January 2019 – The National Agency for Energy Regulation (“ANRE”) has recently published new amendments (the “Amendments”) to the Regulation for granting authorisations for establishment and licences in the natural gas sector approved by ANRE Order No. 34/2013 (the “Regulation”) and to the Confirmation procedure of the right to participate to electricity/natural gas markets in Romania of EU entities approved by ANRE Order No. 91/2015 (the “Procedure”). In brief, the most important amendments concern (i) requirements for obtaining a natural gas trading license; and (ii) EU entities which may carry out natural gas trading / supply activities in Romania without holding a license issued by ANRE.
I. Natural gas trading license
Since 19 July 2018, the Electricity and Natural Gas Law No. 123/2012 introduced the concept of trader and of the gas trading license. However, until the enactment of the Amendments, there was no secondary legislation regarding the issuance of a natural gas trading license.
The newly introduced Article 12 paragraph (8) of the Regulation provides the specific requirements in order to obtain a natural gas trading license. In this regard, besides the general documents provided by the Regulation, an economic operator has to submit with ANRE:
- a copy of its organizational and operational regulation, in whole or in part, evidencing the structure of the operator applying for the trading licence;
- a list with its locations where the trading activities will be carried out;
- documents reflecting the availability of the financial funds equal with at least 25% of turnover estimated to be achieved within the first 12 months of activity as a gas trader. The amount available cannot be lower than EUR 100,000. The financial funds can be proven through (i) own capitals, (ii) bank credit lines and (iii) available funds provided by applicant’s shareholders through bank credit facilities or loan agreements, or any other type of agreement;
- a written affidavit of the applicants’ legal representative/general manager/director regarding the gas quantity estimated to be traded during the year when the licence request is submitted and respectively, during the first 12 months of activity.
The Amendments provide that entities that have obtained a gas supply license are able to trade gas on the wholesale market without the need to obtain a separate trading license. On the other hand, a gas trading license does not allow for the supply of gas to end consumers.
II. Natural gas related activities carried out in Romania by EU licensed entities
Under the Amendments, an EU licensed entity may carry out gas trading or supply activities in Romania without holding a gas trading or supply license issued by ANRE if it holds a valid license / similar document for carrying out such activities issued by the competent authority from its country. In such scenario, the Procedure provides, among others, that the economic operator must submit with ANRE:
- copy of the license / similar document issued by the competent authority for carrying out these activities, as well as the translation of the document into Romanian;
- a written affidavit in respect of complying with the technical and commercial conditions for carrying out such activities in Romania;
- the turnover estimated to be achieved in Romania from trading / supply activities and a written affidavit of the applicants’ legal representative/general manager/director regarding the gas quantity estimated to be traded during the year when the application is submitted;
- the unique identification code registered with the European Centralized Register of energy market participants.
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