Romanian Legal Week in brief: March 12-18, 2018

Amendments of the Administrative Proceedings Law. Amendments to Law no. 554/2004 on administrative proceedings have been proposed as of 12 March, aiming to:

– contribute to reducing the length of file resolution;
– create the legal premises for the real right of access to the court;
– eliminate procedural mechanisms that generate long delays without bringing a procedural benefit;
– to reconcile the provisions of the law with the decisions of the Constitutional Court of Romania. [source]

European Commission. In-depth investigation into restructuring support for Romanian energy producer Hunedoara Energy Complex. According to a press release issued on 12 March, the European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess whether various public support measures from Romania in favour of energy producer Complexul Energetic Hunedoara are in line with EU rules on State aid to companies in difficulty.

At this stage, the Commission investigates whether the proposed restructuring plan could restore the long-term viability of the company without continued State aid. [source]

The European Commission has launched the Knowledge Center for Enhancing Food Quality and Combating Food Fraud. On 13 March 2018, the European Commission launched the Knowledge Centre for Food Fraud and Quality, operated by the JRC (the joint Research Center).
The Knowledge Center will support EU policymakers and national authorities by providing access to, and sharing up-to-date scientific knowledge on food fraud and food quality issues and will:
  • coordinate market surveillance activities (for example on the composition and sensory properties of food offered under the same packaging and branding on several markets across the EU);
  • operate an early warning and information system for food fraud (through media monitoring and providing such information to the general public);
  • link information systems of Member States and the Commission, such as databases describing the composition of certain high value agri-food products such as wine or olive oil;
  • generate country-specific knowledge (for example by mapping the competencies and laboratory infrastructures in Member States). [source]

Competition Council. Project for implementing a Big Data computer system. According to a press release issued on 13 March, the Romanian Competition Council started a project financed from non-reimbursable external funds for the implementation of an informatics system based on a Big Data platform that will allow a fast identification of cartel, especially those from public acquisitions.

The project will run in partnership with the Special Telecommunication Service, has a value of 50,681,629.59 lei and the duration of the implementation is 30 months, since 29 of January 2018, the signing date of the financial contract. [source]

The European Commission has proposed a set of measures to reduce the number of non-performing loans. The package of measures to tackle non-performing loans (NPLs) in Europe, as proposed by the European Commission, targets four key areas:

  • to ensure that banks set aside funds to cover the risks associated with loans issued in the future that may become non-performing;
  • to encourage the development of secondary markets where banks can sell their NPLs to credit servicers and investors;
  • to facilitate debt recovery;
  • to assist Member States in the restructuring of banks, by providing non-binding guidance.

In particular, the proposals include the following key elements:

1. Ensuring sufficient loss coverage by banks for future NPLs

2. Enabling accelerated out-of-court enforcement of loans secured by collateral

3. Further developing secondary markets for NPLs

4. A technical blueprint for how to set up a national Asset Management Companies (AMCs) [source]

Supplementing regulations ref. annual financial statements of insurance brokers. On Thursday, 15 March 2018, the Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA) launched for public debate a draft norm for supplementing the Accounting Regulations on the individual annual financial statements and the consolidated annual financial statements applicable to insurance and / or reinsurance brokers approved by the FSA Norm no. 36/2015. [source]

Amendments brought to the authorization procedure of insurance companies. The Financial Supervisory Authority launched a public debate on 15 March 2018, with respect to the draft amendment of paragraph (7) of art. 11 of Norm no. 20/2016 of the Financial Supervisory Authority on the authorization and supervision of insurance and reinsurance companies. [source]

Maximum medicines prices. The Ministry of Health launched in public debate a draft Order amending and supplementing Annexes no. 1 and 2 of the  Minister of Health Order no. 251/2017 for the approval of the maximum prices of the medicines used/marketed by suppliers of medical services or medicines, under contractual arrangements with the Ministry of Health, the health insurance houses and/or the public health directorates of the county/the municipality of Bucharest, included in the National Catalogue of the prices for authorized medicinal products for marketing in Romania and their generic reference prices. [source]

Adina Elena OPREA