Financial Relief for Media and Telecom Players

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9.05.2020 – Author: Alina Vizitiu

As a result of the evolution of the international epidemiological situation determined by the spread of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and considering the state of emergency declared by Decree no. 195/2020 on the establishment of the state of emergency on the territory of Romania, as well as its extension by Decree no. 240/2020 regarding the extension of the state of emergency on the territory of Romania, the Romanian Government recently issued the Emergency Ordinance no. 56/2020 on some provisional measures in the context of the epidemiological situation caused by the spread of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus (“GEO no. 56/2020”), effective as of April 27, 2020.

The Romanian Government deemed that the current situation requires urgent actions in the field of media and electronic communications industry and, with the aim to avoid the risk of dysfunctions and long-term negative effects on these sectors of activity, has decided on some financial exemptions and extensions of the payment terms for the spectrum usage tariffs benefiting to media and telecom players.

Thus, pursuant to the provisions of GEO no. 56/2020, by way of derogation from the current legal framework, the following provisional measures were decided:

  • In the media field, holders of broadcasting spectrum licenses and of radio frequencies licenses in digital terrestrial system will be exempted from paying the spectrum usage tariff for year 2020.

In this view, the individualized spectrum usage tariffs which were already established for 2020 by the National Authority for Administration and Regulation in Communications (ANCOM) in the duty of the above broadcasters will be further cancelled by ANCOM, by means of decision to be issued within 30 days from the entry into force of GEO no. 56/2020.

  • In the telecom field, the deadline for the payment of the spectrum usage tariff due by the holders of radio frequency usage licenses established by ANCOM for the first quarter of 2020 was extended to October 31, 2020.

Normally, according to the provisions of ANCOM Decision no. 551/2012 on the establishment of the spectrum usage tariff, the payment term for the individualized tariffs for the first quarter of 2020 would have been April 20, 2020 (but not earlier than 15 days from the communication date of such individualized tariff).

Those who have already paid the spectrum usage tariffs for 2020 can benefit, upon request, from the refund of the paid amounts, in accordance with the provisions of the Fiscal Procedure Code.

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