Almost one week after being publicly announced by Romanian officials, the Emergency Ordinance no. 37/2020 on granting certain facilities for loans granted by credit institutions and non-bank financial institutions to certain categories of debtors (OUG 37) was published in the Official Gazette in a different form than the one initially announced as a result of extensive negotiations with the banking system.
Companies whose business operations have been strongly affected by the state of emergency declared due to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic will be able to receive a state of emergency certificate (CSU) to attest the connection between the state of emergency and their current situation using an emergency procedure which exempts the companies from the usual fees.
In the context of the significant inflation of laws and administrative regulations in Romania, many of them representing or deriving from European Union (“EU”) normative acts, one important risk to be considered by foreign investors should be that the legislation process that regulates the permitting process is constantly modified. Moreover, most administrative permits, such as, for example, environmental permits or operating licences, are valid only for a limited period. Thus, the necessity to renew the permits and licences after important investments have already been made by the investors may represent a real challenge.
It is a truism to say that the Mergers & Acquisitions will take a severe blow. Not only the private investments go hand in hand with the status of economy, predictability in laws making and good social and political climate, but investments are driven by other key-factors as well. Besides the purely legal side and behind the financial rationale, M&A projects are backed-up by various behaviours which generate enthusiasm, allowing one to have an appetite for spending or an appetite for taking risks.
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken the Romanian employers by surprise, catching them widely unprepared for what needs to be done in relation with the employees – both in terms of health & safety precautions, but also in terms of safeguarding the employment relationships (let us not forget that Romania was fraught with a severe labor shortage when the COVID-19 situation occurred) whilst attempting to save their business.
In view of the evolution of the international epidemiological situation caused by the spread of Coronavirus, which determined the pandemic declared by the World Health Organization, on March 11, 2020, the Decree no. 195/2020 on imposing the state of emergency on the territory of Romania (the "Decree") has been adopted.
Nowadays, in the Romanian judicial practice the proceedings in which, apart from the criminal prosecution of natural persons for the perpetration of criminal offences, criminal liability of legal persons (various companies, smaller or larger, producers of goods, service providers or operators, etc.) is also pursued, have got to become more and more often.
The National Bank of Romania (“NBR”) together with the Romanian Government have responded swiftly to the economic shock created by the COVID-19 pandemic by announcing several measures aimed to alleviate the adverse impact of COVID-19 on individuals and small & medium-sized enterprises (“SMEs”) and short-term liquidity resulting from the decreasing business activities.
According to the latest interpretation by the Romanian Trade Registry, all companies registered prior to 21 July 2019 (i.e. the date on which Law no. 129/2019 on the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing (”Law no. 129/2019”) entered into force) must file an ultimate beneficial owner (”UBO”) statement by 15 days after the approval of their annual financial statements for 2019 or by 21 July 2020, whichever comes first.