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Explore the market: Romania

The last two years have generated changes in the behavior of consumers, who have modified their attitude to online shopping, and many of these have designed trends for upcoming years. Romania will have the fastest dynamics in this regard, and having this in mind, we will take a closer look at this market today. Moving your business to Romania is great because you can pay as low as 1% corporate tax and 5% dividend tax for your Romanian LLC, being one of the lowest taxes in the European Union.

Some statistic data

Population: 19,24 mln

GDP per capita in 2019:  $12 919

Official languages: Romanian

Purchasing power: 1.6 LCU per international dollars

E-commerce market

Size of the e-commerce market

The e-commerce sector in Romania hit EUR 4.3 billion in 2019, an increase of about 22% compared to 2018, according to calculations compiled by GPeC based on data supplied by major local online retailers members of the Romanian Association of Online Stores (ARMO).

https://www.romania-insider.com/romania-ecommerce-2019

 Average basket value

The product category with the highest average order value in 2020 was Auto&Moto, totaling nearly 300 euros. Other categories which registered an average order value of over 200 euros were electro and IT&C, beauty, parfums and home & garden.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/1129884/romania-average-order-value-by-product/

Most popular marketplaces

emag.ro, olx.ro, compari.ro, aliexpress.com

https://www.similarweb.com/top-websites/romania/category/e-commerce-and-shopping/

Returns / complaints – legal regulations

Special rules do apply to product returns and defective goods in the context of online sales. The consumer may withdraw from the contract within 14 days from the takeover (in the case of products) or from the conclusion of the contract (if services are purchased). If the consumer was not informed before the conclusion of the contract about his/her right to withdraw, such right will be extended for another 12 months after the expiration of the initial period of 14 days.

The consumer should return the products within 14 days from the date the withdrawal was notified to the seller. Within the same timeframe, the seller should return the price received and other expenses borne by the consumer (e.g. delivery costs).

Regarding the (minimum) legal warranty which covers the seller’s liability for defective products, similar rules apply to traditional sales and online sales. The rule is that consumers have a legal right to a two-year guarantee, free of charge, for products that are faulty or not as advertised. An extended warranty period may be offered by the seller/manufacturer through a commercial warranty, which, once granted, becomes legally binding.

Most popular industries and product categories

In 2020, the majority of respondents stated that they were using online platforms or delivery apps for catering services or for food delivery. Almost one-third of respondents were purchasing FMCG products, while only six percent were ordering books or magazines.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/1193489/romania-most-purchased-products-online/

Permits, licenses, certificates by industry

As a rule, distant sales of products or services are allowed without a dedicated license, authorization, or permit, so selling online in Romania is not subject to such conditions.

Nonetheless, Romanian regulations provide special requirements for the sale of particular types of products such as foods, supplements, medicinal products, etc., in which case the online selling entities should obtain the relevant authorizations/registrations from the competent Romanian authorities in advance of carrying out sales of the respective types of products. Those requirements are not specific to online sales and apply to all sales channels

Preferred payment methods, trusted payment providers

The leader in the payment market is clearly visible- prepaid cards cover 70% of the market. Mobile payments have much fewer fans – 19% of transactions are done this way. Other methods, like credit cards or e-wallets, have a marginal share.

Romania is a member of SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area). It means that payments inside the European Union are much easier and also safer. This agreement also ensures uniform legal regulations for payments across all member countries.

Logistics

Expected delivery time

Delivery time depends on the region and can take up to 7 days, however, 48h standard is available with the biggest shipping services.

Most popular courier companies

The most popular courier companies are DPD, Fan Courier, DHL.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/1203812/romania-important-delivery-companies-by-turnover/

Most popular delivery method

When it comes to choosing a delivery method, it shows that most people want their goods being delivered at home, via a courier service. Romanian consumers pay a lot of attention to the quality of services, delivery services as well.

Same day delivery

As in many countries, also Romanian consumers are not very strict with their expectations regarding quick delivery, same-day delivery is not necessary, to get your parcel in 24-48h is enough for them.

Shipping package regulations

There are certain restrictions on what can be sent to Romania, as with any other European country. Prohibited items include:

  • Tobacco and manufactured tobacco substitutes
  • Fertilizers
  • Pulp of wood and scrap paper
  • Copper and nickel
  • Arms and ammunition

You can contact the Romanian customs office for more information, as well as referring to our own prohibited items page for a list of goods banned by our couriers.

Running a business in RO

Legal form of business

The type of business forms available in Romania is summarized below with their specific information: the minimum share capital, the liability of the shareholders/stockholders, the minimum number of shareholders/stockholders.

The most common forms of business used in Romania are the Limited Liability Company along with the Joint Stock Company and Branches.

General Partnership (Societate in nume colectiv | S.N.C.)
  • There is no minimum capital required.
  • A General Partnership must have 2 or more shareholders.
  • The shareholders have unlimited and joint liability for social contributions.
Limited Partnership (Societate in comandita simpla | S.C.S.)
  • There is no minimum capital required.
  • The Limited Partnership must have at least one limited partner and at least one general partner.
  • The limited partners have no management authority and they are not responsible for the debts of the partnership. They respond in the limit of the subscribed shares.
  • The general partners have management control and they have joint and several liabilities.
Limited Liability Company (Societate cu raspundere limitata | S.R.L.)
  • The share capital is divided into equal social parts and, according to Law no. 31/1990, it cannot be less than 1 RON.
  • A Limited Liability Company in Romania may have between 1 and 50 shareholders.
  • The shareholders respond in the limit of the contribution to the share capital.
Joint Stock Company (Societate pe actiuni | S.A.)
  • The minimum capital cannot be less than EUR 25,000.
  • The Joint Stock Company must have 2 or more shareholders.
  • The stockholders respond in the limit of the subscribed shares.
Company Limited by Shares (Societate in comandita pe actiuni | S.C.A.)
  • The required minimum capital cannot be less than EUR 25,000.
  • The Company Limited by Shares must have a minimum of 2 shareholders.
  • The limited partners have no management authority and they are not responsible for the debts of the partnership. They respond in the limit of the subscribed shares.
  • The general partners have management control and they have joint and several liabilities.
Branch (Sucursala)
  • There is no capital or shareholders required for establishing a Branch in Romania.
  • The Mother Company is liable for its branch.
Sole Entrepreneur (Persoana fizica autorizata)
  • There is no capital required for registering as a Sole Entrepreneur.
  • The Sole Entrepreneur is also the sole responsible.

https://accace.com/company-formation-in-romania/

Bank account, banking regulations

Both Romanian or foreign companies can establish bank accounts in the country, in the Romanian national currency (LEI), or any other foreign currency. All Romanian banks offer the establishment of bank accounts in at least 3 currencies: LEI, EUR, and USD.

Romanian banks usually charge clients in the following manner: commission fee for setting up the Romanian bank account, ongoing administration fee – it is charged yearly or monthly, commission fees for deposits or withdrawals, or commission fee for closing the account. The fees charged to a person wishing to open a bank account in Romania can vary based on the bank where the account is set up.

https://www.romanianlawoffice.com/open-bank-account-romania.htm

Import/export regulations

Import-export activities carried out in Romania can generally be developed by local and foreign businesses without any special measures of supervision or control. This right is granted as a direct consequence of the international commercial liberty principle, which is also applied in Romania. The current regulations and specific measures that are applied to import-export operations can be presented by our team of Romanian lawyers.

Still, businessmen must observe the legislation in this field, as the Romania import-export of certain products will be regulated under strict measures of control and this can be the case of goods that are considered to be of general interest for the Romanian economy.

However, this case is considered to be the exception from the general import-export rules and it must be observed that in most situations, if the respective goods are not directly mentioned as goods that must be supervised upon the trading from a country to another, then the entity which develops this activity will be able to import/export the goods without any restrictions.

Provided that the products will fall under the measures of supervision and control applicable in this country, the companies which will develop these activities must obtain approval. In Romania, there are two basic categories of approvals that can be granted by the local institutions, namely authorizations and licenses.

https://www.romanianlawoffice.com/import-export-romania.htm

VAT registration thresholds

For EU VAT registered companies selling goods over the internet to consumers in Romania, the VAT registration threshold (distance selling) is RON 118,000 per annum. Businesses should register for VAT within 10 days of the end of the month in which the business became liable to register for VAT.

Customer preferences

Willing to buy from foreign sellers

Romanian like to buy from foreign sellers, especially fashion items, or luxury goods. They often choose foreign brands over local ones. The market has still a huge potential for new companies to offer their products to Romanian consumers.

Most popular countries for import of goods

The most popular country to buy from are Germany, Italy, and Hungary.

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