Romania – the highest annual economic growth in the EU in the fourth quarter 2016

According to Eurostat (European Statistics Office) Romania registered an economic growth of 4.8% in the fourth quarter 2016 compared to the same period in 2015, which is the highest growth rate in the European Union.

At the end of 2016, the Romania’s economy grew from 4.4% in the third quarter to 4.8% in the forth one.

In comparison, the eurozone economy grew by 1.7% in the fourth quarter 2016 compared to the same period of 2015, while the European Union has recorded annual economic growth of 1.8%, in both cases a smaller increase than the one recorded in the third quarter.

Projects for fishing and maritime business- 2017 calendar

If you are interested in developing a business in areas such as fishing or other maritime activities, the POPAM Management Authority (Operational Program for Fishing and Maritime Business) has launched the plan for the year 2017, where you will find the calendar for submitting the projects.

This year there will be 30 calls for projects and 14 of their guides will be published in February.

You can find the calendar here.

Update on the Prevention Law

As some of you may know, according to the project of Prevention Law the fiscal authorities will no longer be able to impose a punitive measure to a company before applying some “preventive measures”, consisting in a conformity plan which must be put into effect by the company within a fixed term.

Because the relationship between authorities and entrepreneurs should take the form of a partnership based on trust, the Ministry for Business, Trade and Entrepreneurship aims to put the Law on prevention on the agenda of the Government meeting as of 23.02.2017 for approval.

Although for some of the politicians this term seems too short, we could only hope that we will finally have a law that stops the abusive practice of the fiscal authorities.

European Commission project: The Once-Only Principle — TOOP

The European Commission (EC) has launched an 8 million euro project to interconnect the public administrations from 21 EU countries in order for the transmission of information by cross-border companies to be made only once.

The project named “The Once-Only Principle — TOOP” is part of the EU Action Plan for e-Governance 2016-2020 and will contribute to a more efficient digital market. This way the information will be delivered to the public administrations only once, regardless of the origin country of the company, and will be eliminated the unnecessary obstacles for european companies that are forced to repeatedly submit the same data and documents.

The authorities who represent Romania in this project are National Institute of Research and Development in Computer Science (who is the national manager) and National Trade Register Office (partner).

Two new calls for projects in the cooperation field

The first call for projects under the Joint Operational Program “Black Sea” 2014 – 2020 has been opened since 31 January 2017 and has the closing date on May 31, 2017. This call addresses to projects that contribute to all thematic objectives and priorities of the above mentioned Program, such as:

  • promote business and entrepreneurship in the Black Sea Area (in fields like tourism, culture, agriculture),
  • promote a coordinated environment policy and reduction of marine debris through joint actions in the Black Sea Area.

The budget for the two thematic objectives of the first call for projects is over 19.6 million euros.

Also, between March 1, 2017 and 30th of June 2017 will be opened the third call for projects under the Europe Interreg Program 2014-2020. Here are welcomed projects who contribute to all priority axes of the Program, such as:

  • research, technological development and innovation,
  • competitiveness of small and medium enterprises,
  • supporting the transition to an economy with a low emission of carbon dioxide in all sectors,
  • environment and efficient use of resources.

POR 2016/2/2.1.A – Micro enterprises call for projects extended

The Romanian Ministry of European Funds extended the deadline for submitting the projects under the Call no. POR 2016/2/2.1.A – Micro enterprises, Priority Ax 2 – Enhancing the competitiveness of small and medium companies, Priority investments 2.1 – Promoting entrepreneurship, in particular by facilitating the economic exploitation of new ideas and by fostering new businesses, including through business incubators.

The funding applications rejected due to administrative and eligibility check can be re-submitted under the new deadline, but no projects can be submitted again after being rejected at the stage of technical and financial evaluation. All projects that will be submitted again are procedural considered newly filed applications.

 

Draft budget for 2017

The Romanian Ministry of Finance has issued a press release regarding the draft budget for 2017.

According to the press release, the European funds for 2014-2020 has been foreseen as follows:

  • 4.441 bln. Euro – funds for European cohesion policy;
  • 1.18 bln. Euros – funds for the National Rural Development Programs;
  • 1.8 bln. Euros – funds for farmers in the common agricultural policy.

The complete press release of the Ministry of Finance can be found here.

European Account Preservation Order (E.A.P.O.) – new procedure to facilitate cross-border debt recovery in civil and commercial matters

Starting this year, debt recovery is faster, cheaper and more efficient with this new procedure for obtaining an European Account Preservation Order (E.A.P.O.).

This procedure is an additional and optional tool that the creditor can use for debt recovery. According to this Regulation – (EU) No 655/2014 – which applies starting the 18th of January 2017, the creditor is entitled to obtain a E.A.P.O. for preventing the subsequent enforcement of the creditor’s claim from being jeopardized through the transfer or withdrawal of funds up to the amount specified in the Order which are held by the debtor or on his behalf in a bank account maintained in a Member State.

This regulation applies to pecuniary claims in civil and commercial matters in cross-border cases and it does not extend, in particular, to revenue, customs or administrative matters or to the liability of the State for acts and omissions in the exercise of State authority.

New tax for the transfer of property

Starting with February 1st the method of determining the tax due for the income coming from transfer of property rights changes, as follows:

  • for income resulting from the transfer of property rights for the construction of any kind and associated land, as well as the land of any kind without construction, amounting to 450,000 lei (aprox. 100,000 €), the Romanian state will not apply any tax;
  • for the incomes resulting from transfers amounting to more than 450,000 lei (aprox. 100,000 €), the tax represents 3% of the difference between the value declared by the parties and the allowance of 450,000 lei.

The Romanian Government says that this decision intends to encourage the sales of real estate, which leads to a growing construction industry, oriented to construction of living houses.

 

2017 special tax for accommodations and food industry companies

The new year came with a very important amendment to the tax regime in Romania.

The Law. no. 170/2016 stipulates that the companies that have in their articles of incorporation activities regarding accommodation of the tourists, restaurants, catering, or the selling of any kind of drinks, must pay a different tax than they paid before.

This means that they will not pay anymore a tax related to the revenue or profit, but it will be calculated using a formula with more variables, such as the value of the standard tax, the ranking of the town where the activity is driven, the area where the activity is developed, seasonality, adjustment for technical space of the business.

This kind of amendment eliminates the problem that the fiscal authorities encountered so far in collecting the taxes, related to the non-issuing the fiscal documents that stated the commercial activity these companies developed. Therefore, the firms will pay taxes no matter their declared revenue was that year.