Romania – company fined and €2.9 million profits confiscated

An Advocate-General’s opinion in Case C-351/22 before the Court of Justice has revealed details of a not-previously publicised enforcement action from 2020 in Romania, by which the company Neves 77 Solutions SRL was administratively fined approximately €6,000 and had gross profits of €2.9 million confiscated.

The company had brokered a transaction whereby radio sets manufactured in Russia were sold by a Ukrainian company to an Indian company.

The question which came to be addressed by the Advocate-General was whether the confiscation of gross profits was compatible with fundamental principles of European law including whether it was a proportionate abrogation of the right to property. The Advocate-General’s opinion is that such confiscations are not a breach of European law.

Romania – fines and confiscation order overturned

It has been reported today that the Romanian company Deltrans Grup&Ro SR successfully appealed against a fine and confiscation order imposed by the Romanian ANAF.

The alleged wrongdoing related to two orders from a Moldovan company filled by products from plywood producer Sveza. The ANAF alleged that Sveza was owned and controlled by a designated person, Alexei Mordashov.

The court ruled that this link was asserted rather than proven by the ANAF and annulled the fine and confiscation.

It has been reported that the ANAF is appealing this decision.


Romania – fines and confiscations confirmed

The President of Romania’s ANAF (National Agency for Fiscal Administration) has confirmed that ongoing results of the organisation’s sanctions enforcement actions.

Without providing details he stated that fines of 280,000 lei (c. €56,000) had been imposed and amounts of 13.171 million lei (c. €2,650,000) had been confiscated.

No further details on these enforcement actions were published.

Romania – fine and confiscation overturned

The Romanian company Liberty Galati has successfully overturned an administrative fine and the confiscation of over 7.6 million lei (c. €1.5m).

The alleged breach of EU sanctions related to a shipment of iron ore pellets which left Russian on 22 February 2022, and arrived in Romania on 25 February 2022.  The seller of the pellets was Metalloinvest, which is owned or controlled by Alisher Usmanov who was designated on 28 February 2022. The pellets were on-sold in Romania on 1 March 2022.

The initial fine and confiscation was based on the allegation that it was a breach of the EU’s sanctions to deal with Metalloinvest in this way. The court disagreed and held that Liberty Galati had taken title to the pellets on 22 February at a time that Metalloinvest was not subject to sanctions.

Romania – successful appeal against fine and confiscation

It has been reported today that the Romanian ANAF has lost another appeal against one of its fines and confiscations.

In this instance the allegation was that the Romanian company Gransol Agro Arad had purchased fertilisers from companies owned or controlled by designated persons under the EU’s Russian sanctions. The imports were said to have taken place between 2014 and 2020.

The court held that the prosecution had not established that the Russian supplier company was in fact owned or controlled by a designated person, and was critical of reliance being placed on google searches rather than official company records.

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The opinions expressed on this blog are those of the author and are not to be construed as legal advice.

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