average gross income of the previous three months, if their activity is interrupted during the state of emergency.

22/03:

  • stores operating in shopping malls are temporarily closed down, except for grocery stores, dry cleaners, electronics stores that deliver their products to customers, medical optic stores and human and veterinary pharmacies operating within the shopping malls.
  • All cultural, scientific, artistic, religious, sports, entertainment, gambling, balneary and personal treatment activities performed indoors are suspended.
  • Office building occupancy reduced due to obligation to work from home (if possible).
  • SMEs as well as some free lancers (i.e. lawyers, notaries public, bailiffs, medical and dentistry practices with no more than 20 employees) whose activity was entirely or partially interrupted based on decisions taken by the authorities due to the state of emergency may request postponement of payment of the fees for utilities and of the rent.
  • To benefit from the above, SMEs must obtain a "state of emergency certificate" that will be issued online by the Ministry of Economy, Energy and Business Environment.
  • Force majeure may be invoked against/by SMEs only after proven attempt to renegotiate/ adapt the agreement. Obtaining a "state of emergency certificate" represents a legal assumption of force majeure for this case, unless proven otherwise.

18/03:

  • cafes, bars, restaurants, etc., may only serve products to go or by home delivery.

5 Tax & Duties

5.1 Outstanding Tax Liabilities

  • 18/05: The tax withheld on the income obtained by residents and non-residents from activities related to cultural, artistic, sports, scientific, educational and entertainment events will have to be paid to the state budget by the 25th of the month following the one in which the event takes place. This provision applies to events rescheduled by the end of 2021 due to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.
  • No interest or late payment penalties will be due for the tax liabilities which are due starting with 21/03 and which are not settled in time. These will not qualify as overdue.
  • Tax enforcement proceedings will cease or they will not start, with the exception of those aimed at recovering budget receivables which are due following court rulings given in criminal matters.
  • Both measures above are applicable until the 30th day after the end of the state of emergency period.

5.2 Profit tax

  • 18/05: Profit tax payers, which pay their profit tax no later than 25/07/2020 for the second quarter and 25/10/2020 for the third quarter, benefit from a 10% reduction of said tax.
  • Advance quarterly profit tax payments can be computed by reference to the actual profit of 2020 instead of by reference to the profit obtained in 2019.
  • A 5% profit tax reduction is granted to large taxpayers which pay the profit tax for the first quarter of 2020 the advance quarterly profit tax no later than the due date (i.e. 25/04/2020, for taxpayers which have the tax year corresponding to the calendar year). A 10% profit tax reduction is granted under the same conditions for the rest of the taxpayers who are subject to profit tax.
  • Taxpayers which have the tax year different from the calendar year benefit from the 5%/ 10% profit tax reduction if they pay the profit tax for the quarter / the advance quarterly profit tax no later than the due date and said due date falls between 25/04 – 25/06/2020.
  • The above-mentioned profit tax reductions also apply to profit tax payable by companies subject to the specific tax (Horeca) for their other business activities which are outside the scope of the specific tax.

5.3 Micro-company tax

  • Micro-companies paying the micro-company tax for the first quarter of 2020 by 25/04/2020 benefit from a 10% reduction. The 10% reduction has also been extended for the second and third quarters, under the same conditions.
  • Tax credit is allowed to micro-companies that grant sponsorships to public authorities and institutions. Public beneficiaries do not have to be registered in the Registry of Non-profit Organisations and Religious Institutions.

5.4 Horeca sector

  • Companies subject to the specific tax (Horeca) which are not undergoing insolvency proceedings do not owe said tax while they totally or partially cease their activity during the state of emergency period, provided they hold the state of emergency certificate (mentioned at section 5.2 above).

5.5 VAT

  • 18/05: Supplies to associations and foundations consisting of medicine, protective gear, other devices or medical equipment and medical supplies which can be used in the prevention, treatment, containment and fight against COVID-19, made by 1 September 2020 are VAT exempt with credit. A list of the qualifying goods is provided by the law.
  • The actual payment of VAT on imports of medicine, protective gear, other devices or medical equipment and medical supplies which can be used in the prevention, treatment, containment and fight against COVID-19, made during the state of emergency and until the 30th day after the end of the state of emergency period is replaced by a "reverse charge"-like rule. A list of the qualifying goods is provided by the law.
  • The rule above is applicable also to imports of completely denatured alcohol used for the production of disinfectants, made during the state of emergency by importers holding an End-user authorization.
  • VAT refund claims will be settled without a prior tax audit, expect for several specific cases. A tax audit may be carried out subsequently. This measure is valid until the 30th day after the end of the state of emergency period.

5.6 Employees

  • 18/05: Incentives/bonuses granted by employers to employees who have carried out activities involving direct contact with citizens and who were thus exposed to the risk of infection with SARS-COV-2 during the state of emergency, are exempt from all social security contributions.
  • 18/05: Taxpayers can decide to redirect part of their income tax towards non-profit organisations and religious institutions by June 30 2020.
  • No income tax or social charges apply to benefits in kind received by employees having positions considered by the employer as essential for carrying out the activity, who are in preventive isolation at work or in specially dedicated areas with no access from outside, during the state of emergency.
  • The state-subsidized compensation received during the temporary lay-off or during the temporary closure of educational establishments by employees in the construction sector is not subject to the specific tax exemptions and reductions as of 01/04/2020.

5.7 Single Tax Return

  • 18/05: The deadline for submitting the Single Tax Return is extended from 25/05/2020 to 30/06/2020. 
  • A 5% reduction is granted for the settlement of the income tax, social security contribution and health insurance contribution for 2019, if the settlement is performed no later than 30/06/2020, while an additional 5% reduction is also granted for the submission of the Single Tax return by electronic means. The second reduction is granted only if the settlement of the qualifying liabilities is made before 30/06/2020.

5.8 Tax Restructuring Scheme

  • 31/07 is set as the new deadline for notifying the intention to benefit from the restructuring scheme.
  • The deadline for submitting the request to restructure outstanding liabilities together with the restructuring plan and the "prudent private creditor" test is extended until 30/10.

5.9 Deferred tax payments plans

  • No interest or late payment penalties will be due for the instalment payments under a deferred tax payment plan which are not settled in time. These will not qualify as overdue.
  • The tax authorities revise the deferred payment plan and notify the new plan to the debtor no later than the first payment term following the 30-day period after the end of the state of emergency.
  • The conditions for maintaining the validity of a deferred payment plan are suspended until the 30th day after the end of the state of emergency.

5.10 Property Taxes

  • 18/05: By decision of the local authorities, a reduction of  property  taxes for non-residential buildings may apply, in certain conditions.
  • Extended deadline for the first payment term for the 2020 property tax on buildings, on land and on vehicles from 31/03 to 30/06.

5.11 Relief of import duties and exemption of VAT

  • Granted for importations:
  • of goods needed to combat COVID-19 outbreak, made by State organizations/ organizations approved by competent authorities, intended to be distributed free of charge to persons affected by/ at risk from/ involved in combating COVID-19;
  • of goods imported for release into free circulation by or on behalf of disaster relief agencies in order to meet their needs during the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Applies to importations made between 30/01-31/07. Further conditions apply.

5.12 Excise duties

  • Alcohol, alcoholic beverages and energy products requisitioned by the state can be further monetized by public authorities.

5.13 Fiscal procedure

  • The statute of limitation ceases or does not start until the 30th day after the end of the state of emergency period.

5.14 Financial statements

  • The deadline for submitting the financial statements for 2019 is extended to 31/07/2020.

5.15 Tax amnesty

  • 18/05: A tax amnesty is introduced for the cancellation of interest, penalties and other ancillary liabilities related to outstanding principal budgetary obligations as at 31/03/2020. Conditions apply.

6 Corporate

  • 08/05: Emergency Ordinance no. 62/2020 on convening and holding of GSMs, bondholders meetings or meetings of other corporate bodies of unlisted companies during the emergency period in Romania (applicable to meetings convened and held during the emergency state/  convened during the emergency state but held after its termination/ convened and held in the first 2 months after the termination of the emergency state; for meetings of management, supervisory or management bodies, also applicable to those which take place in the first 30 days after termination of the emergency state):
    • GSMs can be convened without publishing the convening notice in the Official Gazette;
    • GSMs or bondholders meetings may take place, even if the articles of association does not provide for or prohibits, by voting by correspondence or by electronic means of direct distance communication (e.g. video/ phone conferences), without the need of any physical presence of the shareholders/bondholders;
    • the participation of the collective administration/supervision bodies regulated by Law no. 31/1990 on Companies can also be done through means of direct distance communication, regardless of the object of the decision;
    • the legal deadline for holding annual GSMs was prolonged until 31/07/2020.
  • All registrations with the Trade Registry can be made only electronically or by registered mail. Extended electronic signature (semnatura electronica extinsa) is necessary for all electronic submissions.
  • Companies may consider signing their corporate documents also electronically based on Act 455/2001 on electronic signatures, provided that the signatory parties have an extended electronic signature created based on a qualified certificate,  which is generated based on a secured signature creation device. Such documents are assimilated, in terms of conditions and effects, to deeds signed under private signature.
  • List of local providers of qualified certification services. Consider verifying in advance the local practice of competent Trade Registry.
  • Copies of the documents submitted in the past with the Trade Registry, certificates ascertaining the current status of the company (certificate constatatoare) or specific information regarding companies can be obtained only electronically or by registered mail;
  • Submission of affidavit (including of statement regarding the ultimate beneficial owner (UBO)) can be made in the form of a private signature deed or a document signed in electronic form (no notarization required) and can be sent to the Trade Registry office without any other formality.

7 Competition

7.1 Hearings & Meetings

  • All authority and court hearings and meetings are postponed until 15/05.

7.2 Service of Documents

  • All documents (including notification forms) will be sent electronically (via e-mail) and/or via registered mail until 15/05.

7.3 State aid (SMEs support)

  • Secured loans – State will guarantee up to 80% for investment and/or working capital loans and up to an amount of RON 10m per beneficiary.
  • Loan guarantees – these guarantees are attached to the State secured loans for working capital and aim to secure up to 90% of the loans granted to micro-enterprises (up to RON 500k) or small enterprises (up to RON 1m).
  • Beneficiaries will not owe and pay any guarantee premium or administration fees. Interests will be subsidized by the State, until 31/12/2020 (based on a dedicated de minimis state aid scheme).

8 Courts and Authorities

Criminal

8.1 Procedural law / deadlines

  • Deadlines are suspended until 15/05; new deadlines run as of 15/05.
  • Deadlines for exerting challenges against court rulings (i.e. appeal, second appeal) are suspended until 15/05. New deadlines run as of 15/05.
  • Statute of limitation terms for criminal liability are suspended until 15/05. Statute of limitation terms are resumed starting 15/05.

8.2 Criminal investigations

  • Criminal investigations continue to be carried out strictly as concerns urgent matters, i.e. any proceeding aimed at preserving evidence or apprehending the defendant, such as: preventive arrests, home searches and cyber searches, seizures on assets, investigation of the crime scene, electronic surveillance.
  • Defendants placed under judicial supervision or judicial control on bail shall no longer be compelled to appear before the police officers who exert such supervision; instead, the police agents shall go to the defendant's domicile, whenever they deem it necessary.

8.3 Court hearings

15/05:

  • Criminal courts' activity is resumed on 15/05.
  • Between 15/05 -25/05, courts shall take measures to re-summon the parties whose cases were suspended during the state of emergency.
  • Criminal cases shall be tried with priority and judicial holiday is postponed for 08/2020.
  • It is recommended that cases of preventive arrests continue to be tried by video-conference, with the consent of the parties.
  • Measures will be taken in order to avoid overcrowding the courtrooms, with a minimal protection distance of 1.5 m between persons.
  • Compulsory wearing of face masks during hearing.
  • Access to court building is allowed only 20 minutes prior to the hearing and access to courtroom is allowed only 10 minutes prior to the hearing.
  • Each criminal file shall be allotted a timeframe and the prosecutor/parties/counsels may consult the criminal file only during such timeframe. Consultation of the electronic file available on the courts' e-portal is recommended.
  • If the counsel/parties wish to consult the file in the courts' archive, it is recommended that they do so based on a 2-day prior appointment by phone.

15/04:

  • Criminal courts shall continue to rule on urgent cases, both on the merits and on appeal, such as: conditional release on probation; changes of venue, conflicts of jurisdictions and procedural incidents; measures regarding the prevention of diseases; extraordinary appeals; all cases which do not imply summoning the parties to court.
  • In cases of conditional release on probation, criminal courts shall rule with priority, the hearings being established within a maximum of 7 days or even less.
  • Additionally, criminal courts may also rule on cases where the law does not impose summoning of parties to court.
  • Court hearings are suspended until 15/05, except those concerning urgent matters such as trial of: offenses against life, flagrant offenses, offenses against national security, acts of terrorism, money laundering, etc.
  • Detained individuals shall be heard by audio-visual means. Also, other persons involved in criminal proceedings may be heard by videoconference, on condition they give their consent.

8.4 Service of Documents

  • 15/05: It is recommended that court documents be notified by email, fax and postal service so as to avoid unnecessary crowding at the courts' registries.
  • Judicial authorities serve procedural documents by e-mail and the agreement of parties is presumed in this respect.
  • Documents are delivered by parties in a criminal investigation either by fax or e-mail, together with written and/or verbal notification of such delivery (i.e. no courier or regular post).

Civil

8.5 Procedural law / deadlines

  • Deadlines are suspended until 15/05; new deadlines shall run as of 15/05.
  • Deadlines for exerting challenges against court rulings (i.e. appeal, second appeal) are suspended until 15/05.
  • Statute of limitation terms for civil liability are suspended until 15/05.
  • Only the very urgent cases are handled during the state of emergency – the High Court of Justice and each Court of Appeal for the courts in their jurisdiction to determine the urgent cases.
  • In case a court's activity is prevented/hindered due to extraordinary circumstances (e.g. total quarantine/lockdown), the High Court of Justice could delegate/designate another court of equal ranking to judge urgent cases.
  • In urgent cases, the hearings could be conducted by videoconference, if possible.

8.6 Court hearings

  • Court hearings are lawfully suspended until 15/05, except those concerning urgent matters such as trial of: approval of the enforcement, stay of the enforcement, restraining orders, freezing orders, injunctions, interim measures such as precautionary measures and applications for preservation of evidence.

8.7 Service of Documents

  • Court decisions continue to be motivated, drafted and served.
  • Judicial authorities shall serve procedural documents by e-mail and the agreement of parties is presumed in this respect.
  • Documents are delivered by parties to a civil case either by fax or e-mail, together with written and/or verbal notification of such delivery (i.e. no courier or regular post).

8.8 Enforcement proceedings

  • Evacuation proceedings are suspended until 15/05.
  • All the other direct enforcement procedures are suspended at least until 15/05.
  • The enforcement activity will continue only in cases where it is possible to comply with the sanitary discipline rules established by the decisions of the National Committee on Special Emergency Situations such as garnishment.

Administrative

​​​​​​​8.9 Deadlines/ Proceedings/ Terms

  • Similar with the civil courts, the activity of the administrative courts was suspended save for the urgent cases - public procurement of medical products and/or other acquisitions concerning the application of measures linked to the emergency state, as well as the performance of such public procurement agreements, are deemed urgent.
  • The activity of the Romanian authority for solving public procurement procedures (CNSC) was not suspended.
  • Short hearings of one day or even same day can be set in emergency cases.
  • The terms for the access to public information are doubled.

8.10 Extension of documents validity

  • The validity of documents issued by public authorities that expire during the emergency state is extended.
  • Documents issued by public authorities can be renewed / changed in 90 days after the termination of the emergency state.

8.11 Anti-money laundering

  • Procedures and statements related to anti-money laundry / real beneficiary are suspended.
  • Such procedures are extended with three months after the expiry of the state of emergency.

8.12 Restrictions to free movement. Mandatory quarantine

15/05:

  • Free movement inside cities and metropolitan areas. Forming groups of more than 3 persons that do not belong to the same family is prohibited.
  • Movement outside metropolitan areas permitted only for specific reasons (e.g. professional reasons, administering/ maintenance of properties, family gatherings, sports and recreational activities such as cycling, hiking, etc.) and only based on a sworn statement.

10/04:

  • Preventive isolation measures of 14 days and personal protection equipment must be taken for employees working in social services such as residential centers for care and assistance of elder persons, children and adults. The access of visitors in said centers is prohibited.

05/04:  

  • Drivers of road freight vehicles are no longer subject to preventive isolation measures when entering Romania, provided that: (i) they do not have any COVID-19 associated symptoms; (ii) personal protection equipment is made available by employers; (iii) they fill in a sworn affidavit indicating the address where they can be contacted by the authorities between routes. Special rules have been put in place for road freight vehicle transiting Romania, i.e. drivers can use only transiting corridors approved by the relevant Ministry, transiting duration cannot exceed 48 hours from entering Romania; no stationing allowed except for parking lots situated on transiting corridors etc.

31/03:

  • Preventive isolation measures (the duration of which will be established by the employer) must be taken by employers for certain categories of personnel, i.e. employees holding essential functions in production, transportation and distribution of electric energy and natural gas. The isolation of the relevant employees will intervene in the workplace or in dedicated areas provided by the employer.
  • Suceava county and surrounding communities, and as of 04/04 -Țăndărei City (situated in Ialomita county), are subject to full lockdown. Restrictions have been established for the entry/exit out of the lockdown area, except for freight transportation to businesses in that area and employees which are engaged in the following sectors: defence, national security, public order, handling of emergency situations, medical services, judicial services, public utility services, energy, agriculture, food, water, communications and transports.

24/03:

  • Right to enter the country restricted for foreign and stateless persons, with limited exceptions.
  • Right to free movement restricted for the general public, except for professional reasons and specific personal reasons.
  • Public institutions and private companies have to mark the entry zone for persons/ clients as well as the public relations/ sale surface with visible signs in order to instruct persons to observe a minimum distance of 1.5 m between them.

​​​​​​​8.13 Price cap

  • During the state of emergency, prices of electrical and thermic energy, natural gas, water supply, sanitation and fuels cannot be raised over the price level charged on 29/03/2020. Such prices may be however decreased.

8.14 Prohibition on exports and sale of shares

10/04:

  • Export of several agri-food products (e.g. wheat, corn, barley, oat etc.) is prohibited during the state of emergency. Intra-community acquisitions may be conducted only if the acquiring member state proves that said products are destined for internal consumption and not for export.
  • All procedures for the sale of majority stakes in companies in the national energetic system are suspended. The divestment procedures shall be resumed following expiry of the emergency state (expected to be extended until mid-May 2020),  with the corresponding deferral of the process milestones.
  • The measure was targeted to the large divestments currently pending on the Romanian energy market. However, it effectively impacts all companies in the value chain (i.e. electricity production, transmission, distribution and supply/trading) that are currently undergoing divestment procedures, which are now suspended.

9 Healthcare

9.1 Health and safety measures in alert state (15/05 - 15/06)

  • Law establishing the general framework for measures taken by the Government during the state of alert specifically due to the Covid-19 pandemic was promulgated by the President of Romania and published in the Official Gazette. It shall enter into force on 18/05.
  • Mandatory epidemiological triage by temperature measurement for all employees/ visitors at access/ control points at premises' entrance (max. 37.3°C);
  • Mandatory hand disinfection before entering workplaces and frequent disinfection of all exposed surfaces in commercial spaces;
  • In case of public access in the premises of public institutions and private entities, a minimal surface of 4 sqm for each client and a minimal distance of 2m between two persons should be ensured, especially at the cash register/ counter area;
  • Special rules regarding open space offices, hotels, religious activities, personal hygiene activities, training camp activities for performance athletes and cultural activities in museums, libraries and exhibition rooms have been enacted.
  • Demonstrations, concerts and other meetings in public spaces remain prohibited, except for cultural, scientific, artistic, sporting, entertainment, gambling, fitness, public swimming pool and balneary activities that may be performed only outdoor.

9.2 Medical and sanitary devices

  • 15/04: New rules for the donation of medicines/medical devices used for the treatment of COVID-19. During the state of emergency, all sanitary/social assistance units, as well as public institutions and authorities are allowed to receive medicines/sanitary equipment/medical devices/vaccines/ laboratory reagents etc., irrespective of the value thereof, with the acceptance of the National Agency for Medicines and Medical Devices of Romania. Personal protection equipment and disinfectants, irrespective of the value thereof, may be received by the above-mentioned categories without any formalities.
  • Prohibition to transport for distribution outside Romania of medical devices and sanitary materials which ensure prevention and treatment of affections associated with COVID-19, as well as medicines included in the National Catalogue of Prices for Medicines Authorized to be Placed on the Romanian Market (CANAMED).
  • Prices of medicines and medical equipment may be capped to the medium price in the last 3 months prior to the declaration of the emergency state.
  • Central public authorities may seize (requisition) production units of materials and equipment necessary for the eradication of the COVID-19 epidemy.
  • Off-label treatments (use of pharmaceutical drugs for an unapproved indication or in an unapproved age group, dosage, or route of administration) are authorized for patients with COVID-19, after such treatments are endorsed by the medicine policy committee from the respective sanitary unit.

9.3 Medical services

  • 15/05: the activity of dental practices has been restarted also for non-emergency cases (with certain health and safety rules to be followed).
  • 15/05: medical assistance has been restarted (both in public and private hospitals/clinics) also for non-emergency cases (with certain health and safety rules to be followed, such as: visits only by prior appointment, no waiting rooms etc.).
  • Activities performed by dental practices are suspended, except for emergency dental interventions.
  • Activities performed by public and private hospitals are limited only to emergency cases: (i) patients which are at death risk in the next 24 hours, (ii) patients which are hospitalized and may not be released from the hospital, and (iii) patients with COVID-19.
  • All private and public hospitals will release non-emergency patients and will suspend any scheduled appointments and will not make new ones (except for emergencies).
  • A detailed measure plan applicable to all private and public hospitals has been established at national level. It regulates admission of patients, medical assistance for patients tested COVID-19 positive and patients in a critical state, epidemiological profiling, usage of PPE among medical personnel, prevention measures in the context of COVID-19 etc.
  • During emergency state, all medical services/medicines will be performed/ validated without using the national card for social health insurance. Medicines issued only with medical prescription will be prescribed without a new evaluation of the patient. Medical consults may be performed remote, via any means of communication.
  • The validity term of medical notes/recommendations for treatments or devices is prolonged for 90 days from the date of their issuance.

9.4 Obligation to wear masks or similar personal protection equipment

  • 15/05: masks became mandatory in all indoor spaces and, more specifically, in commercial spaces, common transportation and workplaces.
  • 06/04: masks or other improvised means of protection (e.g. scarfs) are mandatory to be worn in all public spaces in Maramures, Vaslui, Iasi, Hunedoara, Suceava, Bacau and Galati counties (areas with a Covid-19 outbreak). In areas other than the ones mentioned above, there is only a recommendation to do so.
  • 10.04: Local public authorities and owners (legal or natural persons) of residential buildings are instructed to place disinfectant solutions at entrance, as well as to periodically disinfect elevators and other common spaces of the buildings.

9.5 Procurement of medicines and medical equipment

  • 15/04: During the state of emergency, institutions from the defence, public order and national security sectors may conduct award procedures for the conclusion of framework agreements meant to cover the necessary protection and intervention equipment via a negotiated procedure without publication of a tender notice. The necessary equipment and the maximum quantities thereof will be established by the Supreme Council of National Defence and the maximum duration of the framework agreement shall not exceed 3 months from its conclusion.
  • Contracting authorities,, as well as private companies in which the state is the majority shareholder, may directly procure materials and equipment necessary for the eradication of the COVID-19 pandemic (i.e. without following any public procedure procurement). without observing the threshold provided by the public procurement legislation for the publication of a contract notice. However, such acquisitions are limited by the amount of the budgetary funds allocated with such destination.
  • In case of procurement by sanitary units of medicines used for the treatment of patients with COVID-19, the prices of such medicines are allowed to be higher that the maximal prices approved by the Health Ministry.

10 Insolvency

10.1 Deadlines

  • The deadline for creditors to file the statement of claim is stayed.
  • The deadline to publish the preliminary table of receivables is also stayed due to the fact that the underlining deadline to file the statement of claim is stayed.

10.2 Proceedings

  • The activity of the courts is suspended except for urgent cases.

10.3 SME Support

  • Support measures for SMEs were adopted. Such measures do not have a direct impact on the insolvency proceedings however may be considered prevention measures implemented by the Romanian State.

10.4 Digitalization

  • During the emergency state, the insolvency proceedings should continue. The creditors' assembly can take place (i) via votes and documents submitted via e-mail/courier and (ii) via video/audio conferences.

The transparency level of the insolvency proceedings increased. The insolvency practitioners are forced to published more relevant documents in the Journal of Insolvency Proceedings

11 Insurance

02/04:

  • The Romanian Financial Supervisory Authority issued Norm no. 21/2020 whereby insurance/reinsurance companies and insurance brokerage companies have been granted a longer term of 150 days starting with 1 January 2020 for submitting their 2019 individual financial statements with the competent authorities.
  • Term prorogation for submitting the annual financial statements for 2019 with the Romanian Financial Supervisory Authority and with the Ministry of Finance.

12 Intellectual Property

n/a

13 Telecom & Data Protection

13.1 Telecoms

  • National security institutions were empowered to design communication systems and informatic applications meant to check the compliance with the quarantine and isolation conditions – such systems and applications to be used by the Internal Affair Ministry / Ministry of Health / local authorities to communicate in real time and permanently with the persons under quarantine/ isolated at home.
  • Public & private entities are obliged to contribute to the public information campaign regarding measures adopted and activities performed at national level in connection with COVID-19. Further, all types of communication such as text, audio-video, photographic materials that are related to and/or aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19, regardless of the originator (public/private), will be published free of charge on all mass media channels, thus adding to the time allocated to marketing, at the request of the Strategic Communication Group, part of the National Committee for Special Emergency Situations.
  • In case false information on COVID-19 is spread through mass-media or online, public authorities, including the Communications' Supervisory Authority, can intervene. Applicable measures include immediate interruption of broadcast, removal of information at source, access stoppage during the state of emergency, doubled by information of consumers.
  • Providers of electronic communications services have to establish technical and organizational measures in order to ensure the integrity of the electronic communications networks, the continuity of the provision of electronic communications services and to avoid potential situations of interruption of data traffic in public electronic communications networks for users of military and civilian authorities.
  • During the state of emergency, providers of electronic communications services may use short message services (SMS) to fulfil their obligations on the transmission of pre-contractual and contractual information, the conclusion of contracts and obtaining of confirmation on the conclusion of contracts. The burden of proof of compliance with the legal provisions rests, in these cases, with the provider of electronic communications services.

13.2 Data Protection

  • No special regulations for now. Special attention has to be paid, per the legislation, to the data protection including in the electronic communications that are to be used, during the state of emergency, as the main means for communication.

14 Other

Budgetary and EU funds

14.1 EU Funds

  • 15/04: New rules for the reorganization, restructuring and reprogramming of the activities subject to EU funding will be established by the Government within 10 days from the entry into force of the Decree 240/2020.
  • 15/04: During the state of emergency, following a justified request from the beneficiaries, management authorities/intermediary bodies may consent to the reorganization, restructuring and reprogramming of the activities subject to EU funding. Such amendments will not affect the result indicators of such projects and the prolongation thereof will not exceed 31/12/2023.
  • 15/04: During the state of emergency, authorities responsible with the issuance of certificates or other relevant documents for EU funded projects shall conduct public debates and issue all relevant documentation electronically.
  • Beneficiaries of EU funding affected by the emergency measures may suspend their financing agreements. The decision must be taken and agreed with the management authorities/intermediary bodies in charge of the respective EU funding program. Specific instructions shall be issued by the respective authorities to ensure that the financing agreements are performed in accordance with the legal provisions and the measures established for the prevention of COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Expenses related to medicines and medical equipment used for COVID-19 pandemic may be settled out of EU Funding Operational Program "Large Infrastructure" (in Romanian: Programul Operational Infrastructura Mare).
  • Expenses related to wage and transportation, social assistance, temporary lay-off and risk incentives may be settled out of the EU Fuding Operational Program "Human Capital" (in Romanian: Programul Operational Capital Uman). 

14.2 Re-direction of unused public funds

  • Transfers of unused budgetary and commitment appropriations are allowed in order to provide the necessary funds for the implementation of measures to combat and prevent the spread of infection with COVID-19, however within the approved annual budgetary provisions.
  • Budgetary funds will be redirected from the Sole National Health Fund or/and State Budget in order to grant a risk incentive of RON 2,500 (gross)/month during the emergency state to the medical personnel (including auxiliary/transportation personnel) involved in combating COVID-19.

 

Kindly note that the summaries on this page are for information purposes only and do not take into account the specifics of a certain situation. The information is not designed to substitute and cannot substitute legal advice tailored to your needs. It is made available strictly on a non-reliance basis. Also, some of the addressed topics might be subject to short-term changes. 

This article is part of our coronavirus-focused legal updates – visit our coronavirus infocorner to get more info!

Co-author: Ioana Mitu