Romania - Country Commercial Guide
Business Travel and Etiquette

Includes information on acceptable business etiquette, dress, business cards, gifts, etc.

Last published date: 2021-10-01

Business Customs

Special customs do not prove very significant in business dealings in Romania; Western business standards apply. Romanians generally have positive attitudes toward America, but also draw on their own and other European cultural references.

Romanian nationals are friendly, and foreigners are usually made very welcome. Shaking hands is the normal form of greeting (sometimes a man, usually from the older generation, may kiss the hand of a woman in greeting); normal courtesies are observed when visiting a person’s home. It is important to take business cards to meetings and to give a card to each person present.

Flowers are very popular in Romanian culture, and are given for almost every occasion, including name day celebrations, weddings, and visits to Romanian homes. Always buy an odd number of flowers (even numbers are used at funerals). Casual wear is the most suitable form of dress for most social occasions, but attire may be more formal when specified for entertaining in the evening or in a restaurant or theater. Romanians use the formal addresses of “domnul” (sir) and “doamna” (madam) when addressing one another, although first names are used among younger people and in business with English-speaking partners. It is customary to say “pofta buna” (bon appétit) before eating, and “noroc” (cheers) before drinking.

Travel Advisory

General and country-specific travel information can be found on the U.S. Department of State’s web site:

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel.html

Visa Requirements

You must have a valid passport to enter Romania. Per Regulation no. 610/2013 of the European Union, the passport of third state nationals who travel to Romania or another EU country must meet the following criteria: the passport must be valid for at least three months after the estimated day of exit from the EU country and must have been issued within the last 10 years.

For all destinations worldwide, the Department of State recommends that your passport have at least six months of validity beyond your dates of international travel to avoid unintended travel disruptions.

To ensure that your travel plans are not disrupted, plan ahead to renew your passport before traveling. Visit the Department of State’s passport website for more information on applying for a new or renewal passport.

For additional information, please see the Department of State’s website: Schengen Fact Sheet.

U.S. citizen visitors are granted 90 days of stay without a visa within a given six-month period. For stays longer than 90 days, you must obtain an extension from the Romanian Office for Immigration in the area of your residence. If you stay too long, you will need an exit visa. We do not recommend the practice of attempting to “extend” the 90-day period by traveling to another country for a short period and then returning to Romania. More people are being denied re-entry to Romania because the Romanian Government has been enforcing visa regulations more vigorously than in the past. For visits longer than 10 days, you must register your presence with the nearest Police Precinct. Visit the Embassy of Romania website for the most current visa information or contact the Romanian Embassy at 1607 23rd St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20008, telephone number (202) 232-4747, or the Romanian Consulates in Los Angeles, Chicago, or New York.

Foreigners are required to carry identification documents at all times. Americans who obtained a temporary or permanent stay permit must be able to present the document upon the request of any “competent authorities.” Foreigners who do not have a stay permit should present their passports. The Embassy recommends carrying a copy of the relevant document.

U.S. Companies that require travel of foreign businesspersons to the United States should be advised that security evaluations are handled via an interagency process. Visa applicants should go to the following links:

https://ro.usembassy.gov/visas/nonimmigrant-visas/

https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en.html

The American Citizens Services (ACS) Unit of the U.S. Embassy Bucharest, Romania, is involved in various matters concerning U.S. citizens in Romania. It is located in the Consular Section, at 4-6 Liviu Librescu Blvd. Emergency Services are available from the Embassy 24 hours a day/7 days a week. From Monday to Friday, 8:00am – 5:00pm, dial 021-270-6000. For emergencies after public hours, please call 021-200-3300. All non-emergency American Citizen Services (renewal of U.S. passports, Consular Reports of Birth Abroad, Notaries and other services) are provided by appointment only. Links to the online appointment system are provided on the Embassy website https://ro.usembassy.gov/ , in “U.S. Citizen Services” under the appropriate service category.

To contact the ACS:

  • Consular Section line 021-270-6000 (press 1) Monday to Friday, 1:00pm to 4:30pm. Fax 021-200-3578 (American citizen services).
  • Email: ACSBucharest@state.gov.

The Embassy’s website address is: https://ro.usembassy.gov/. Please check our website for details on the services offered.

State Department Visa Website: https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en.html

Romanian Immigration Department:  http://igi.mai.gov.ro/en.

Currency

The RON/USD exchange averaged RON, in 2021 is 4.1693. The Euro is used for larger and legal transactions, especially in sectors such as real estate.

Using ATMs to exchange currency is generally safe but exchange rates can be disadvantageous compared with exchange offices. Use of ATM machines eliminates the need to carry large amounts of cash as traveler’s checks are not used for purchases. ATMs are generally functional at all times and are located throughout the city, especially at large stores, around public institutions and outside banks. Visa and MasterCard are also accepted for purchases in medium and large retail chains.

Contrary to practice in the United States, a PIN is usually required to make credit card purchases. Many American banks allow cardholders to establish such a PIN prior to travel, in case one is needed. If you do not have a pin just tell the cashier “this is a no pin credit card”. Regardless, you should notify your bank of your international travel, and the potential legitimate use of your card abroad, prior to leaving the U.S.

Telecommunications/Electric

The telecommunication industry in Romania developed significantly over the last 20 years, providing the country with one of the best infrastructures for mobile and fixed data. The telecommunication market proved itself, especially during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, when the entire infrastructure was tested after the country entered in a state of emergency as of March 2020, followed by a state of alert in May 2020. In other words, millions of students and employees were depending on the telecommunication industry, specifically on the ability of their providers to implement the best telephony connection and internet speed necessary to carry out the home-office workload.

Number of mobile devices in use in Romania
Number of mobile devices in use in Romania

Source: Statista

Romania has a modern telephone network of landlines and mobile (cell) phones. It is possible to receive and make direct international calls from anywhere in the country. Romania’s country code is +40.

All Romanian landline numbers have 10 digits, consisting of a zero, plus a city code and the number. The formula differs slightly depending on whether the number is in Bucharest or outside of Bucharest. Bucharest numbers take the form: 0 + two-digit city code (21 or 31) + seven-digit number. Outside of Bucharest, numbers take the form: 0 + three-digit city code + six-digit number. Mobile phone numbers can be identified by a three-digit prefix starting with 7. All mobile numbers have 10 digits: 0 + three-digit prefix (7xx) + six-digit number.

Calling Within Romania

  • to reach a landline outside of Bucharest, dial 0 + three-digit city code + six-digit number
  • to reach a landline in Bucharest, dial 0 + 21 (or 31) + seven-digit number
  • to reach any mobile number, dial 0 + three-digit mobile prefix + six-digit number.

Dialing from Abroad

To reach a Romanian landline from abroad, dial your country’s international access code, then 40 (Romanian country code), then the city code (minus the zero) and the six- (or seven-) digit local number. A call to a mobile number from abroad would follow the form: international access code + 40 (country code) + three-digit mobile prefix + six-digit number.

Calling abroad from Romania

Dial the international access code in Romania (00), then the code for the country you want to call, then the area code and number.

General emergency phone number: 112

Cellular phone technology includes 2G (GSM 900, GSM 1800), 3G (UMTS 900, UMTS 2100), 4G (LTE 800, LTE 1800, LTE 2600) – some 5G technology is available in Bucharest, Brasov, Cluj, Iasi and Mamaia. Ask your provider if you’re uncertain whether your phone will work. The main providers of mobile telephone services are Vodafone, Orange and Telekom, all of which have extensive coverage of the country and also offer international calls and roaming services in a large number of countries, the United States included. Using your own phone and SIM card in Romania could expose you to expensive roaming fees, particularly for long calls or data downloads. A cheaper option is to buy a prepaid Romanian SIM card, which gives you a temporary local number and charges local (cheaper) rates for calls, texts and data transfers.

If you have a smartphone that cannot easily be unlocked, it’s best to contact your home provider to consider short-term international calling and data plans appropriate to your needs. Even if you are not using your smartphone as a phone, it still makes a handy Wi-Fi device. Switch off the ‘data roaming’ setting to avoid unwanted roaming fees.

Romania’s electrical current is 230 V; 50 cycles. Sockets take the standard continental European dual round-pronged plugs. A plug adaptor is required for non-European appliances. Please remember that simple adapters do not convert voltage or frequency. A power converter is necessary for appliances requiring 110 V.

Romania is seven time zones ahead of U.S.-Eastern standard time.

Transportation

TAROM, the Romanian national airline, serves major points in Romania and Europe and is part of the SkyTeam Alliance (other members flying to Romania are: Air France, KLM, Alitalia, Aeroflot, and CSA Czech Airlines). Members of the Star Alliance with flights to Romania are: Lufthansa, Turkish Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Swiss International, LOT, and TAP Portugal. Among OneWorld Alliance members, British Airways, Qatar Airways, and Air Berlin fly to Romania. There are also a number of other regional and low-cost airlines that connect Romanian cities with cities throughout Europe. There are currently no non-stop flights to the United States from Romania.

Most major Romanian cities have airline service to Bucharest. In addition to Henri Coanda, Bucharest’s airport, Timisoara, Cluj-Napoca, Sibiu, and Iasi airports are also common ports of entry.

In Bucharest, hotel chains such as Radisson, Marriott, Hilton, Ramada and Crowne Plaza provide scheduled shuttle bus service to and from the Henri Coanda Airport; rental car service is also available.

Romania is well served by an international and domestic rail system, though the country’s rail infrastructure is in need of an update. Traveling by train from other European countries to Romania takes from four hours (Budapest to Arad or to Oradea) to about 31 hours (Paris to Bucharest). As most train tickets allow several stopovers en route, train travel can be an affordable and relaxing way to include Romania in a European trip. First and second-class sleepers are available for journeys longer than 10 hours and for overnight trains. Schedules of international trains to and from Romania can be obtained at: https://www.bahn.de/  or https://www.interrail.eu/plan-your-trip .

The domestic motorway network is extensive, but road quality in most of the country is poor. Roads in Bucharest are in a near-constant state of construction. Winter driving in Romania often requires navigating sometimes hazardous mountain passes. Driving after dark at any time of year requires care because of pedestrians, animals, or slow-moving vehicles often encountered on the roadway.

Taxis are available in every city and larger towns in Romania. They can be summoned by telephone or hailed on the street. Authorized taxis are yellow and can be recognized by the TAXI sign on the roof. All Taxis should be equipped with meters. Taxis can also be ordered by calling specialized companies which can confirm the rate/mile and approximate cost of the ride. On-demand taxi services are available at Bucharest Henri Coandă International Airport. The taxi will arrive right outside the terminal, on the first floor; you show the driver the ticket issued by the touchscreen device. Ensure that the driver activates the meter before the ride starts. In addition to taxis, you can also order a car using the Uber (in Bucharest, Cluj, Brasov, Timisoara and Iasi), Bolt (Bucharest, Cluj, Timisoara) or FreeNow (București, Iași, Cluj‑Napoca, Brașov, Târgu‑Mureș, Arad, Timișoara, Ploiești, Oradea, Constanța, Sibiu, Râmnicu Vâlcea, Craiova, Tulcea, Vaslui, Bacău, Galați, Suceava, Baia Mare și Botoșani).

Romanian traffic laws are very strict and breaking them may lead to suspension of the driver’s license or permit for one to three months. Romanian traffic law provides for license suspension and possible imprisonment from one to five years for driving under the influence (alcohol level over 0.08% BAC) or for causing an accident resulting in injury or death. Drivers who do not utilize a seatbelt or secure their children with a seatbelt or a in a car seat, as well as drivers talking on the phone without a hands-free device, are to be fined. Despite these strict rules, however, many drivers in Romania often do not follow traffic laws or yield the right of way. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that defensive driving be the rule of thumb while driving throughout Romania.

U.S. driver’s licenses are not valid in Romania. U.S. citizens must either obtain an international driving permit in addition to their U.S. driver’s license or a Romanian driver’s license.

Romanian cities generally have good public transportation systems that include buses, trams, and trolleybuses. Tickets for public transport can be bought at street kiosks marked “bilete” or “casa de bilete.” Apps are available in the large cities. Bucharest also has an underground metro.

Language

The official language of Romania is Romanian, a Romance language using the Latin alphabet. Romanian evolved from the Latin used in the Roman colony of Dacia. English is widely spoken, as are French and German.

Health

Medical care in Romania is generally not up to Western standards, and basic medical supplies are limited, especially outside major cities. Some medical providers that meet Western quality standards are available in Bucharest and other cities but can be difficult to identify and locate. Travelers seeking medical treatment should therefore choose their provider carefully.

Please note that 112 (the European equivalent of 911) is the emergency telephone number that can be dialed free of charge from any telephone or any mobile phone in order to reach emergency services (Ambulances, Fire & Rescue Service and the Police) in Romania as well as other countries of the European Union or you may go to the Emergency Hospital in Bucharest (Spitalul de Urgenta), 8 Calea Floreasca, at the intersection with Soseaua Stefan cel Mare (Telephone: 9621, 021-230-0106, 021-230-4953), or its equivalent when outside of Bucharest.

We urge you to set up an ICE (In Case of Emergency) contact or note on your mobile phone or other portable electronics (such as Ipods), to enable first responders to get in touch with the person(s) you designated as your emergency contact(s).

The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation. It is always a good idea to purchase travel insurance for the duration of your travels, especially if your medical insurance plan only works domestically.

If a U.S. citizen becomes seriously ill or injured in Romania, a U. S. consular officer can assist in locating medical services and informing family or friends. If necessary, a consular officer can also assist in the transfer of funds from the United States. However, payment of hospital and all expenses is the responsibility of the traveler. U.S. medical insurance is generally not accepted outside the United States, nor do the Social Security Medicare and Medicaid programs provide coverage for hospital or medical costs outside the United States.

mericans who wish to extend their stay in Romania must purchase Romanian health insurance from the National Health Insurance Office in their area of residence for the duration of their intended stay in Romania. Useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas insurance programs, is provided on the Department of State’s web page, Medical Information for Americans Traveling Abroad. For more details, please consult this web link: https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/go/health.html

Local Time, Business Hours and Holidays

Local time is Standard GTM + 2 hours. Business hours are typically from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday. An updated list of American and Romanian national holidays can be found on the Embassy’s website: https://ro.usembassy.gov/holiday-calendar/

Temporary Entry of Materials or Personal Belongings

Romania’s customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from Romania of items such as firearms, antiquities, and medications. Romanian law allows travelers to bring cash into or out of Romania. However, sums larger than the equivalent of €10,000 ($11,000) must be declared. It is advisable to contact the Embassy of Romania in Washington or one of Romania’s consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements.

Embassy of Romania in Washington DC: https://washington.mae.ro/en

Address: 23rd Street NW, Washington DC 20008

Phone: (01 - 202) 232.36.94; (01 - 202) 332.48.46; (01 - 202) 332.48.48;(01-202) 332.48.29; (01-202) 232 6634; (01-202) 387.69.01

Romanian customs authorities accept the use of an ATA (Admission Temporaries/Temporary Admission) Carnet for the temporary admission of professional equipment, commercial samples, and/or goods for exhibitions and fair purposes. ATA Carnet Headquarters, located at the U.S. Council for International Business, 1212 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036, issues and guarantees the ATA Carnet in the United States. For additional information, call (212) 354-4480, send an e-mail to atacarnet@uscib.org, or visit  https://www.uscib.org/  for details.