A free zone is a geographical part of Romania, an area in which no import duties shall be levied and where a special tax policy applies.
The law governing the free areas of Romania and the activities that can be undertaken on its surface is the Romanian Law no. 84/1992 on free zones.
Natural or legal persons, Romanian or foreign, performing within the free zone are also known as "operators", as presented in the contect of the Law no. 84/1992 mentioned above.
The control of the access to the free zone is carried out by customs and border police authorities.
The Romanian free zone allows the existence of means of transportation, merchandise and other goods without imposing restrictions on country of origin, provenance or destination.
However, in the free zone of Romania goods whose import is prohibited in Romania by law or international conventions to which Romania is a party shall not be permited. Moreover, activities in free zones allowed and regulated by law are carried out by operators only on the basis of licenses issued by the administrations of free zones, respecting the principles of free competition.
The legal framework on this matter, namely Law no. 84/1992 mentioned above, provides both offenses, and crimes in regards to operators engaged in activities which are carried out in the free zone, activities which are either prohibited by Romanian law or carried out without respecting the legal provisions.
The offenses (acts prohibited by law punishable by a fine) regulated by the law regarding the free trade areas are:
▪ entering free zones without the approval of the administration, without a permit issued by the Free Zone Administration or with permit which is canceled, has expired or is suspended;
▪ carrying out activities without a license, with expired licenses or carrying out other activities than those specified in the license;
▪ introduction of goods in free zones unaccompanied by documents;
▪ carrying out activities other than those stipulated in the decision on the establishment of the free zone.
It is useful to know that the goods covered by the last three offenses mentioned will also be confiscated.
The findings of these offenses and the infliction of the appropriate sanctions are performed by persons who are authorized by the administration of the free zone of Romania.
Regarding the crimes under the Law no. 84/1992 on free zones, they are no more than two and both are punished with imprisonment for 2-7 years. What’s more, the attempt on such offenses is also punished by law.
The introduction, in the free zones, of goods whose import is prohibited in Romania, as well as the introduction of goods into free zones, knowingly, in order for them to become waste in these areas are crimes covered by Law no. 84/1992 and are punished with imprisonment for 2-7 years.
For more information regarding the free trade areas of Romania, the activities carried out here, the offenses or crimes which are punishable by the Romanian Law, do not hesitate to contact the team of lawyers within the law firm Darie, Manea & associates who will provide legal assistance and representation before the competent authorities.