20 January 2004 (Invest Romania)

In spite of the difficult conditions faced after 1990, Romania has implemented one of the most liberal commercial policy in Europe: the import restrictions have been eliminated even since 1992 while the export restrictions have been diminished step by step until their complete cancellation in 1998. Romania has tried this way to achieve two main goals: to determine the functioning of Romanian economy by reference to the instruments, mechanisms and international rules as well as to encourage the development of a competitive environment, capable to sustain the functioning of market rules.

The Government Decision No. 215/1992 has firstly established the liberalization of export and import operations. Notwithstanding this, certain commodities have continued to be monitored through a licenses’ system where the import and export operations were administrated through the issuance of licenses by the relevant Romanian authorities. Finally, this system has been restructured on a basis of automatically issued import and export licenses.

The principles established in 1992 have been reaffirmed by the Government Decision No. 1526/2003 on the general regime of export and import which has stated, as guiding principle, that export and import of commodities from and in the Romanian custom territory is to be freely performed. It has been also stated that the import and export operations were not conditioned upon the issuance of any licenses.

Certain exceptions have been maintained however by the new regulation although, generally, it can be assumed that there are currently no restrictions to the imports and exports. In addition, the licenses’ issuance system has only a supervising purpose, was designed in a way and is intended not to impede the import and export operations.

The general rule established by the Government Decision No. 1527/2003 (on the regulations and proceedings in the field of export and import licenses) is that the Ministry of Economy and Commerce - through the General Department of Commercial Policies – issues automatic import and export licenses without being necessary a special prior approval for performing the import and export operations. In addition, the number of automatic import and export licenses has been seriously decreased, their nature being only a statistic one.

The automatic import and export licenses are granted in all cases further to the registration of an application in this respect. They are approved immediately and are valid – as a general rule – until the end of the calendar year for which they have been issued.

Another licenses’ category are the non-automatic import licenses which are issued in order to administer the quantitative import restrictions instituted by the Government in view of applying international agreements or safeguard measures. These kinds of import licenses do not exercise restrictive or distortion effects, additional to those already instituted by way of establishing the import restriction.

In both cases, the entire responsibility for the foreign trade operation, its efficiency, performance and conditions, accuracy of the price, the compliance with the national regulations as well as with all the other regulations in the field belongs to the license’s applicant. The holder of the license will be in the same time responsible for its use in accordance with the conditions therein established.

A special attention should be paid to the import regime of wastes and residua of whatever nature as well as to the products considered dangerous for public health and/or for environment. With respect to the wastes and residua, the Government Decision No. 340/1992 provides a general import interdiction no matter of the form under which they are imported.

On the other hand, exceptions have been provided for certain limited categories of wastes. Under the conditions that, further to their entrance on the Romanian territory, they are processed by the importers in view of obtaining raw materials and/or other useful materials and provided that their transportation, warehousing and processing on the Romanian territory do not present toxicological or ecological risk, certain categories of wastes may be however imported (i.e. steel wastes, paper wastes, glass wastes, precious metals, etc).

The importers will need however an import license which is to be issued only upon the obtaining of the prior approvals of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forests, Waters and Environment and of the Ministry of Health. The import license should contain the importer statement on own responsibility with respect to the denomination of the product to be imported. The importer is also bound to obtain from the authorized authorities in the origin country the conformity statement, certificates attesting that the respective products do not present toxicological or ecological risk as well as the visa of the custom authorities in the exporter’s country of origin.

With respect to the products considered dangerous for public health or for environment, their import may be performed only based on the documents and approvals established for each products’ group and under the condition that their warranty or expiry period would have not elapsed. The quality certificates issued by the authorized authorities of their origin country as well as the conformity statement is also required in order for such products to be imported in Romania.

Moreover, the import of such products could be performed only by the legal entities approved by the resort ministers, by the National Agency for Chemical Dangerous Substances or by other authorized authorities, specially set up to deal with public health and environment protection issues faced at the beginning of third millennium.



Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional