E N F O R C E M E N T   AND   C O M P L I A N C E

Click here for the Trade Agreement



What is this Agreement and what does it do?

Who benefits from this Agreement?

How can this Agreement help my company?

Can the U.S. Government help me if I have a problem?

How can I get more information?

What is this Agreement and what does it do?

This Agreement establishes a framework for the development and expansion of commercial relations between the United States and Romania. The Agreement improves market access for goods and services, facilitates the establishment and operation of company offices and strengthens intellectual property protection. Procedures are provided to enable each Party to protect its domestic industries against market disruption caused by a rapid rise in imports from the other country. Guidelines for the settlement of disputes arising from commercial transactions are also included.

The Agreement was signed in Bucharest by the U.S. Ambassador to Romania and the Romanian Minister of Commerce and Tourism on April 3, 1992, and it entered into force on November 8, 1993, after it had been approved by the U.S. Congress. It remains in force for successive periods of three years, unless one Party informs the other at least 30 days prior to the expiration of a three-year term of its intent to terminate the Agreement.

Who benefits from this Agreement?

Any U.S. company or individual interested in exporting to Romania or doing business there can benefit from the provisions of this Agreement that promote and facilitate trade between the United States and Romania.

How can this Agreement help my company?

MFN and Non-discrimination

The United States and Romania resolved to apply between themselves the provisions of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), to which both were Contracting Parties when this Agreement was signed. They also reaffirmed the importance of their participation in GATT Agreements (now WTO Agreements). A core principle of the GATT is most favored nation (MFN) treatment, meaning treatment no less favorable than that accorded to products from any third country, and the two Parties agreed to accord MFN to each other's products. MFN tariff rates are not, however, the lowest rates that Romania extends to its trading partners, Romania also maintains free trade agreements with the European Union, the countries of the Central European Free Trade Area (CEFTA), the European Free Trade Area (EFTA), and with Israel and Turkey.

Market Access

The United States and Romania agreed to maintain a "satisfactory balance of market access opportunities" in trade in goods and services. The Agreement provides that contracts for goods and services shall be based on independent commercial judgment and customary commercial considerations such as price, quality, availability, delivery and terms of payment. Neither Party shall require or encourage its nationals or companies to engage in barter or countertrade transactions with companies or individuals of the other Party. Both Parties agreed to encourage the expansion of commercial contacts and to facilitate the holding of trade promotional events such as fairs, exhibitions, missions and seminars.

Business Facilitation

The Agreement spells out the treatment that each country shall accord to the other's companies. Key provisions, as they apply to American companies and individuals doing business in Romania, are: The Romanian Government shall accord American companies treatment at least as favorable as that accorded to companies of any third country. Representatives of U.S. companies shall be allowed to import office equipment, and they shall have access to office space and living accommodation at non-discriminatory prices. They shall be able to engage agents, consultants and distributors. U.S. companies in Romania shall be allowed to advertise their products in the media or by direct mail, and they shall be free to conduct market studies in Romania. They shall also have non-discriminatory access to products and services of the Romanian government, including public utilities, at fair and equitable prices.

The Romanian Government agreed to make public, on a timely basis, all laws, regulations, judicial decisions and administrative rulings relating to commercial activity, including trade, investment, taxation, banking, insurance, other financial services, transport and labor. It also agreed to provide U.S. nationals and companies with access to non-confidential, non-proprietary data on the Romanian economy.

The Agreement contains reciprocal provisions governing the status, functions and organization of each country's commercial offices. A side letter to the Agreement provides for the opening of governmental tourism promotion offices in both countries.

Financial Provisions

The Agreement states that all commercial transactions between nationals and companies of the United States and Romania shall be made in U.S. dollars or any other freely convertible currency. No restrictions shall be placed on the export of freely convertible currencies. Companies and individuals shall be accorded non-discriminatory treatment with respect to opening and maintaining accounts in foreign and local currency, payments, remittances, transfers and rates of exchange.

Intellectual Property

The Agreement provides that each signatory shall provide adequate and effective protection of intellectual property. Specific obligations are spelled out in detail in a side letter that is an integral part of the Agreement. These relate to: copyright and related rights (including protection of all types of computer programs); trademarks; patents; layout designs of semiconductor integrated circuits; and trade secrets.

Market Disruption Safeguards

The Agreement states that both Parties agree to consult promptly at the request of the other whenever imports cause, threaten to cause, or contribute significantly to market disruption. The definition given in the Agreement for market disruption is: when imports of an article like, or directly competitive with, an article produced by a domestic industry are increasing so rapidly that they cause or threaten to cause material injury to the domestic industry.

If consultations fail to resolve the problem, the importing country may impose quantitative import limitations, tariffs or any other measure "to such an extent and for such time as it deems necessary" to prevent or remedy the market disruption. If warranted, the importing country can take emergency action to prevent or remedy market disruption without prior consultation, as long as consultations are requested immediately thereafter.

Dispute Settlement

The Agreement states that nationals and companies of either Party shall be accorded "national treatment" (treatment no less favorable than that accorded domestic individuals and companies) with respect to access to all courts and administrative bodies in the territory of the other Party. Arbitration under internationally recognized arbitration rules is encouraged for the settlement of disputes arising from commercial transactions. Each Party is obliged to ensure that an effective means exists within its territory for the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards.

Joint Commercial Commission

The Agreement states that a Joint American-Romanian Commission, established in 1973, will periodically review the operation of the Agreement and make recommendations for achieving its objectives.

Can the U.S. Government help me if I have a problem?

Yes. If your company is experiencing difficulties exporting to Romania or doing business there because the Romanian Government is not complying with this Agreement, contact the Office of Trade Agreements Negotiations and Compliance's hotline at the U.S. Department of Commerce. The Center can help you understand your rights and Romania's obligations under this Agreement, and it can work with other U.S. Government officials to help you resolve your problem. The U.S. Government, if appropriate, can raise the particular facts of your situation with Romanian authorities and ask them to review the matter.

How can I get more information?

The complete text of the U.S.-Romania Trade Relations Agreement is available from the Office of Trade Agreements Negotiations and Compliance's web site.

If you have questions about this Agreement or how to use it, you can e-mail the Office of Trade Agreements Negotiations and Compliance (TANC) which will forward your message to the Commerce Department's Designated Monitoring Officer for the Agreement. You can also contact the Designated Monitoring Officer at the following address:

Designated Monitoring Officer -

U.S.-Romania Trade Relations Agreement

Office of Central and Southeast Europe
U.S. Department of Commerce

14th Street & Constitution Avenue, N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20230

Phone: (202) 482 - 3684

Fax: (202) 482 - 4505

The Designated Monitoring Officer can also provide you with useful trade leads and contacts.

For additional information about trade and business relations between the United States and Romania, you may wish to consult the Country Commercial Guide for Romania, which is prepared annually by the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest. It is a valuable resource for any American company doing business in Romania.

You may also wish to e-mail the office of the U.S. Commercial Service at the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest, which helps U.S. companies enter the Romanian market and expand their sales there.

TANC offers these agreements electronically as a public service for general reference. Every effort has been made to ensure that the text presented is complete and accurate. However, copies needed for legal purposes should be obtained from official archives maintained by the appropriate agency.