By: Alina Moldovan and Ana Zagor
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Legal Update – May 2022
Some of the pieces of legislation that were published in the Official Journal of Romania during May 2022, as mentioned herein, include general interest information, as follows:
I. DAY LABORERS ARE ENTITLED TO CONDUCT MARKET SURVEY AND PUBLIC OPINION POLLING ACTIVITIES
Law No 118 supplementing Law No 52/2011 on the carrying out of some occasional activities by day laborers was published on 2nd of May, 2022, in the Official Journal of Romania No 411.
▪ Menial work carried out occasionally is also permitted within the following areas listed in the Classification of activities in the national economy: market surveys and public opinion polling.
II. CIVIL STATUS DOCUMENTS MAY ALSO BE FILLED IN ELECTRONICALLY
Law No 105/2022, published in the Official Journal of Romania No 412/2022, amends and supplements Law No 119/1996 on marital status documents.
What does Law 105/2022 provide for?
▪ As a general rule, the documents on birth, marriage and death are recorded in civil status registrars in two original counterparts and are filled in by handwriting, with special, black ink.
▪ According to the new law, the copy No I of the civil status documents prepared by the diplomatic missions and consular offices of Romania may also be filled in electronically.
▪ As an exception from the general rule, the copy No II of civil status documents shall also be prepared electronically if the local public authorities have issued the copy No II in electronic format as well.
▪ Effective on the date when the necessary IT infrastructure shall be implemented nationally, the copy No I of the civil status documents shall be filled in electronically and shall be kept in the copy No I of the civil status registrars on hardcopy, whereas copy No II shall be filled in only electronically, by the civil status officers in Romania and by the civil status officers of the diplomatic missions and consular offices of Romania.
III. CHANGES IN LAW NO 202/2002 ON EQUAL CHANCES AND FAIR TREATMENT OF MEN AND WOMEN
Government emergency Ordinance No 57/2022, published in the Official Journal of Romania No 431/2022 amends and supplements Law No 202/2022 on the equal chances and fair treatment of men and women.
▪ Any treatment which favours men over women or women over men on the ground that:
– Women applied for or used a maternal leave;
– Men applied for or used a paternal leave;
– Men or women applied for or used a leave for caregiving;
– Men or women exerted their rights to benefit from flexible work hours, shall be considered discriminatory.
▪ The GEO defines the “caregiving leave” as a leave offered to employees in order to take care or physically assist a relative or a person living in the same house, who needs significant care or assistance pursuant to a severe medical condition, as defined by each Member State.
IV. CHANGES IN THE LAW ON ORGANIZATION AND OPERATION OF ROMANIAN POLICE
Law No 122/2022 amending and supplementing Law No 218/2002 on the organization and operation of the Romanian Police was published in the Official Journal of Romania No 431/2022.
▪ The period allowed to verify the facts and, as appropriate, take the legal actions against a person accompanied to the police station, must not exceed eight (8) hours from the moment when the person is accompanied to the police station.
▪ Exceptionally, if a person’s identity may not be determined within the eight (8) hour timeframe, this period is extended for a period necessary to determine his/her identity, to verify the facts and, as appropriate, to take the legal actions necessary, but not more than twelve (12) hours from the moment when the person is accompanied to the police station.
V. SUBSIDIES FOR INCORPORATED ROMANIAN ASSOCIATIONS AND FOUNDATIONS
Decision No 578/2022 provides for subsidies to be offered to incorporated Romanian associations and foundations which establish and administer social assistance units.
▪ The monthly average subsidy to be offered from the state budget for a socially assisted person is:
– 1,000 Lei/person, for social services consisting in accommodation, except for night care establishments.
– 600 Lei/person, for social services without accommodation, as well as for night care establishments.
Are there any exceptions?
▪ The following are not eligible for subsidies:
– Night care establishments for children living on the streets;
– Personal assistants of severely disabled persons;
– Professional personal assistants;
– Habilitation and rehabilitation centers offering more than 50 places.
VI. CHANGES REGARDING HIRING AND TRANSFER OF FOREIGN EMPLOYEES IN ROMANIA
Government emergency Ordinance No 59/2022, amending some regulations governing the regime of foreigners in Romania was published in the Official Journal of Romania No 450/05.05.2022.
▪ The application for issuance of the work/transfer permit must be filed by the employer/by the beneficiary of services with any of the territorial units of the General Inspectorate for Immigration, and not with the territorial units of the General Inspectorate for Immigration in the jurisdiction of which the employer/the beneficiary of services has its place of business.
▪ In addition, the documents necessary to obtain the work/transfer permit may be filed by any person who acts as the attorney in fact of the employer/of the beneficiary of services.
VII. NEW OBLIGATIONS FOR CORPORATE ENTITIES THAT CARRY OUT RETAIL ACTIVITIES
Law No 128/2022 amending and supplementing Government emergency Ordinance No 193/2002 on the introduction of modern systems of payments was published in the Official Journal of Romania No 456/06.05.2022.
What are the new obligations?
▪ Corporate entities who carry out retail and wholesale activities as well as those that provide services, the annual turnover of which is in excess of Euro 50,000 in Lei equivalent are under the obligation to accept debit cards, credit cards or pre-paid cards as payment instruments, via a POS terminal and/or other modern payment equipment, as well as via applications that facilitate electronic payments acceptance.
▪ In the event that, for two (2) consecutive year, their turnover does not exceed Euro 50,000 in Lei equivalent, these corporate entities are no longer under the obligation to accept debit, credit or pre-paid cards.
VIII. NEW RULES REGARDING THE ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES CARRIED OUT BY AUTHORIZED INDIVIDUALS (SELF EMPLOYED PERSONS), INDIVIDUAL ENTERPRISES AND FAMILY ENTERPRISES
Law No 125 supplementing Government emergency Ordinance No 44/2008 was published in the Official Journal of Romania No 456/06.05.2022.
What does the law provide?
▪ The period over which an authorized individual carries out an economic activity is considered professional seniority if:
– The economic activity carried out by him/her has generated a net income for the year to be considered for seniority purpose, at least equal to 12 times the guaranteed minimum national gross salary for that year, as determined by the law;
– He/she is registered with the Registrar of Companies with one single NACE Code or with the main NACE Code for which he/she wants to have his/her seniority recognized.
How is seniority calculated?
▪ The period in which the authorized individual carried out an economic activity and paid his/her dues, taxes and fees; the period in which the authorized individual did not carry out an activity generating income or in which his/her activity was suspended shall not be taken into account for seniority purposes.
IX. MICRO-GRANTS AND GRANTS FOR ENTITIES OPERATING IN THE AGRIFOOD INDUSTRY
Government emergency Ordinance No 61 (the “GEO 61”) according to which financial support is offered to beneficiaries operating in the agricultural, aquaculture, fish farming and food industry, the activity of which was prejudiced by the pandemic, was published in the Official Journal of Romania No dated the 6th of May 2022.
What are the support measures offered?
▪ Micro-grants under the form of a cap fee, totaling 50 million Euros;
▪ Grants for working capital under the form of a cap fee or percentage of the turnover, totaling 250 million Euros.
Who are the beneficiaries?
▪ The SMEs, the micro-enterprises, the authorized individuals (self-employed persons), the individual enterprises, the cooperative-agricultural companies, the agricultural cooperatives, the groups and organizations of producers, the family enterprises, all incorporated according to the regulations in force.
What conditions must be met to benefit from micro-grants?
▪ Micro-grants are worth 5,000 Euros and shall be offered based on an agreement for state aids granting:
– To micro-enterprises, small and medium sized enterprises, the financial statements of which reflect the absence of any employees hired based on individual employment agreements on the 31st of December 2019;
– To authorized individuals (self-employed persons), individual enterprises, family enterprises that carried out economic activities under the NACE Codes REV 2 listed in the annex to GEO 61.
What amounts are offered as grants for working capital?
▪ For SMEs the 2019 turnover of which varies between 5,000 and 33,350 Euros, the grant shall be worth 5,000 Euros;
▪ For SMEs the 2019 turnover of which is more than 33,350 Euros, the grant may be 15% of their turnover but not more than 120,000 Euro.
What conditions must be met to benefit from working capital grants?
▪ The beneficiaries must meet the following conditions simultaneously:
– They must have obtained an operational profit from current/operational activity in one of the last three years before filing for the grant;
– They must have obtained a co-participation in the creation of the working capital worth 15% of the grant, on the date the working capital grant is offered;
– They must maintain or, as appropriate, increased the number of employees by reference to the date of filing the application, for at least six (6) months after the grant is offered;
– The NACE Code for which the state aid is requested must have been authorized according to the laws in force on the 31st of December 2019.
X. THE REFERENCE INTEREST RATE IS 3.75% PER ANNUM
The Decision No 11/2022 regarding the reference interest rate of the National Bank of Romania was published in the Official Journal of Romania No 468/2022.
▪ Effective as of the 11th of May 2022, the reference interest rate of the National Bank of Romania is 3.75% per annum.
XI. CHANGES IN THE CODE OF TAX PROCEEDINGS
Government emergency Ordinance No 67 (the “GEO 67”) on some tax measures and amending and supplementing Law No 207/2015 on the Code of Tax Proceedings was published in the Official Journal of Romania No 494.
▪ Effective as of 1st of June 2022, no income tax and mandatory social insurance contributions shall be due for the amount resulting from the increase in the basic salary from the guaranteed minimum gross salary, that is, 2,550 Lei per month, without bonuses and other indemnities, up to 2,750 Lei per month.
▪ This facility is also applicable to the employees hired anytime between the 18th May 2022 and the 31st of December 2022 included, for whom the monthly basic gross salary specified in the individual employment agreement, without bonuses and other indemnities, is 2,750 Lei.
XII. NEW RULES REGARDING THE ELECTRONIC INVOICE RO E – FACTURA
Law No 139/2022 which approves Government emergency Ordinance No 120/2021 on the administration, operation and implementation of the national system regarding the electronic invoice RO e-Factura and the electronic invoice in Romania, was published in the Official Journal of Romania dated the 17th of May 2022.
▪ The economic operators registered with the RO e-Factura registrar which are not equipped with a conversion application, may use the computer application made available by the Ministry of Finance at the time of implementation of the RO e-Factura system.
▪ Starting with the 1st of July 2022, the economic operators incorporated in Romania are under the obligation, in respect of the B2G relation, to issue electronic invoices and forward them via the dedicated national system RO e-Factura.
XIII. OPPOSITION AGAINST ADMINISTRATIVE TAX DECISIONS
Order No 1021/2022 approving the instructions in respect of the oppositions against the statements of claims and against other administrative tax decisions, was published in the Official Journal dated the 13th of May 2022.
What does the Order provide for?
▪ Any person/entity who considers that his/her/its rights were prejudiced by the statement of claims or other administrative tax decision may file an opposition against them.
▪ The opposition shall be lodged with the tax body issuing the statement of claims or other administrative tax decision no later than forty-five (45) days from the date when the statement of claims or other administrative tax decision was served to him/her/it.
▪ The opposition is an administrative remedy and does not estop the person whose rights were prejudiced by the statement of claims or other administrative tax decision from reverting to a court of law.
XIV. CHANGES IN THE PRESENTATION OF PRICES FOR PRODUCTS OFFERED FOR SALE TO CONSUMERS
Decision No 686/2022 according to which any announcement regarding the discounted prices must include the previous price applied by the seller within the same selling area for a specific period, before the discount is applied, was published in the Official Journal No 520/28.05.2022.
▪ The evidence regarding the previous price shall consist in the documents to be presented by the seller at the request of the authorized representatives of the Romanian Agency for Consumers Protection.
▪ The previous price is the lowest price applied by the seller within the same selling area for the last thirty (30) days before the discount is applied.
▪ In case of products likely to quickly expire or deteriorate, the previous price is the lowest price applied by the seller within the same selling area, over the last ten (10) days before the discount is applied.
▪ The failure to abide by the provisions regarding the publication of the previous price is an offence and is punished with a fine from 5,000 Lei to 30,000 Lei.
XV. MEASURES INTENDED TO COUNTERBALANCE THE INCREASE IN FUEL PRICES
Decision No 667/2022 setting out a state aid scheme intended to overcome the increase in fuel prices for engines, was published in the Official Journal No 503/28.05.2022.
Which are the eligible entities?
▪ The economic operators who meet the following conditions simultaneously:
– They possess at least one eligible vehicle;
– They are not declared inactive according to Law No 207/2015 on the Code of Tax Proceedings;
– They do not benefit of other compensations for the transports carried out with eligible vehicles;
– No decisions were issued against them for recovery of a state aid previously granted;
– They did not benefit of other state aids for the same eligible costs.
How much is the state aid worth?
▪ 0.5 Lei per liter of fuel purchased, but not more than 400,000 Euro per enterprise.