The platform for obtaining the certificates for state of emergency (“CES”) has recently become functional and can be accessed at the following link http://prevenire.gov.ro/. In this context, we are listing below some practical matters regarding the obtaining of these certificates, as well as a list of the situations provided under the legislation when obtaining them may prove useful from a practical perspective.
The first document that mentions CES is the Decree of the Romanian President regarding the state of emergency, signed on 16 March 2020, providing that the Ministry of Economy, Energy and Business Environment (“MEEMA”) issues CES at the request of economic operators whose activity is affected in the context of COVID-19 and based on supporting documentation.
A series of normative acts continued to refer to the utility of CES, as further detailed below.
- Postponement of payments for the loans granted to legal entities holding CES
According to GEO 37/2020 regarding the granting of certain facilities for loans granted by credit institutions and non-banking financial institutions in Romania to certain categories of debtors, other than natural persons (including legal entities) must cumulatively comply with the following conditions, in order to benefit from the postponement of reimbursement of rates, interest and commission by the debtors:
- they must not be in insolvency as of the date of requesting the postponement of payments; and
- they have suspended their activity (totally or partially) following the decisions issued by the authorities during the state of emergency and have obtained CES or have obtained CES which shows a decrease in their the income as of March 2020 by at least 25% compared to the average of their income as for January and February 2020 or the partial or total interruption of the activity as a result of the decisions issued by the competent public authorities during the period of state emergency.
- CES for the postponement of the payment of utilities and rent for SMEs. Force majeure invoking against some SMEs holding CES.
According to GEO 29/2020 on economic and fiscal measures:
- SMEs which interrupted their activity totally or partially due to public authorities decisions issued during the emergency state and which hold CES, benefit from the postponement of the payment of utilities services – electricity, natural gas, water, telephone and internet services, as well as the payment of the rent for for headquarters and secondary offices;
- Force majeure can be invoked in the ongoing agreements, other than the abovementioned, concluded by the SMEs which have stopped their activity totally or partially, only after the attempt to renegotiate the contract, in order to adapt their clauses taking into account the exceptional conditions generated by the state of emergency, proven with documents communicated between the parties through any means, including by electronic means.
- CES is not required for the reimbursement of the indemnities related to the technical unemployment
GEO no. 30/2020 amending and supplementing certain regulatory acts, as well as establishing certain measures in the field of social protection in the context of the epidemiological situation caused by the spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus was amended by GEO no. 32/2020 as follows:
- GEO 32/2020 repealed the provisions of GEO 30/2020 which regulated the categories of employers which may benefited from the reimbursement of indemnities, respectively the employers which interrupted their activity totally or partially as a result of the decisions issued by the competent public authorities during the state of emergency and which had CES;
- Currently, the employers which reduce or temporarily interrupt their activity totally or partially as a result of the effects of the Covid-19 epidemic, during the period of emergency, may benefit from the reimbursement of the amounts representing technical unemployment based on a sworn statement of the employer, without being required CES.
- Practical matters regarding the obtaining of the CSU
- According to the Order no. 791/2020 regarding the procedure for issuing the CES, as further amended by Oder 822/2020, there are two types of CES: (a) type 1 – blue, for the applicants whose activity was totally or partially interrupted as a result of the decisions issued by the competent public authorities, during the period of emergency state; and (b) type 2 – yellow, for the applicants whose incomes have been diminished with a percentage of at least 25% as of March 2020 compared to the average of the incomes as of period January – February 2020;
- The applicants have the possibility to request one type of CES, by submitting through the platform http://prevenire.gov.ro/ (operational platform) documents and information regarding: (a) identification details; (b) a sworn statement of the legal representative according to the model provided by the Order, which can also be downloaded from the platform, attesting the conformity of the information provided in relation to the type of CES chosen;
- All documents submitted through the platform will be in pdf format and electronically signed by a qualified digital certificate, by the legal representative of the economic operator or by proxy holder of an electronic signature; certificates generated on the basis of documents signed with unqualified or revoked certificates will be annulled;
- CES can be used in relations with public institutions for obtaining certain facilities/support measures or in commercial relations, according to the law;
- CES is issued only during the period of state emergency and is valid without signature and stamp;
- CES can be verified by series and number on the platform http://prevenire.gov.ro/.