Entrepreneurs wishing to undertake industrial activities on Romanian territory have more reasons to plan an investment. GEO 140/2022 establishes the general, institutional and regulatory framework for the granting of single industrial licences and will become operational as soon as the implementation of new mechanisms and procedures involving some 38 institutions is complete. To facilitate investor access to the Romanian market, GEO 140/2022 calls for the digitisation of the single industrial licensing process, thereby removing administrative obstacles and accelerating the pace of new investment development.
GEO 140/2022 regulates various industrial activities expressly regulated for in Annex 1 of the ordinance, such as: activities in the extractive industries, activities in the manufacturing industry (food, the manufacture of clothing and paper, printing, the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, activities in the metallurgical industry, the manufacture of electric goods, the manufacture of electrical equipment, etc.), as well as in the production and supply of electricity and heat, gas, hot water etc.).
Moreover, a new institution, the Industrial Licensing Office, is being set up to manage the Electronic Single Contact Point for Industrial Licensing (“PCUEL”), an integrated part of the e-government system managed by the Authority for the Digitisation of Romania. The PCUEL provides applicants with a more accessible, electronic procedure for obtaining all the necessary information and submitting applications and documents for licensing or renewing existing licences, including the possibility to do so remotely.
GEO 140/2022 eliminates double checks and prohibits – to the benefit of applicants who meet the legal conditions in Romania for the granting of a single industrial licence – the imposition of licensing conditions that duplicate requirements.
There are three classes of single industrial licences, depending on the risk a given industrial activity poses to the health of the population, its environmental impact, the safety of employees in the workplace and the energy consumption involved in the production of goods, namely: (i) a single industrial licence for high-risk industrial activities; (ii) a single industrial licence for medium-risk industrial activities; (iii) a single industrial licence for low-risk industrial activities. These three risk classes determine the duration of the validity of the industrial licence granted, with the minimum duration provided by law being only 1 year.
According to GEO 140/2022, if a foreign legal entity from outside the EU or EEA applies for a single industrial licence, in accordance with the provisions of Law no. 31/1990 (Company Law), it must first set up a company or branch office in Romania.
In conclusion, it is still too early to tell whether the effects of GEO 140/2022 in terms of the introduction of a new mechanism aimed at simplifying the process of obtaining various administrative documents (licences, authorisations, approvals, permits, etc.) represents progress for the various fields of industrial activity in question. The practical impact of GEO 140/2022 regarding the procedure for obtaining a single industrial licence remains to be seen.
Source: Emergency Ordinance no. 140 of 19 October 2022 on the single industrial licence.