House Exchange Authorization

House Exchange Authorization

Attorney Office Alina Szilaghi provides complex assistance and representation services in the authorization of foreign exchange offices.

House Exchange Authorization

The main types of entities that can perform foreign exchange activity for individuals are as follows:

  • exchange offices, organized as legal entities according to Law on the commercial companies, republished, with subsequent modifications and completions, having as main object of activity the foreign exchange activities for natural persons CAEN code 6612 – Financial mediation activities – activities of foreign exchange offices. Secondary activities may not be other than those included in CAEN code 6619 – Activities auxiliary to financial intermediation, except insurance and pension codes – remittance,
  • legal entities and other entities benefiting from express legal provisions and have stipulated the foreign exchange activities for individuals in the constitutive acts that regulate their establishment and operation;
  • entities that hold tourist accommodation establishments with functions of tourist accommodation and have as their object the operations of buying currencies (listed and unlisted) in the form of cash and cash substitutes (the provisions of Article 2, paragraph 1 of the Criteria related to on the authorization and/or registration of entities carrying out foreign exchange activities on the territory of Romania.

Exchange Authorization Procedures – Required Documents

Foreign exchange entities may start entities that meet cumulatively the following conditions:

  • have received the authorization issued by the Ministry of Public Finance;
    they were assigned the statistical code by the Ministry of Public Finance for each currency exchange point;
  • registered the statistical code on the currency exchange stamp.

Authorization of foreign exchange houses is basically organized after two distinct stages:

A. Authorization of the entity performing the foreign exchange activity,
B. Recording the currency exchange point.

A. In order to be authorized, the entity performing the foreign exchange business must meet the following conditions:

  1. existence as main object of foreign exchange activity for natural persons NACE code 6612 – Financial intermediation activities – activities of foreign exchange offices. Secondary activities may not be other than those included in CAEN code 6619 – Activities auxiliary to financial intermediation, except insurance and pension codes – money remittance;
  2. the existence of cash deposits in national currency and/or currencies quoted in an amount of at least EUR 75,000 both at the establishment and during the course of the foreign exchange activity. Proof is made through an account statement issued at the time of filing the application for authorization. The exchange rates of the foreign exchange market communicated by the National Bank of Romania on the day preceding the date of the request will be used to determine the level of cash equivalents in euro.
  3. Authorization of foreign exchange houses is conditioned by the existence of an opinion of police officers for all administrators, significant shareholders or associates of the entity requesting the authorization. In the event that directors, significant shareholders or associates are legal persons, it is necessary for the opinion given to all natural persons who ultimately control or hold these legal entities, either directly or indirectly. If the entity is administered by a collective body, an opinion will be given to each member of its component. If the entity is managed by a legal person, the opinion will be given to all the administrators or legal representatives of this operator. When the operator who assures the management of the entity is also administered by a collective body, an opinion will be given to each member of its component. The notice is issued according to the internal procedure established by the General Inspectorate of the Romanian Police (The application for approval of the police bodies for the administrators or the legal representatives of the entity addresses to the territorial structures of the General Inspectorate of the Romanian Police in whose area of ​​competence the headquarters of the entities requesting authorization);
  4. the administrator / managers of the entity to file a statement on his / her own responsibility indicating that: the entity has not been convicted by a final conviction decision for which rehabilitation has not occurred; the personnel are not in a state of incompatibility according to the legal provisions in force, they have theoretical and practical knowledge of the activities to be carried out by the entity; knows the legal provisions applicable in the matter; all legal provisions applicable to the foreign exchange activity for individuals at the exchange points at the time of filing the application and proposed for registration are observed;
    the declaration on the sole responsibility of all legal representatives, to identify punctually the directors, significant shareholders or associates of the entity requesting the authorization. In the event that directors, significant shareholders or associates are legal persons, it is necessary to also identify the natural persons who control or ultimately own those legal entities, directly or indirectly;
  5. proof that the entity can also perform traveler checks (as appropriate). (Article 5 of the Criteria).

No foreign exchange authorization is granted in the following situations:

  • the entities register, at the date of the application, outstanding payment obligations to the consolidated general budget;
  • against the legal representatives, the significant shareholders or the associates of the entity, a final judgment of conviction was pronounced for an intentional offense punishable with imprisonment and for which rehabilitation did not occur in Romania or in a foreign state;
  • administrators, significant shareholders or associates of the entity have been convicted of money laundering, terrorism or terrorist financing, both domestically and internationally. In the event that directors, significant shareholders or associates are legal persons, account shall also be taken of the situation in which the natural persons who ultimately control or ultimately own those legal entities, directly or indirectly, have been convicted of the offenses referred to above ;
  • shareholders/associates, as well as the administrators or legal representatives of the entity, held the status of shareholders/associates, as well as administrators or legal representatives of an entity whose foreign exchange authorization,  was canceled or revoked by the Commission in the last 5 years. The 5-year period starts to run from the date when the decision (s) of cancellation/revocation has remained final in the administrative redress system or the date of the final and irrevocable court judgment.

B. Recording the currency exchange point.

  1. In order to obtain the authorization and the statistical code for at least one exchange office of a foreign exchange house that does not hold at the date of submitting the application for authorization and statistical code for another currency exchange point, the administrator / legal representative of the entity intending to organize and the foreign exchange business must submit the following before the start of the activity:

Required documents:

  • the request of the entity requesting the Foreign Exchange Authorization Commission, hereinafter referred to as the Commission, the granting of the authorization and the statistical code (s) relating to the foreign exchange offices in which it intends to organize and conduct foreign exchange, as well as the copy of the documents submitted to folder;
  • the certificate of identification issued by the Trade Register Office no later than 30 calendar days prior to the filing of the application, showing the following: entity identifying elements (organization form, name, registered office, fiscal identification code); subscribed and paid-up share capital; the shareholder structure or associates, as the case may be; name, surname and address of legal representatives; object of activity. The scope of activity must include the activities stipulated in the present order, depending on the specificity of the entity; registered secondary establishments and their address;
  • the certificate of incorporation at the Trade Register Office, in copy;
  • proof of the availability of cash in national currency and / or quoted currencies in the amount of EUR 75,000 (proof is made according to the procedure in point II above);
  • the declaration of the administrator / legal representative of the entity that falls within the provisions of art. 2 par. (1) lit. b) of Annex no. 2 to the order, accompanied by the documents proving this fact. From these it must be concluded that the entity has included the foreign exchange activity in the constitutive act that regulates its establishment and functioning or in the one regulating its functioning, as the case may be, in force at the date of filing the application;
  • the approval of police officers for all administrators, significant shareholders or associates of the entity requesting authorization (the procedure is as in point III above);
  • the criminal record certificate or other act issued by the competent authorities within whose jurisdiction the last place of residence is known – the known social center of the legal representative – the legal representatives (in case there are more legal representatives, the criminal record certificate shall be presented; other acts issued by the competent authorities for each one), from which it is concluded that no final judgment of conviction was pronounced against him / her for which the rehabilitation in Romania or in a foreign state did not occur for a committed offense ;
  • the declaration on the sole responsibility of the entity’s manager (s) – each of them will file a statement – with the content in point VI above;
  • requesting authorization to run and traveler checks. In this case, the request must be accompanied by the following: the contract concluded by the entity with a credit institution authorized to operate in Romania, which is an agent of a traveler issuing entity or is itself the issuer of travel checks; internal rules and procedures for the conduct of deposit operations, sale and purchase and settlement of travel checks; the declaration on the sole responsibility of the entity’s administrators / legal representatives that the entity possesses the means and techniques necessary for the proper and safe conduct of the traveler’s operations;
  • the fiscal attestation issued by the fiscal body competent for the fiscal administration of the economic operator;
  • the tax record issued by the competent fiscal body for all the associations, the administrators of the entity requesting the authorization (issued by the fiscal body in whose territorial jurisdiction the associate/administrator’s domicile is located);
  • declaration on the sole responsibility of the legal representative (s) showing that the economic operator does not register outstanding payment obligations with local budgets;
  • the list of all administrators, significant shareholders or associates of the entity requesting the authorization. In the event that directors, significant shareholders or associates are legal entities, all-natural persons who ultimately control or ultimately own those legal entities, whether directly or indirectly, will be identified. The list will be submitted in the form of a declaration on your own responsibility, signed and stamped by the legal representative of the entity.
  • For assigning the statistical code of the proposed exchange point, a copy of the observation note proving the fulfillment of the space functionality is required and the declaration at the sole responsibility of the legal representative of the entity showing that the location complies with the legal provisions in force.
  • Depending on the changes occurring in the activity of the entity and affecting the data and documents envisaged for the authorization of the foreign exchange houses (change of the address of the registered office or of the fiscal domicile, the change of the administrators, the increase of the social capital etc.), a notification shall be submitted to the registry Of the Ministry of Public Finance to the attention of the specialized directorate with specific attributions in the field of the Ministry of Public Finance, hereinafter referred to as the specialized department, which ensures the secretariat of the Commission, within 10 working days from the date of registration of the change, which will be obligatory related documents
  1. In order to obtain the statistical code for at least one foreign exchange point of an authorized entity holding at least one statistical code for a foreign exchange point at the date of application for the authorization, the administrator / legal representative of the entity intending to organize and conduct business foreign exchange must submit the following before the start of the activity:

Required documents:

  • the request of the entity requesting the Commission to provide the statistical code (s) relating to the foreign exchange offices in which it intends to conduct foreign exchange operations and the copy of the documents submitted to the file;
  • the proof of the registration of the space in which the activity is to be carried out as a working point of the entity from the Trade Register Office;
  • proof of the availability of cash in national currency and/or quoted currencies in the amount of EUR 75,000;
  • the declaration on the sole responsibility of the legal representative of the entity from which it appears that the location complies with the legal provisions in force.
  • For the assignment of the statistical code of the proposed foreign exchange point, it is necessary to copy the finding note proving the fulfillment of the space functionality conditions.

The observation note is concluded by a team composed of representatives of the territorial structures belonging to the Financial Guard and the General Inspectorate of the Romanian Police in whose area of ​​competence the proposed exchange office is located, following the factual verification at the entity’s point of view.

To conclude the observation note proving the fulfillment of the space functionality, the administrator / legal representative of the entity shall submit the following documents at the headquarters of the county or Bucharest municipality of the Financial Guard in whose area of ​​competence the respective location is situated:

  • the request of the entity requesting the control to conclude the finding, as well as the copy of the documents submitted to the file;
  • the proof of possession of the right of ownership or the right of use for the respective space with direct public access and the identifiable address, according to the legal provisions in force. If the entity owns only the right to use the space, the consent of the person owning the property, from which it appears that it agrees with the development of foreign exchange activities in the respective location, and the fact that it allows the access in location of control bodies at any time. In case the proposed exchange point is to be organized in premises located within the dwelling buildings, the proposed space must meet the requirements stipulated by the legislation in force for the organization of the commercial activities within the dwelling buildings;
  • the declaration of the administrator / legal representative of the entity showing that: the proposed location complies with the legal provisions in force for the organization and conduct of the foreign exchange activities; the personnel employed at the exchange points proposed for the authorization are not in a state of incompatibility in accordance with the legal provisions in force and have been trained on the applicable legal provisions in the matter; all legal provisions applicable to the foreign exchange activity for individuals are met at the exchange points proposed for authorization;
  • the documents showing that the proposed foreign exchange point has the necessary equipment to carry out the foreign exchange activity. The equipment includes the following: computer equipment – a fiscal electronic cash register of the type provided by the legislation in the field – equipped with application programs for the foreign exchange activity; banknote authentication machine;
  • the list of staff employed or to be hired and carrying out their activity at that location;
    criminal record certificates for staff employed or to be employed at the exchange office for which registration is requested issued by the competent authorities in force at the time of filing the application indicating that no decision has been made against any of them the final judgment of conviction for which rehabilitation has not occurred in Romania or in a foreign state for intentional offenses;
  • documents attesting to the existing security equipment at the proposed exchange point, the burglar alarm system, the foreign exchange guard plan (where applicable), the P.S.I plan, with the relevant approvals from the authorities concerned.

No exchange offices located in garages, kiosks, other similar buildings in isolated places, floors or basements of dwelling buildings or in areas without direct public access may be set up, provided that the proposed foreign exchange point is be arranged in premises located in the residential premises, the proposed space must be located on the ground floor and meet the requirements of the legislation in force for the organization of commercial activities within the dwelling buildings. (Article 10 of the Criteria)

Authorized competent for the authorization of foreign exchange offices

The competent authority for the authorization and / or registration of foreign exchange entities is the Commission for the authorization of the foreign exchange activity that operates at the Ministry of Public Finance (Article 1 of the Regulation for the organization and functioning of the Commission for the authorization of the activity of exchange foreign exchange, which constitutes Annex 1 to the Order mentioned above).

Applications for authorization and registration of the statistical code for a foreign exchange point shall be submitted to the general registry of the Ministry of Public Finance.

The application for control regarding the fulfillment of the space conditions, accompanied by the related documentation, shall be submitted to the county or Bucharest district of the Financial Guard in whose area of ​​competence the proposed foreign exchange point is located.

Deadlines for the authorization of foreign exchange offices

  • Foreign exchange entities must submit the necessary documents for obtaining a foreign exchange authorization to the specialized directorate that provides the secretariat of the Commission within 180 days from the entry into force of Ordinance
  • Entities operating under the authorization issued by the National Bank of Romania until the entry into force of Ordinance can continue their work until the Commission has resolved the request.
  • The granted authorizations and the statistical codes assigned by the National Bank of Romania, lose their validity if, within 180 days, the entities did not submit the necessary documents for obtaining the foreign exchange authorization according to Ordinance at the specialized department.

Time limits for the authorization of currency exchange houses

The normative act does not stipulate a deadline for solving the application for authorization and/or registration of the entities that carry out the foreign exchange activity on the territory of Romania.

The only term that is referred to is the 30 calendar days for the control of meeting space functionality.

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