(updated as of 3 July 2020)

Moving Forward. Together.

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak continues to put pressure on the public and private sectors alike.

As we are entering new phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have to switch our focus towards safely and gradually reopening our businesses and economies while continuing to implement prevention measures. As public authorities are struggling to find the balance between reviving the economy and keeping the contamination rate under control we are now faced with another set of challenges for the public and private sectors alike.

From complete shutdown of various businesses to a reopening under strict health requirements, to taking measures for ensuring business continuity and sustainability, private actors have to find the best models to keep their companies afloat and ensure the health and safety of their employees.

Private actors need to continue to take active part in the implementation of solutions for prevention and limitation of the spread of the disease and to respond and react to the interruption and changing circumstances that impact the economy.

NNDKP aims to assist organizations in this effort by sharing the insights developed in respect of the implications COVID-19 disease has had in various fields. Check regularly for updates.

Together we will find the most suitable solutions for moving forward!


  • STATE OF ALERT

    As of 18 May 2020, Law no. 55/2020 regarding certain measures for the prevention and tackling the effects of COVID-19 is in force, and therefore in order for the state of alert to be properly instituted, the Government needed to enact a Government Decision for declaring a state of alert throughout the territory of Romania.

    To this end, Government Decision no. 394/2020 as further amended and supplemented was published on 18 May in the Official Gazette, declaring a state of alert for 30 days as of the day of its enactment.

    The decision provides three types of measures in separate Schedules:

    • Measures for increasing response capacity;
    • Measures for ensuring the resilience of communities; and
    • Measures for decreasing the type risk impact;

    We have summarized the most important measures and restrictions imposed for the private and public sectors alike, in order to give you a concise overview of the provisions in force.

    It must be mentioned that further details and procedures, as well as specific measures for areas such as: management of work environment, cultural activities, religious services, academic tutoring for terminal classes etc., are set to be established through joint Orders of Minister of Health and the Resort Minister.

    Meanwhile while the applicability of Decision of the National Council for Emergency Situations no. 24/2020 ceases as of publication of the Government Decision, the orders issued in the implementation thereof remain in effect to the extent they do not contravene to the Government Decision and until the relevant regulations in the application of Law 55/ 2020 are issued.

     Retail Retail of products and services in shopping centers where multiple economic operators carry out activities is temporarily suspended, with the following exceptions:

    • retail of food and services carried out in small shopping centers, under 15.000 sqm, and with individual shops of maximum 500 sqm each;
    • sale of electronic products and appliances only if the economic operators ensure home delivery for the purchaser.
    • the activity performed by agri-food shops, pharmacies, dental facilities, cleaning services, personal care centers as well as sale of  optical products and services;
    • the activities carried out by economic operators in shopping centers which have access from the exterior and the communication with the rest of the facility is discontinued.
    Food service The activity of consumption of food, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks performed by restaurants, hotels, coffee houses and other public establishments, in spaces destined for this activity, inside the location is suspended.

    The entities mentioned above i.e. restaurants, hotels, coffee houses etc. may prepare and commercialize food and alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks if the customers do not remain in said premises for consumption.

    As of 1st June 2020 preparation, commercialization and consumption of food, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks are permitted in specially designed places outside the building, in open air, with the observance of a minimum distance of 2 m between tables and with a maximum of 4 persons at a table, if said persons belong to different families, and with the observance of the sanitary protection rules established by joint order of the Ministry of Economy, Energy and Business Environment and the President of the National Authority of  Sanitary Veterinary and Safety of Food.

    As per the provisions of Government Decision no. 434/2020 amending Schedule no. 3 of Government Decision no. 394/2020 establishing the state of alert on the territory of Romania.

    Entertainment It is prohibited to organize and carry out demonstrations, rallies, concerts or other meetings in open spaces, including “drive in” activities, as well as cultural, scientific, artistic, sportive or entertainment activities which are held in closed spaces. Further details on what specific cultural activities will be allowed and according to what measures, are going to be provided through a joint Order of the Minister of Culture and Minister of Health.

    As of 1st of June it shall be possible to organize and take part in “drive in” shows only if the persons in the vehicle are members of the same family. Concerts, shows, and public and private festivals or other cultural events performed in open air are permitted with the participation of maximum 500 people which are seated on chairs situated at a minimum 2 m distance from each other and if participants wear protection masks.

    Physical training activities for professional athletes performed within specific sports facilities shall be carried out with the observance of the prevention and protection measures provided in the joint Order of the Youth and Sport Minister and Health Minister no. 565/806 of 16 May 2020.

    As of 1st June 2020, professional athletes may carry out training activities that are performed in indoor or outdoor pools and training activities performed indoors may be carried out with the observance of a 7 sqm minimum distance per person. Also, sport competitions organized in open air or in indoor or outdoor pools may take place in Romania without an audience, with the observance of the joint order of the Ministry of Youth and Sport and Ministry of Health. This is not applicable for contact sports. As per the provisions of Government Decision no. 434/2020 amending Schedule no. 3 of Government Decision no. 394/2020 establishing the state of alert on the territory of Romania.

    Religious services, including private religious services, can be performed with the observance of the prevention measures in place and according to the conditions which are going to be laid down in a joint Order of the Health Minister and Minister of Internal Affairs.

    Recreational activities performed outside such as cycling, hiking, running, hunting, fishing, climbing and others such like these, are prohibited, unless  carried out with the participation of maximum 3 persons who do not live together.

    Activities performed by economic operators in closed spaces in areas such as: gambling, fitness, pool related activities, balneary treatment, playgrounds and arcades are suspended. Exceptions are provided for self-care services which are being performed in specially designed places while observing sanitary measures.

    Economic operators operating self-care facilities, tourist accommodation as well as working activities in open spaces have the obligation to respect the prevention norms established through joint order of the Minister of Economy, Energy and Business Environment and Health Minister.

    Activities in open spaces related to management of exterior swimming pools are suspended.

    As of 1st June 2020, the access of people on beaches is allowed, but only if the managers of the beaches can procure loungers for every person, with the observance of a minimum distance of 2 m between loungers, if such are used by persons from different families and the prevention measures provided in a joint order of the Ministry of Economy, Energy and Business Environment, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Environment, Waters and Forests, are observed.

    As per the provisions of Government Decision no. 434/2020 amending Schedule no. 3 of Government Decision no. 394/2020 establishing the state of alert on the territory of Romania.

    It is prohibited to participate to private events organized in closed spaces, with the exception of those gathering up to 8 persons, if the social distancing rules are observed.

    Transport services All flights operated by economic operators towards Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Spain, USA and Turkey and from said countries to Romanian are suspended for all airports in Romania. An exemption is granted to: (i) flights performed by state aircrafts, (ii) flights pertaining to transportation of cargo and mail, (iii) humanitarian flights or those who ensure services of medical emergencies, (iv) find and rescue interventions flights at the request of public authorities in Romania (v) flights with the right to transport technical intervention teams at the request of economic operators based in Romania, (vi) non-commercial technical landings, (vii) flights for positioning aircrafts without commercial cargo (ferry), (viii) flights for aircrafts maintenance; (ix) charter flights for transporting seasonal workers or for repatriation of foreign citizens from Romania to other states with the endorsement of  the Romanian authorities, (x) charter flights for transportation of workers as provided in Communication no. 3 regarding implementation of the Green Lanes based on the Guidelines regarding management of frontiers issued by the European Commission.

    Air travel shall be performed with the observance: (i) of the restriction measures referring to hygiene and disinfection of shared spaces, equipment, means of transportation and aircrafts, (ii) procedures and protocols in place in airports, aircrafts (iii) code of conduct for the airports personnel and for passengers as well as (iv) information of personnel and passengers, in order to prevent contamination of passengers and personnel that work in the transportation sector;

    International road transportation of persons through regulated services, regulated special services and occasional services performed by transportation operators from and toward Romania shall be resumed as of 1st of June 2020, with the observance of sanitary precautions established through Order of Ministry of Transportation Infrastructure and Communications.

    Railroad transportation of persons performed by transportation operators from and towards Romania shall be resumed as of 1st of June 2020, with the observance of sanitary precautions established through Order of Ministry of Transportation Infrastructure and Communications.

    General measures In closed commercial spaces, public means of transportation, at the work place and in other closed spaces it shall be mandatory to wear a mask, so that both the mouth and nose are covered.

    Public institutions and authorities as well as public and private economic operators may opt to perform their activity mostly remotely, from home, and where such is not possible, they take measures to facilitated:

    • visitors and personnel have their temperature taken at check points established inside the facilities;
    • hand disinfection is mandatory before entering the work place/the facility;
    • rules regarding activities in open spaces, accommodation and hotel spaces are properly enforced;
    • that they can delay the work schedule for entities with more than 50 employees so that starting and finishing working hours are established at intervals of minimum one hour, for periods of minimum 3 hours in installments of minimum 20% of personnel.

    Public institutions and economic operators which perform commercial activities or have  a schedule of public hours, which entails the access of people inside their facilities will take necessary measures to organize their activities as follows:

    • a minimum 4 sm is ensured for each client and a minimum of 2 m between any two persons found in proximity of one another;
    • any person with a body temperature above 37.3 ℃ will be denied access;
    • exposed surfaces will be disinfected and it crowd formation will be avoided especially around cashiers.

    As provided by Order no. 3577/831 of 15 May 2020 of Minister of Employment and Social Protection and Minister of Health;

    As of 18 May, it is permitted to venture outside ones home/household within the city, with the observance of the prevention measures but only by avoiding forming pedestrian groups of more than 3 persons who do not belong to the same family.

    As of 1st June 2020 people are allowed to travel outside their city/metropolitan area without needing to justify the reason of travel;

    Academic classes are suspended in all teaching units until the end of the academic year. After 2nd of June tutoring activities will be held for classes in the last year of study, i.e., (8. 12 and 13 grade). Attendance to the tutoring classes is optional. The national final exams will be held accordingly, with the observance of the prevention measures;

    All people entering Romania will be placed under quarantine/self -isolation at home, and for those who do not have this possibility or in order not to expose their family require so, they can opt for the institutionalized quarantine in spaces designed accordingly and provided by public local authorities.

    Exceptions are allowed for:

    • cargo drivers with a maximum capacity of 2.4. tones;
    • drivers of vehicles equipped with more than 9 seats, including the driver’s seat;
    • drivers provided at let. a) and b) which travel for professional interest from their state of residence to another Member State of the European Union or from such state to their residence state, regardless of whether such travel is made by individual means of transport or on their own behalf;
    • members of the European Parliament and personnel pertaining to the system of national defense, public order and national security.
    • aircraft pilots and navy personnel;
    • train drivers and railroad personnel;
    • the Romanian maritime and fluvial navigating personnel who repatriate by any means of transport and who presents to the competent authorities the certificate for international transport workers, the model of such certificate is published in the Official Journal of the European Union, series C, no. 096 I of March 2020;
    • maritime and fluvial navigating personnel conducting personnel exchange on board ships in Romanian ports, regardless of the flag under which they navigate, if at the entrance into the country, as well as on boarding/disembarking from the ship, they present to the competent authorities the certificate for international transport workers, the model of such certificate is published in the Official Journal of the European Union, series C, no. 096 I of March 24, 2020;
    • navigating personnel disembarking from inland waterway vessels which navigate under the Romanian flag into a Romanian port, provided that the employers provide a certificate for international transport workers and individual equipment of 2/2 protection against COVID-19 during traveling from the ship to the location where such can be contacted during the period between trips;
    • cross-border workers which enter Romania from Hungary, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Moldova;
    • Employees of economic operators based in Romania which are conducting works outside the territory of Romania, provided that when they return to the country they can prove the contractual relationship with the contractor outside the national territory;
    • representatives of foreign companies that hold branches, subsidiaries or representations in Romania if they do not present any coviv-19 related symptoms;
    • persons entering Romania for the performance of activities of usage, installation, commissioning, maintenance, servicing of medical equipment, as well as equipment used in the field of science, economics, defense, public order and national security, if they prove the contractual relationship with the beneficiary/beneficiaries from the Romanian territory as well as inspectors from international organizations;
    • members of diplomatic missions, consulates or other diplomatic representations registered in Bucharest;
    • employees of the national defense, public order and national security system returning to Romania from missions performed abroad;
    • students, Romanian citizens or citizens of the neighboring states of Romania with their residence registered outside Romania and enrolled in educational institutions on Romanian territory, who have to take tests or exams at the end of secondary school or high school.

    People that are isolated at home, as a measure for preventing the spread of COVID-19, who do not respect the quarantine/self-isolation measures will be introduced in mandatory institutionalized quarantine for a period of 14 days and will be obliged to pay the costs of the quarantine. People already in institutionalized quarantine as of 18 May will remain in quarantine until the expiration of a 14 days period since they entered the facility.

    Foreign citizens and stateless persons are forbidden from entering Romanian territory, through state border crossing points, except for the following categories:

    • they are family members of Romanian citizens;
    • they are family members of citizens of other Member States of the European Union or of the European Economic Area or of the Swiss Confederation, residing in Romania;
    • they hold a long-stay visa, a residence permit or a document equivalent to the residence permit issued by the Romanian authorities or a document equivalent to aforementioned issued by the authorities of another state, as per European Union laws;
    • they are traveling for professional interest, evidenced by visa, residence permit or other document equivalent, respectively health professional, researchers in the medical field, health professionals for geriatric care as well as drivers and other categories involved in the transportation of goods which ensure such necessary transportation;
    • they are diplomatic or consular personnel, personnel of international organizations, military personnel or personnel who can provide humanitarian aid;
    • they are passengers in transit, including those repatriated as a result of granting consular protection;
    • they are passengers traveling on imperative grounds;
    • they are persons who need international protection or for other humanitarian reasons.
  • APPROACHES

    Ensuring continuity. Resuming business operations.

    Stay alert and be prepared for developments of the economic crisis and a potential second COVID-19 wave.

    While there are no general recipes for overcoming an economic crisis and this is even more true in the current situation, some “ingredients” may be considered and adjusted by each small or large entity:

    Be safe Give the necessary attention to people health and safety – staff as well as relationship are the most important assets. Take all necessary actions to make employees and business partners feel safe and considered.  Keep open the communication channels.
    Be alert and prepared Some economic disruptions may be temporary, others will be long-term or permanent; thus, staying alert and reacting quickly allows amendment of business plans where necessary.

    Be prepared so you do not have to take it from zero when an unforeseen variable arises and needs to be factored in. Be ready for “remote” and “online”.

    Take charge Appraise your business and commercial relationships and take into account the possibility of potentially restructuring your business and existing commercial relationships. If internal reorganization or restructuring is actually considered, engage financial and legal experts well versed in restructuring as they can assist you in tackling such a challenging process; maximize the use of government support policies.
    Be compliant Struggling through difficult times does not mean that in order to move forward, legal requirements may be overlooked. Irresponsible behavior may impact your organization for years to come

    In the context of a decrease in the spread of the pandemic, State institutions and private companies alike should take the time and allocate the resources to get prepared for a potential second wave, they s hould capitalized on the lessons learned so as to mitigate in as much as possible the risks and negative impact in the case of such occurrence.

    Operational matters

    It is recommendable to establish an internal task force that will be in charge of:

    • create a COVID – 19 Task Force to manage in a centralised manner continuous developments of the situation and stay informed on all updates and developments of the COVID-19 outbreak
    • set your own procedures and policies for addressing the COVID – 19 circumstances that impacted your organisation, stakeholders & employees, as well as business relationships; coordinate the update thereof at the level of COVID – 19 Task Force
    • establishing contact persons at the level of the Task Force and a communication processes for stakeholders & employees, authorities, as well as external partners by categories of activities; centralize & keep track of information
    • prepare a contingency plans and projections, take into account both circumstances that may affect your organisation as well as the ones affecting your business partners
    • liaise with external partners, as well as relevant consultants in order to timely process & assess information and regulations that are in a continuous change in order to enable your organization to swiftly respond to the measures enacted during the state of emergency
    • adjust your business plan and prepare your strategy for change and sustained continuity of business

    Ongoing agreements

    As the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting all lines of business it is more and more relevant for each company to analyse its commercial relationships and exposures. As “disruption” is no longer a question of if, but when, each company should assess how to respond to the disturbances ahead and ensure its business continuity.

    In these circumstances an increased attention should continue to be given to the existing agreements and ongoing negotiations, but also for a potential strategy of required changes to adjust to the new realities.

    To Do List – Agreements

    • inventory of contractual relationships and prioritise depending on expected impact in terms of expected extent and timeline thereof
    • analyse your contracts – identify areas that may raise difficulties or that may be renegotiated
    • initiate discussions with commercial partners and keep track of discussions and correspondence; changes to contracts have to be implemented following appropriate procedure
    • seek advice in agreeing new terms in order to avoid endanger further position

    Contractual mechanisms that may be relevant

    • Invoke Force majeure – Force majeure is any external, unforeseeable, absolutely invincible and unavoidable event. Parties are exonerated of their obligations as a result of force majeure. Force majeure can be invoked even in agreements in which the parties did not insert an express force majeure clause.
      • However, parties are not exonerated from the performance of their obligations which were due when the force majeure event occurred.
      • Applicability of force majeure is not automatic due to COVID -19 pandemic, an analysis of circumstances of each agreement is important to assess whether the legal and/or contractual conditions for invoking the force majeure are met.
      • The party claiming force majeure must prove that the impossibility to perform its contractual obligations was determined by the force majeure event. In some cases, the party claiming that force majeure has occurred must obtain a document attesting the force majeure event- such as the force majeure certificate issued by the Chamber of Commerce.
    • Hardship – if the performance of the agreement becomes excessively onerous for one of the parties, a hardship claim may be also considered. Hardship is conditional upon fulfillment of the following conditions : (i) a change in the contractual circumstances underlying the execution of the contract occurred after signing; (ii) the change of the contractual circumstances were not, and could not have been, easily foreseen at signing; (iii) the party claiming hardship has not assumed the risk of a change of the circumstances underlying the contract, nor can it be reasonably considered to have accepted this risk; and (iv) the party claiming hardship reasonably and in good faith attempted a fair and reasonable revision of the agreement. Nevertheless, if the parties do not agree to renegotiate or do not reach an agreement a claim must be raised before court.
    • Non-performance defense – in case contractual parties are in the position of not being capable to execute their obligation the non-performance defense may be raised. However, a party may not invoke such defense if the non-performance is caused by its own action or omission.
    • Other contractual mechanisms that may be relevant include: procedure to be followed in case of breach of the agreement or for amendment thereof, general terms and conditions, applicable law & jurisprudence. All procedures must be followed accordingly in order to preserve existing rights, so irrespective of discussions and correspondence don’t forget to notify according to agreed procedure and properly amend relevant agreements once an agreement is reached.

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  • POWERFUL BUSINESS RESPONSE TO GLOBAL HEALTH CHALLENGE

    NNDKP provides constantly updated resources on its website and company-tailored or industry-specific support upon request.

    Humanity needs from each of us unprecedented contributions to support and enhance healthcare systems’ response to the coronavirus threat. Money, good citizenship values, personal time, individual limitations and privations and brain waves, in any proportion, never amount for too much.

    Equally urgently needed is to contain irreversible disruptions in businesses and, thus, to protect communities and employees from shortages in food, health and education resources. It is paramount to project and prepare the future beyond the pandemic or living with it, as it is for the businesses to remain functional now, in various degrees. Alternatively, sharp economic downturn rolling over across industries, the massive imperilment of basic needs of the population, behavioral distortions and the global health crisis itself will be carried forward and reshape individual and social lives in ways and depths not yet entirely predictable today.

    Massive lay-offs, state aids and similar individual measures alone will not preempt the collapse but just move it closer to the sliding slope. Companies, industries or even countries can hardly decide for themselves only and hope for regaining balance in the near future, rather they should make accurate self-assessments and join in dialogue up-stream and downstream as well as cross-industries and private to public to foster solidarity and responsibility in a visionary, bird’s eye and fast-acting response to the common threats.

    With not much time to pursue traditional analysis, double-checks and decision-making, multi-expert think tanks at companies, industries and business groups levels involving from the onset lawyers, financial consultants, health and safety professionals, HR, etc. are required as early as now to assist businesses to develop and implement alternative scenarios for the reset of operations in a completely reshaped environment.

  • EMPLOYMENT – Q&A

    Romanian and English versions available. Click here to download.

    Are employees obliged to disclose themselves as „risk-factor” to the employer? Normally yes, as they are required under the health and safety at work legislation to immediately notify the employer regarding any work situation about which they have reasonable grounds to believe is a danger for employees’ health and safety. Such notification would also be warranted in consideration of the employees’ general obligation of loyalty and good faith towards the employer. In addition, as per the newest pieces of legislation, employees are obliged to notify the employer in case they have respiratory symptoms (such as cough or fever).
    Can the employer demand employees to disclose themselves as being a „risk-factor”? Yes, since the employer has the obligation to inform competent authorities in case of any COVID-19 cases in the workplace and to prohibit the employees with COVID-19 symptoms to enter / remain in the workplace, following an epidemiological triage (without recording any personal data) consisting mainly in observation of symptoms and temperature check.

    Employees should direct the employees towards the family physician for a consultation, notify the local public health authority, call a dedicated number (0800.800.358) or, if none of the above options are successful, call the emergency number 112.

    Can the employer issue an instruction (or a policy) requiring employees to report co-workers with flu symptoms (i.e. fever, cough, difficulty breathing, pain in the muscles, tiredness) to the employer? As per the latest pieces of legislation, employers are obliged to organize an epidemiological triage – nevertheless, the joint order of the ministries of labour and health provides that employees with respiratory symptoms (cough, sneezing, rhinorrhoea, etc.) and / or fever greater than 37.3 Celsius degrees and / or altered general condition, which occurred during working hours, will be immediately isolated from other colleagues and sent home / at hospitals. Correlatively, as per the same order, employees are obliged to notify the employer immediately if they show, at the beginning or during the working hours, symptoms of SARS CoV-2 virus infection.
    Can the employer require an employee to see a doctor? The newest piece of legislation in this field mentions that, following the epidemiological triage performed at the entrance within the headquarters, if a temperature higher than 37.3 degrees Celsius is maintained or specific respiratory symptoms are observed, the employee in question is sent to the domicile or to a doctor for a consultation in order to determine a diagnostic, depending on his/her status.

    The occupational doctor can also send the employee to perform additional medical checks while at workplace.

    Does the employer have the obligation to report infections occurring in the business to health authorities? The employer has to inform the competent authorities in case there are COVID-19 cases at the workplace.
    Are the employees entitled to any kind of medical leave and related pay? Employees effectively infected with the COVID-19 virus are entitled to a specific type of medical leave, following the inclusion of COVID-19 within the list of infectious-contagious diseases from group A for which medical leave is granted even in absence of a minimal insurance contribution period. These employees are entitled to receive an allowance of 100% of their average earnings over the six months prior to the absence..

    Employees placed in quarantine or self-isolation by the state are entitled to a specific medical leave. These employees are entitled to receive 75% of their regular pay during this period.

    Can employees refuse to come to work? Can employees refuse to attend meetings or to travel? In principle, no – the employees should continue to observe their job descriptions and fulfill their job duties so as to ensure business continuity.

    Employees can refuse to come to work when their health is under a significant risk (i.e., risk of infection and no remedy measures were taken by the employer). Hence, it is important not only to adopt but also to communicate to employees the preventive measures taken to protect employees’ health.

    Is the employer required to pay the salaries if employees refuse to come to work? If employees refuse to come to work and the parties cannot reach an agreement on a flexible working regime, the employer may suspend the employment due to ungrounded absences from work. In this case, the employer would not have to pay the salary rights as of the date of the suspension decision.
    Can the employer send employees to work from home, even without their consent? As per Law no. 55/2020, the employer may implement, with the employee’s consent, teleworking / work from home. The law does not, however, mention the form in which this consent shall be obtained in order to lawfully implement teleworking/ work from home.
    Is the employer obliged to take any particular measures in order to protect its employees? Yes, during state of alert the employer is obliged to observe a full set of measures that are imposed through multiple pieces of legislations, among which are the following:

    • for entities with more than 50 employees, they are obliged to implement individualized working schedules, so that the activity starts and ends at intervals of minimum 1 hour, over a span of at least 3 hours, by groups of minimum 20% of the employees;
    • to provide a new health & safety training (adapted to the COVID-19 related risks) for all employees that have not been physically present at work during state of emergency period;
    • to inform the employees about the general protective measures to be observed in order to mitigate the risks to contact COVID-19 disease;
    • to provide disinfectant dispensers at the entrance within the working place, as well as in each sector of the working place; as per a ministerial order, the employer may also provide protective equipment (such as masks – that are mandatory to be used at the working place -, gloves), depending on the specifics of the activity;
    • to perform the epidemiological triage of employees (observation of symptoms and temperature measurement) and not to allow to enter/remain in the working place the employees that have a temperature over 37,3 Celsius degrees and/or present respiratory symptoms etc.
    Can the employer suspend employment contracts and send employees home? The employment contract is suspended by law when the employee enters into quarantine (when such is imposed by state, in accordance with the law), in case of force majeure or when the employee is in medical leave (as it may be the case regarding a quarantine/self-isolation period).

    Currently, self-isolation is ordered, for example, if an individual is returning from a yellow-labelled country (i.e., with extensive transmission of COVID-19).

    If the employment contracts are suspended, do the employers still need to pay salaries? If the individual employment contract is suspended, the employee is not required to perform the activity and the employer is not required to pay the salary rights.

    If employers suspend the activity by their own initiative in case of temporary decrease of their activity, employers have to pay employees 75% of their base salaries.

    When is the employer forced to shut down its operations? Only if this measure is adopted as part of the state of alert package, as the state of alert has been declared by the Government and is in force at least until July 16th.
    Which employers can benefit of technical unemployment aid from state? The possibility to access state support for technical unemployment has been prolonged after May 31st, 2020, but only for companies who are still subject of restrictions imposed on their activity by the competent authorities, until such restrictions are lifted (e.g. indoor restaurants).

    In such cases, the technical unemployment allowances granted to the affected employees (which are established at 75% of the base salary corresponding to the position held) are borne from the unemployment insurance state budget, but no more that 75% of the average gross salary (which is now of RON 5.429, resulting in a maximum of RON 4.071,75 borne by the state).

    Even though the unemployment allowance would have normally been of minimum 75% of the salary of the employee, employers who apply for this state-covered indemnity will not be obliged to cover the difference between the cap of RON 4.071,75 (covered by the state) and the 75% of the employee’s salary, if any. The indemnity paid by the state may be supplemented by employers to minimum 75% of the employee’s salary, but only if their budget can afford this.

    What other forms of state support are available for employers and under what conditions? 1. Starting with June 1st, 2020, a state support of 41.5% of the gross base salary corresponding to the position held, but no more than 41.5% of the medium gross income (leading to a maximum gross amount of approx. RON 2,253), granted for a period of three months, is available for:

    a) employees of employers who benefited from the state support for the technical unemployment of these employees;

    b) employees of employers that temporarily suspended the employment contracts of these employees during the state of emergency or the state of alert (temporarily sending them in technical unemployment), bearing the entire unemployment allowance from their budget.

    In order to benefit of this type of state support, compliance with a series of conditions has to be ensured, such as maintaining the employment relationship with the employees in question until December 31st, 2020 (with certain exceptions).

    Note that this support is granted to the employers only in what concerns employees that had a period of suspension of their employment contracts of at least 15 days (during the state of emergency or the state of alert).

    Employers have to bear the entire amount of the salaries paid to the employees in question and then apply for the reimbursement of the percentage mentioned above, within a certain timeline, electronically submitting a series of documents to the Workforce Agency from the area where they have their headquarters.

    2. The employers that, between June 1st, 2020 and December 31st, 2020, employ, for an undetermined period and with a full-time schedule, persons over the age of 50 whose employment relationship has been terminated during the state of emergency or the state of alert, for reasons not related to their person (and who are also officially registered as unemployed persons), benefit monthly, for each of these employees and for a period of 12 months, of state support amounting 50% of the salary of each employee in question, but no more than RON 2,500 per employee.

    A very similar type of state support applies for the employment of persons aged between 16 and 29, officially registered as unemployed persons.

    These employers have the obligation, among others, to maintain the employment relationship of these employees for a minimum period of 12 months, following the 12 months during which they receive the state support.

    For all these types of support, non-compliance with the specific obligations regarding the maintenance of the work relations with the employees in question is sanctioned by having to return the amounts received, plus the reference interest of the National Bank of Romania.

    Below you may find answers to the most relevant employment questions in the COVID-19 disease context:

    Your Contacts:

  • GDPR – Q&A

    Romanian and English versions available. Click here to download.

    Below you may find answers to some of the most relevant GDPR-related questions in the COVID-19 disease context:

    Can a company implement a measure in order to take the temperature of employees when entering the workplace? Not only can the company implement such a measure, but it is obliged to perform this procedure during the state of alert taking into account the provisions introduced by several normative acts: Law No. 55/2020 on some measures to prevent and combat the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Order No. 831/2020 on measures to prevent contamination with the SARS-CoV-2 and to ensure the health and safety at work, during the state of alert; Decision No. 394/2020 on the declaration of the state of alert and the measures applied during it to prevent and combat the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Upon implementation of these measures, the company has the following obligations:

    • to appoint a person responsible for checking the temperature at the entrance of the unit/institution;
    • to ensure the triage of employees by checking the temperature at the beginning of the work program and whenever necessary during the program;
    • if the employee shows respiratory symptoms (cough, sneezing, rhinorrhea) and / or fever higher than 37.3 ° C and / or general impaired condition, the employer must isolate the person from other employees and send him / her to his / her home or to the medical unit (depending on his / her condition). The rules on access and temperature measurement shall also apply to visitors.

    Unlike other EU Authorities that have taken a position on this issue, the Guide to the Romanian Supervisory Authority (available here) does not address the issue of applying data protection rules in the case of temperature measurement.

    Depending on the measurement method and the existence of subsequent processing, the GDPR may not be applicable, this opinion being also supported by some of the Supervisory Authorities (Belgium, Greece) through their own guidelines related to COVID-19. However, the implementation of such a measure usually involves additional processing such as documenting the decision when the access is forbidden.

    Even in case GDPR does not apply, other rights of the employee must be taken into account, namely: the right to respect for private and family life guaranteed by the ECHR; the right to dignity at work. Ultimately, the approach needs to be proportional with the risks considered (e.g., protecting employees’ health) and implemented in a manner so as to ensure the employees’ dignity at work (e.g., ensure privacy by not revealing the temperature to others in line to enter, use non-intrusive equipment, etc.).

    Therefore, to the extent that such a process is to be implemented, it is advisable to carry out an impact assessment in advance to document and address the risks for the employees together with the measures that ensure risk mitigation, proportionality of the processing and data protection requirements.

    Can a company use questionnaires asking certain information from employees or visitors prior to allowing them to access its premises? Yes, but such questions should normally be limited to:

    • whether the individual has been in the last 14 days in COVID-19 quarantined areas;
    • whether he is subject to an active quarantine or self-isolation measure (without asking for the reason); or
    • whether he believes to have been in contact with persons confirmed or suspected of having the COVID-19 disease (without asking for details/name of the respective person).

    Asking if the individual has certain symptoms (e.g., fever, shortness of breath) is not advisable, as such details qualify as sensitive data. Under GDPR, the processing of such data is allowed only in limited cases. In the COVID-19 disease context, one justification may be when the law requires companies to collect the data (but this is not usually the case) or when companies may reasonable demonstrate that they need to undertake the processing for reasons of public interest in the area of public health, such as protecting against cross-border threats to health. But this does not justify preventive collection of health data from all employees or visitors.

    However, questionnaires may include the recommendation to follow general public health advice on managing COVID-19 risks.

    How much time can a company retain the visitors or employees’ questionnaires? No legal term exists, so each company has to decide its own retention period. It is recommendable to set short periods (e.g., 30 to 60 days) with the possibility of prolongation as required (e.g., if the authorities ask for the data as part of an epidemiological investigation).
    What other measures should companies take for using visitors’ questionnaires?
    • restrict the access to questionnaires (ideally to 1 or 2 persons within the organization, e.g.: health doctor)
    • define the applicable technical and organizational rules for protecting the confidentiality of questionnaires
    • appoint persons responsible to monitor compliance with the relevant retention terms, access rights, etc.
    Has the Romanian data protection authority (DPA) issued any guidance in the context of COVID-19 disease?
    • Yes, on 18 March 2020 the National Authority for the Supervision of Personal Data Processing has issued clarifications on the conditions to be met in case of processing health data in the COVID-19 context. The clarifications are available here. Pursuant to such clarifications, there are several guarantees already recognized by GDPR that, if applicable, allow the processing of health data. These are:
    • meeting legal obligations towards employees – including on health and safety at the work place
    • processing as part of activities related to preventive medicine, including diagnosis and provision of medical assistance, etc. – this is most relevant for the companies in the medical sector, including providers of occupational medical services
    • reasons of public interest in the area of public health, such as protecting against cross-border threats to health – this may be relevant for companies from all sectors, but should be invoked with care
    • individuals’ consent
    Can employers ask employees to report if they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 disease? Yes, especially since this diagnosis triggers obligations under employment law (e.g., medical leave) and public health legislation (e.g., to disinfect premises).
    Does the company provide a privacy notice to the employees about the processing of sensitive data (i.e., that the employees have been diagnosed with COVID-19 disease)? No, as long as the already provided privacy notice covers the processing of health data for complying with legal obligations.

    If, however, the company opts to share the health data with other third parties than public authorities based on reasons of public interest in the area of public health, such as protecting against cross-border threats to health, this may trigger the need to provide an additional notice to employees, unless this possibility was already covered in the general employee privacy notice (this was not necessarily industry practice until now).

    Based on the DPA guidance, companies may provide this via the website. In employees’ case, alternative communication tools may by the email or the Intranet (the latter, if the employees continue to have access to this tool even if they work from home).

    Can the company disclose the information that employees were diagnosed with COVID-19 disease to third parties? To public authorities: Yes, companies can communicate the date to the local public health authority or the emergency services (112) (if the company cannot reach the public health authority in due time to the increase in demands experienced by the authority).

    To other employees: Normally no, unless this is necessary in order to determine if other employees are at risk due to contact with the employee.

    To other companies within the group: Normally no, unless this is necessary for reasons of public interest in the area of public health, e.g. as protecting against cross-border threats to health. For example, the company may wish to disclose the information if the affected employees have been traveling to the employer’s affiliate in another country during the incubation period. The company should:

    • assess these situations on a case by case basis, including to check that there are no (additional) limitations within the legislation applicable to the affiliate;
    • document such assessment, including why the company deems that the disclosure is necessary for reasons of public interest in the area of public health, such as protecting against cross-border threats to health;
    • ideally limit the sharing from health and safety at work responsible to health and safety at work responsible within the two affiliates.

    To other third parties: Normally no, the only information to be provided, if necessary, should be that the employee is on leave (i.e., not on medical leave).  Based on DPA guidance, disclosure of an infected employee’s personal data to the public can be done only with the individual’s consent.

    However, anonymised information e.g. that a positive case or contact case was confirmed can be shared on reasonable need to know bases (e.g. to companies within the same office building as the employer), always mindful to spreading information that may create panic.

    Can the National Authority for the Supervision of Personal Data Processing (DPA) still perform investigations during the period? Yes, since the DPA can exercise its investigative powers from their own headquarters. The DPA has used such possibility often in the past, hence there is no reason to believe their remote investigation activities will be significantly diminished.

    If the company diverted resources normally tasked with managing DPA investigations to address COVID-19 actions, we believe the DPA will accept grounded requests to extend deadlines for responding to DPA’s requests of information and documents.

    Is the company still required to comply with deadlines for managing data subject requests? Yes, the general 30-day term for responding to requests still applies.

    If the company diverted resources normally tasked with managing data subject requests to address COVID-19 actions, the company can notify the data subject about the extension of the response deadline for up to two (2) months and the grounds for such extension. The company needs to send this notification within the initial 30-day deadline.

    Is the company still required to notify data breaches within 72 hours as of becoming aware of them? Yes.

    If the company diverted resources normally tasked with managing (including notifying) data breaches to address COVID-19 actions, the company may notify the data breach in phases, explaining the reason why not all details are readily available within the initial 72-hour deadline.

    If the company notifies the data breach with delay, it may explain the reasons for such delay, but it will be up to the DPA to assess and decide if such grounds suffice to justify the submission with delay.

    How is the DPA’s activity impacted during this period? For now, the DPA has suspended all audiances at its headquarters. Audiances with the interested public can be organized by phone from 9:00 to 12:00 every day. It also reduced the working hours of its registration office as follows: Monday, Wednesday and Friday, from 9:00 to 11:00 am.

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  • COMPETITION – Q&A

    Romanian and English versions available. Click here to download.

    Below you may find answers to some of the most relevant competition law questions in the COVID-19 pandemic context:

    Does competition law still apply? Do companies still need to observe competition rules in this context? Yes, competition law continues to apply, and companies still need to observe competition rules in their activity, including in the pandemic context.

    While context will be relevant in the analysis, companies’ measures addressing the effects on them and consumers will be scrutinized under competition rules.

    For example, the Romanian Competition Council announced it is closely monitoring the companies conduct, seeking to ensure that this public health emergency will not lead the companies to:

    • raise prices without objective justification
    • exchange sensitive information
    • engage in exclusionary practices
    • abuse their dominant positionengage in anti-competitive agreements (in order to fix prices, share customers and territories or limit sales).

    Neither the efforts to manage an investigation nor the risk of companies’ image being affected by the suspicion of anticompetitive behaviour in these circumstances can be neglected, even if in some cases the Competition Council might in the end reach the conclusion that a conduct addressing the current situation is competition law compliant.

    What happens if a company increases prices in the context of high demand of certain products it sells in this period? Risks in case of price increases in this period may arise for both dominant and non-dominant companies (dominance being presumed at market shares exceeding 40%).

    The Competition Council will scrutinize price increases by dominant companies in order not to be excessive.

    Imposing the additional purchase of non-essential products when buying high demand products, refusing to deal with certain customers or offering discounts can also be analysed in order not to be abusive.

    Some companies may be found to have higher market power than known before due to markets being defined more narrowly, especially when getting harder for customers to buy from alternative suppliers.

    Non-dominant companies’ price increases may be scrutinized if there are any suspicions of collusion/ decisions not taken independently. Even in case of independent conduct of non-dominant companies, restrictions may arise (authorities’ measures/ consumer protection considerations).

    Companies should ensure that the prices they charge are reasonable and justified.

    Current enforcement activity

    The Romanian Competition Council announced it has recently launched an investigation into price increases for protective face masks.

    Can administrators of online marketplaces take measures with regard to economic operators which sell their products at unreasonably high prices on the respective platform? As the Competition Council also announced, in the current context, administrators of online marketplaces may impose measures to limit unjustified price increases for basic products and services. The extent of the measure should however be carefully checked in advance.

    At international level, several online platforms have already taken measures in this regard, banning sales of certain products (Facebook banned ads and commerce listings selling medical face masks) and de-listing sellers (Amazon removed thousands of listings).

    Can competitors cooperate in order to respond more effectively to the current situation? UPDATE 23 March: The European Competition Network (ECN, network of competition authorities) issued a joint statement: ECN understands that this extraordinary situation may trigger the need for companies to cooperate in order to ensure the supply and fair distribution of scarce products to all consumers. ECN will not actively intervene against necessary and temporary measures put in place in order to avoid a shortage of supply (these measures are unlikely to be problematic – either they would not amount to a restriction of competition or the efficiencies would outweigh any such restriction).

    At the same time, the ECN will not hesitate to take action against companies taking advantage of the current situation by cartelising or abusing their dominant position.

    In line with this joint statement, the Competition Council publicly announced that during this crisis:

    • Companies can coordinate in order to limit the deficit of essential products and ensure a balanced distribution – for example, retailers can coordinate transport to ensure the supply of products/ home delivery for people not able to leave their homes;
    • Companies must insure that prices are available at competitive prices: owners of online platforms may impose measures to limit the unjustified increase of prices for basic products and services; producers can set a maximum price, which might be useful to limit unjustified price increases at distribution level.
    • The Competition Council will take measures against companies that engage in abusive practices (such as setting excessive prices) or cartel type practices.

    Therefore, any practice that is not justified by the current context will continue to be sanctioned – it is recommended for companies to check with the authority the measures they intend to put in place.

    INITIAL COMMENT (continuing to be relevant in terms of principles of analysis): As the Competition Council also announced, in the current context, companies are allowed to take measures justified by prevention and by the need to address supply and distribution chains challenges. At the same time, they should be careful that these measures do not entail serious competition restrictions – “crisis cartels” will continue to be prohibited.

    This period could see more examples of joint logistics and distribution by food, medicines or medical equipment suppliers, or coordination of responses to market conditions by travel and accommodation providers (in light of cancellation/ reimbursement instances).

    Key aspects to be carefully taken into account, since such initiatives may be justified, but may also entail high competition risks if for example:

    • sharing competitively sensitive information (e.g., current or future prices, costs, output);
    • using the discussions as an opportunity to set prices, restrict output, divide customers or markets, or coordinate commercial strategies.

    Possible actions companies can take in order to mitigate competition risks in relation to information exchanges with competitors in this period:

    • identify legitimate goals for the information exchange that are pro-competitive or competitively neutral;
    • ensure communications do not go beyond the legitimate goal of the initiative and are limited to what is reasonably necessary;
    • ensure that discussions on best practices (e.g., in relation to remote working) do not turn into agreeing decisions which should be taken independently;

    any discussions with competitors should follow a structure prepared and reviewed in advance.

    Can industry associations take/ encourage decisions for all members? Industry association efforts, including in discussing with authorities in relation to initiatives and responses to the crisis situation, are even more important in this period.

    However, the same essential principle applies: discussions in associations should not result in decisions taken by/for their members on sensitive topics which should have been reached individually.

    Are joint research activities allowed? In order to address the present public health emergency, pharmaceutical companies/ medical suppliers/ other companies will seek to join efforts to accelerate the search for solutions (e.g., finding appropriate treatments for COVID-19).

    While these efforts are encouraged and supported, when carried out jointly, they should remain within the scope of the response to the public health emergency and not serve as a tool to engage in exchange of competitively sensitive information, or evolve into a cartel (otherwise prohibited price fixing, output limitation or market allocation).

    R&D cooperation should also not prevent companies from innovating, if they could do this more efficiently on their own.

    What if cooperation leads to creation of companies/ changes to existing ones? Where cooperation leads to the creation of new corporate structures (e.g., joint ventures) or changes to existing ones, merger filings may be required, depending on the characteristics of the new entity, and transactions cannot be implemented prior to clearance or derogation from the Competition Council.
    Examples in other countries – key enforcement topics
    • United Kingdom decided to relax elements of the Competition Act 1998 as part of a package of measures allowing supermarkets to work during this crisis:

    Thus, retailers can (i) share data with each other on stock levels, (ii) cooperate to keep shops open, (iii) share distribution depots and delivery vans, (iv) pool staff with one another to help meet demand.

    Where agreements are not covered by that legal relaxation, the CMA publicly announced that it has no intention of taking competition law enforcement action against cooperation between businesses or rationing of products to the extent that this is necessary to protect consumers (e.g. by ensuring security of supplies).

    The CMA also mentioned that businesses exploiting the crisis as a ‘cover’ for non-essential collusion will be sanctioned (e.g. exchanging information on longer-term pricing or business strategies, where this is not necessary to meet the needs of the current situation).

    • the Government in Norway has granted a temporary exemption for the transport industry, allowing airline companies to cooperate (routes coordination) for at least three months
    • the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority announced that it would take action against violations of consumer protection and competition laws, such as excessive pricing and misleading advertising;
    • Italy’s competition authority is seeking information on how online platforms are preventing unjustified price spikes and false claims regarding the efficacy of products;
    • The Polish competition authority has opened investigations into wholesalers which allegedly terminated contracts with hospitals to sell protective equipment on the market for disproportionately high prices;
    • In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission and the Food and Drug Administration have jointly issued warnings to several companies alleged to be making unauthorized claims about the efficacy of certain products for preventing or treating COVID-19;
    • Korea’s Fair Trade Commission raided pharmaceutical companies and consumer-goods sellers on suspicions that they bundled face masks with other products;
    • China’s State Administration for Market Regulation fined a store in Beijing $434,530 for hiking the price of face masks up by more than six times the online rate.

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  • STATE AID – Q&A

    Romanian and English versions available. Click here to download.

    Below you may find answers to some of the most relevant state aid law questions in the COVID-19 pandemic context:

    Which are the main state aid measures envisaged by the Romanian Government in order to compensate the economic impact of COVID-19 crisis? It is expected that the Romanian Government will issue state aid measures in order to support companies affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

    In addition to other measures, the Romanian Government announced that it will provide state aid in the form of guarantees for loans for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with subsidized interest.

    For instance, under this scheme, companies can receive loans of up to 10 million RON if they use the money for investments or up to 5 million RON if they use the money for working capital. In this scenario, 80% of the loan will be guaranteed by the state.

    More details on the terms of these state aid measures to follow once the official legislative act will be available.

    How did the European Commission react to the COVID-19 rapid expansion within the European Union? In relation to state aid matters, the European Commission had a positive reaction both in terms of providing concrete solutions as well as in terms of approval of new state aid measures.

    The European Commission prepared a draft proposal for a State Aid Temporary Framework to support the economy in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak.

    The Temporary Framework will enable four types of aid:

    • direct grants and selective tax advantages;
    • State guarantees for loans taken by companies from banks;
    • subsidized public loans to companies;
    • safeguards for banks that channel support to the real economy;

    On top of that, European Commission is very responsive to any requests coming from the Member States succeeding to approve within 24 hours from its formal notification the first coronavirus related state aid measure.

    Examples in other countries – key state aid measures
    • Denmark obtained the Commission’s approval for a €12 million State aid scheme aimed to compensate event organizers for losses caused by the cancellations of large events due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
    • France’s government announced that it will grant €345 billion to support the economy and to prevent the risk of bankruptcy – €45 billion as direct aids and €300 billion as guarantees for securing companies’ bank loans.
    • Germany’s government announced an expansion of the scope of KfW financing programs, as well as the possibility to access federal and state guaranteed loans.
    • Norway took measures to support the aviation industry, by suspending all airport fees for the first six months of 2020, as well as the taxes charged for each passenger for a period of 10 months.
    • The United Kingdom’s government announced granting a £330 billion package of government-backed and guaranteed loans aimed at supporting businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Are there any COVID-19 implications on State aid already granted? The unexpected outbreak of the COVID-19 will very likely have a considerable impact on many State aid measures granted to companies operating in various sectors. The raising uncertainties at an economic level, both national and international, are capable of affecting the process of starting, implementing and maintaining the investments.

    Two major State aid schemes (approved by the Government Decision no. 807/ 2014 and Government Decision no. 332/2014) are currently in force in Romania and may be impacted by future measures to be undertaken by the Ministry of Public Finances

    Below you may find answers to some of the most relevant State aid law questions for State aids already granted/ currently being granted in the COVID-19 pandemic context.

    How can State aid beneficiaries be affected by COVID-19 pandemic context? In brief, State aid beneficiaries can be affected both in the implementation and in the monitoring phase, since COVID-19 pandemic may affect their ability:

    • to fulfill the obligation to start the investment within the deadline undertaken and/ or to finalize the investment according to the timing undertaken;
    • to maintain the initial investment in operation for a certain period of time after the completion (usually for 5 years);
    • to pay the contributions to the state budget;
    • to create the minimum number of jobs, as well as to maintain the newly created jobs;
    • not to relocate employees, as State aid beneficiaries may be forced to reduce their volume of activity in certain areas and, thus, some employees might need to be relocated to other areas, including in the factories where state aid was granted;
    • to meet the economic and financial results/ indicators undertaken through the financing agreement in terms of turnover, exports etc.
    In this context, will it be possible to extend the implementation/ monitoring period of the projects benefitting of state aid? What is the impact on EU funds? In terms of EU funds, the Presidential Decree on Emergency State contains a provision stating that beneficiaries of European funds which will be affected by the measures taken according to the Decree may decide, together with the managing authorities/ intermediary organisms, to suspend the financing contracts concluded according to the law.

    For each EU Financing Programme, the management authorities have already taken specific steps, in line with the Ministry of EU Funds instruction.

    The Ministry of EU Funds announced the following main measures for ensuring continuity:

    • tools for the electronic and telephone audiences were made available, as well as the HelpDesk application, which allows now for the provision of a response within a maximum of 36 hours;
    • specific instructions for the beneficiaries of the Operational Programmes to be communicated by each management authority in charge of a specific Operational Programme;
    • public consultations for establishing the financing priorities for the next period (2021-2027) announced and started will continue, depending on the availability of the participants.

    Main specific measures taken by the Management Authority for Large Infrastructure Operational Programme:

    • the beneficiaries have the possibility to extend the project deadlines (the progress reports that were previously submitted on a monthly basis will be submitted quarterly and the monitoring sheets will be updated quarterly and will be sent by e-mail, on the first working day of each quarter);
    • beneficiaries whose projects must be implemented by September 30, 2020 can submit a request for the amendment of the financing agreement, together with the amendment of the schedule of activities, within 10 working days.

    Main specific measures taken by the Management Authority for the Technical Assistance Operational Programme:

    • the authority will postpone meetings with beneficiaries, audiences, as well as on-site visits and will maintain contact with beneficiaries using the distance communication means;
    • the project activities that cannot be implemented during this period using distance communication means will be postponed by mutual agreement of the managing authority and of and the beneficiary;
    • as regards the projects whose implementation period will end within the next three months and for which it is not possible to reach the indicators undertaken, the managing authority will initiate amendments to the financing agreement in order to extend the implementation period. If this cannot be done in the context of the spread of the COVID-19, the financing contracts will be suspended by mutual agreement until the national emergency state ceases.

    Main specific measures taken by the Management Authority for Human Capital Operational Programme:

    • Instructions were adopted providing the framework, terms and conditions under which the beneficiaries may adjust their project according to the national emergency state (the decision regarding the continuation of the implementation during the state of emergency or the suspension of the implementation belongs to the beneficiary).

    However, until now there are no official statements in relation to the two major state aid schemes (Government Decision no. 807/ 2014 and Government Decision no. 332/2014).

    The answer on the concrete impact for each beneficiary of State aid will depend on each company’s specific situation, however, the extension of the implementation/ monitoring period for the two major State aid schemes will be an appropriate measure in view of the circumstances.

    Will the state aid beneficiaries be able to cumulate the pre-existing state aid with other state aid that will potentially be available in order to mitigate the damages caused by the COVID-19 outbreak? As a rule, the cumulation of different state aid measures is possible as long as they concern different identifiable eligible costs or if, in relation to the same eligible costs, the cumulation does not exceed the maximum level of the state aid provided by the State aid scheme.

    Some public support measures may not even fall under State aid rules since they represent measures available to all companies (no selectivity) such as wage subsidiaries or suspension of payment of contributions.

    For example, the support relating to technical unemployment will be deemed a general measure, applicable to all companies meeting certain conditions, thus not amounting to State aid.

    However, taking into account the consequences of breaches of State aid regulations, it is advisable to require specialized State aid advice on this matter.

    Will the rules regarding the submission of progress reports/ audited report certifying that the investment was carried out within the undertaken parameters be made more flexible? Considering the current circumstances and disruptions in many economic sectors, it is likely that the deadlines for the submission of reports, as well as other deadlines provided for in the State aid schemes, will be extended/ adapted in a reasonable manner, similar to the measures taken in relation to the EU funds.

    Should the company be in the position of submitting a report during this period, it is advisable, until any official position on the topic, to contact the managing authority in order to be granted with an extension.

    Will it be possible to submit all the relevant documents online and communicate with the representatives of the competent authority by audio or video conferences? Most probably, the management authorities will organize their activity in such a way as to reduce or even eliminate completely the necessity of the physical presence of the interested persons at their offices (e.g., it is possible that they will make online audiences and consultations available, like the Ministry of EU Funds already did).
    What can the beneficiaries of State aid do? State aid beneficiaries, as well as EU funds beneficiaries, can:

    • contact the  State aid/ EU funds managing authorities in order to get clear guidance;
    • monitor the websites of the Ministry of Finance/ Ministry of EU Funds for any announcements;
    • monitor the developments regarding the obtaining of the Certificate for emergency situations issued by the Ministry of Economy, Energy and the Business Environment.

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  • TAX

    Romanian and English versions available. Click here to download.

    As per Emergency Ordinance 29/2020 regarding certain fiscal-budgetary measures, published in the Official Gazette 230/2020, the following normative acts are amended and completed in order to combat the economic effects of COVID-19:

    I. Law no. 207/2015 regarding the Fiscal Procedure Code

    • Tax obligations due starting with the date of coming into force of the Emergency Ordinance for the duration of the state of emergency, and unsettled until 30 days after the state of emergency ends, will not be considered outstanding tax obligations and no late payment interest and penalties will be calculated and owed in this respect.
    • The measures for forced execution by seizure of individuals with the exception of the enforced executions that are applied for the recovery of the budgetary debts established by judicial decisions pronounced in criminal matters are suspended or will not start, from de date of the Emergency Ordinance’s entry into force until 30 days after the date of termination of the state of emergency.

    II. Law no. 227/2015 regarding the Fiscal Code

    • Taxpayers applying the annual payment and reporting system for corporate income tax, with quarterly prepayments, can make quarterly advance payments for 2020 at the amount resulting from current quarterly corporate income tax calculation.
    • The calculation method is maintained for all quarters of fiscal year 2020. The same principle applies also for taxpayers with a modified fiscal year.
    • This year’s (2020) first payment deadline for the building tax, the land tax, and the transport means tax is extended from March 31, 2020 to June 30, 2020 with the deadlines regarding the bonus for full payment also being extended accordingly.

    III. Ordinance no. 6/2019 regarding the establishment of certain fiscal facilities

    • The deadline for submitting the notification regarding the restructuring intention is extended until July 31, 2020;
    • The deadline for submitting the restructuring request is extended until October 3o, 2020.

    IV. Emergency Ordinance no. 110/2017 regarding the program for the restoration of small and medium-sized enterprises

    • The maximum value of the financing guaranteed by the state is increased to 10,000,000 lei and will be granted for one or more credits for investments and / or one or more credits for working capital.

    V. Law no. 69/2010 regarding fiscal-budgetary responsibility

    • During the state of emergency, the main loan officers are authorized to perform budgetary credits transfers for the application of measures to combat and prevent the spread of the SAR-COV-2 virus that causes the COVID-19 infection.

    VI. Small and medium-sized enterprises

    • During the state of emergency, the small and medium-sized enterprises holding the emergency situation certificate, issued by the Ministry of Economy, Energy and Business Environment, benefit from the deferred payment for utilities – electricity, natural gas, water, telephone and internet services as well as deferral of payment of the rent for the building for social headquarters and secondary offices.

    VII. Law no. 129/2019 for the prevention and combating of money laundering and terrorist financing, as well as for the amendment and completion of  certain normative acts

    • The deadline for submitting the statement regarding the real beneficiary is extended by 6 months from the termination of the state of emergency, and during the state of emergency the submission of the statement is suspended

    UPDATES


    On the Senate’s website a Draft Law on the amendment https://www.senat.ro/legis/PDF/2020/20b107FG.PDFand completion of Law no. 227/2015 regarding the Fiscal Code as well as other normative acts was published.


    Order no.705/2020 for the approval of the model and the content of the form (390 VIES) “Recapitulative statement regarding intra-Community supplies / acquisitions / services” was published Official Gazette no. 217/2020.

    Form 390 is updated as a result of the implementation of the “Quick fixes” Directive within the Fiscal Code, given that the taxable person must include within the Recapitulative statement information regarding the VAT ID of the taxable persons to whom the goods are shipped or transported under the call-of stock structures regime.


    Order no. 706/2020 for the amendment of Order no.3386 / 2016 for the approval of the model and contents of forms 101 “Corporate income tax statement” and 120 “Statement on excise duties”  was published Official Gazette no. 217/2020.

    Form 120 is amended as a result of the removal of excise payers’ obligation to turn over 1% of the excise duties due for cigarettes and alcoholic beverages to the Ministry of Tourism and Sport, as well as the removal of their obligation to pay a contribution to finance certain health expenses.


    Emergency Ordinance 33/2020 regarding certain fiscal measures and the amendment of certain normative acts was published in the Official Gazette 260/2020

    Following the previous fiscal measures adopted in the context of COVID-19, a bonus will be granted to taxpayers that pay by April 25, 2020 the corporate income tax and the microenterprises income tax for the first quarter of 2020.

    During the entire state of emergency and 30 days after its termination, VAT is not required to be paid in customs on imports of medicines, protective equipment and other medical devices and equipment and sanitary materials used in COVID-19 control.


    Order no. 1793/2020 approving the level of the specific excise duty on cigarettes was published in the Official Gazette no. 265/2020.

    The level of the specific excise duty on cigarettes between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021 inclusive is 406,521 lei / 1,000 cigarettes.


    Emergency Ordinance 48/2020 regarding certain fiscal measures was published in  the Official Gazette 319/2020.

    The Emergency Ordinance amends the following normative acts:

    1. FISCAL CODE

    MICROENTERPRISE INCOME TAX

    The deduction from the microenterprises income tax is extended to include the sponsorships made to public institutions and authorities, with the specification that there is no obligation that the public institution/authority is registered in the Register of entities / cult units for which tax deductions are granted.

    INCOME TAX AND SOCIAL CONTRIBUTIONS

    Benefits in kind granted to natural persons who derive salary and assimilated to salary income as a result of occupying functions considered by the employer / payer essential for carrying out the activity and which are in preventive isolation at work or in specially dedicated areas where persons from outside do not have access, for a period established by the employer / payer, in case of the establishment of the state of siege or emergency, as per the law, are not subject to income tax and social security contributions.

    For the indemnities borne from the unemployment budget for the duration of the state of emergency no fiscal incentives apply (e.g., exemptions from income tax and social security contributions for construction workers).

    EXCISES

    The conditions in which ethyl alcohol, alcoholic beverages, as well as energy products and tobacco entered into the private ownership of the state or which are subject to a forced execution procedure or seized by the state can be used or destroyed by the competent authorities.

    During the state of emergency and 30 days after its completion, the distortion of ethyl alcohol is allowed in the authorized tax warehouses as well for the production of alcoholic beverages by submitting an application and accompanying documents if necessary.

    This provision applies both to the alcohol in the stock of the economic operators holding the tax warehousing authorization, as well as to the alcohol purchased and received during the entire state of emergency and 15 days after its completion.

    2. FISCAL PROCEDURE CODE

    During the state of emergency and 30 days after its completion, the VAT requested for reimbursement through the negative VAT returns with the option to reimburse, submitted within the legal deadline, is reimbursed by the central fiscal authority with the tax inspection being performed subsequently, with certain exceptions.

    These provisions also apply for the negative VAT returns that are in the process of being solved and for which the VAT refund decision has not been issued until the Emergency Ordinance comes into force.

    During the state of emergency and 30 days after its completion, no interest and penalties are due for the late payment of rates from unpaid schedules.

    3. EMERGENCY ORDINANCE 33/2020 REGARDING CERTAIN FISCAL MEASURES

    During the entire state of emergency and 30 days after its completion, VAT is not required to be paid in customs for imports of completely denatured ethyl alcohol used for the production of disinfectants performed by importers holding end-user authorization.

    4. GOVERNMENT ORDINANCE NO. 77/2009 ON THE ORGANIZATION AND OPERATION OF GAMBLING

    A series of aspects concerning the prolongation of gambling licenses and related authorizations, as well as the suspension of payment obligations related to the land based gambling activities during the state of emergency have been regulated.

    5. LAW NO.170 / 2016 ON THE SPECIFIC TAX FOR CERTAIN ACTIVITIES

    The taxpayers which fall under the specific tax for certain activities, that are not insolvent and interrupt their activity wholly or partly during the state of emergency and which hold the certificate for the state of emergency issued by the Ministry of Economy, Energy and Business Environment are not liable to pay the specific tax for the respective period.

    6. ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

    The deadline for submitting the annual financial statements for the financial year 2019 and the annual accounting reports completed on December 31, 2019 is extended until 31 July


    Emergency Ordinance 53/2020 regarding the modification and completion of normative acts regarding social protection measures determined by the spread of coronavirus SARS-Cov-2 was published in  the Official Gazette 325/2020.

    The Emergency Ordinance amends the following normative acts:

    1. EMERGENCY ORDINANCE NO. 30/2020

    For the indemnities received during the state of emergency, the beneficiary individuals owe income tax, social insurance contribution and social health insurance contribution, but do not owe work insurance contribution.

    These tax obligations are declared through the  Single Statement, regarding the income tax and social insurance contributions and are paid until March 15, 2021 inclusive.

    2. EMERGENCY ORDINANCE NO. 32/2020

    During the state of emergency, the measures of forced execution by seizure of the budgetary, fiscal, financial and commercial debts that apply to the monthly rights paid through the territorial or sectoral pension houses are suspended or not started

    The indemnities granted during the state of emergency are not subject to enforced execution by seizure during the duration of their granting, regardless of the budget from which they are granted.

    Order no. 935/2020 regarding the amendment and completion of Order no. 587/2016 for the approval of the model and content of the forms used for the declaration of self-taxation or withholding  taxes was published in  the Official Gazette 325/2020.

    • Forms 100 “Statement regarding the payment obligations to the state budget” and 710 “Rectifying statement” are amended by introducing certain lines for the declaring of bonuses.

    Your Contact:

  • RESTRUCTURING RESOURCE CENTER

    Up to date information and insights on restructuring and turnaround issues in Romania

    At this time, there is an intense debate on the Romanian market right now with regard to measures to be taken, in the context of the abrupt economic downturn, which is rapidly unfolding in the aftermath of the coronavirus prevention measures.

    Voices range between very conservative/austerity prone, basically underlining the low capabilities of Romania to take measures similar to states which are more wealthy, to others, more progressive, which are far more vocal with regard to ramping up liquidity measures through fiscal and monetary measures, and including some asking for a bold increase in public debt, for immediate but also for longer ranging objectives (funding large public projects to take the country out of recession on the medium term), in an attempt to counterbalance the loss in internal demand by an increase in government spending and investment.

    Regardless of the debate, there seems to be a large consensus that business continuity must be assured, after the medical crisis is over. That is, that businesses will be able to “restart” properly and quickly, without shutting down forever, as “collateral damage” of the war against the virus.

    As a direct and indirect result of the medical crisis and the safety measures being taken, the whole economy is coming to a halt. There is a liquidity crisis (as pressure on cash flows is mounting) as well as an actual economic crisis (recession), due to a drop in both in demand and supply (simply less value is being created).

    Financial vs economic crisis

    First, liquidity is being addressed. However, even assuming this is being resolved by the state, the banking system and the corporate sector (which is a very ambitious assumption), we will still be left with the reality of a smaller economy, when this is all over. We’ve been through a financial crisis about a decade ago (focusing chiefly on absence of liquidity), but this one is likely to be an economic crisis.

    Absence of very substantial increases in government spending and large infrastructure investments in all areas (hospitals, schools, energy), come September it is likely that we will have a smaller economy, and the financial intermediation within that economy needs to be restructured, re-correlated with the new reality.

    Too early vs too late in restructuring

    The conclusion of standstill agreements between companies and banks to first address liquidity is necessary, particularly because of risks. Following the liquidity issue, restructuring, including substantial debt restructuring will be a feature of the Romanian economy.

    If that is already clear now, there are actual effective steps which need to be taken now. Important steps. Much like in the medical crisis, the volume of non-performing companies for which there will be no solution at the end of the year depends on what is done now to prevent that.


    Please check out our resources

    You can check legislative and administrative measures and official communications here.

    Read about important issues affecting restructuring here:

    Access our Emergency Financial Restructuring Kit.


    The Financial Restructuring Team

    Our dedicated Financial Restructuring Team includes finance, restructuring and insolvency, tax and employment specialists dedicated to protecting your interests.

    We use a wide range of specialist knowledge and backgrounds and a single point of contact and coordination to make sure you get the best value as possible, as fast as possible.

    Please meet our coordinators:

  • BANKING & FINANCE

    The ordinance proving a moratorium on loan installments has been enacted by the Government, and so has been competing legislation by Parliament, causing more instability. There are many uncertainties, the biggest being whether the Ordinance will remain in force at all – the Parliament has already adopted its replacement which is currently in its promulgation stage.

    Please see our initial article here which provides a summary of the original government ordinance (which we will call the “Moratorium Ordinance”) and its recently published implementation norms (the “Norms”).

    This now includes some comments on key differences as a result of the current form of the version adopted by Parliament (which we will call the “Moratorium Law”).

    There were several aspects which the Moratorium Ordinance did not address which we believed could have resulted in several difficulties for both the banks and the companies. These are largely not addressed in the Moratorium Law either, which is in fact more succinct than its predecessor.

    It remains advisable that the companies, as well as the banks should be mindful when it comes to applying such measures, especially with regard to the restructuring of credit agreements, due to the fact that:

    • the postponement may apply to a limited number of companies – under the Moratorium Ordinance borrowers were eligible regardless of size provided they had to observed certain restrictive legal requirements (such as holding a state of emergency certificate); under the prospective Moratorium Law, only small and medium sized companies are eligible and no certificate is required as long as they declare a 15% decrease in revenue in the current month compared to the average of the last two months;
    • companies with previous unpaid debts are not eligible – however if the Moratorium Law comes into force, such debts would need to be older than 90 days in order to render companies ineligible;
    • changes to contracts may not be effective against co-debtors or third party guarantors – the Implementation Norms provide that prior consent of third parties is requires in respect of debtors who are legal entities;
    • the Moratorium Law includes provisions on banning enforcement procedures, the full scope of which remains unclear at this stage as the language is highly interpretable;
    • the obligation to file for insolvency has not been suspended in either piece of legislation, as it has been in Germany, for example (there are, however, certain contractual solutions) and penalties are still accruing for different kinds of commercial obligations making way to a new wave of insolvencies;
    • it is debatable whether the reimbursement of cross-border loans is covered by postponement measures currently in place.

    Please also see our extended article available here with regard to the insolvency wave approaching.


    Your Contact:

  • PHARMA & MEDICAL SERVICES; CLINICAL TRIALS

    Special Measures Any transportation of medical devises or sanitary materials which ensure the prevention and treatment of the medical conditions associated with COVID -19, as well as the medicine provided in the National Catalog of medicine prices authorized for market purposes in Romania (i.e., CaNaMed), for the purpose of being distributed outside Romania, is prohibited. An exemption is granted to ensembles and spare parts of medical equipment produced in Romania for external beneficiaries. Other such exemptions may be granted by Order of the Health Minister.

    – as per Military Ordinance no. 1 of 17 March 2020, as further amended and supplemented

    Medical devices During the state of emergency the registration of medical devices (such as class I medical devices, in-vitro medical devices, custom made medical devices and active implantable medical devices) are exempted from registration in the national data base to the extent they are related to the prevention and treatment of conditions appeared in the context of state of emergency. Such medical devices shall be introduced on the marked by the manufacturer/ authorized representative based of statement of conformity.

    Also, no notification regarding the commissioning of medical devices related to the prevention and treatment of conditions appeared in the context of state of emergency shall apply.

    Ministry of Health Order no 537/ 2020

    During the state of emergency, out patient medical services (physical medicine and rehabilitation) and palliative care shall be provided without the medical referral.

    Further during such state,  medical consultations, including by any remote means, shall be provided by family doctors and specialty doctors from the out patient clinics and costs shall be incurred as per the applicable provisions in the field of consultations at the medical office/ out patient clinic.

    Ministry of Health Order 539/ 2020

    Sportsmanship related transparency obligations are due by June 30, 202 for medicinal products and by 31 July for medical devices and sanitary materials.

    Ministry of Health Order 538/2020

    European Commission working on proposal to postpone the Medical Device Regulation application date for 1 year

    The Commission announced that work on a proposal to postpone the date of application for the Medical Device Regulation (MDR) for one year is ongoing. The decision was reached with patient health and safety as a guiding principle.

    The Commission is working to submit this proposal in early April for the Parliament and the Council to adopt it quickly as the date of application is the end of May.

    This decision will relieve pressure from national authorities, notified bodies, manufacturers and other actors and will allow them to fully focus on urgent priorities related to the coronavirus crisis.

    European Commission press release

    Clinical trials Starting with March 24, 2020, no visits of persons enrolled in clinical trials may be performed except as decided by the principal investigator (in case of emergency/ any delay may affect the safety of the patient).

    In all cases not having an urgent nature, the National Agency for Medicines and Medical Devices of Romania (NAMMDR) recommends as follows:

    • re-scheduling of visits or replacing them with conference calls;
    • identification of solutions for at home delivery of treatment;
    • supervisions by remote means;
    • suspension of initiation of new clinical trials/ new investigation centers.

    as per NAMMDR press release on measures imposed by the said authority further to Order 74527/2020

    In the COVID-19 context, NAMMDR shall prioritize the assessment of clinical studies for medical drugs against COVID-19; depending on number of requests and the phase of the study (the prioritization is of phase III), the estimate for completion of assessment is of max 7 days.

    VHP procure for EU coordinated assessment is also considered and to this the assessment schedule shall be mutually agreed together with the other Member States.

    as per NAMMDR press release

    Also, in the field of clinical trials, the European Commission, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and national Head of Medicines Agencies (HMA) have published new recommendations for sponsors on how to manage the conduct of clinical trials in the context of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

    The guidance provides concrete information on changes and protocol deviations which may be needed in the conduct of clinical trials to deal with extraordinary situations, e.g. if trial participants need to be in self-isolation or quarantine, access to public places (including hospitals) is limited due to the risk of spreading infections, and healthcare professionals are being reallocated.

    This guidance includes a harmonized set of recommendations, to ensure the utmost safety of trial participants across the European Union while preserving the quality of the data generated by the trials. It also advises how these changes should be communicated to authorities.

    There is specific advice on the initiation of new clinical trials for treatments of COVID-19, and in particular on the need for large, multinational trial protocols. This is in line with the call issued on Thursday by EMA’s human medicines committee (CHMP) for robust trial methodology in clinical trials for potential COVID-19 treatments or vaccines.

    The guidance was agreed by the Clinical Trials Expert Group (CTEG) of the European Commission, supported by EMA, the Clinical Trials Facilitation and Coordination Group (CTFG) of HMA and the GCP Inspectors’ Working Group. It provides a harmonized approach in the conduct of trials, in order to mitigate the negative effects of the pandemic.

    The guidance text is available here.

    Global regulators map out data requirements for phase 1 COVID-19 vaccine trials

    Global regulators have published a report (available here) presenting the outcomes of a workshop on COVID-19 vaccine development that was convened under the umbrella of the International Coalition of Medicines Regulatory Authorities (ICMRA).

    The meeting report provides an overview of regulatory considerations related to COVID-19 vaccine development and data required for regulatory decision-making on two key points:

    • pre-clinical data required to support proceeding to first-in-human clinical trials with investigational medicinal products; and
    • the need to address the known theoretical risk that vaccines against COVID-19 enhance the disease prior to starting first-in-human clinical trials.

    All participants in the meeting acknowledged the urgency of conducting first-in-human clinical trials with COVID-19 vaccine candidates. The conclusions set out how regulatory authorities around the globe intend to strike the balance between rapid development of vaccines and the need to generate enough robust data to enable decision-making.

    EMA press release

    Hospitalization Starting with March 24, 2020, for a period of 14 days, the following are suspended: in-hospitalization for surgical interventions and other treatments and medical investigations which do not have an urgent nature and may be rescheduled, as well as the scheduled consultations/ scheduled consultations in outpatient care (irrespective in public or private).

    – as per Order 74527/2020 regarding the necessary measures in view of limitation of spread of infection with SARS – Cov-2 virus at the level of public and private sanitary institutions

    Dental medicine As of 22 March 2020, 22:00 hours, activity in dental medicine offices, except for urgent dental interventions, is temporarily suspended.

    – as per Military Ordinance no. 2 of 21 March 2020

    Donations in the medical field Measures during the COVID-19 pandemic:

    NAMMDR issues (within 48 h as of request) the approval for donation of medical drugs regulated by the SARS Cov 2 treatment protocol.

    • donations of medical drugs may also cover medical drugs holding a marketing authorization outside EEC;
    • validity term of medical drugs subject to donation may be lower than 8 months as of request for approval of donation, but not lower than 3 months as of the date of request;
    • donation of medical devices may also cover devices lacking the CE mark and those not subject to a conformity assessment (as per the EU standards) as long as the medical devices are required to prevent the infection with SARS Cov 2 / treat COVID-19.

    Your Contacts:

  • CERTIFICATES FOR EMERGENCY SITUATIONS

    The regulation by the Ministry of Economy, Energy and Business Environment on issuance of the Certificate for emergency situations (“CES”) has been adopted through Order 791/2020 relating to the granting of emergency certificates to the economic operators whose activity is affected in the context of SARS-CoV-2 pandemic published on 25 March. The order sets the framework for the concept introduced through the Presidential Decree imposing the state of emergency and then further regulated through Emergency Government Ordinances no. 29/2020 and no. 30/2020. As of 14 May 2020 the state of emergency in Romania has ended, and on 18 May a state of alert was instituted. Therefore, given that Order 791/2020 in its initial form provided that CES can be issued only during the state of emergency, on 20 May the Ministry of Economy, Energy and Business Environment issued Order no. 1730/2020 amending Order 791/2020 with the aim to provide the necessary legal framework for CES to be issued also during the state of alert, until 15 June 2020. The updated electronic platform required for the issuance of CES after 15 May 2020 it is expected to be functioning within 5 days as of publication of Order 1730/2020 in the Official Gazette.

    Main highlights of such newly enacted concept:

    Who is entitled to receive CES The Ministry will issue the CES, at the request of economic operators entitle to receive them based on the provisions of art. X of the Emergency Government Ordinance no. 29/2020 and respectively Emergency Government Ordinance no. 30/2020 i.e., an applicant.

    The main categories of protections in relation to which CES may be used are:

    • OUG 29/2020, art. X – the right of the small and medium-sized enterprises impacted by the decisions taken by public authorities during the state of emergency period, in view of benefiting from postponement of utility services such as: electricity, natural gas, water, internet and telecommunication services, as well as the postponement of payment of rent for the headquarters and secondary locations
    • OUG 30/2020, art. XI – in relation to employees protection measures (e.g. technical unemployment)
    CES will be available in two categories/types
    • Type 1 (Blue) – applicable for economic operators whose activity has been totally or partially interrupted as a result of the measures imposed by public authorities during the state of emergency period;
    • Type 2 (Yellow) – applicable for economic operators who registered a decrease in payment receipts of at least 25% in March, April or May 2020 as compared to the average payment receipts registered in January-February 2020.

    Note: the applicant may submit the documentation for only one type of CES.

    CES are used in the relationship with the public authorities in order to obtain specific facilities/ support measures or in the commercial relationships according to the applicable legal provisions.

    Granting methods Requests for the issuance of CES shall be made exclusively through electronic means, respectively a platform provided by the Government here. CES will be issued automatically after validation by the system.

    The solicitor shall submit the following data:

    (i)    identification data;

    (ii) an Affidavit of the legal representative stating that all the information and documents supporting the request are accurate and in line with the legislation in force, as regards each type of CES requested, with reference to the total or partial shutdown of activity or decrease of earnings within the indicated amount.

    In case the legal representative of the solicitor does not have an electronic signature, the documentation may be signed with a wet signature, with the condition that all the documents uploaded on the platform will then be signed electronically by an authorized representative for this purpose. Therefore, all documents uploaded on the platform must have an electronic signature.

    Miscellaneous A standard form for the Affidavit has been updated to include the changes provided in Order 1730/2020 and is available in the respective order. Once the platform will be updated, it will also be available there;

    Solicitors who are not registered with the Trade Register Office shall provide the information and documents indicated above, including documents with regard to the authorization of the activity.

    CES will be granted until 15 June 2020;

    CES are valid without a signature or stamp;

    Competent authorities shall verify the documents on which the Affidavit is based during inspections. In case of reasonable suspicions as regards the procedure of obtaining the CES without observing the legal provisions or by not presenting the accurate situation of the applicant, competent authorities will enforce appropriate measures.


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  • NNDKP ARTICLES & OTHER UPDATES ON COVID-19

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  • PUBLIC AUTHORITIES OFFICIAL DECISIONS (Romanian only)

  • USEFUL LINKS

  • GLOBAL RESOURCES

    NNDKP facilitates access to global information resources that tackle the impact of COVID-19 in various countries around the world. These include multi-jurisdictional reports and country-specific updates prepared by leading independent law firms across the world.

    We invite you to visit the dedicated hubs created by the high-profile global and regional professional networks in which NNDKP is the exclusive member firm for Romania:

    Lex Mundi – the world’s leading network of premier independent law firms

    World Services Group – the world’s largest multidisciplinary network of professional services firms

    SEE Legal – the largest provider of legal services through the Southeastern Europe region

    Ius Laboris – leading legal service provider in labor, employment and pensions law 

  • YOUR CONTACTS

    For any questions, your contacts at NNDKP are available either by e-mail or telephone. Updates related to the impact of COVID-19 will be included here regularly, as the situation evolves.

    NNDKP Team

DISCLAIMER
Nothing in this section should be construed as legal and/or tax advice. This section is necessarily generalized. Professional advice should therefore be sought before any action is undertaken based on this section.