Law on State Aid

Chapter I - GENERAL PROVISIONS

    Article 1. Purpose and scope of the law
    (1) This Law establishes the legal framework on how to permitting, monitoring and reporting of state aid beneficiaries in all sectors of national economy, the agricultural sector in order to maintain a normal competitive environment.
    (2) If the international treaties governing state aid to which Moldova is a signatory establishes requirements and provisions than those of this Law, international treaty provisions and provisions.
    (3) monetary policy and exchange activities of the National Bank are exempt from the scope of this law.

    Article 2. Authorized authority and its powers
    The authority responsible for permitting, monitoring and reporting of state aid is the National Agency for Protection of Competition (hereinafter - Competition Authority).

    Article 3. Definitions
    In this law, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
    state aid - any support that meets the following conditions:
    a) is awarded by the provider of state resources or resources administrative units in any form;
    b) confers an economic advantage which would have been obtained under normal market conditions;
    c) is granted selectively;
    d) distorts or threatens to distort competition;
    existing aid - aid, ie aid scheme or individual aid, which corresponds to one of the following conditions:
    a) before the entry into force of this Act;
    b) was authorized by the competition authority;
    c) The competition authority has not taken it on one of the decisions under this Act within the period stipulated in this Law;
    d) when applied, the measure does not constitute aid subsequently became an aid due to market and not be amended;
    e) time limit for it has expired;
    minimis aid - aid having an equivalent value below the 2,000,000 lei per beneficiary, provided the same customer within a maximum period of three years, regardless of its form and the objective, provided it is not related to export activities . How minimis aid is determined by the enactment of the Competition Authority;
    unlawful aid - all aid other than using the existing or exempted from notification under this law, which was awarded without competition or authorized by the Authority was granted while the competition authority has been notified but not adopted within a legal decision on it;
    misused aid - aid used by the beneficiary in contravention of the Competition Authority's decision;
    individual aid - aid that is granted under a scheme of State aid is granted under a scheme to be notified individually;
    state aid scheme - under which any action may be granted state aid beneficiaries defined in the act in a general and abstract manner, without additional measures to implement, or any act under which aid is not are related to a specific project can be awarded one or more beneficiaries for an undetermined period of time and / or an indefinite amount;
    new aid - any state aid, and any aid scheme or individual aid, which is not existing aid, including alterations to existing aid;
    state aid provider - any public authority or a central administrative units or any person directly or indirectly managing state resources or administrative units;
    initiating state aid - projects the authority empowered to initiate legal documents involving the granting of state aid;
    beneficiary of state aid - any natural or legal person independent, engaged in economic activity consisting in offering goods or services in a market that receives state aid;
    services of general economic interest - service provided under market conditions, for which public authorities are bound by non-discriminatory access for all consumers and / or other obligations imposed;
    notification - application provider and / or initiator state aid to the competition authority, to authorize the granting of State aid;
    interested - supplier, initiator, the aid recipient and any person whose interests may be affected by the granting of State aid;
state resources or resources of administrative units - all assets, including through financial means, which belongs to state administrative units, including the autonomous territorial unit Gagauzia.

    Article 4. State aid compatible
    Are considered to be compatible with a normal competitive environment and are exempted from the obligation to notify the competition authority of state aid the following categories:
    a) aid having a social character granted to individual consumers, provided that such aid is granted without discrimination related to the origin of goods or services;
    b) aid to remedy damage caused by natural disasters or other emergencies.

    Article 5. State aid may be compatible
    (1) may be considered compatible with a normal competitive environment following categories of aid:
    a) aid to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy;
    b) support for training employees and creating new jobs;
    c) assisting small and medium enterprises;
    d) support for research, development and innovation;
    e) aid for environmental protection;
    f) assisting beneficiaries providing services of general economic interest;
    g) helping to save beneficiaries in need;
    h) supporting the setting up of enterprises by female entrepreneurs;
    i) sectoral aid, depending on the sectors of national economy;
    j) aid for regional development.
    (2) Assessment of compatibility with normal competitive environment of each category of state aid under par. (1) is based on the normative acts of the competition authority, developed in compliance with Law no. 235-XVI of 20 July 2006 on basic principles regulating entrepreneurial activity, and concerns:
    a) the purpose and scope of aid;
    b) the conditions for granting aid;
    c) the categories of aid recipients;
    d) thresholds expressed either of aid intensities in relation to total eligible costs or as a maximum aid;
    e) the conditions governing the cumulation of aid;
    f) the monitoring of aid.
    (3) State Aid, save as otherwise provided in art. 4 and in this article, is considered incompatible with a normal competitive environment.

    Article 6. Form of state aid
    (1) State aid is expressed by providing public goods, including through financial means, to a beneficiary or by not providing certain future income, whether actual or you would get from a beneficiary.
    (2) An aid:
    a) subsidies and / or subsidies;
    b) cancellation or assumption of liabilities;
    c) exemptions, reductions, postponement or rescheduling the payment of taxes;
    d) granting of loans with preferential interest rates;
    e) providing guarantees on preferential terms;
    f) investment provider, the rate of return on such investments is lower than that normally expected by a prudent private investor;
    g) discounts on goods and services provided, including the sale of movable and immovable property below market price.
    (3) State aid may be an aid scheme or individual aid.

    Article 7. Support measures are not State aid
    (1) No state aid is general support measures. General measures are those that apply to all sectors of national economy regardless.
    (2) Release of funds by the National Bank of beneficiary does not constitute state aid if they meet the following conditions:
    a) the beneficiary is insolvent when liquidity provision;
    b) facility is fully secured by collateral in which a safety margin based on its quality;
    c) National Bank charges the beneficiary interest equal to or greater than the base rate;
    d) measure is taken at the initiative of the National Bank and is supported by a guarantee from the state.

Chapter II - PROCEDURAL REGULATIONS

    Article 8. Notification and authorization of state aid
    (1) Any intention to grant aid or to alter existing aid under a draft legal instrument must be notified to the Competition Authority by the supplier and / or initiator state aid, except for de minimis aid and State aid under Art. Four.
    (2) Notification of state aid must contain accurate and complete information to assess the compatibility of State aid with this law and normative act adopted by the competition authority will determine the form of notification, examination procedures and decision-making on State aid.
    (3) The competition authority shall inform the provider and / or originator of state aid on receipt of a complete notification.
    (4) If it appears that the information in the notification are inaccurate and / or incomplete, the competition authority shall inform the provider and / or State aid initiator in writing within 15 working days of receiving notification, the need to correct and / or supplement the information presented.
    (5) Provider and / or originator of State aid within 20 working days from receipt of the request referred to in paragraph Competition Authority. (4), correct or complete information in the notification. Reasoned request by the provider and / or State aid initiator, this period may be extended.
    (6) The notification shall be considered withdrawn if the required information are not provided on time.
    (7) A new state aid may be granted as long as the competition authority does not take a decision authorizing or how long the aid is not deemed to be authorized under this law.

    Article 9. Specialized assistance in developing State aid schemes
    At the request of the supplier and / or the originator of state aid, competition authority specialized technical assistance in developing or modifying a state aid scheme.
    Article 10. Examination of the notification
    (1) The competition begins assessing the notification of the date of its receipt.
    (2) After examining the notification, the Competition Authority has one of the following decisions:
    a) decision finding that the notified measure constitutes State aid;
    b) the decision to authorize State aid, if it finds that the notified measure raises doubts as to its compatibility with normal competitive environment;
    c) decision to initiate the procedure for examining the case of violation of legislation on competition, if the proposed measure raises doubts as to its compatibility with normal competitive environment.
    (3) The competition will take a decision as provided in par. (2) not later than 45 working days from the date of receipt of a complete notification.
    (4) The decision to authorize State aid granted by the National Bank and / or the Government to remedy the ailing banks will be taken within 72 hours of being notified, and in cases of extreme urgency - within 24 hours. In these cases, the supplier will compete Authority within six months of aid, a restructuring or liquidation plan.
    (5) If, within 45 working days of the competition authority has not taken any decision aid is considered approved.
    (6) In exceptional circumstances, the application provider and / or the originator of state aid, competition authority may suspend, once and for a period determined by examination of the notification procedure to introduce the changes and to ensure compliance project submitted to the State aid rules.

    Article 11. Process for reviewing cases violation of law Protection of Competition
    (1) The examination procedure violations of competition protection legislation is carried out in accordance with Law no. 1103-XIV of 30 June 2000 on the protection of competition and can not be longer than 120 days.
    (2) After examining the case, the competition authority of the following decisions:
    a) decision stating that the notified measure constitutes State aid;
    b) the decision to authorize State aid, if it finds that the notified measure raises doubts as to its compatibility with this law;
    c) the decision to authorize State aid, impose conditions or obligations to ensure that this aid will not distort the competitive environment and will not affect the proper implementation of international agreements to which Moldova is a party;
    d) decision stating that aid distorts the competitive environment and affect the proper implementation of international agreements to which Moldova is a party (negative decision).
    (3) The provider and / or initiator support may withdraw the notification in good time before any decision by the competition authority. After withdrawal of notification, the Competition Authority closes proceedings for review of notification.
    (4) In exceptional circumstances, the application provider and / or the originator of state aid, competition authority may suspend justified, once the process for reviewing cases of infringement submitted the project to ensure compliance with rules on aid State or if an action brought in court, whose outcome could influence the evaluation of the case.

    Article 12. Existing State aid measures
    If after the monitoring of existing state aid competition authority finds that existing aid is not consistent with this law, it shall require the supplier and / or initiator state aid to take steps to remove that incompatibility.

    Article 13. Procedures for using illegal and aid misuse
    (1) If the available information on unlawful aid or misused aid, competition authority will initiate the process for reviewing cases of violation of competition protection legislation and will require the supplier and / or initiator aid State to provide information necessary for decision on the aid in question.
    (2) The competition authority may, within 30 working days, a prescription requiring the provider and / or initiator suspend state aid grant in question until a decision on its compatibility with this law.
    (3) If the competition authority issues a negative decision, supplier and / or initiator must take necessary measures to amend / cancel the act under which it granted state aid for recovery or repayment of aid already granted, including interest on the amount thereof.

    Article 14. Recovery of unlawful aid or to aid misused
    (1) provider and / or initiator state aid, following the decisions of the competition changed / repealed the act under which it was granted legal aid or aid illegally misused, respectively, decided recovery of the aid already granted, as well as the related interest, the lessee shall return the state aid received.
    (2) If the supplier and / or initiator does not follow the decision ordering the recovery of State aid and related interest, the competition authority has the right to address the court.

    Article 15. Interest to aid recovery illegal or misused aid
    (1) State aid to be recovered under a recovery decision shall include interest calculated using the base rate (rounded up to next whole percentage), established by the National Bank in November of the previous year, applied to monetary policy in the short term, increased by 5 points.
    (2) Interest is paid to the beneficiary of unlawful aid or misused aid and is calculated starting from the day on which the aid was made available to the beneficiary and until the day of his full recovery.
    (3) State aid recovery and related interest will be paid from the state budget, the budgets of administrative-territorial or other components of general government budgets according to whether the supplier.

    Article 16. Limitation
    (1) Competition Law Authority to take measures for the recovery of unlawful aid or misused is subject to a limitation period of six years.
    (2) The limitation period shall run from the day the unlawful aid or aid has been misused in full to the beneficiary and can be interrupted by any decision of the Competition Authority on aid. Each interruption shall start a new limitation period.
    (3) The limitation period is suspended during the Competition Authority's decision to challenge filed in court.

    Article 17. Appealing decisions of the competition
    (1) Competition Authority Decisions taken under this Act may be appealed by the person concerned the court in accordance with Law no. 793-XIV of 10 February 2000.
    (2) Appeal of decision of the Competition Authority shall not suspend execution if the court decides otherwise.

    Article 18. Rights of interested
    (1) The public competition, including its own Web page, information on the notifications received and decisions to initiate proceedings to review and provide full information required.
    (2) Any interested person may express an opinion on the extent of support for ordering the initiation of the review.
    (3) Any interested person may notify the competition authority on state aid or alleged to be illegal state aid allegedly misused. If it considers that there are insufficient grounds to decide the case on the information available, the competition authority shall inform the interested persons.
    (4) The person has expressed an opinion or informed the competition authority on State aid allegedly allegedly illegal or improper use may require secrecy identity.
    (5) Any interested person may, on request, a copy of any of the decisions issued by the observance of competition legislation on state secrets and trade secrets.

    Article 19. Record / inventory of aid state
    (1) The competition will create and keep the State aid Register.
    (2) State aid register is maintained in accordance with Law no. 71-XVI from 22 March 2007 on registers and legal act adopted by the competition authorities of the State Aid Register.
    (3) For state aid is required to keep a strict State aid, including aid exempted from notification. State aid provider to the Authority all information necessary for competitive State aid Register in accordance with legislative act adopted by the competition authority on that register.

    Article 20. Monitoring and verification aid state
    (1) The competition authority has the obligation to monitor the existing state aid going to check compliance of legal provisions under which they were granted, as well as authorization decisions that it has issued. Follow-up is completed by preparing a monitoring report.
    (2) breach of legislation on state aid are examined by the competition authority or official notification, based on materials available on violations of laws and regulations in force.
    (3) To verify compliance with the legislation on state aid, competition Authority employees will act in accordance with Law no. 1103-XIV of 30 June 2000 on the Protection of Competition.

    Article 21. Transparency in aid state
    (1) The provisions of the Competition Authority decision taken under this Act shall be published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Moldova, taking into account the parties' interests and ensure the protection of information constituting a state secret or commercial secret.
    (2) The competition authority, aid providers, their employees, other public officials and independent experts appointed by the competition authorities have an obligation not to disclose information constituting state secrets, trade secret or confidential information that they have acquired through the application of this law.
    (3) The competition authority produces an annual report on state aid, which he submitted to the Government and Parliament.
    (4) Annual Report on state aid published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Moldova.
    (5) decisions of the competition on the NBM notifications will be made public within the time and manner coordinated with the National Bank.

    Article 22. Liability for breach this law
    (1) Violation of this law and normative acts regulating state aid punishable under law.
    (2) Examination of offenses and penalties for non-contravention of this Law and normative acts regulating state aid shall follow the procedure and powers established by the Code Offences.

    Article 23. Final and transitional
    (1) This Law shall enter into force 12 months after publication.
    (2) aid providers within 12 months after entry into force of this Law, Competition Authority will communicate information regarding State aid granted before the entry into force of this law.
    (3) The beneficiaries of state aid within 12 months after entry into force of this Act, may inform the competition authority on the state aid received before the entry into force of this law.
    (4) If a State aid has not been reported within the period specified in par. (2), this aid is considered unlawful aid.
    (5) The competition authority within 12 months from the date of publication of this law:
    a) submit proposals for bringing the legislation into conformity with this Law;
    b) bring its legislation in conformity with this law;
    c) Develop and approve the necessary regulations to implement this Law;
    d) create the necessary structures to implement this law.
    (6) aid providers, without increasing the number of staff, will ensure the implementation of this law.























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