Monday, October 14, 2013

Starting a beverage business in Romania - Legal Issues

The production distribution and commercialization of alcoholic drinks constitutes an important industry all over the world and Romania is no exception. Romania is one of the most important producers and exporters of quality wine in Europe; the unusual grape varieties and very low prices seem to be the key to the success of Romanian wine varieties.

In order to start up a business in the beverages industry the first step is to register a company specialized in the production of beverages. In order to do so the company’s Constitutive Act must contain when defining the company’s activities the following NACE Codes: 1101 refining distillation blending of spirits, 1102 Manufacture of wine from grapes, 1103 Manufacture of cider and other fruit wines, 1104 Manufacture of other non-distilled fermented beverages, 1105 Brewing.
The Romanian legislation treats this industry in a stricter manner so producers, importers, retailers of alcoholicbeverage can operate only on the basis of the marketing authorization.
This marketing authorization is issued – only by the Ministry of Finances when it comes to         production of alcohol in Romania
-    By the territorial directorates of public finance and financial control of State County, for the commercialization alcoholic beverages.

Romanian fiscal code establishes special supervision system when it comes to the production of alcohol.This Surveillance system applies to all authorized producers of beverages and it consists of the surveillance execrated by the special representatives of the fiscal authority called financial supervisors.

In order to properly record the entire production of alcohol and distillates obtained each producer of alcohol and distillates must provide instruments referred to as counters, approved by the Romanian Legal Metrology Bureau necessary to determine the amount of ethyl alcohol anddistillates, as well as legal measuring means for determining the alcoholic strength for each type of alcohol anddistillates. Measuring instruments and measurements made with are the subject of state’s metrological control according to the law.

Alcohol, distillates and spirits can only be imported in bulk based on direct contracts with the foreign manufacturers or their representatives and only by the authorized producers of alcohol and beverages in Romania.
It’s important to keep in mind that when it comes to the production, distribution and commercialization of beverages the Romanian fiscal system applies special taxes named excises.
Economic operators wishing to distribute and sell alcoholic are required to register with the competent authority and meet the following conditions:
a) they need to have  an  adequate storage space detained  on the basis of a property act and  , loan agreement or any legal title ;
b)one of the objects of activity of the company are the ones comprised in the section 3 division 11 of the NACE Codes approved by the Government.
c) to equip itself with the means to detect forged or counterfeit marks in trade of goods that are subject of marking under this chapter.
 Alcoholic beverages supplied by the economic operators manufacturers distributors or will be accompanied by a copy of the manufacturer's brand, showing that the trademark belongs.
Selling in bulk and the use of raw ethyl alcohol and distilled alcoholic with a strength of 96.0% in volume is prohibited. Rubbing alcohol production by other producers than those authorized production of alcohol is also prohibited.

These are some of the  documents needed in order to obtain the marketing authorization: registration certificate issued by the Trade Register, tax registration certificate, certificate issued by the territorial fiscal authority  showing that applicants for licenses have no tax obligations to the state budget,  the applicant's statement declaring , the head office, branches , subsidiaries, workstations , desks , storage stations , shops and other places where activity of the company is being developed and their addresses, a statement on the provision of means for measuring the output ,approved by the  fiscal supervisor etc.

The next step in starting up a company in Romania that specializes in the production and/or distribution of alcoholic beverages is getting the permit from the competent Sanitary- Veterinary Authority.

It is important to know that the production and distribution of beer and wine are regulated differently by the Romanian law and this because these are considered food products.

When it comes to wine a Romanian producer and/or merchant must meet certain conditions imposed by the law such as: Practices and treatments applied in the production of musts, wines and other wine products must meet the exigency laid down in the rules for the application of the special law regulating this domain. It is forbidden to forge these type of products it’s considered a forgery : diluting wine with water, masking defects or alterations of wines or wine -based drinks, changing  flavor and composition of the natural product. It is also forbidden to present a wine under a false identity.

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