Romania - Country Commercial Guide
Selling to the Public Sector

Describes how major projects are secured and financed. Explains activities of the multilateral development banks in and other aid-funded projects.

Last published date: 2020-08-19

Government procurement in Europe is governed by both international obligations under the WTO Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) and EU-wide legislation under the EU Public Procurement Directives. U.S.-based companies can bid on public tenders covered by the GPA, while European subsidiaries of U.S. companies may bid on all public procurement contracts covered by the EU Directives in the European Union.

Romania has transposed the European public procurement directives. The public procurement regulatory framework is represented by primary and tertiary legislation, with the primary enactment represented by the public procurement law, Emergency Ordinance 34/2006, which is aligned with relevant EU standards.

The Government maintains an electronic system for public procurement concessions in order to provide a fully transparent procurement process. Since 2016, contracting authorities are obliged to conclude at least 40% of their public procurements:

ec.europa.eu/growth/single-market/public-procurement/e-procurement/e-invoicing_en

The four relevant EU Directives on public procurement:

  • Directive 2014/24/EU (replacing Directive 2004/18/EC) on the coordination of procedures for the award of public works contracts, public supply contracts, and public service contracts applying to the general sector;
  • Directive 2014/25/EU (replacing Directive 2004/17/EC) on the coordination of procurement procedures by entities operating in the water, energy, transport, and postal services sectors;
  • Directive 2009/81/EC on public procurement by entities operating in the defense and sensitive security sector. This Directive sets Community rules for the procurement of arms, munitions, and war material (plus related works and services) for defense purposes, but also for the procurement of sensitive supplies, works, and services for non-military security purposes;
  • Directive 2014/23/EU on the award of concession contracts. A concession contract (either for the delivery of works or services) is conducted between a public authority and a private enterprise that gives the right to the company to build infrastructure (and to provide relevant financing) and operate businesses that would normally fall within the jurisdiction of the public authority (e.g., road infrastructure, large infrastructure, waste and water infrastructure).

The Romanian legislative procurement package transposing the new rules into national law was enacted in May 2016.

Electronic versions of the procurement documentation must be available through an internet URL of the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) contract notice. Starting on April 18th, 2018, the European Single Procurement Document (ESPD) can only be provided in electronic form. Within the Internal Market Information System (IMI), the E.C. has established an online system “e-CERTIS” for administrative documents.

Based on the requirement set forth in Directive 2014/55/EU, the E.C. decided to introduce a European Standard for E-Invoicing, but there are no centralized platforms to process e-invoices in Romania. Standards for e-invoicing are being developed by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN).

There are also restrictions in the EU coverage of the GPA that apply specifically to U.S.-based companies. U.S. companies are not allowed to bid on works and services contracts procured by sub-central public contracting authorities in the following sectors:

  • Water sector
  • Airport services
  • Urban transport sector as described above, and railways in general
  • Dredging services and procurement related to shipbuilding

​​​​​​​Financing of Projects

Project financing from public and quasi-public institutions is an important source of investment capital for infrastructure projects in Romania and other countries in the region. Especially as the tide of private investment ebbs, or at least becomes more selective, the roles of international financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the EU in cooperation with the World Bank Group (IBRD, IFC, MIGA), the EBRD, and the European Investment Bank – EIB, become even more important.

  1. EU Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF)

EU Structural Funds, including the European Regional Development and the European Social Fund, were created in 1975 with the aim to mitigate economic and social differences between the regions of the EU. New budgets are approved every seven years for all member states. The budgets and the allocation of funding between the different priorities (social, economic, or environmental) are based on the conclusions of the “Partnership Agreements” (PAs), which are negotiated between the EC and the member state national authorities. For the period of 2014 – 2020, the EU has earmarked €352 billion ($398.5 billion) for regional development and cohesion policy projects, Romania being allocated EUR 30.84 billion of that amount. For information on approved programs that will result in future project proposals, please visit: www.ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/index_en.cfm

Tenders issued by Romanian public contracting authorities for projects supported by EU grants are subject to EU public procurement legislation. For more information on these programs, please see the market research section on the website of the U.S. Mission to the EU: www.export.gov/europeanunion/marketresearch/index.asp

  1. The Cohesion Fund

The Cohesion Fund is another instrument of the EU’s regional policy. Its €63 billion or $71.3 billion (2014-2020) budget is used to finance projects in two areas:

  • Trans-European transport projects including transport infrastructure; and
  • Environment, including areas related to sustainable development and energy for projects with environmental benefits.

The fund supports projects in member states whose Gross National Income (GNI) per inhabitant is less than 90% of the EU average, which includes Romania. These projects are, in principle, co-financed by national authorities, the European Investment Bank, and the private sector: www.ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/thefunds/cohesion/index_en.cfm

Export-Import Bank of the United States

U.S. Ex-Im Bank provides export credit insurances, loan guarantees, and direct loans for U.S. exports to Romania. Although most of the credit has been for exports to the Romanian government, private sector and sub-sovereign financing is available as well.

Ex-Im Bank issues short-term (180 days) insurance coverage for exports to Romania. Medium- and long-term coverage is only available for public sector transactions. Ex-Im Bank provides insurance through its affiliated agent, the Foreign Credit Insurance Association: www.exim.gov

Romanian Ministry of Public Finance (MFP)

MFP issues Romanian government guarantees for projects up to $66.7 million. The Ministry must submit guarantees for larger projects to an inter-ministry committee and the cabinet for approval. Government guarantees are approved on the basis of feasibility studies, which must contain a clear description of the financial package for the project. The government and IFIs may jointly support viable private sector projects: www.mfinante.ro