Last updated: 9 March 2022
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- Legal News
Almost two years later after having been declared under the Decision no. 24 of 15 May 2020 of NCES (the national Council for Emergency Situations), the state of alert ceases in Romania and puts an end to the temporary measures adopted by the authorities aimed at either ensuring public safety and health or providing support to companies whose activity has been impaired by the global crisis of the Covid-19 pandemic.
It should be mentioned that the state of alert in Romania was last extended for another 30 days starting with February 7, 2022, by the Government’s Decision no. 171 / 03.02.2022, published in the Official Gazette no. 114/2022. The state of alert, declared in May 2020, followed a 60-day emergency state, was established on the territory of Romania, by Presidential Decrees no. 195/2020 and 240/2020.
Consequences regarding social protection and work organization
Along with the termination of the state of alert and after certain time lapses expressly indicated in the normative acts issued by the authorities in this respect, a series of measures such as the following, no longer apply:
- The furlough scheme funded by the State: incentive based on the GEO 2/2020 remains in force until March 31, 2022. The amounts covered by the state (75% of the basic salary corresponding to the job, but not more than 75% of the average gross salary provided by the Law on the state social insurance budget for 2022 no. 318/2021) were granted to companies whose activity has been reduced / discontinued as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
- The allowance paid by the state for the reduction of the employee's working time (Kurzarbeit mechanism): incentive granted according to GEO 132/2020 remains in force for a period of up to 3 months after the termination of the state of alert. The monthly allowance paid by the State (75% of the difference between the gross monthly basic salary as per the employment agreement and the gross salary related to the hours actually worked) may be granted if working hours are reduced by maximum 80% of daily / weekly / monthly duration provided in the employment agreement.
- Telework / work from home: starting with March 9, 2022, the employers are no longer held to implement work from home or telework, for at least 50% of employees, where activity allows it, obligation imposed by the Decision 7 / 03.02.2022 of NCES.
- Free days / paid leave for the parents of school children under 12 whose classes have been suspended due to the pandemic: the allowance paid by the state, (amounting to 75% of the basic gross salary but capped to 75% of the average gross salary for 2022, provided by art. 1 (2) GEO no. 110/2021) is maintained until the end of the school year 2021-2022, school holidays excluded, i.e. until June 10, 2022.
- Extension of collective labor agreements and collective labor contracts : Their validity is extended for another 90 days since the end of the state of alert. For collective labor agreements and collective labor contracts, the parties have the obligation to initiate collective bargaining within 45 days since the end of the state of alert.
- Staggered work schedule for companies with more than 50 employees: no longer mandatory when the state of alert ceases.
Administrative - fiscal and judicial measures
The declaration on the beneficial owner
The economic operators whose shareholding structure comprise entities registered and / or having their fiscal headquarters in non-cooperating jurisdictions from a fiscal point of view and / or in jurisdictions with a high degree of risk of money laundering and / or terrorist financing and / or in jurisdictions under monitoring of the relevant international bodies for the risk of money laundering / terrorist financing must submit the declaration on the beneficial owner (art. 56 paragraph (1^3) of the law no. 129/2019), within 90 days from the termination of the state of alert.
Temporary measures on insolvency
- Once the state of alert ceased, companies are again obliged to file for opening of the insolvency procedure within 30 days from the occurrence of the suspension of payments. According to Law no. 85/2014, non-compliance with the obligation to declare insolvency entails patrimonial and even criminal liability of the company's management, if insolvency is not requested within the six months since the occurrence of suspension of payments.
- The creditor's obligation to prove negotiation attempts with the debtor in order to conclude a payment agreement is removed. This obligation was stipulated for the creditor requesting the opening of insolvency proceedings against a debtor during the state of alert.
Arrangement with creditors proceedings
- The extended deadline of 120 days for the negotiation and drafting of the arrangement with creditors no longer applies: the legal deadline for the companies to negotiate and draft the offer for the arrangement with creditors is brought back to the 60 days applicable before the state of alert ;
- The 2-month grace period granted to companies under the proceedings of arrangement with creditors for the payment of the receivables included in the recovery plan confirmed by the court is also removed ;
Judicial reorganization procedure
- The additional term of 3 months for the submission of the reorganization plan is no longer applicable, thus reinstating the previous 30-day timeframe since the date of the final table of receivables for the submission of the reorganization plan;
- The companies in judicial reorganization can no longer request the extension of the duration of the reorganization plan from 4 to 5 years: the maximum total duration is of 4 years.
Suspension of enforcement by seizure of tax receivables
Interests, penalties and all accessories related to the main budgetary obligations administered by the central fiscal body due before March 31, 2020 included and comprised in tax decisions issued before the entry into force of the GEO 19/2021 or after this date but not later than June 30, 2022 are annulled if a series of conditions are met cumulatively, including the condition of applying for cancellation of accessories until June 30, 2022 included, respectively within 90 days from the communication of the tax decision if the 90-day period expires after June 30, 2022.
Ending the ceiling of the prices of some products used during the state of alert
This measure could be applied under the conditions of art. 4 paragraph (3) of the Competition Law 21/1996, during the alert state, in order to ensure good functioning of the market for such products.
Formalities to the Trade Register
The following measures shall remain in force for another year from the termination of the state of alert:
- remote communication, mainly by electronic means and by correspondence with the territorial offices of the Trade Register;
- the sworn statements enclosed to the application for registration / other applications may be submitted as private deeds or signed electronically and may be transmitted to the Trade Register Office without any other formality, by electronic means, electronic signature or mail and courier;
- the signature specimen, where provided for by law, may be signed and transmitted in the form of a private deed.
Validity of certain documents expired during the state of alert issued by public institutions and authorities, as well as by authorized private entities
The validity is maintained for a period of 90 days from the termination of the state of alert.
Measures aimed at mitigating risks
- mask wearing is no longer mandatory in all open or closed spaces; however a recommendation was made to continue wearing the masks in crowded places ;
- epidemiological triage and disinfection of the hands of visitors and employees, upon entering the premises of public institutions and authorities, economic operators and professionals is no longer mandatory ;
- organizing gatherings, demonstrations, processions, concerts, cultural, scientific, artistic, sporting meetings, etc. in closed spaces is no longer banned ;
- economic operators are can freely set the opening / closing hours of shops, bars, restaurants, etc.
- end of restrictions on the free movement of persons and vehicles in certain places, where applicable at defined times ;
- end of the ban on leaving defined areas, if necessary at defined times, or the quarantine of buildings, localities or geographical areas ;
- road, maritime, river and air transport operators regain their freedom of action; end of restrictions ...
- end of the temporary closure of certain border crossing points ;
- end of the additional formalities to be carried out to enter Romania (no longer need to present a vaccination certificate / a negative Covid test etc.).
Employment of personnel in executive / managerial positions, without contest
in certain public institutions: the application of this measure ceases 30 days after the end of the state of alert, or at an earlier date, at initiative of the employer.