Moving into the Electronic Age

One of the major areas of complaint in Romania is bureaucracy, and the filling in of countless meaningless forms. This can occur in the area of general taxation, but especially in relation to dealing with the Romanian customs authorities.

For some time now, as those of you who have to deal with the authorities know, in the field of general taxation certain transactions with the Ministry of Finance can be carried out electronically.  Filing of returns is now permitted with special authorizations and for many years you have been able to pay your taxes electronically.  Even repayments can be received from the State direct into your bank account without the issue of going to collect money in cash.

Now in the field of import – export the wind of change is blowing through the customs regime in Romania. The majority of our importers and logistics client have complained many times that the amount of paper work required is stifling their businesses.  Relief is at hand as Romania has now moved on under the influence of the EU. The latest important field is in respect of E-Customs. Romania through the effects of the EU Customs Administration is now adopting the paperless society and more filings will be done electronically.  This is a further step in implementing the EU Customs Code which is intended to be fully operational by 2019.

The EU Regulation which will come into effect on 1st November 2013 will allow the electronic declaration and on-line communication between the parties involved in a transaction including the Customs Authorities.  This should allow the easier movement of goods and reduce the number of customs officials involved.  These steps should minimize further the chances of corruption, which will help Romania’s image.  This can only be good news for importers, and exporters, and the Country as a whole.  Companies authorized under the legislation by the Customs Authorities will get preferential treatment which should mean less controls and quicker clearances and less paper documentation.

To allow compliance with the new systems importers will have to ensure that their computer systems can cope with the requirements of the law and the Authority, which will have spin–off effects into the economy as a whole.  If you are an importer or exporter it is important that you contact your local customs authorities as soon as possible to ensure that your IT systems are compatible.  Although 1st November 2013 is the operational date and seems far away, time is marching on.

As the Chinese curse says “may you live in interesting times”, certainly for those dealing with Customs the changes may take place in interesting times, but the changes will be a blessing not a curse.

About Nicholas S Hammond

Nicholas is an English solicitor who has been practising in Romania since 1990. He has been a partner in a number of law firms in Romania as the principal partner. Hammond and Associates trading as Hammond Partnership is the culmination of many years experiance.

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