MEEMA (Ministerul Economiei, Energiei și Mediului de Afaceri – The Ministry of Economy, Energy and Business Environment) has announced in a press release that it started to send notifications to the companies and professionals who have submitted requests for the measure regulated by the Emergency Ordinance no 130 / 2020, “Micro-grants from external non-reimbursable funds”. These notifications, either for the approval of the micro-grant request, or for the rejection or clarification requests, shall be accessed in the users’ accounts on the website https://granturi.imm.gov.ro/, in the section “Modules”, on the left side of the screen (see the picture below).
Should the application be approved, the model of agreement in the user account should be downloaded, signed electronically, and uploaded. This can be done in the sub-section “Contractare” (Contracting) in the user account, upper left side (see the picture below).
The bank account opened with the bank institution you declared when submitting the request in the application, designated for the receipt of the amounts, must exist at this step. The grant account is a separate one, and even if there is a current account within the same institution, a new account must be opened.
As of the moment when the amounts are transferred to the bank account, they shall be used either for the procurement of various goods or services, needed in order to resume the activity (if it has been suspended), or for the performance of the current activity. It is particularly important that you pay maximum attention to these purchases, as their improper legal classification according to the list in the Government Emergency Ordinance no 132/2020 can lead to the reimbursement of the received amounts.
Thus, the amounts in the microgrant account can be spent for:
- a) stocks of raw materials, materials, goods, as well as for other stocks’ categories needed for the current/operational activity;
b) current and outstanding debts to the current providers, including to the utilities providers according to the signed agreements;
c) rentbased on a signed agreement;
d) services and repairs needed for the current basic activity, except for the consultancy services, surveys, and other services’ categories, with indirect impact on the current activity;
e) medical protection equipment, including disinfection materialsfor the protection against the spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus;
f) inventory items, including fixed assets inventory items needed for resuming the current activity;
g) equipment, machinery, installations, technologies, independent endowments needed for resuming the activity;
h) payment of the debts to the state budget.
The wording of the above items is interesting, as it leaves room for possible legal interpretations that could be assumed by those verifying the correctness of the expenses, and the lack of full compliance with the destination of these funds can lead to the reimbursement of the obtained financing.
We provide below a model about a possible interpretation of these provisions during a verification performed by the inspectors of the competent institutions:
- a) Stocks of raw materials, materials, goods, as well as other stocks’ categories needed for the current/operational activity.
It results that a company may buy goods as stocks designed for the performance of the current activity, namely of the NACE code registered by the entity when submitting the grant application. Consequently, no other stocks’ categories can be purchased, for other performed activities.
- b) Current and outstanding debts to the current providers, including to the utilities’ providers according to the signed agreements.
The current debts must be contingent within 12 months after the balance date (Ordinance of the Ministry of Public Finances 1802/2014), and the term “outstanding” means that their payment term is overdue. This means that an entity cannot pay an invoice that is not due yet, or that has a payment term exceeding 12 months, starting on December 31st, 2020.
- c) Rentbased on a signed agreement.
We understand that here we talk about the rental of spaces needed for the performance of the activity declared within the project. It is not specified if these rental agreements can be concluded with affiliates or not, however, if they are signed with affiliates, the agreements shall observe the market price.
Similarly, the following are not specified: the term until which the payments are to be made, the term of the rental agreement, and so on, and this makes us consider that these expenses arenot limited in any way.
- d) Services and repairs needed for the current basic activity, except for the consultancy services, surveys, and other services’ categories, with indirect impact on the current activity.
These services must be directly connected to the current activity (the activity performed directly according to the NACE code registered in the project), and they must be grounded according to the laws in force (contracts, invoices, work reports, proofs of the effective provision).
- e) Medical protection equipment, including disinfection materialsfor the protection against the spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus.
According to the wording, it is allowed to purchase all types of medical protection equipment, not only the ones for the protection against SARS-CoV-2 virus, but also of the materials used for the disinfection for preventing the spread of this virus. However, we think that the purchased products should be authorized by the Ministry of Health as medical protection equipment, and the disinfection materials should follow the same rule. In our opinion, the labour protection equipment is not eligible.
- f) Inventory items, including fixed assets inventory items needed for resuming the current activity.
The wording of this item suggests that these goods can be purchased only if the current activity has been interrupted (no invoices were issued, no commercial activities were registered), and only if, following their purchase, the entity can prove it resumed its activity (issued invoices, etc.).
- g) Equipment, machinery, installations, technologies, independent endowments needed for resuming the activity.
Similar to the previous item, the wording suggests that these goods can be purchased only if the current activity has been interrupted (no invoices were issued, no commercial activities were registered), and only if, following their purchase, the entity can prove it resumed its activity (issued invoices, etc.).
- h) Payment of the debts to the state budget.
At this point, the text is quite permissive, but we understand that the debts collected to the State Budget shall be paid. These are usually managed by ANAF – The National Agency for Fiscal Administration and are not debts that are collected by local budgets (e.g.: local taxes and fees).
- You can find here the entire text of the Emergency Ordinance no 130/2020
- You can find here the entire text of the implementation procedure for Measure 1 (Micro-grants).