A New Energy and Gas Law No. 123/2012 has been published in the Romanian Official Gazette No. 485 dated 16 July 2012.
The main objective of this New Law is to implement in the Romanian legislation the provisions of the Third Energy Package: (i) Directive 2009/72/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council dated 13 July 2009 concerning common rules for the internal market in electricity and repealing Directive 2003/54/EC; and (ii) Directive 2009/73/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council dated 13 July 2009 concerning common rules for the internal market in natural gas and repealing Directive 2003/55/EC.
The New Law provides for a calendar purporting to gradually eliminate regulated prices for end clients, both for electricity and for gas. For electricity, it is provided that the regulated prices shall be eliminated starting with 1 September 2012 for non-household clients, respectively from 1 July 2013 for household clients. For gas, it is provided that the regulated prices shall be eliminated starting with 1 December 2012 for non-household clients, respectively from 1 July 2013 for household clients.
As regards energy trading, the New Law provides that energy producers have the obligation to offer publicly and in a non-discriminating manner on the competitive market all energy produced. Transaction with electricity shall be concluded on the competitive market, in a transparent, public, centralized and non-discriminating manner, through public auction. By way of exception, "on the retail competitive market, energy suppliers sell energy to end clients based on bilateral contracts, at negotiated prices, or at a price determined based on a type-offer".
In respect of gas, the New Law provides that gas producers have the obligation to make available with priority the quantities of gas resulting from the production activity, necessary in order to cover the consumption on the regulated market, in accordance with the relevant regulations issued regarding compliance with the chart for liberalization of prices and ensuring the gas for captive clients. The remaining quantities (minus the quantity corresponding to the technological consumption) shall be made available to the competitive market.