The Order of the Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Tourism (MAT) no.1759/2022 for the approval of the de minimis aid scheme for supporting tourism operators for the development of incoming activity was published in the Official Gazette (Part I) no.1080 of 9 November 2022.
The normative act establishes a de minimis aid scheme called “Supporting tourism operators for the development of incoming tourism in Romania” (scheme).
It is important to point out that the mentioned de minimis aid scheme, which applies throughout Romania, is not subject to the obligation of notification to the European Commission in accordance with the provisions of Regulation (EU) No 1407/2013.
This de minimis scheme applies from the date of entry into force until 31 December 2023, in accordance with the duration of validity of Regulation (EU) No 1407/2013, with the possibility of making payments until 30 June 2024.
The validity of the de minimis scheme may be extended beyond 31 December 2023, subject to the extension of Regulation (EU) No 1407/2013 and the alignment of the provisions of the scheme. The extension of the validity period of the de minimis scheme will be made with the opinion of the Competition Council.
The total estimated amount that can be granted under the de minimis aid scheme, for the entire duration of its application, is a maximum of 9,000,000 lei, from the budget allocated to the EPP, within the limit of the budgetary and commitment appropriations approved annually by the state budget law.
Objective è promoting Romania as an international tourist destination and helping enterprises in difficulty by increasing the number of foreign tourists visiting the country.
Purpose è supporting tourism enterprises by granting de minimis aid to partially cover the costs of organising tourist service packages for foreign tourists
According to the Order 1759/2022, incoming tourism is the branch of national tourism that deals with bringing foreign tourists to the country by organizing and selling tourist packages in Romania for foreign tourists;
The aid scheme applies to aid granted to companies organizing incoming activities, licensed according to Government Decision no.1267/2010 on the issuance of classification certificates, licenses and tourism patents, with subsequent amendments and additions.
Beneficiaries of the de minimis aid are enterprises that fulfil, cumulatively, the following eligibility conditions:
a) are registered according to Companies Law no. 31/1990, republished, with subsequent changes and additions;
b) are licensed as an organizing travel agency;
c) have fully private social capital;
d) persons who have the capacity of associates/shareholders or administrators in several companies can only apply under this scheme with one company (declaration on their own responsibility);
e) are registered at the trade register office, have a registered office/point of work and carry out their activity on the territory of Romania;
f) they have no debts to the general consolidated budget, neither for the registered office, nor for all work points, at the time of the administrative and eligibility verification; applicants who have staggered debts are not eligible to access the scheme (declaration on their own responsibility);
g) is not in a state of dissolution, judicial reorganization, liquidation, forced execution, operational closure, insolvency, bankruptcy or temporary suspension of activity (declaration on own responsibility);
h) were not the subject of a decision issued by the European Commission, another state aid provider, the Competition Council or the court, to recover a state aid/de minimis or, if they were the subject of such a decision, this has already been executed and the claim fully recovered, with related penalties (declaration on own responsibility);
i) had incoming activity in the previous calendar year greater than 200 foreign tourists.
Procedure for granting de minimis aid:
The aid granted under this de minimis scheme consists of financial support from the state budget, as follows:
a) 40 euro for each foreign tourist who has purchased and paid, prior to submission, through an incoming travel agency in Romania, directly or through an external partner, a tourist stay or tour of at least 4 nights accommodation in Romania;
b) additionally, 2 euro for each additional night spent, beyond the 4 nights provided for in letter a), within the same tourist stay or tour.
Beneficiary enterprises will submit the necessary documents as follows:
a) for those active in 2022, quarterly as follows: for the third quarter, by 1 November 2022, and for the fourth quarter, by 1 February 2023, after verifying the incoming activity referred to in Article 9 letter i) that the enterprise demonstrates it had in 2021;
b) for those active in 2023, quarterly as follows: for quarter I, until 1 May 2023, and for quarter II, until 1 August 2023, for quarter III, until 1 November 2023, for quarter IV, until 1 February 2024, after verification of the incoming activity referred to in Article 9(i) which the enterprise can prove it had in 2022.
In the above situations, only tourists whose stays or tours are completed during each quarter will be taken into account.
The documents required for registration in the Programme for accessing the scheme, hereinafter referred to as the Programme, are:
a) application for registration;
b) declaration on own responsibility;
c) statement concerning the granting of the de minimis aid;
d) the contract with the external partner showing the number of foreign tourists (including a translation of the contract signed by the partner and clearly stating the name and surname);
e) the contracts with foreign tourists, if they are contracted directly (including a translation of the contracts, signed and signed in full);
f) the voucher issued by the agency, signed and stamped by the accommodation establishment;
g) proof of the provision of accommodation services by the provider (accommodation structure) and the exact number of tourists (rooming list signed and stamped by the provider).
Thus, the expenses will be settled to the beneficiary enterprises, on the basis of the supporting documents mentioned above, within 30 working days from their submission.
Registration in the Programme, creation of profile, user, password and electronic filling of documents will be done through a computer application.
Applicants are obliged to permanently follow the account created when registering in the computer application, the e-mail address used for registration, as well as the information related to the support measure posted on the Ministry’s website throughout the implementation period (registration, verification, clarifications, submission of documents, uploading of expenditure documents, payments, monitoring, reporting).
All correspondence and transmission of official announcements/clarifications/notifications related to the implementation of the scheme will take place electronically through the IT application for the registration and management of the aid scheme, so applicants are obliged to constantly check the account in the IT application to ensure compliance with the procedural deadlines for response.
The verification of the claim file will be done in the order of the RUE (Unique Electronic Register) number, on a first come, first served basis, based on the claim documentation and within the approved budget.
In case of acceptance of the claim related to the settlement file, the decision on acceptance for settlement will be issued and automatically sent by the application to the applicant’s account. Applicants are obliged to constantly monitor the account in the application and the information on the scheme posted on the Ministry’s website to ensure that the procedural deadlines are met.
In case the analysis of the claim file reveals discrepancies with the procedural or legal provisions or that the information declared by the applicant in the online form is not complete/correct/real/consistent, the applicant will receive a decision on rejection for settlement.
If the applicant considers that his/her rights or legitimate interests have been infringed, he/she may submit an appeal via the application within 5 calendar days from the date of submission of the administrative act for failure to comply with the conditions in terms of administrative and eligibility, truthfulness and conformity of the information entered in the online application form with the supporting documents submitted.
The appeal will include:
- the applicant’s identification data;
- the subject of the appeal;
- the factual and legal grounds on which the appeal is based;
- the evidence on which it is based;
- signature of the legal representative.
The objection can be formulated at any stage of the implementation (verification, submission of the statement of account, certification of expenditure, payment).
Enterprises receiving de minimis aid under this scheme are obliged to keep a record of information on aid received for a minimum of 10 years from the date on which the last specific allocation was granted.
Undertakings receiving de minimis aid under this scheme are obliged to respond, within the time limit set by the Competition Council, to any request for information on de minimis aid received.
-Order MAT 1759/2022 approving the de minimis aid scheme for supporting tourism operators for the development of incoming activity;
-EC Regulation 1407/18-dec-2013 on the application of Articles 107 and 108 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to de minimis aid.