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New rules regarding the validity term of the environmental authorizations

Law no. 219/2019 entered into force on November 18th 2019 amending article 16 of the Government Emergency Ordinance no. 195/2005 regarding environment protection (“GEO 195/2005”), introducing new rules for the validity of the environmental permits.

These new rules are aimed to close some of the infringement procedures launched by the European Commission against Romania and to avoid the situations of certain holders of such authorizations not renewing their authorizations at their expiry, thus functioning illegally. Formerly the validity term of environmental authorizations was 5 years, while the one for integrated environmental authorizations was 10 years. Starting November 18th the following rules apply:

>>Obligation to obtain an annual visa
The new environmental and integrated environmental authorizations to be issued after the entry into force these amendments will remain valid provided that the holders of such authorizations obtain an annual visa. Therefore, the validity of such authorizations is no longer limited in time and shall be valid during the performance of the relevant activities for which they have been issued.

>>Purpose of the annual visa
Such visa is granted as a confirmation that the holders of authorizations continue to perform their activity in the same way as at the time the authorizations were issued.

>>Procedure for obtaining the annual visa
The central public authority for environmental protection (i.e. Agentia Nationala pentru Protectia Mediului) shall issue an order for establishing the procedure for obtaining the annual visa.

>>For currently valid authorizations
In case of environmental and integrated environmental authorizations issued before this amendment, the holders have 2 options: (i) to request the amendment of their authorizations for maintaining their validity as long as they obtain the annual visa, or (ii) not to request any amendment for the time being, leading to the obligation to request the issuance of a new authorization within 6 months before the expiry of the initial validity period of their existing authorization.

The article can be downloaded in PDF format right from this link.

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