Exporting to Romania

Romania is located in South East Europe at the strategic crossroads of the European Union (EU), the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the Middle East. In 2019, the total trade between the UK and Romania was £5.8 billion and total exports from the UK were £2.4 billion. Romania is the UK’s 40th largest trading partner. (ONS, 2019)

Economic growth

The Romanian economy grew by around 3.9% in 2019 with private consumption as the main source of growth and a strengthening industrial sector, which is helping exports.

Gateway to emerging Europe

Romania is part of the Central and Eastern European (CEE) region, which offers considerable potential for British businesses. The CEE region is easily accessible from the UK and offers a market of over 100 million consumers. There is a widespread use of English as the business language and the country acts as a gateway into the other CEE markets.

Increasingly sophisticated market

Romania is a market of 19.6 million potential consumers, with wage levels that have increased considerably in the last years and increasing sophisticated tastes. The country has a highly skilled workforce and widespread understanding of foreign languages (especially English).

Ease of doing business

55th

out of 190 countries (World Bank, 2019)

Currency

Romania New Leu (RON)

Business language

Romanian

You're likely to need a translator

GDP per capita

$12,280

UK is $42,558 (IMF, 2018)

Economic growth

4.1%

(IMF, 2019)

Time zone

GMT +2

Opportunities for exporters

There are opportunities for UK companies across a broad range of industries. Our trade advisers in Romania have identified particular opportunities for UK businesses in the following sectors.

Doing business in Romania

Preparing to export

Romania’s legal system is largely in line with EU requirements. If you are considering a large-scale transaction you should consult one of the international law firms based in Romania.

VAT

The VAT rate is 19%. Lower rates of 9%, 5% and 0% could be applied to different products and services. There are also taxes on land, means of transport, the use of public places, advertising and promotion, and construction certificates.

Import duties

The internal market of the EU is a single market, which allows the free movement of goods and services. You are encouraged to use a reputable customs clearance agent familiar with the customs clearance formalities of Romania.

Packaging and labelling

Products and packaging should meet EU standards. The Romanian Accreditation Association (RENAR) is responsible for most standards in Romania.

Labelling for all consumer products must:

  • be in Romanian
  • clearly show the country of origin
  • include the manufacturer’s and the importer’s names
  • have an expiry date and a description of the goods

Different industries might have specific requirements regarding packaging.

Excise duties

Excise duties are levied on specific products including:

  • alcoholic beverages
  • tobacco products
  • perfumes
  • coffee

Rates vary between 1% and 50% and are applied before levying VAT.

The excise rates for cigarettes and alcohol are applied to maximum retail price.

Corporate tax

Romania applies corporate income tax at 16%.

Income tax

Income is taxed at a flat rate of 10%.

Operating in Romania

Romania’s increasingly westernised business culture has improved ease of doing business. However, UK companies could encounter difficulties like legal barriers to public procurement.

Intellectual property

As a first step, we advise you to speak to an intellectual property lawyer if you think you need patent protection when exporting.

Romania is a party to the 1883 Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property and has subscribed to all of its amendments.

The State Office for Inventions and Trademarks has responsibility for IP legislation in Romania.

Payment terms

Romanian companies accept the entire range of payments (cash, credit cards, bank transfers etc.) Credit sales are not very popular among the Romania companies, only if they trust buyers and have built a long-term business relationship with them.

Legal considerations

The legal framework in Romania is still improving in a number of areas and you may find instances where one piece of legislation contradicts another.

Business culture

Romanians consider themselves as trusting, and trustworthy, business partners and they are very serious when speaking about business. They are professionals and are aware of international best practice. Romanians will study the character and nature of a potential business partner or agreement before the first meeting.

Next steps

DIT can advise you on doing business abroad, and help put you in touch with other people who can help such as lawyers and distributors.