Update2: Transporters get ASF deal on RCA, abandon protests

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The transporters, who protested on Thursday in front of the Government for hours, have had a delegation at the Financial Supervising Authority (ASF) headquarters for negotiations. Dissatisfied by the motor third party liability insurance (RCA) tariffs, they demanded ASF head Misu Negriţoiu’s resignation.

After the negotiations, the employers’ associations representatives have received promises that the RCA ceiling will be lowered from RON 22,000 to RON 7,500.

The transporters have announced that they have reached an agreement with the ASF regarding the capping of RCA tariffs, realitatea.net informs.

“I talked with the colleagues who are at ASF and they’ve told me that, following the method of calculation to set the RCA value, the level will be capped at RON 7,500/year per truck. I say the tariff is reasonable. We are expecting the signed papers from ASF and an official press release,” Augustin Hagiu, FORT leader said.

The protesters began to leave Piata Victoriei by around 16.30h.

 

President Iohannis pleaded for dialogue

 

President Klaus Iohannis has asked the institutions to resume dialogue with the transporters and with the insurance companies, so that the solutions are clarified in order to unblock the current situation, said on Thursday the presidential spokesperson Mădălina Dobrovolschi.

She said it is important for all stakeholders, the Financial Supervisory Authority (ASF), the Competition Council, the Romanian Government, “to identify, within the institutional dialogue the appropriate tools for the problems transporters face to reach not only an immediate solution, but one in long-term.”

 

Protests

 

Protesters in the transport field have started protests in Piata Victoriei at 9.00h on Thursday, in front of the government building, dissatisfied with the level of the motor third party liability insurance (RCA) tariffs. Lorries, taxis and trucks filled the square, the media report.

The employers’ representatives have placards with their protests: ‘RCA – bankruptcy for Romanian transporters’, ‘RCA, ASF Mob – down with Negritoiu’, ‘Negritoiu, guilty for everything that happened, to be arrested’.

“There’s no clear provision in the emergency ordinance regarding the RCA tariff levels, furthermore, the government leaves it to ASF to decide upon them. It is ASF that brought us to crisis and we requested the resignation of the management. It’s obvious ASF is unable to set the levels without any kind of restriction coming from the government,” the secretary general of the National Road Transporters (UNTRR) Radu Dinescu said.

 

Gov’t claimed RCA capping is out of its competence

 

The Government reacted to the transporters’ protests carriers in an official statement issued on Thursday, saying it is the responsibility of the Government to establish the price cap for RCA tariffs, realitatea.net reports.

“The RCA problem has been postponed for a long time because of the institutions’ inability to manage the situation. The government does not have the competence to establish the capping price for RCA and is inadmissible to request the government to do this. This matter should be clarified by ASF. The government institutions cannot replace the need to take responsibility for resolving the disagreements between insurers and carriers. Pricing, a request submitted in the petition to the Government, is not in the Executive’s attributions, but of the ASF which has the legal framework to intervene,” the Government release reads.

According to protesters, some 5,000 vehicles are to be on the streets of Bucharest on Thursday. The protests include 20 cities throughout the country and some 10,000 vehicles.

The employers’ associations – UNTRR, FORT, APULUM, APTE 2002 – requested the government on Wednesday to freeze the RCA at average levels of losses in the ASF registers.

“The government want to freeze the RCA tariffs for trucks at RON 18,500, although the employers’ associations request a tariff of RON 4,907. This level is the average auto damage of RON 18,500 plus the damage frequent damage level of 15.6%. It results a technical average of RON 2,886 plus administrative expenditures, up to RON 4,907 per year,” a release from the transporters reads.

The government approved on Wednesday an emergency ordinance to freeze the motor third party liability insurance (RCA) tariffs for six months at the amount of loss ratio, Gov’t spokesman Liviu Iolu has announced. The provisions of the ordinance were to be made public Wednesday evening in order to be consulted by the transporters employers’ associations.

“The ordinance was approved by the government. It is to be released this evening. It could be seen by the employers’ associations in doubt. The ordinance could be read by the transporters this evening,” Iolu said during a press briefing at Victoria Palace.

The employers’ associations decided to carry out the protests on Thursday, as scheduled. UNTRR, FORT, APULUM and APTE 2002 announced on Wednesday they would not give up protests if the government does not mention in the emergency ordinance the RCA levels to be frozen at, realitatea.net reports.

PM Dacian Ciolos announced on Wednesday, at the beginning of the government sitting, that the draft emergency ordinance regarding the RCA level was to be discussed.  Ciolos added that within a 30-day interval the Supervisory Authority (ASF) would submit a calculation about the average costs for various insurance categories and that level would become the reference price for the next six months. The tariffs will be frozen at this level. “During these six months we should have a system to monitor the prices, with calculations regarding the reference price to be made public and to represent a reference issue in insurance and also for the customers,” PM Ciolos said.

The transporters conditioned the protest postponement scheduled on September 15 on the emergency ordinance regarding the RCA.

On Tuesday, the Senate adopted Tuesday the RCA law proposal and after two weeks is going to get the Chamber of Deputies’ vote.

The entry on the RCA market of a state-controlled insurer and the introduction of a reference price calculated at half-year by ASF are the main amendments to the law.

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