Romania: Private Emergency Services For Buildings - Recent Amendments And Obligations

Last Updated: 8 August 2019
Article by Elena Zoita and Florin Tineghe

On 28 June 2019, Order no. 75/2019 on "Performance criteria regarding the set-up, employment and equipment of voluntary and private emergency services" (Order), repealing Order no. 96/2016, was published in the Official Gazette. The changes were adopted in order to increase the efficiency of emergency services and are effective as of 28 June 2019.

There are a few key points to be considered:

1. Existing private services - permit renewal within 6 months

Order no. 75/2019 provides a 6 months deadline of its entry into force for previously set-up emergency services to comply with the new performance criteria, i.e. 28 December 2019. Upon expiry of this deadline, the set-up permit and area of competence permit issued prior to the entry into force of the Order shall cease to be valid. Thus, it is necessary: 

  • to request the issuance of the set-up permit (RO: aviz de înființare) from the inspectorate in whose area of competence the economic operator is headquartered
  • to request the issuance of the area of competence permit (RO: aviz pentru sector de competență) by the inspectorate in whose area of competence the private service wishes to carry out its activity.

The competence to issue the abovementioned notices is the same as in the previous regulation. The sector of competence permit may be requested at the same time as the set-up permit, as well as the approval of the intervention plan.

If the private services do not comply with the performance criteria, the permits mentioned above can be annulled as a complementary administrative sanction.

2. New types of private services

The new regulations maintain the previous classification of private services as either (i) own private services, set-up within the economic operators or (ii) services providers - set-up as companies with a specific business object.

There are, however, significant changes in the classification of private emergency services according to their set-up and their composition. The classification of private emergency services was separated from that of voluntary emergency services and restructured in order to include three types, compared to the previously two existing types. There are currently the following types of private emergency services: 

  • P1 type services, established as own services, at economic operator level
  • P2 type services, established as own services, at the level of economic operators subject to the legislation on control of major accidents involving dangerous substances
  • P3 type services, established as (i) own services, at the level of economic operators and institutions carrying out fire risk activities or (ii) as services providers

According to the Order, private emergency services organized as services providers shall be established as P3 type services.

3. Obligation to set-up private services

Following on the changes brought to the types of services, there are also new criteria provided for determining whether economic operators are required to set-up private services. As such:

  • For P1 type services, economic operators who manage, in the same area of competence:

    • buildings/premises within buildings/assembly of buildings and annexes for retail and/or food service, with a developed area of more than 3,500 sqm - the previous regulations set forth a minimum of 1,500 sqm and did not include premises within buildings and food service purposes
    • high and very high buildings, except for residential buildings
    • constructions, buildings/premises within buildings/assembly of buildings for production and/or storage, with a developed area between 10,000 and 50,000 sqm, with high and/or very high fire risk - the previous regulations did not include constructions and premises within buildings
  • For P3 type services, economic operators who manage, in the same sector of competence:

    • buildings for production and/or storage, with high and/or very high fire risk, with a developed area of more than 50,000 sqm - if equipped with fire extinguishing systems, according to the fire safety scenarios and/or other supporting documents, except for indoor and outdoor hydrants, the service shall be type P1
    • high and/or very high fire risk machinery and technological installations, with a developed total area of more than 50,000 sqm
    • the types of buildings and equipment specified in a) and b), with high and/or very high fire risk, if the sum of developed areas is greater than 50,000 sqm.

As previously mentioned, P2 type services have to be established by economic operators subject to the legislation on control of major accidents involving dangerous substances and, therefore, such services are likely to be less common than the P1 and P3 types detailed above.

Unlike the previous regulation which did not allow simultaneous operation of an own private service and a services provider within one economic operator, the Order now mentions that two private services cannot operate simultaneously within one area of competence.

4. Dissolution of the private services

According to the new provisions, the private service is dissolved by requesting the issuance of a dissolution permit in the following situations: 

  • the termination of the economic operator's activity - the previous regulation only mentioned declaring bankruptcy as a ground for termination of activity
  • in the event of a restriction of the economic operator's activity/ institution's activity, if it is no longer obligated to set-up a private service
  • if the emergency situations intervention is accomplished by concluding a contract with a voluntary or private service, according to the law.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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