On 28 April 2016, the Ministry of Energy published the Draft Law on the establishment and maintenance of a minimum level of crude oil and petroleum product reserves (“Draft Law”).

The Draft Law is necessary to replace current Law no. 360/2013, as last year the European Commission requested that Romania correctly implements Council Directive 2009/119/EC.

The Draft Law aims to ensure the security of Romania’s oil and petroleum supply in the event of a major shortage. Uniquely, the Draft Law imposes a stockholding obligation on non-resident economic operators who place petroleum products on the Romanian market and operate in Romania through a permanent establishment. Further, the Draft Law removes previous restrictions and limitations regarding ownership of such stocks and requires economic operators to restore the stocks in 30 days from the date they were diminished.

To facilitate this new stockholding obligation, the Draft Law establishes the Central Stockholding Entity (“CSE”), a non-governmental entity tasked with acquiring, maintaining and selling oil stocks, emergency stocks and other specific stocks. Economic operators may delegate their stockholding obligations for the minimum stocks to be maintained during the following year to the CSE starting with 1 August of each year.

If adopted, starting on 1 January 2017, the National Agency for Mineral Resources will become the competent authority responsible for ensuring the proper execution of the Draft Law, a task that includes proposing emergency procedures and contingency plans - to the Romanian Government - which should be implemented in the event of a major supply disruption.