This Country Answer reflects the state of the law as of 31 December 2012. Please refer to the explanations in the chapter entitled Preliminary Note.

A. The Contracting State and the New York Convention

1. Name of Contracting State (also specify jurisdiction(s), if relevant)

Romania.

2. Date of entry into force of the New York Convention

12 December 1961, according to www.uncitral.org.

Romania acceded to the Convention by Decree No. 186 of 24 July 1961, published in the Official Bulletin No. 19, 24 July 1961.

3. Has any reservation been made under Art. I(3) of the New York Convention regarding:

(a) reciprocity?

Romania has made a reciprocity reservation with regard to awards rendered in non-Contracting States. In such cases, Romania will apply the Convention only on the basis of reciprocity established by agreement between Romania and the non-Contracting State.

(b) commercial relationships?

Romania has made a reservation for commercial relationships: the New York Convention shall be applied in Romania only to differences arising out of legal relationships, whether contractual or not, which are considered as commercial under its national laws.

4. In addition to arbitral awards made in the territory of another State, the New York Convention (Art. I(1)) also applies to arbitral awards not considered as domestic awards in the State where recognition and enforcement are sought. Are there any awards rendered in your country that are not considered as domestic awards such that the New York Convention and the answers to this Questionnaire are applicable to them?

Arbitrations seated in Romania are considered as international if the underlying dispute concerns a private legal relationship containing an element of foreign origin or if a foreign law applies to that relationship.

Therefore, international arbitral awards in Romania comprise awards rendered abroad and awards rendered in Romania that are not considered as domestic awards in Romania. (Note: The answers in this questionnaire cover both categories of awards.)

(Source: Civil Procedure Code ('CPC'), Art. 369.)

B. National sources of law

5. What specific sources of law are applicable to recognition and enforcement of foreign awards (e.g. statutes, regulations, codes, directives, other legal instruments)?

(i) Civil Procedure Code, Arts. 370(3703; (ii) Law No. 105/1992 on the settlement of private international law relations, Arts. 165(178, 181; (iii) European Convention on International Commercial Arbitration, Geneva, 1961; (iv) New York Convention; (v) laws ratifying conventions between Romania and other countries concerning juridical assistance in civil matters, and certain decisions of the Romanian government ratifying agreements on commercial relations between the Romanian government and governments of other countries.

C. Limitation periods (time limits)

6. (a) Is there a limitation period (time limit) applicable to the commencement of legal proceedings for recognition and enforcement of foreign awards?

Romanian law does not expressly provide for any limitation period applicable to requests for recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards. However, a general limitation period of 3 years is applicable to enforcement of domestic arbitral awards and domestic judicial decisions, and to enforcement of foreign arbitral awards and foreign judicial decisions rendered in Romania.

For writs of execution issued in real estate actions, the limitation period for recognition and enforcement is 10 years. If the award at issue refers to real estate but was rendered in an action relating to personal estate, the recognition and enforcement of the award in Romania are not affected by a limitation period. Personal estate actions are of a real estate nature when the object of the right at issue is a real estate asset by nature (for example, lands and buildings), by location (for example, animals working on a certain piece of land) or by object (for example, beneficial ownership of real estate assets). Real estate actions are intended to reclaim a real right (ius in re) over an estate asset (for example, action for recovery of estate property).

(Source: CPC, Art. 405 para. 1 combined with the new Civil Code, Art. 2516 para. 2.)

(b) If yes, what is the applicable limitation period (time limit) and when does it start running?

The limitation period starts to run on the date the award becomes final and irrevocable. Enforcement of a foreign award in Romanian will not be granted if the right to seek enforcement is barred under the law at the seat of the arbitration.

(Source: Law No. 105/1992, Art. 174.)

D. National courts and court proceedings

7. What authority or court has jurisdiction over recognition and enforcement of foreign awards?

Jurisdiction over requests for recognition lies with the court in the district where the respondent's domicile or headquarters are situated.

Jurisdiction over requests for enforcement lies with the court in the district where enforcement is sought.

(Source: Law No. 105/1992, Art. 170, Art. 173 para. 1.)

8. What requirements, if any, must be met for the authority or court to accept jurisdiction over recognition and enforcement of foreign awards (e.g. domicile or assets of respondent in the jurisdiction, etc.)?

The requesting party must prove a legitimate interest.

9. Is the first decision granting or denying recognition and enforcement obtained through ex parte or inter partes proceedings?

Generally by way of inter partes proceedings. The recognition of awards rendered by consent can be obtained ex parte.

(Source: Law No. 105/1992, Art. 172, 176 para. 1 combined with Art. 171.)

10. (a) Is the first decision granting or denying recognition and enforcement subject to any form of appeal or
recourse?

Yes.

(b) How many levels of appeal or recourse are available against this decision?

In general, two: the first decision granting or denying recognition may be appealed to the court of appeal, and the decision on that appeal may be further appealed to the High Court of Cassation and Justice in Bucharest.

(Source: CPC, Arts. 282 para. 1, 299 para. 1 and 3.)

If the court of appeal's decision is quashed, the High Court of Cassation and Justice will refer the matter back to the same court of appeal or, if necessary, to another court of the same rank.

(Source: CPC, Arts. 312(314.)

11. What is the earliest stage in legal proceedings for enforcement of foreign arbitral awards at which a party can obtain execution against assets (i.e. party actually obtains possession of assets as opposed to simply freezing assets)?

Within 1 day (for movable assets) or 5 days (for real estate assets) from receipt of formal notification of the court's decision recognizing and granting enforcement of the foreign award.

(Sources: CPC, Arts. 575 and 578; principles established by civil procedure laws.)

E. Evidence required

12. (a) What evidence must be supplied for recognition and enforcement of foreign awards (e.g. arbitral award, contract containing arbitration clause, affidavits, witness statements, etc.)?

For arbitral awards rendered in New York Convention Contracting States, a certified copy of the award and the arbitration agreement must be supplied.

(Source: New York Convention, Art. IV.)

For arbitral awards rendered in non-Contracting States, the following written documents must be annexed to the request for recognition: (i) a copy of the award, (ii) evidence of the final nature of the award, (iii) evidence that the party against whom the award was rendered had been properly and timely informed of the arbitration proceedings, (iv) evidence that the award is enforceable, in the form of a certificate issued by a court at the seat of the arbitration, and (v) any other document evidencing that the award meets all conditions required under Law No. 105/1992.

(Source: Law No. 105/1992, Arts. 171 and 175.)

(b) Is it necessary to provide the entire document or only certain parts (e.g. entire contract or only arbitration clause)?

Under the New York Convention regime, both the arbitral award and the arbitration agreement are to be provided in their entirety.

(Source: New York Convention, Art. IV(1)(a),(b).)

(c) Are originals or duly certified copies required?

Under the New York Convention regime, the following documents are required: (i) duly authenticated original of the award, or a duly certified copy thereof; (ii) original of the arbitration agreement or a duly certified copy thereof. Under the Law No. 105/1992 regime, the following documents are required: (i) duly certified copy of the award; (ii) duly certified copy of evidence that the summons and request for arbitration were duly notified to other parties, and (iii) originals of any other document evidencing that the award meets the requirements of Law No. 105/1992, together with a copy thereof. These documents must be accompanied by authorized and authenticated translations.

(Source: Law No. 105/1992, Art. 171 para. 2.)

(d) How many originals or duly certified copies are required? Under the New York Convention regime, only one original or a copy of both the award and the arbitration agreement are required. Under the Law No. 105/1992 regime, one copy of the award and one copy of evidence that the summons and request for arbitration were duly notified to the other parties, together with one original and a copy of the other documents required under that law.

(e) Does the authority or court keep the originals that are filed?

The relevant authority may keep originals unless a reasoned request for restitution is filed. In such a case, a legalized copy is to be left with the registry of the court where the submission was made.

(Source: CPC, Art. 140 para. 2.)

13. (a) Is it necessary to provide a translation of the documents supplied?

Yes.

(Source: Law No. 105/1992, Art. 171 para. 2 1st para.)

(b) If yes, into what language?

Romanian.

(Source: Law No. 105/1992, Art. 171 para. 2 1st para.)

(c) Is it necessary for the translations to be certified and, if yes, by whom (official or sworn translator, diplomatic or consular agent (of which country?) or some other person)?

As a general rule, translations are to be certified by the party submitting the translations. If a translation is contested, the translation must then be made by translators authorized by the Romanian Ministry of Justice.

(Source: Law No. 105/1992, Art. 171 para. 2 1st para.)

(d) Is it necessary to provide a full translation of the documents or only a translation of certain parts (e.g. entire award or only part setting forth the decisions; entire contract or only arbitration clause)?

A full translation of the documents annexed to the request for recognition of the award is necessary. As a general rule, translations of documents must be made in their entirety. Parts of a document that do not relate to recognition and enforcement of the award in Romania may be left untranslated.

F. Stay of enforcement

14. (a) Can the authority or court stay legal proceedings for recognition and enforcement pending the outcome of an application to set aside or suspend the foreign award before the competent authority referred to in Art. V(1)(e) of the New York Convention?

A request to set aside or suspend a foreign arbitral award before the competent authority constitutes an impediment to recognition and enforcement of the award in Romania. The authority competent to issue a decision on the request for recognition and enforcement may postpone its decision or ask that the party against which enforcement is requested provide sufficient guarantees.

(Sources: New York Convention, Arts. V(1)(e) and VI; Law No. 105/1992, Arts. 167 para. 1(a), 174 para. 1, 181.)

(b) On what other grounds, if any, can the authority or court stay legal proceedings for recognition and enforcement (e.g. forum non conveniens)?

None.

(c) Is the granting of a stay of legal proceedings for recognition and enforcement conditional on the provision of security?

No.

G. Confidentiality

15. (a) Do the documents filed in legal proceedings for recognition and enforcement form part of the public record? If yes, can any steps be taken to preserve the confidentiality of such documents?

Documents filed for the purpose of recognition and enforcement of foreign awards are not confidential. However, only the parties to these proceedings have access to the court's file.

(b) If there are hearings on recognition and enforcement, are such hearings confidential? If not, can steps be taken to maintain the confidentiality of the legal proceedings?

The hearings are public, except in cases where the law provides otherwise. The court may decide that the hearings will be private, if publicity may be harmful to public order, morality or the parties. The decision on recognition and/or enforcement of the award is always pronounced in public.

(Source: CPC, Art. 121.)

(c) Are judgments on recognition and enforcement published? If yes, can steps be taken to remove the names of the parties or avoid publication of confidential information (such as business or State secrets)?

Like any other judicial decision, decisions on the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards in Romania may be published in any legal journal or other publication.

H. Other issues

16. When, if ever, can a party obtain recognition and enforcement of interim or partial foreign awards?

Interim arbitral awards cannot be enforced in Romania. Only awards that are final or have become irrevocable may be given a writ of execution. However, interim awards may be recognized in Romania.

(Source: CPC, Art. 270.)

By way of exception, interim awards may be given a writ of execution when they concern the matters listed in CPC, Arts. 278 and 279, namely:

Art. 278: (i) payment of salaries or other rights arising out of work relations and amounts due to unemployed persons, (ii) compensation for work-related accidents, (iii) amounts due for maintenance, child support, social security pensions, (iv) urgent repairs, (v) placing or lifting seals and performing inventories, (vi) possession of goods, (vii) respondent's acknowledgement of part of claimant's requests, (viii) any other situations in which the award is deemed legally enforceable.

Art. 279: a decision on goods that is deemed appropriate in light of the manifest lawfulness of the right set forth, the insolvency of the debtor, or whenever any delay causes obvious danger.

(Sources: Law No. 105/1992, Art. 173 para. 2, associated with CPC, Arts. 278, 279; Law No. 105/1992, Art. 176 para. 2.)

17. When, if ever, can a party obtain recognition and enforcement of non-monetary relief in foreign arbitral awards (e.g. order requiring a party to deliver up share certificates or other property)?

The recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards granting non-monetary relief are possible in Romania.

18. When, if ever, can a party obtain recognition and enforcement of only part of the relief granted in foreign awards?

If the foreign arbitral award contains separable decisions, recognition and enforcement may be granted to decisions separately.

(Source: Law No. 105/1992, Art. 176 para. 2.)

19. When, if ever, can a party obtain recognition and enforcement of foreign awards which have been set aside by the competent authority referred to in Art. V(1)(e) of the New York Convention?

It is not possible to recognize and enforce a foreign award in Romania that has been set aside in its country of origin.

(Source: New York Convention, Art. V1(e).)

20. Are there any other procedural or practical requirements relating to recognition and enforcement of foreign awards which are worth mentioning (e.g. unusually high court costs, filing fees, stamp duties, obligation to post security as a condition for seeking recognition and enforcement, obligation to identify the assets that will be the object of enforcement, etc.)?

The submission of a request for recognition and enforcement of a foreign arbitral awards requires the payment of filing fees of approximately 1.80 euros.

(Source: Law No. 146/1997, Art. 13 at the level of 8 lei.)

Country Rapporteur:

Dragos Alexandru Sitaru

First edition:

Victor Babiuc