Updated – Price capping and ongoing agreements in the context of Coronavirus Pandemic

What’s new? – The Presidential Decree No. 240/2020 no longer provides for price capping at the average prices of the three months prior to 16 March 2020. Additionally, in the event of a decrease in the prices of electricity and natural gas, on the regional markets, the Decree provides that the Government will take the necessary measures so that such decrease will be partially or fully reflected in the final price to consumers. However, Parliament Decision No. 4/2020 provides that the restriction of certain rights or freedoms can be ordered only by acts having the force of law.

What is maintained? The possibility of capped prices during the prolongation of the state of emergency for public utility services such as electricity and heat, gas, water, sanitation and fuels is maintained, along with all the measures adopted to enforce the first decree, unless the Presidential Decree no. 240/2020 provides otherwise.

Which price will be applied? Unless other capped prices or tariffs are regulated by the Government, the capped prices at the level existing on 29 March 2020 shall be applied, as provided by the Military Ordinance no. 4/2020.

What’s next? The provisions of the Presidential Decree are very likely to give rise to uncertainty and debate with respect to the capping of the final prices to consumers. It is unclear how the Government will interpret the concept of “regional markets (it should be regarded as referring to EU regional markets only ?) and which measures the Government will take in order to ensure a reflection of the decrease in prices on the regional markets in the final price.

Uncertainty also persists as to how the Government will be able to adopt the restriction of rights; it cannot be excluded that the Parliament intended for the Government to be able to adopt the restrictions only by means of GEO, not by Military Ordinance. In this case, any measures adopted by the Government may be subject to further amendments by the Parliament.


Article posted on April 4, 2020:

What’s new? Capped prices for electricity and heat, gas, water, sanitation and fuels from 29 March 2020 until the end of the state of emergency. The capping means in this case that the prices cannot increase above the level existing on 29 March 2020, but they can decrease according to supply and demand. This measure was taken through Military Ordinance no. 4/2020.

Who’s affected? The Ordinance does not differentiate with regard to whom the capping measures will apply, meaning that all prices are capped. Therefore, the measure may be applied to producers, distributors, suppliers and end customers. This leads to a certain degree of confusion, since prices in energy are mostly formed on centralized markets such as the Day-Ahead Market (PZU), OPCOM, commodity exchanges, etc.

Which price will be applied? There are inconsistencies between the price caps established under Decree No. 195/2020 and the Military Ordinance. The possibility of price capping for certain goods and/or services was first introduced through presidential Decree No. 195/2020 for declaring the state of emergency in Romania on 16 March 2020. The decree considers the average prices for the three months prior to 16 March 2020. The price capping under the Military Ordinance considers the price levels applicable on the day of the Ordinance – 29 March 2020.

What’s next? The provisions of the Military Ordinance are very likely to give rise to uncertainty and debate with respect to the capping of the prices, since they stray from the provisions of the Presidential Decree for declaring state of emergency.

The Most Important Rules Of Lease Agreements For Office And Business Premises, During The State Of Emergency

In order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID 19), a number of restrictive measures have been imposed, which also have a significant impact on tenancies. As a result of the restrictions, the home office has become commonplace, office buildings have become depopulated, a significant number of stores have been open for a limited time, their turnover has decreased significantly, however, leases still exist. The question rightly arises as to what rights and obligations the landlord and the tenant have in the current situation, whether the rent can be reduced and what rules apply to the termination of the tenancy.

Until 30 June 2020, a prohibition on termination will apply to some lease agreements

According to the newly released government decree, from the declaration of a state of emergency there is a prohibition on termination of the lease agreements until 30 June 2020, for the most endangered sectors, such as tourism, catering, entertainment, gambling, film, performing arts, event management and sports services. The prohibition on termination may be extended by the government until the end of the state of emergency.

Does this mean that non of the tenancy can be terminated at all?

No. This means that the leases of business premises belonging to the indicated sectors cannot be terminated by unilateral termination during the prohibited period, which in our opinion applies to all types of termination, thus both the so-called ‘ordinary’ and ‘extraordinary’ (immediate) termination. Of course, it is still possible for the parties to terminate the contract by mutual consent.

What about the lease agreements on office spaces? Does the prohibition on termination apply?

If the office spaces in question do not belong to any of the economic sectors listed in the government decree, so it is typically not a commercial business, the prohibition on termination does not apply to these leases. However, termination of these leases may not be the most economically viable option in the long run, so a temporary amendment to the lease should be considered, in which favourable conditions can be laid down for both landlords and tenants.

Can the tenant demand a reduction or waiver of the rent?

The Civil Code stipulates that no rent is payable for the period during which the tenant may not use the thing for reasons beyond his or her own interest. In view of the restrictive measures introduced due to the coronavirus pandemic, the remission of rent can only occur in a very narrow scope. It can only take place if the restriction imposed directly affects the operation of the rental property and makes it impossible to use it. If the restrictions only indirectly affect the use of the rental property, but do not make it impossible, the tenants are not released from their obligation to pay the rent.

Furthermore, the parties may deviate from the cited provision in the lease agreements with the same will, so it is worth examining the concluded agreements, because if the lease agreement excludes the applicability of this provision, the tenant cannot rely on the cited provision and refuse to pay the rent.

However, a reduction in the rent requires an amendment of the contract based on the mutual agreement of the parties. Under the contract amendment, the parties can agree on a number of provisions that will alleviate their situation (e.g. rent reduction, subsequent rent settlement, extension of the lease term, etc.). Mutually agreed amendments to the contract are in the interests of both the tenant and the landlord. Although it currently appears that a contract amendment will bring more favourable changes to the legal relationship for tenants, a contract amendment by mutual agreement may also be more economical for landlords. If the obligations of the tenant are left unchanged, there is a high risk that the tenants will become economically paralysed and will be liquidated. In such case, the landlord’s claims against the tenant might be enforced up to the amount of the contractual guarantees only.

Possibilities of holding general meetings and members’ meetings during the state of emergency II.

As from April 11, 2020, a lately issued Hungarian government decree regulates how members’ meetings and general meetings should be held during the state of emergency. The new government decree also overrides the relevant provisions of the Civil Code and the articles of association of companies and other legal entities.

What additional rights does the government decree give to the management?

In the first part of our summary of this newest government decree, we have already explained the increased „freedom” of the management regarding corporate decisions.

In many company’s case, the adoption of the annual financial report under the Hungarian Accounting Act is due in the near future. Pursuant to the interim regulation introduced by the government decree, the management is entitled to decide on the approval of the company’s financial report and the use of the after-tax profit. Moreover, the management can take emergency measures during the state of emergency, which would normally fall within the competence of the decision-making body.

These are very far-reaching decisions. Aren’t the hands of the management tied?

Yes: the decisions mentioned before can only be taken if a meeting of the decision-making body cannot be held, either by the participation of the members by electronic means or by voting in writing.

In addition, the legislature intends to set limits on the “emergency measures” of the management as a guarantee: accordingly, the management (i) may not, as a general rule, amend the articles of association, (ii) decide on the dissolution of the legal entity without a successor, (iii) nor may it decide on the transformation, merger or division of the company.

An additional restriction is that (iv) additional payments or other capital injections may be ordered by the operational management of the legal entity only with the prior written consent of the members/founders. In the case of company forms where company law imposes a minimum capital requirement (i.e. in the case of limited liability companies and public limited companies), (v) the management may not decide to reduce the subscribed capital.

Can members hinder management decisions?

Yes, this is possible before the measure in question is taken; the management may not take a decision if in their written opinion, the majority (at least 51%) of members holding more than 25% of the votes object to the proposed decision of the management. (If the legal person has a member having majority influence or a qualified majority, such member can block the measures of the management on its own.)

What happens if the tasks of the management are not performed by one person but by a body?

Like in the case of decision-making bodies, the government decree intends to enable the widest possible use of electronic means in decision-making processes in the case of management acting as a body. If there is no agreed procedure for the use of modern means of communication (or deviates from the government decree), the chairman of the board (deputy in case of impediment) and ultimately the member requested by the management are entitled to determine the rules of meeting and decision-making. It is important that written consultation and decision-making can also take place by electronic message exchange (i.e. by e-mail).

These facilitations should apply not only to the decision-making of the board of executive officers, but also to the decision-making of the supervisory board (or, if one exists, the audit committee).

What happens to mandates that expire during the state of emergency?

If the mandate of the executive officer of the company expires during the time of the state of emergency, his/her position shall last until the 90th day after the end of the state of emergency. The executive officer shall perform duties during this period. The cited rule applies ex lege, i.e. without a decision of the decision-making body.

If the executive officer resigns, he/she shall still perform his/her duties during the emergency or for 90 days after its termination. The same is true if the mandate is for a fixed term and the fixed term would expire during the state of emergency.

On the other hand, the mandate of the executive officer shall terminate if he/she is removed from office by the supreme body or if a reason for exclusion or conflict of interest arises. It goes without saying that in the event of the death of executive officer, the mandate cannot be maintained either, the just implemented interim rules do not bring change in this, of course.

It is important to emphasize that in the above time interval – similarly to the rules described for the executive officer – the mandate of the permanent auditor does not expire, and the permanent auditor is also obliged to perform duties during this time.

Updated – The activity of the National Trade Registry Office and of local trade registry offices

The state of emergency instituted in Romania was extended for a period of 30 days as of 15 April 2020.

During the state of emergency, the activity of the Trade Registry Office continues as regards the registration of amendments regarding legal and natural persons registered with the trade registry. Such activity will be carried out by electronic means or through correspondence, on paper.

The affidavits can be submitted with the trade registry as private deeds or in electronic form, without any other further formality.

The signature specimen, where the case, can be legalized by the notary public, certified by a lawyer or signed under private deed, and can be submitted with the trade registry, without any other further formality.


Article posted on Mar 23, 2020:

The state of emergency was instituted in Romania for a period of 30 days as of 16 March 2020 (i.e. the date when Decree No. 195/2020 establishing the state of emergency in Romania was published in the Official Gazette).

During the state of emergency, the activity of the National Trade Registry Office and of the local trade registry offices continues as regards the registration of amendments regarding legal and natural persons registered with the trade registry. Such activity will be carried out by electronic means, based on the request for registration of the amendments and documents attached to it in electronic form, having incorporated, attached or logically associated the extended electronic signature.

act legal continues to provide assistance regarding the registration of amendments with the trade registry, by using extended electronic signature.

Government measures in the Netherlands – update 31 March

The Dutch government has taken extensive measures to help businesses affected by the corona crisis.

The measures now in place are:

•  The new temporary measure Temporary Emergency Bridging Measure for Sustained Employment (NOW, Noodfonds Overbrugging voor behoud van Werkgelegenheid) will provide financial help for employers to help pay their employees’ wages. The unemployment benefit during short-time working scheme has been cancelled. You can apply for the NOW scheme from Monday 6 April through 31 May 2020.

•  From 16 March 2020 to 1 April 2021, the SME credit guarantee (BMKB) scheme will be extended to help SMEs that are affected by the coronavirus secure bank guarantees and bridge financing. The extended scheme is referred to as BMKB-C.

•  For agricultural entrepreneurs, the equivalent of the BMKB-C is the Credit Guarantee scheme for Agriculture (BL-C).

•  The Business loan guarantee scheme (GO) has been extended.

•  Self-employed professionals will be able to apply for an extra, temporary benefit for self-employed professionals (Tozo) to bridge the loss of income from 1 March onwards, in the municipality where they live

•  Entrepreneurs who have a loan from microcredit provider Qredits do not have to repay their loan for a period of 6 months. During this period, the interest will be reduced to 2%. The government supports Qredits with 6 million euros.

•  The €4,000 Compensation for entrepreneurs in affected sectors scheme (TOGS) is now open for entrepreneurs in a number of specific sectors who have been affected by the coronavirus measures. You can apply to the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (in Dutch). To find out if your business is eligible for the compensation, check the SBI code list (in Dutch). At the bottom of the page, there is a search tool (Zoektool SBI-codes) where you can enter your KVK number to find out your SBI code.

•   The Incentive scheme eHealth at Home (SET). has been extended to make it easier for healthcare organisations that want to offer their clients eHealth solutions (such as video calls) to invest in apps, software or hardware.
N.B.: As of 27 March, this subsidy is temporarily unavailable due to the unexpectedly large number of applications.

•   The government will extend the export credit insurance facility. It will be possible for companies to get a short-term guarantee with a runtime of less than 2 years. Also, other conditions are being extended. Read the news article on Rijksoverheid.nl (in Dutch).

•   The Dutch Trade and Investment Fund (DTIF) will be extended to include pre-delivery advances.

Tax options for entrepreneurs

•   You can apply for a payment extension of 3 months for all your income tax, corporate tax, payroll tax, and turnover tax (VAT) assessements at once, by filling out a special online form (in Dutch). You need a DigiD for this, but if you don’t have one, you can ask an employee or a financial advisor to login for you, using their DigiD. You will need to fill out your RSIN number or your citizen service number (BSN), so keep these ready. The Dutch Tax Administration will put on hold any measures in place to collect payment immediately upon reception of your request.

•   You can now also apply for payment extension of several other taxes and duties: excise dutylandlord levy, environmental taxes, insurance premium tax and betting and lottery tax.

•   You will not have to pay any fines for late payment.

•  The normal collection interest rate for paying after the payment term has passed has been decreased temporarily to nearly 0%. This applies to all tax debts. The tax interest rate will also temporarily be set to the lowest possible percentage for all entrepreneurs.

•   The obligation for employers under the new Balance Employment Market Act, to report permanent employees’ employment contracts before 1 April 2020, has been extended to 1 July 2020.

•   Under certain circumstances, you can apply for unblocking of your G-account. Read the conditions and find the form (in Dutch, under ‘Deblokkeren g-rekening’).

Read more about the Dutch Tax Administration measures to help entrepreneurs (in Dutch only).

Travel restrictions

As of 19 March, there are travel restrictions in place for travel into the Netherlands. The restrictions apply to all non-EEA travellers without valid residence permits or visa, and will be in place for at least 30 days. Read the article on The Netherlands and you for full details on who is and who is not allowed to travel into the Netherlands.

Apply for a reduction of your provisionary assessment

Do you expect lower profits due to the coronavirus, and are you currently paying a provisionary assessment for income tax or corporate income tax? You can change your provisionary assessment. If you want to change your income tax provisionary assessment, go to the online portal for individuals: MijnBelastingdienst (in Dutch); to change a corporate tax provisionary assessment go to the business portal: MijnBelastingdienst Zakelijk (in Dutch).

Regional Water Authority tax

Are you unable to pay the water authority tax in time? Most Regional Water Authorities allow you to apply for a temporary extension of payment. It has also been made easier to apply for a payment arrangement. See the article on Regional Water Authority tax for more information.

General measures to protect the public health

•  All public events and meetings are cancelled until 1 June.

•  All public places, like museums, concert halls, theatres, bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and sports clubs, are closed until 28 April.

•  Personal care professionals, who cannot keep 6 feet distance from their clients, cannot execute their profession until 28 April.

•  Shops that cannot guarantee their clients and staff that they can keep 6 feet distance from each other, are closed until 28 April.

•  Schools and universities are closed, at least until the May vacation.

•  People in so-called ‘vital professions’ may still go to work. Special arrangements are made for the schooling and daycare needs of the children of people in so-called ‘crucial professions’ (in Dutch). Contact your municipality or safety region for information, or check the RIVM and Rijksoverheid pages.

For any questions on above measures, please contact Elias van Kampen at elias.vankampen@actlegal-fort.com or +31 (0)20 664 5111

Prohibitions and restrictions imposed by the authorities under Military Ordinance no. 3/24.03.2020 in order to restrain the fast spreading of coronavirus disease among population

On March 16, 2020, the President of Romania enacted the decree declaring a state of emergency in Romania as a response to the fast spreading of COVID-19 virus.

In line with the prerogatives given to the authorities during the state of emergency, the Minister of Internal Affairs enacted Military Ordinance no. 3/24.03.2020 based on which new interdictions and restrictions were imposed with respect to the free movement of people in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19 .

We have included below a short review of the main measures implemented by this Military Ordinance:

  1. Irrespective of the time interval, the movement of people outside their home is prohibited
  • Exceptions are made for the following specific cases: travelling to work where not possible to work from distance, basic shopping, urgent medical assistance, movement for grounded reasons (such as childcare/ assistance of elderly people and people with disabilities, death in the family), short trips around the house / household for individual physical activity, as well as for pets’ needs, blood donation, humanitarian actions and volunteering, agricultural activities or trade of agri-food products;
  • A special case is provided for the old people who have reached the age of 65, as they can leave their houses only for a part of the exempted cases described above and only during the hours of 11:00 – 13:00. They can circulate outside the aforesaid hours only in case they are travelling to work (where not possible to work from distance) and for agricultural activities.
  1. Affidavit and certificates issued by the employer

The grounds for movement / circulation will be verified by the authorities based on the following deeds:

  • a work card (legitimatie) or a certificate issued by the employer for proving the movement for work purposes;
  • an affidavit for (i) operators performing agricultural activities and (ii) movement for any other circumstances than those specified above.

The certificate / affidavit can be presented to the authorities in digital / electronic form, using the telephone, the tablet or any other similar electronic device, a physical document not being necessary in such cases. Given the fact that the affidavit must include, among other, the signature of the author, there are two possibilities:

  • the statement shall bear electronic signature or
  • the statement shall bear handwritten signature and the interested person shall present to the authorities a picture / a scan of the respective statement via the chosen electronic device.

The same regime should apply to the certificate issued by the employer.

  1. Supervision of people in quarantine and self-isolation

All entrants on Romanian territory after March 25, 2020 will be put in quarantine or in self-isolation.

In order to verify the compliance with the related interdictions and restrictions, the national security institutions will design specific communication and IT applications which shall allow the permanent and real time communication of the authorities with the individuals in quarantine or self-isolation.

  1. Suspension of flights

In addition to Italy and Spain, all flights to and from France and Germany to and from Romania, from all airports, shall be suspended for a period of 14 days starting with March 25, 2020, 23:00 EET.

Note: Such measure is not applicable to state aircraft, transportation of goods and correspondence, humanitarian or emergency medical services as well as to non-commercial technical endorsements.

  1. Documents which expire during the emergency state

The documents issued by the public authorities which expire during the emergency state may be changed within 90 days calculated as of the emergency state end date.

  1. New measures applicable to economic operators
  • Additional measures must be applied by public institutions and economic operators, which are required to mark the areas designated for the public / clients’ access within their respective spaces, as well as the customer-care and the sales’ area with visible indicators to guide the people to observe the minimal safety distance of 1.5 meters.
  • Stricter safety measures have also been adopted for the agri-food market administrators, which must organise the sale activity so that social distancing is maintained between agricultural producers, merchants and purchasers. Agricultural producers and merchants are also obliged to wear safety masks and gloves.
  1. Certain activities have been exempted from the temporary suspension

The temporary suspension of the commercial activity conducted in a shopping center which was imposed by the Military Ordinance no. 2/2020 shall no longer apply in relation to (i) the economic operators selling electronic products and home appliances if they ensure home delivery and (ii) the sale of medical optical products and services.

Act to mitigate the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic

The German Bundestag today unanimously adopted the act to mitigate the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic in civil, insolvency and criminal proceedings in expedited legislative action. With this, the extensive protective measures for companies and private individuals, which the Federal Government already recommended on Monday, will enter into force soon. The law now only has to be approved by the Bundesrat and executed by the Federal President, which is generally regarded as a formality.

If you want to know more about the detailed contents of the passed legislation make sure to check out our detailed reports.

Insolvency: https://blog.actlegal.com/the-planned-changes-by-the-act-to-mitigate-the-consequences-of-the-covid-19-pandemic-in-insolvency-law/

Corporate: https://blog.actlegal.com/the-planned-innovations-in-company-law-resulting-from-the-act-to-mitigate-the-consequences-of-the-covid-19-pandemic/

Commercial/Supply Chain: http://blog.actlegal.com/rights-to-refuse-performance-for-debtors-in-the-corona-crisis-planned-creditors-can-take-countermeasures/

Banking/Finance: http://blog.actlegal.com/corona-crisis-special-features-of-lending-law-from-the-banks-perspective/

COVID-19: Temporary closing measures under the state of emergency

Under the Covid-19 state of emergency, temporary closing measures of restaurants, hotels, coffee shops, clubs, casinos, associations’ headquarters or other public places may be ordered by the authorities. The measures currently in force include the following:

  • temporary closing of shopping centersexcept for:
    • sale of food, pharmaceutical or veterinary products;
    • cleaning services;
    • sale of electronic / electric household products by the economic operators which also ensure home delivery / delivery at the headquarters of purchaser;
    • sale of medical optics products and services;
  • temporary suspension of activities such as food or beverage serving and consumption within restaurants, hotels, cafes or other public places within the interior or exterior spaces designated for this purpose, except for the options which allow clients not to remain in the respective spaces, such as:
    • drive-in;
    • room service;
    • home delivery;
  • temporary suspension ofall cultural, scientific, artistic, religious, sports, entertainment, gambling, SPA and personal care activities which are performed in closed spaces;
  • temporary suspension of dental medicine offices, except for urgent interventions;
  • events of more than 100 persons in open spaces are also prohibited, while events with a lower number of participants may be organised provided that a distance of minimum 1 meter is ensured between participants.

At the same time, additional measures must be applied by public institutions and economic operators, which are required to mark the areas designated for the public / clients’ access within their respective spaces, as well as the customer-care and the sales’ area with visible indicators to guide the people to observe the minimal safety distance of 1.5 meters.

Stricter safety measures have also been adopted for the agri-food market administrators, which must organise the sale activity so that social distancing is maintained between agricultural producers, merchants and purchasers. Agricultural producers and merchants are also obliged to wear safety masks and gloves.

COVID-19: The new False Statements offence and how not to become a nation of criminals

Starting 23 March 2020, became applicable the measure imposed through the Military Ordinance no. 2/2020 on measures for preventing the spread of COVID – 19 according to which, between the hours 22:00 – 06:00, Romanian citizens may leave their houses only for:

  • travel for professional interest, including from the domicile to the place(s) of professional activity and back;
  • travel for the acquisition of goods that cover the basic needs of individuals and pets, as well as goods necessary for performing the professional activity;
  • travel for medical care that cannot be delayed or provided remotely;
  • travel for justified reasons, such as caring / accompanying the child, assisting elderly, sick or people with disabilities, or death of a family member;
  • short trips, near the house / household, related to individual physical activity and pets needs.

Although initially the measure was just a recommendation as regards travels between 06:00 – 22:00 for the above reasons, the Military Ordinance no. 3/2020 (effective since 25 March 202), the restriction was extended for the entire day and a few new reasons were added:

  • travel for blood donation to the blood transfusion centres;
  • travel for humanitarian or voluntary purposes;
  • travel for agricultural activities;
  • travel of agricultural producers for the marketing of agri-food products.

At the same time, new restrictions were added for people who have reached the age of 65 who may now leave their houses – for some of the reasons shown – only between 11:00 and 13:00.

Both in case of travelling for professional interest, and in case of travelling for personal interest, it is necessary for the persons who are outside their houses to have a own liability statement in order to prove the reason for their travel.

The purpose of the own liability statement is to alert the declarant on the importance of its content, on the reality that this statement must express, especially considering the purpose for which the obligation of its drafting was established.

One of the elements included in the statement model made publicly available is the one according to which the person who drafts and signs it knows the provisions of art. 326 Criminal code (on false statements) and of art. 352 Criminal Code (on compromising the fight against diseases).

Since the latter offence has been intensely debated lately, we now draw attention to the false statements offence that can be easily committed under the current circumstances, especially given the lately reluctance of Romanians to follow the authorities recommendations meant for stopping the spread of COVID – 19 virus.

According to the legal text, the false statements offence consists in the false statement of the truth, made to a person among those provided in art. 175 or to a unit in which that person performs his/her activity in order to produce a legal consequence, for himself/herself or for another, when, according to the law or the circumstances, the statement serves to produce that consequence and is punished with imprisonment from 6 months to 2 years or with a criminal fine.

A few days ago, through the Government Emergency Ordinance 28/2020, the minimum limit of the imprisonment penalty for the basic form of the offence (which was previously of 3 months imprisonment) was increased and a new form of incrimination was introduced, which consists in the false statement of the truth, made to a person from the ones provided in art. 175 or to a unit in which that person performs his/her activity, committed to conceal the existence of a risk regarding the infection with an infectious contagious disease which is now punished with imprisonment from 1 to 5 years or a criminal fine.

If the aggravated form of the offence has been designed to hold responsible (and to sanction more severely) the persons who enter the territory of Romania and falsely state before the authorities regarding the areas they came from or they have transited and / or the persons who do not declare or declare falsely any coronavirus symptoms they have, the offense having in such cases an express purpose – hiding the existence of a risk regarding the infection with an infectious-contagious disease – the basic form of the offence will now be relevant for absolutely all Romanian citizens that may be held criminally responsible, who travel outside their house under the mentioned conditions.

Thus, the offence can be easily committed by any person who chooses to alter the truth contained in the own liability statement and presents it to the authorities competent to request it.

For example, in case a person leaves the house for a purpose other than those explicitly listed by law, but drafts a statement in which he/she uses one of those cases and presents it to the competent authority in order to justify the travel, that person commits the false statements offense.

Or, another way of committing the offence is by including in the content of the statement only one of the reasons provided by law, with the travel actually extends to other purposes provided by law or not, in the sense of partially altering the truth.

Incorrect statement of the truth regarding any of the other elements contained in the statement – like place where the declarant lives, hours or places between which the person travels – can also trigger criminal liability for the false statements offence , therefore committing it can take various forms.

The sanctioning of such a criminal act is justified, on the other hand, by the value protected through its incrimination – public trust – which represents the nucleus of social relations and the guarantee that everything will develop under predictable conditions.

What is also interesting is the sanction applicable in case a person travels outside the house without however presenting an own liability statement. In this respect, the Military Ordinance 2/2020 provides that breach of the first emergency measures provided in art. 1 -7 triggers disciplinary, civil, contraventional or criminal liability, as per the provisions of the Government Emergency Ordinance no. 1/1999 on the regime of the state of siege and the regime of the state of emergency. We note in this respect that, by corroborating art. 27, 28 and 9 of Government Emergency Ordinance no. 1/1999, the breach of the obligation to comply with and apply all the established measures specific to the established state of emergency represents a contravention and is sanctioned with the contraventional fine from RON 100 to RON 5,000. Therefore, if the false statement remains a criminal offence and is punished by imprisonment or criminal fine, the lack of the own liability statement is only sanctioned contraventionally.

Moreover, since the statement must have a written form (completed in advance), we cannot help wonder to what extent such statement can be drafted by people who do not know or cannot write (which in Romania nowadays is unfortunately not a rare case).

To conclude, although the own liability statement is apparently a simple instrument, it will be necessary to pay greater attention to its drafting, since by corroborating the multitude of specific ways of committing the false statements offence with the very large number of people who have the obligation to draft the own liability statement, one can easily reach an “epidemic” of criminal files at national level.

And we do not think that one more is needed. Solving and coping with the Covid 19 one should take us sufficient time, at least for now.

Process-related deadline calculation according to the 2nd COVID Act dated March, 22nd 2020

On March 20th 2020, Parliament passed the ‘2nd COVID Act‘, which contains, among other things, rules on the interruption of procedural deadlines. The law came into force on March 22nd 2020 and will expire at the end of December 31st 2020.

In judicial civil proceedings, all procedural deadlines are interrupted until the end of April 30th 2020 if the event triggering the deadline falls on or after March 22nd 2020 or if the deadline has not yet expired on March 22nd 2020. The relevant period shall start to run anew on May 1st 2020.

However, the court may declare in the respective proceedings that a period is not interrupted for the aforementioned duration. In such a case, the court shall at the same time fix a new appropriate period. This decision may not be appealed against. The interruption of the time limit shall not apply to proceedings in which the court decides on the legality of an upright deprivation of liberty under the Housing Act, the Home Residence Act, the Tuberculosis Act or the Epidemics Act, nor to time limits for performance.