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Importing and Exporting in Romania

by Vlad Cuc

Import-export activities carried out in Romania can generally be developed by local and foreign businesses without any special measures of supervision or control. This right is granted as a direct consequence of the international commercial liberty principle, which is also applied in Romania. The current regulations and specific measures that are applied to import-export operations can be presented by our team of Romanian lawyers.  

Still, businessmen must observe the legislation in this field, as the Romania import export of certain products will be regulated under strict measures of control and this can be the case of goods that are considered to be of general interest for the Romanian economy

However, this case is considered to be the exception from the general import-export rules and it must be observed that in most situations, if the respective goods are not directly mentioned as goods that must be supervised upon the trading from a country to another, then the entity which develops this activity will be able to import/export the goods without any restrictions.  

Provided that the products will fall under the measures of supervision and control applicable in this country, the companies which will develop these activities must obtain an approval. In Romania, there are two basic categories of approvals which can be granted by the local institutions, namely authorizations and licenses. Our team of lawyers in Romania can present the types of licenses and authorizations that can be requested for the import-export of goods.  

The issuance of licenses in Romania 

Licenses are granted only to commercial entities headquartered in Romania activating internationally. The request for the issuance of licenses has to be made for each country, foreign business partner and the tariff category of the product that is traded. The main institution which handles the issuance of the licenses is the Romanian Ministry of Economy and Finance, where the applicants must send their requests.

Other authorizations for Romania import-export 

In specific situations, the internal regulations applicable in this country require the issuance of the authorizations from various public institutions just for the cross-border transit of goods, but this is necessary only for certain categories of products and our Romanian law firm can assist you with information on the current regulations. 

According to the Romanian legislation, the need to have an Romania importexport authorization can be required for a variety of products, such as the ones mentioned here: animal and related products, plants and related products, drugs, alimentary and agricultural products, elements of the human body, medical and pharmaceutical products, guns, ammunition, toxic and explosive materials and nuclear products and technologies, waste admitted for Romania import export, products dangerous for the population and environment.

The authorization is also necessary for goods which are included in the national cultural patrimony, for the transportation of tobacco and alcohol products, in the case of genetically modified organisms, for chemical products and others. It is required also for the transportation of gems, precious metals and other similar goods. 

Granting of the authorization will be refused in the following situations: the entity does fulfil the legal conditions necessary for international commerce, as a sanction to the importer/exporter, the merchandise is subject to control and supervision from the Romanian authorities (or the authorities of the country of destination) and the conditions for the authorization are not fulfilled, the merchandise is forbidden to be imported or exported etc.

We invite you to watch the video below regarding the main legal services for import-export operations in Romania

What is the data on import-export activities in Romania?

The data on Romania import export shows that most of the trading operations are carried with other members of the European Union (EU). Import-export activities are of high importance for the Romanian economy, as they represent the largest contributor at the country’s gross domestic product. Below, you can find out some of the main aspects of the import and export operations, such as: 

  • according to the data presented by the World Bank in 2018, the trading operations carried out in Romania account for 86% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP);
  • most of the Romanian exports are concluded with EU member states, accounting for 76.7%;
  • with regards to the imports in Romania, the EU is the largest trading partner, accounting for 74.6%;
  • from the EU, Germany stands out as the largest recipient of exports from Romania (22.4% from the entire export value, in 2019);
  • Germany is also the country responsible for the highest level of imports in Romania (20.2% in 2019). 

What are the main procedures for imports in Romania?

Foreign companies or natural persons wishing to import various goods in Romania should become familiarized with the legal procedures applied in this country. The manner in which a foreign entity will import goods here will vary depending on the products, but also on the tax residency of the entity. An extensive presentation upon this subject can be offered by our team of Romanian lawyers

With regards to imports in Romania, it is necessary to know that this country does not impose quotas on the goods, nor does it impose tariffs. Entities that are tax residents of EU member states do not have to pay any customs duties, while entities from outside the EU will be generally liable to the payment of custom duties at low rates, which are prescribed in accordance with the regulations of the Common External Tariff of the EU

The documents necessary for imports in Romania will also vary depending on the nature of the products introduced on the Romanian market (for example, pharmaceuticals will need certain documents, the import of plants will need agricultural safety documents and so on). If you are not sure what are the basic documents you will need when trading goods here, you can address to our Romanian law firm for legal advice.  

As a member state of the EU, Romania is part of the Agreed Economic Operator system, which was created in order to reduce the customs procedures throughout the EU. Entities carrying imports in Romania will have to complete the Single Administrative Document provided that the products are non-EU goods. 

It must also be known that those who are interested in Romania import export must have an EORI number (Economic Operators Registration and Identification); this is necessary for those who import goods, those who export goods or for entities who only use Romania or other EU countries for transiting to another country, outside the EU. 

As a non-EU entity, if your first country of entry on the EU territory is Romania, then the request for an EORI number will be done with the local authorities, which will have the responsibility of issuing the required code. Our team of Romanian lawyers can help you in the process of obtaining an EORI number here. For extensive information on the import-export regulations applicable in this country, we invite you to contact our Romanian law firm, where you can receive the necessary legal expertise.