Law on taxi business, amended by the Gov’t. Uber’s stance

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Deputy Prime Minister Daniel Suciu has announced on Friday, at the end of the Government sitting, that the Executive has adopted the emergency ordinance to amend Law no. 38/2003 regulating taxi and rental transport, inter alia by deleting the word ‘repeatedly’.

“We have adopted a long-time debated GEO, which amends Law 38/2003 on taxi business and renting. We have conducted two amendments, we have transferred the duties regarding the organization and carrying out of the transportation under renting from the local administration authorities to the Romanian Road Authority. In the second amendment, we have deleted the word ‘repeatedly’ so that the sanction is applicable to both natural persons and to legal entities for conducting illegal public transport,” said Vice-Premier and Minister of Regional Development and Public Administration Daniel Suciu.

He specified that the normative act “is not directed against anyone” and that the Government wants to stop piracy in the field of transport. At the same time, he said that the Executive will issue within another three weeks another normative act to regulate the ride-sharing activity.

In turn, Transport Minister Răzvan Cuc said on Friday after the Government sitting that in the initial act of the GEO there is a provision on the extension of the 4-year license, which, due to the Justice Ministry’s observations, was no longer available.

On March 21, the Government had consultations with COTAR representatives following the protest of transporters. Earlier, the Confederation of Authorized Operators and Carriers in Romania (COTAR) protested in Bucharest because the Government had not issued the GEO promised three weeks before.

Ride-sharing companies Uber and Taxify have asked the Government in early March to postpone the draft GEO amending the taxi business, which may lead to the limitation or disappearance of alternative urban transport services.

In retort, Uber has released a statement saying today’s ordinance does not change anything for Uber’s operations in Romania.

Today’s EO doesn’t change anything for Uber in Bucharest – we will continue to operate as usual. What is more, the Government made clear it’s intentions to regulate the ridesharing sector through a separate EO, in the coming weeks. We appreciate the Government’s commitment to speed up the adoption of  modern regulation of the ridesharing sector to meet the needs of consumers and drivers across Romani,” Uber spokesperson said.

The statement also says that the EO has a 60 days buffer period, during which time the Gov said that it plans to pass a separate EO for regulating ridesharing.

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