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Romania - Selling and buying

Contents extracted from the comprehensive atlas of international trade by Export Entreprises

Reaching the consumers

Marketing opportunities

Consumer behavior: According to the Institute of Romanian Statistics Romania's Annual Statistical Report on household spending: the total average expenditure per month per household amounted to RON 1565 for employees, RON 945.51 for farmers, RON 891.31 for the unemployed and RON 889.09 for pensioners. Purchases of food and beverages account for 39% to 57% of the total expenditures, followed by energy costs (water, electricity, gas) which vary between 11% and 17%.

The average Romanian consumer needs to be educated in the usage of food products that s/he has never previously purchased or consumed. Knowing this fact, food companies wishing to enter into the Romanian market have used training to inform their potential clientele: the consumption of croissants (which have now become common place), consumption of wine (used to be mixed with sodas to be more sweet) and its harmonization with the meal, demonstrations of the uses of caterers and home food delivery.

However, for new technologies and latest clothing fashion, Romanians are very fast at adapting.

Neologisms from English are quickly integrated: "orange" - phone company which is pronounced as the English, also like "Carrefour" (kaer'four), etc, Romanians are historically accustomed their fads and trends coming from the United States, during the time of communism.

Consumer profile: Romania has one of the lowest purchasing power parities in Europe. According to the annual statistical report on the Romanian population, approximately 55% of the population is from urban areas compared with 45% who resides in the rural areas. Among the 22.2 million Romanians, 15.6% of the population was of 0-14 years old, 69.6% were 15-64 years old and 14.7% were 65 and over. The average age is 37.3 years with a rate of negative natural growth. The average life expectancy is 68 years for men and 75 years for women. On average, one woman has 1.38 children. Men generally marry at 30 and women at 27 (average age has increased over the passed years).
Main advertising agencies:

Distribution network

Evolution of the sector: The large successful retailing groups are: Metro had nearly 2 billion EUR in sales in 2007 and an increase of 30% since its arrival. Carrefour reached 866 million EUR and showed a 54% increase in sales. Auchan possessed the record number of customers with about 8 million consumers in its four hypermarkets in 2007.

Between 2006 and 2007, 340 stores were opened. Carrefour, Auchan, Cora, Real and Lidl opened 31 hypermarkets. Carrefour plans to open 8 more hypermarkets, Auchan aims to open 16 more stores and Tengelmann foresees in the medium-term 175 to 200 units of their Plus stores.

However, managers of large retailers foresee a topping of their growth in the year 2011/2012 and wonder about the future. With 120 to 140 hypermarkets, Romania has reached its saturation threshold. The installation costs have increased, land prices have been increased tenfold in 5 years

Types of outlet: The best-known brands in Romania are Aro 4x4 (Automobile Romania), Clever, Metro Quality, the brand '1', the brands of Carrefour and of Cora. In 2006, only 9% of the population did not know these brands

A study in October 2008 shows that about 435 retail brands spread throughout Romania, 40% are discount stores (Profi, Plus Discount, Penny Market, Minimax) and 32% are supermarkets (Billa, Mega Image, Carrefour, Spar, Interex ...); 17% are hypermarkets (Cora, Auchan, Kaufland, Real, Carrefour) and 9% are convenience type stores (Metro, Selgros).
Organizations in the sectors:

Market access procedures

Economic Cooperation: 1 January 2007, Romania joined the EU. Since becoming a member of the EU, Romania's trade has increased with the countries which originally belonged to the EU and have been exempt from customs duties.


Romania is a member of the UN, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Council of Europe, the International Organization of Francophonie, ASEM (en anglais) (Asia-Europe Meeting) etc.

Non tariff barriers: Romania does not impose import quotas or tariffs. Import permits are required for the import of pharmaceuticals, chemicals and medical products. Health and safety standards are in force along with pollution standards for products which could harm the environment. Agricultural safety certificates are required for the importation of plants and vegetation. Documents regarding transport, recommendations are for a business letter which must have at least one original and four copies, the certificates of origin must be provided with the original and no less than five copies or more.
Average Customs Duty (excluding agricultural products): Customs duties no longer exist for commercial trade with other EU countries. For other countries, customs duties generally amount up to 30% depending on the type and technical characteristics of the goods.
Customs classification: Accession to the European nomenclature.
The declaration of intra-European Union VAT is based on EU Regulations.
Import procedures: Joining the AEO status, Agreed Economic Operator, allows the unloading of merchandise at the destination to be considered them to be customs cleared. After the entry into the EU of Romania, customs duties were removed.

As part of the "SAFE" standards advocated by the World Customs Organization (WCO), the European Union has set up a new system of import controls, the "Import Control System" (ICS), which aims to secure the flow of goods at the time of their entry into the customs territory of the EU. This control system, part of the Community Program eCustomer, has been in effect since January 1, 2011. Since then, operators are required to pass an Entry Summary Declaration (ENS) to the customs of the country of entry, prior to the introduction of goods into the customs territory of the European Union.

Organizing goods transport

Organizing goods transport to and from: The rail network covers 11,385 km, the road network are 198,817 km of which 60,043 km are paved roads (including 228 km)of expressway) and 1,731 km of navigable waterways (including 1075 km on the Danube, 524km on secondary networks, and 136 km of canals).
Sea transport organizations:

Domestic business directories

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