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Legislative Newsletter March 2016

Romanian Legislation

  1. Order no. 825/2016 of the President of the National Agency for Fiscal Administration for approving the model and content of the “Re-verification Decision” form was published in in Official Gazette, Part I, no. 165 of 4 March.
  • According to the applicable regulations, the tax audit is performed once for each type of tax receivable and for each period subject to taxation, nevertheless, by way of exception, a re-verification may be decided upon if, in the meantime, certain data have emerged that influence the results of inspection.
  • In case the Tax Administration decides on the re-verification of the taxpayer, the latter must be informed in advance. Thus, at the beginning of the re-verification action, the tax inspection body must communicate the “Rechecking Decision” to the contributor/taxpayer, who may challenge such within 45 days as of communication.
  • The above-mentioned normative deed approves the form and the content of the “Re-verification Decision” form, thus amending the articles which bring under regulation the situation at hand. Similarly to previous practice, the re-verification decision shall be drafted in 3 counterparts and shall be communicated to the taxpayer 30 days prior to the commencement of the fiscal inspection, in case of major taxpayers, or 15 days in advance, in case of other taxpayers/remunerators.
  1. Government Decision no. 105/2016 for establishing the quota by types of newly admitted workers on the labor market in 2016, published in the Official Gazette, Part I, no. 158 of 1 March.
  • Similarly with 2014 and 2015, this year also, a number of 5,500 new foreign workers may be received on the labor market in Romania, respectively citizens of other states than the European Union or the European Economic Area states or of the Swiss Confederation, or foreign citizens whose free access to the labor market is brought under regulation by treaties and agreements concluded by Romania with other states.
  • Under the legislation, in case of permanent workers and similar permanent workers, the employers pay the fees and contributions provided by law. In addition, the companies that hire foreigners need a special notice, approved by Emergency Ordinance no. 25/2014 on the employment and secondment of foreigners in Romania.
  1. Order no. 839/2016 of the President of the National Agency for Fiscal Administration for approving the Technical Norms authorizing repositories and perimeters for temporary storage, as well as the Technical Norms for registering the warehouses used in duty free areas was published in the Official Gazette, Part I, no. 164 of 3 March.
  • The mentioned enactment addresses economic operators engaged in activities based on expedition houses, which hold customs warehouses or which operate as transport companies or customs officials.
  • Basically, the document brings under regulation the authorization for temporary storage warehouses. We remind you that the deadline for submitting a customs declaration for import is of up to 45 days for goods supplied by sea way or 20 days for goods transported by other means.
  • For the purpose of keeping the goods in a proper condition and for observing the import rights of the state, certain temporary storage warehouses may be authorized, subject to certain conditions, established by the above order.
  1. Competition Law no. 21/1996 was republished in the Official Gazette, Part I, no. 153 of February 29, 2016.
  • Competition Law no. 21/1996 was republished in the Official Gazette at the beginning of the previous week.
  • The enactment is aimed at protecting, maintaining and encouraging competition and a normal competitive environment in order to promote the interests of consumers.
  1. Law no. 17/2016 amending and supplementing Law no. 230/2007 on the setup, organization and functioning of flat owners’ associations was published in the Official Gazette, Part I, no. 174 of March 8.
  • According to the enactment which came into force on Friday, the flat owners’ associations must put on display, every month, the calculation method based on which the monthly amounts must be paid by the flat owners.
  • This action must be carried out by the president of association, who decides on such document and, in case the method of calculating the monthly payment amounts incumbent to flat owners is not displayed, the applicable fine can be established between RON 500 and 3,000.
  • According to the applicable legislation, the amount related to the common property of each owner of the condominium is established and allocated in proportion to the undivided share of the common property.
  1. Government Decision no. 133/2016 amending the Methodological Norms for enforcing Law no. 76/2002 on the unemployment insurance system and the incentive of work force occupancy, approved by Government Decision no. 174/2002, and amending the Procedures regarding access to the measures for encouraging employment, financing methods and instructions for implementing such, approved by Government Decision no. 377/2002, was published in the Official Gazette, Part I, no. 172 of March 8.
  • The norms in force provide that the companies that hire unemployed persons for works and temporary activities may receive money from the state.
  • Specifically, the costs with the labor force incurred within the programs aimed at temporary employment of unemployed persons, for works and activities of interest to local communities shall be subsidized by the state, based on a de minimis scheme.
  • In this regard, the enactment published during the previous week provides that employers shall be able to hire as temporary work force certain persons registered as unemployed with the territorial agencies for employment, whether or not they receive unemployment benefits. The grants shall be supported from the unemployment insurance budget, as well as from other sources.
  1. Government Decision no. 131/2016 amending and supplementing Government Decision no. 345/2010 for approving the models of the standard forms used in the activity of criminal record was published in the Official Gazette, Part I, no. 169 of 7 March.
  • Earlier this year, the possibility for diplomatic missions and consular offices to directly issue receipts holding the value of certificates of criminal record for Romanian citizens abroad came into force..
  • In this respect, the Government has established, by means of the said document, the certificate template and the application template to be filled in when requesting such certificate.
  • However, in order for the new provisions to be effectively enforced, it is also necessary that a cooperation protocol is concluded between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, for the purpose of interconnecting their information systems.
  1. Government Emergency Ordinance no. 5/2016 amending and supplementing Law no. 95/2006 on healthcare reform, published in the Official Gazette, Part I, no. 189 of 14March 2016.
  • At the beginning of the previous week, the publication of this document brought several changes to the public health system.
  • Specifically, the income threshold up to which the retired persons are insured within the health insurance system with the contribution paid from the state budget was increased, so that the retired persons with pensions amounting to less than RON 872 shall no longer pay the health insurance contribution.
  • Also, the enactment introduces the possibility of changing the family doctor before the term of six months as of registration on the lists of such doctor.
  • As for the validity of the European health insurance card, this has been extended from six months to one year.
  1. Order no. 39/2016 of the Minister of Public Finance approving the conditions for destruction, within the tax warehouse, of excise goods which have not been released for consumption was published in the Official Gazette, Part I, no. 203 of 18March 2016.
  • The normative deed published on Friday addresses economic operators who carry out trading activities with excisable products and who possess authorized tax warehouses for production or storage.
  • According to the legal provisions, the excise goods located in warehouses are subject to the regime regarding postponement of payment of excise duty. This postponement regime ends at the moment when the excise goods are released for consumption.
  • The quoted document defines, among others, the concept of Act of God and force majeure, while defining the term of breach of legal trading conditions and passing the procedure applicable to excise duties.
  1. Government Decision no. 159/2016 amending and supplementing the Methodological Norms for enforcing Law no. 227/2015 regarding the Fiscal Code, approved by Government Decision no. 1/2016 published in the Official Gazette, Part I, no. 208 of 21March 2016.
  • According to the normative deed published at the beginning of the previous week, the norms for enforcement of the Fiscal Code have been amended for the second time during 2016.
  • Thus, the quoted enactment bring clarifications on several areas of taxation, including VAT, income tax, excise and other special taxes and local taxes.
  • Nevertheless, the most important provision of GD no. 159/2016 refers to the local type of fees and taxes, specifically the situation of individuals who own buildings for mixed use (both as a residence and as registered office), in case of which the areas used for residential and non-residential purposes may not be delimited.
  • To be precise, in such a situation, the owners as individuals shall pay a normal residential tax (just like for a regular dwelling), and not an increased tax, even if they carry out economic activity at that location, provided that they do not deduce their utility costs.
  1. Government Decision no. 161/2016 approving the service packages and the Framework Contract which regulates the conditions for medical assistance, medicinal products and medical devices in the health insurance system for the years 2016-2017 was published in the Official Gazette, Part I, no. 215 of 23March 2016.
  • The quoted enactment to be enforced as of 1 April includes the medical services that citizens are to benefit of, based on the minimal package and on the basic package, for the following two years.
  • The minimum package shall address uninsured individuals and it shall include health care services, medicinal products and medical supplies granted only for surgical emergencies and in case of potentially endemic-epidemic illnesses, while the basic package shall address insured individuals and it shall include medical services, health care services, medicinal products, medical devices and other services that these individuals are entitled to.
  1. Order no. 1106/2016 of the President of the National Agency for Fiscal Administration amending the Procedure for providing information in accordance with art. 61 of Law no. 207/2015 regarding to the Fiscal Procedure Code, approved by Order no. 3770/2015 of the President of the National Agency for Fiscal Administration published in the Official Gazette, Part I, no. 239 of 31 March 2016.
  • According to the provisions of the New Fiscal Procedure Code, as of 1 January, NAFA should receive from banks, on a daily basis, a list of people who open or close a bank account, irrespective of their capacity as natural persons or legal entities.
  • Under the same enactment, banks must report to the Fiscal Administration the identification details of persons holding signatory rights for the opened accounts and a list of persons who rent safe deposit boxes.
  • However, the new provisions could not be enforced so far, especially due to the failure to adapt the information systems of the banks, therefore the new regulations are to be enforced as of 1 July, such as indicated in the above-mentioned normative deed.
  1. Government Decision no. 200/30.03.2016 on deferring, until 1 July 2016, the term for enforcement of the provisions of the Government Decision no. 161/2016 approving the service packages and the Framework Agreement governing the conditions for providing medical assistance, medical products and medical devices in the health insurance system for the years 2016-2017, and for extending, until 30 June 2016, the enforcement of the provisions of the Government Decision no. 400/2014 approving the service packages and the Framework Agreement governing the conditions for granting medical assistance within the health insurance system for the years 2014-2015, published in the Official Gazette, Part I, no. 236 of 30March 2016.
  • Although the package and the framework contract including the conditions for providing medical assistance in the health system, for the period 2016-2017, were recently published in the Official Gazette and were to apply from 1 April, the Government has deferred their entry into force for three months, upon the request of family doctors.
  • The packages actually include the medical services that citizens are to benefit of during the next two years.
  • Under these circumstances, the validity of the medical packages for the period 2014-2015 has been extended until summer, in order to cover the interval 1 April – 30 June.
  1. Order no. 324/2016 of the Minister of Public Finance approving the Methodological Norms for the enforcement, by the Ministry of Public Finance, of the procedures on ceasing/recovering state or de minimis aid was published in the Official Gazette, Part I, no. 228 of 28 March 2016.
  • According to the above-mentioned enactment, the competent bodies within MPF have the obligation to monitor the state and de minimis aid schemes, as well as the individual aids administered by such.
  • When the relevant institutions ascertain the failure to observe the conditions for granting state or de minimis aid, they hold the competence, according to the legal provisions, to issue a decision which, depending upon the ascertain situation, may order the cessation regarding granting of state aid/ de minimis aid/individual state aid or the partial/total recovery of a state aid/de minimis aid/ individual state aid.
  1. Order no. 412/2016 of Minister of Public Finance approving the level of the specific excise duty on cigarettes published in the Official Gazette, Part I, no. 288 of 28March 2016.
  • Similarly to the previous years, a new amendment to the level of the specific excise duty on cigarettes has entered into force as of 1 April.
  • As of 1 April 2016, until the end of the year, the level of the specific excise duty on cigarettes amounts to RON 329.30 /1,000 cigarettes, as compared to the value applicable between 1 January and 31 March 2016, namely RON 333.37 /1,000 cigarettes.
  • Given that the total value of excise on cigarettes is obtained by adding the specific excise duty and the ad-valorem excise duty, which must be higher than the minimum excise provided by the Tax Code, it remains to be seen whether the sale price for a pack of cigarettes shall increase or not.

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Partner Ionut Bohalteanu is a registered member of the Romanian Chamber of Tax advisers – the foremost member institution for tax advisers in the country. A highly respected tax adviser, he is equally proficient providing standalone tax advice, or on the tax elements of a large transaction. Most of his clients are international and come to him for standalone tax advice, as evidenced in the work matters detailed here.
Our team provides innovative solutions to real estate issues for overseas and domestic clients alike. Able to assist with evert stage of a property deal, there are strong synergies between our real estate, corporate and banking and finance practices. Our comprehensive knowledge of the Romanian property market has served our clients well and we are natural choice for any company in possession of, or seeking to acquire, real estate assets in the country.Please click here to see what our recent experience includes.
Partner Silvia Sandu is one of the foremost privacy and data protection experts in Bucharest, amply demonstrated by the experience detailed here.
BSMP has acted in some of the most important inbound Romanian transactions for international clients as well as in some of the most important domestic deals. Equally efficient on the buy or sell-side, our experience includes negotiating mergers, demergers and joint ventures with particularly robust expertise in the regulated sectors, particularly energy, where our knowledge of the complicated Romanian regulatory regimes comes into its known.The firm has also acted in the privatization of some of the most important Romanian companies with partner Ionut Bohalteanu being a recognized leader in the field.Please click here to see what our experience includes.
Partner Silvia Sandu is a leading healthcare and pharmaceuticals lawyer, having assisted a host of multinationals with their Romanian operations for a number of years.Please click here to see what her experience includes.
The firm’s energy expertise is market leading and it is one of our core sector focuses. We have acted for a raft of multinational companies in some of the most important inbound Romanian energy transactions. Our diverse sector experience has seen us leading on major oil and gas, power and renewables projects, as well as in developing, niche fields such as mini hydro power plants and solar technology. We are able to assist our energy clients with the full life-span of a project from inception to completion, and with post-completion issues including disputes.Please click here for a summary of our team’s first-class recent experience.
Our employment client roster is comprised almost entirely of multinationals, for whom we have achieved success in a huge range of matters from cross-border redundancies and unfair dismissal claims to resolution of non-compete and high-level confidentiality issues. Practice head Silvia Sandu also has some of the foremost life sciences sector expertise in the market, as demonstrated below.Please click here to see what recent mandates include.
Our dispute resolution practice, led by Gabriela Mina, is steadily carving a reputation as one of the most sought after teams in Bucharest through a string of high-profile successes for international clients and a caseload which includes some of the most high-profile domestic disputes.Please  click here to see what the team’s recent cases include.
The highly regarded international experience of partners Ionut Bohalteanu and Daniela Milculescu, co-heads of the corporate and commercial department, make our firm a natural choice for any company with business interests in Romania. Our sector experience is vast, covering multiple areas from high-end energy instructions for European and Chinese multinationals, to major Romanian mandates in the FMCG, real estate and technology sectors among others. Our work is most often very high-value in nature, particularly by Romanian standards, and we have acted on transactions up to €50m.We assist our clients with all aspects of corporate and commercial, as demonstrated  here .
Competition is a strongly developing practice at the firm, and one in which we are carving a robust reputation for high-level advice to international clients on issues of crucial importance to their operations. Our sector expertise is vast including, among others, the FMCG, software and pharma industries. Our experience is equally wide-ranging covering competition issues as diverse as identification of risk, assistance during investigations by the competition authorities, applications for state aid schemes and training on competition matters (including simulated dawn raids).Please click here to see some illustrations of what the calibre of our practice includes.
Capital markets is one of our firm’s core practice areas. Some of the biggest banks and companies operating in Romania have turned our team , led by Ionut Bohalteanu and Daniela Milculescu. Indeed, we count the Bucharest Stock Exchange itself as one of our clients in an ample demonstration of the high esteem in which our capital markets expertise is held. Equally proficient acting for banks, companies or international investment funds, our lawyers provide clients with one of the most adept offerings available in the market.Please click here to see what our recent experience includes.
Led by Daniela Milculescu, our banking and finance practice is one of the premier offerings in Bucharest. On the lender-side our experience has few equals in the market with a client roster which includes some of the largest banks operating in the region. Our expertise covers the full spectrum of the banking and finance space from big-ticket syndicated loans, acquisition finance and restructuring, to the feasibility of new banking products, asset finance and regulatory advice.Please click here to see recent illustrations of our market-leading capabilities.