Coronavirus (COVID-19): Measures Adopted by the Government of Romania
In the meeting of March 18, 2020, the Government has adopted measures for the regulation of certain aspects related to the current situation. Thus, the following legal acts have been adopted and published in the Official Gazettes no. 230 and 231 of March 21, 2020, among others:
Emergency ordinance regarding certain economic and tax-budgetary measures
- The Government Emergency Ordinance 110/2017 on the Program for Support of Small and Medium-Size Enterprises – IMM INVEST ROMÂNIA shall be amended to grant additional facilities to the SMEs affected by the coronavirus crisis.
- the financing limit for credits for working capital shall be increased from 50% to 80% and the possibility shall be instituted to grant securities for credits/lines of credits for the financing of the working capital, exclusively interests, commissions and bank charges related to the credit secured by the state in a maximum percentage of 90% granted to a microenterprise or small enterprise, of a maximum value of Lei 500,000 for microenterprises, and maximum Lei 1,000,000 for small enterprises.
- the Ministry of Public Finance shall subsidize the interests related to credits/lines of credits for the financing of the working capital and of credits for investments , as well as in the case of credits for microenterprises or small enterprises by 100%. Interests may be subsidized from the moment when a credit is granted until March 31, 2021.
- the SMEs that do not have outstanding tax obligations or, if they have such obligations, undertake to pay them from the received credit shall be eligible for the above-indicated facilities.
- the maximum term of financings is of 120 months, in the case of credits for investments, and of 36 months in the case of credits/lines of credit for working capital. Lines of credit may be prolonged by maximum 36 months, following that, in the last year of prolongation, they are reimbursed.
- Payment of the installments and interests related to the loans granted by the Ministry of Public Finance from incomes resulted from the privatization of the administrative and territorial units/subdivisions may be postponed, at the borrower’s requests, for a period of three months, from the effective date of the emergency ordinance. The facility shall not be granted to borrowers that, at the effective date of the emergency ordinance, had outstanding payments.
- Simplification of the procedure of granting of the credits of over EUR 50,000,000 by Eximbank.
- Possibility to grant to Compania Naționala UNIFARM S.A. a facility of up to Lei 1 billion 150 million that may be used partially for the urgent acquisition of medical materials and equipment in the context of the epidemy of CORONAVIRUS in Romania.
- The terms of March 31, 2020 for the payment of the first installment of the local taxes and duties (tax on buildings, vehicles, land) have been prolonged until June 30, 2020.
- Government Ordinance no. 6/2019 on the instituting of tax facilities shall be amended to offer taxpayers the possibility to restructure budgetary obligations, the terms of submission of the applications for the restructuring of the budgetary obligations shall be prolonged from March 31, 2020 until July 31, 2020 or, for the initial term of July 31, 2020, this shall be prolonged until October 30, 2020.
- Enforcement measures by garnishment of the budgetary receivables, except for enforcements applied for the recovery of the budgetary receivables established by court decisions ruled in criminal matters shall be suspended or shall not start running. This measure shall end in 30 days from the end of the state of emergency.
- No interests and penalties for outstanding tax obligations at the effective date of this ordinance shall be calculated and owed, during the entire state of emergency, this not being considered outstanding tax obligations. The measure shall end in 30 days as of the end of the state of emergency.
- Taxpayers applying the system of declaration and payment of the annual tax on profit, with anticipated payments made on a quarterly basis, may make the quarterly anticipated payments for 2020, at the level of the amount resulting from the calculation of the current quarterly tax on profit.
- The possibility shall be instituted, by exception from the laws in force, that authorizing officers may promote a budgetary amendment in the first semester of the year.
- During the state of emergency, main authorizing officers shall be allowed to make transfers of budgetary credits and commitment appropriations that are not used, so that to ensure the necessary funds for the application of the measures of fight and prevention of the spread of the infection with coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, in observance of the approved annual budgetary provisions.
- During the state of emergency, small and medium-sized enterprises that have interrupted their activity fully or partially based on the decisions issued by the authorities and that have a certificate for emergency situations issued by the Ministry of Economy, Energy and Business Environment shall benefit from the postponement of payment for the utilities services – electricity, natural gas, water, telephone and internet services, as well as from the postponement of payment of rent for the building destined to registered office or secondary offices. Also cabinets of family physicians and dental cabinets where maximum 20 persons conduct their activity, national federations and sports clubs holding sports identity certificates, notaries public, attorneys at law, court enforcement officers whose activity has been affected by the measures ordered by the public authorities for the prevention and fight against coronavirus pandemic shall benefit from these provisions.
- In the ongoing agreements, other than the above-mentioned utilities or rent ones, force majeure may be invoked against SMEs only after the proven attempt to renegotiate such agreements and to adjust of the clauses by taking into consideration the exceptional conditions generated by the state of emergency.
- For the purpose of the emergency ordinance, it is presumed that a force majeure event is the unpredictable, absolutely invincible and unavoidable circumstance deriving from an action of the authorities in the application of the measures imposed by the prevention and fight against the pandemic that has impaired the activity of small and medium-sized enterprises, which impairment is ascertained by an emergency situation certificate. The measures taken by the authorities in accordance with the legal act that has instituted the state of emergency shall not be considered unpredictable.
- The penalties stipulated for delays in the fulfillment of the obligations deriving from the agreements concluded with the public authorities by small and medium-sized enterprises shall not be owed during the state of emergency.
- The terms for the submission of the statement regarding the real beneficiary shall be prolonged by 3 months as of the end of the state of emergency.
Emergency Ordinance for the amendment and supplementation of legal acts, as well as for establishing measures in the area of social protection in the context of the epidemiologic situation determined by the spread of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has been adopted
By this ordinance, facilities are granted to employers for maintaining the individual employment agreements during the state of emergency, as well as a series of other social protection measures.
In relation to social benefits, the submission of documents in connection to these or other application, the principle of submission of such documents, applications etc. by electronic means is instituted.
During the state of emergency, for the period of temporary stay of an individual employment agreement at the employer’s initiative, pursuant to art. 52, paragraph (1), letter c) of Law no. 53/2003 – Labor Code, as a consequence of the effects caused by coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the indemnities from which employees shall benefit, of minimum 75% of the basic salary corresponding to the job occupied paid from the salary fund, shall be incurred by the state from the unemployment budget, but no more than 75% of the gross average salary won provided by Law no. 6/2020 on the state social insurance budget for 2020.
Employees meeting one of the following conditions shall benefit from the above-mentioned provisions:
- they interrupt their activity fully or partially based on the decisions issued by the competent public authorities and hold the emergency situation certificate issued by The Ministry of Economy, Energy and Business Environment; or
- they reduce their activity as a consequence of the effects of the COVID-19 epidemic and they do not have the financial capacity to pay all the salaries for the employees. In this case, employers may benefit from the payment of the indemnity for maximum 75% of the employees and employers must submit an affidavit evidencing that the employer incurs a reduction of incoming payments by minimum 25% as compared to the average mean of incoming payments from the period January-February 2020 and that this does not have the financial capacity to pay all employees.
Similar facilities (indemnity equal to the gross minimum basic salary per country guaranteed for payment for 2020) shall be instituted for other professionals, regulated as such by the Civil Code, but who are not employers, and whose activity is interrupted based on the decisions made by public authorities. Also for athletes, trainers, physicians, nurses, masseurs, kinetotherapists, researchers in sports medicine during the temporary suspension of the sports activity agreement an indemnity shall be instituted of 75% of the rights in money related to the performance of the sports activity, but no more than 75% of the gross medium salary income provided by Law no. 6/2020 on the state social insurance budget for 2020.
For the granting of the necessary amounts for the payment of the above-mentioned indemnity, employers shall submit, by electronic mail, to the county employment agencies or to the employment agency of Bucharest Municipality, in whose area their registered offices are located, an application accompanied by (1) the emergency situation certificate released by the Ministry of Economy, Energy and Business Environment or an affidavit for the employers that are in the situation from item b) hereinabove and (2) the list of the persons who are going to benefit from the above-mentioned indemnity.
The above-mentioned documents shall be submitted in the current month for the payment of the indemnity for the previous month and disbursement, from the unemployment budget, of the amounts paid under the title of indemnities shall be made in maximum 30 as of the submission of the documents.