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The extension of the state of emergency. What should companies know?

Expected by an entire country, the extension of the emergency situation was published on 14 April 2020 in the Official Gazette of Romania n. 311, by decree of the President of Romania n. 240.

As of 15 April 2020, the state of emergency will be extended by 30 days throughout Romania. It had been established previously, even for a period of 30 days, from 16 March 2020.

The new decree supplements the first emergency measures directly applicable in a number of sectors. In this article we will focus only on those that have an impact on the business environment. We will report them below, structured on areas, as they were also included in the regulatory document.

In the economic field

  • the validity of documents issued by public authorities which expire during the state of emergency is maintained;

  • Contracting authorities, including legal entities in which the state is a majority shareholder, shall have the right to purchase directly the materials and equipment necessary to prevent and combat COVID-19, which exceed the threshold value established by Article 7(5) of Law 98/2016 on public procurement, within the limits of the budgetary funds allocated for that purpose;

  • Measures must be taken to ensure continuity of supply, namely extraction, production, processing, transport, distribution, the supply, maintenance and repair of the raw materials and/or semi-materials treated necessary for the proper functioning of the national energy system and to ensure the continuity of its operation and of all utilities;

  • During the emergency situation, the prices of medicines and medical devices, basic foodstuffs and utilities (electricity and heat, gas, water supply, sanitation, fuel, etc.) may be limited;

  • Should electricity and gas prices fall, the Government will take the necessary measures on regional markets to ensure that these decreases are partly or fully reflected in the final consumer price;

  • Where certain programmes or projects cannot be carried out in a state of emergency, consumer or perishable goods intended to be distributed/used in such programmes or projects may be redistributed under other programmes, health and social assistance projects or units, assistance and social assistance or beneficiaries of the law on minimum guaranteed income n. 416/2001, as amended and integrated;

  • All other business support measures granted before this Decree remain valid. The most important details of these can be found in the links below:

  • 5-10% bonus for companies that pay their income tax/profit on time. Details here.

  • Obtaining emergency certificates for economic operators affected by the crisis Covid-19. Details here.

  • Deferral of tax liabilities (with a new maturity in this case, 14 May), suspension of implementing measures and other benefits granted under GEO 29/2020. Details here.

The field of European funds

  • For the time of the state of emergency, the managing authorities shall issue specific instructions to beneficiaries to ensure that the execution of financing contracts is carried out in accordance with the legal provisions and measures envisaged to reduce the risk of dissemination Covid-19;

  • within ten days of the entry into force of the decree, the government shall establish the general framework and procedures for the reorganisation, restructuring or reprogramming of activities financed by European funds;

  • During the state of emergency, the managing authorities and intermediate bodies shall, at the justified request of the beneficiaries, approve the reorganisation, restructuring or reprogramming of the activities covered by European funding, without prejudice to the project result indicators or their specific objectives, as appropriate, and without extending financing contracts beyond 31 December 2023;

  • During the state of emergency, the authorities responsible for issuing agreements/approvals/certificates for projects financed by European funds are required to organise the public debates required by law to obtain agreements/opinions/certificates online with the appropriate participation of all parties interested parties;

  • Agreements/notices/certificates issued electronically by electronic signature shall be deemed authentic under the conditions laid down by law. The minutes of public consultations shall be concluded and signed by the Parties in electronic form and shall constitute official documents in accordance with the law.

Employment and social protection

  • The provisions of Law No. 19/2020 on the granting of time to parents to supervise children in the event of temporary closure of educational institutions continue to apply during the state of emergency. Details of previous provisions are available here;

  • companies with private capital introduce, where possible during the emergency, national telework or by unilateral act of the employer;

  • The carrying out of checks on employers by labour inspectorates (except for controls ordered by the Minister of Labour and Social Protection, those ordered by the Labour Inspectorate to implement the rulings of the National Committee for Special Situations, military orders, are suspended during the state of emergency, those necessary to respond to claims for compensation in the event of serious social danger and of the detection of accidents at work);

  • collective agreements and collective agreements remain valid during the state of emergency;

  • in the event of job losses due to the effects of the COVID-19 epidemic, the person entitled retains his incentive to enter (in derogation from the Government’s emergency ordinance no. 111/2010 on holidays and the monthly allowance for the education of children);

  • Certificates of a child with a disability and certificates of type of disability issued by the Assessment Board for adults with disabilities, the validity of which expires during the declared emergency period, extends its validity until the cessation of the state of emergency.

What about tax relief for employers in the event of technical unemployment?

  • whereas this decree does not impose restrictions on the application of technical unemployment, the provisions of Emergency Ordinance No. 32/2020 on the amendment and completion of the Government Emergency Ordinance No. 30/2020, shall apply for the entire period of the state of emergency established in the territory of Romania;

  • more specifically: 'During the emergency situation established by Decree 195/2020 on the establishment of an emergency situation in the territory of Romania, for the period of temporary suspension of the individual employment contract, at the initiative of the employer, pursuant to Article 52(1)(c) of Law 53/2003 - Labour Code, republished, as amended and completed, as a result of the effects of SAR-Cov-2 coronavirus, Employee benefits are fixed at 75 % of the basic salary corresponding to the employment and are covered by the unemployment insurance budget, at not more than 75 % of the average gross earnings provided for in the Social Security Act 2020 6/2020. ’

  • more details on previous provisions that remain valid for the entire period of the state of emergency can be found here.

Legal field

In the legal field, the main measures for enterprises concern simplifications in relation to the National Trade Register Office. More details about these changes can be found here.

In summary, these are:

  • The registration of particulars relating to legal persons and natural persons will also be carried out on the basis of correspondence requests in paper form.

  • the rules concerning the form of self-declarations and the model signature must have been relaxed, where such documents are necessary for the registration of an entry; if, prior to the state of emergency, these documents had to be authenticated by a notary or handed over to the official designated for the trade register, pursuant to Decree 240/14.04.2020:

    • self-declaration may take the form of a private signature (with only one handwritten signature) or an electronic form (From this it is understood that the electronic document does not need a signature, but it is sufficient to indicate the name of the person issuing the declaration at the end of the declaration);

    • the signature template may take the form of a document legalised by a notary or a lawyer’s certificate or one written under a private signature (only with a handwritten signature).

  • those who wish to obtain information, copies of documents or certified copies from the Commercial Register, including the Insolvency Proceedings Bulletin, can access these types of services by paper mail and not only by electronic means.

 

 

 

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