On June 28 2016, the Romanian Government approved the Emergency Ordinance no. 35/2016 regarding the amendment and supplementing of Law no. 7/1996 on cadaster and real estate publicity (“GEO 35/2016”). Such normative act was approved for the purpose of speeding up the procedures regarding the execution of the National Program for Cadaster and Land Book that should be implemented in the period 2015-2023. It is to be noted that the execution of the cadaster in Romania, by the systematic registration of all the real estates, represents a priority of the Romanian Government, it being considered vital for the development of the national economy.

Therefore, it was acknowledged that it is absolutely necessary to accelerate the registration of the properties located in the extra muros areas in order for Romania to benefit from the financial subsidies allocated by the European Union for the purpose of financing the agricultural common policy, registration procedures which may lead, among other benefits, to the increase of the absorption of funds.

Furthermore, it is necessary for the Romanian State to finalize the restitution process regarding the properties that were abusively confiscated/ nationalized/ expropriated by the Romanian State between March 6, 1945 and December 22, 1989 and, therefore, the above-referred registration process shall facilitate as well such restitution process.

Consequently, by means of GEO 35/2016, the Romanian Government proved the financing by the Romanian State of the registration of the aforementioned properties located in the extra muros areas.

Additionally, with a view to increasing the number of the properties registered in the integrated system of cadaster and land book, the National Agency for Cadaster and Real Estate Publicity (the “National Agency”), via the territorial units, may open land books ex officio by conversion into electronic format of the information existing in the records of the territorial units with respect to the real rights regarding the properties, for which publicity formalities had been previously fulfilled. The beneficiaries of the real rights with respect to the above-referred properties shall be entitled to solicit the free update of the information comprised in such land books within one year as of the date when the land book was opened ex officio.

One should note that GEO 35/2016 introduces several technical details regarding various procedures that will determine the acceleration of the registration of properties in the integrated cadaster and land book system in Romania.

We expect secondary legislation and various agreements between the authorities involved in the process for the implementation of the recently approved measures.

In this context, one can point out that all the normative acts that have been recently adopted and that are still to be adopted in this field will lead to the implementation of the new land book system regulated by the Romanian Civil Code. According to such system, the registrations with the land book will create ownership right, the registration being a sine qua non condition for operating the transfer of the ownership right over an immovable property.

All such measures are expected to improve the transfer of the ownership right over immovable properties in Romania.