Accace Romania: How to make sure you have a compliant Black Friday campaign: What is the legal framework for sales in Romania
On the occasion of Black Friday, Accace Romania, one of the leading business consulting and outsourcing services companies in Central and Eastern Europe, draws attention to the importance of the legal framework governing discount sales. According to Accace’s specialists, the legislation on the sale of products and services on the Romanian market is extremely relevant and necessary to protect both consumer rights and the interests of economic operators.
In Romania, the sale of market products and services is regulated by several normative acts and it is essential that shops and consumers are aware of them and strictly comply with them. In this way, it creates a healthy and equitable business environment, which benefits all stakeholders.
What legislation regulates the sale of products and services in Romania
Under Romanian law, consumers have strong rights and protections, regulated by Ordinance 99/2000 on the sale of market products and services, together with Decision 947/2000 on how to display prices for products available for sale.
Ordinance 21/1992 on consumer protection regulates consumer rights and promotes a fair and equitable market. Order 182/2023 introduced the obligation for economic operators to provide consumers with clear and unequivocal information on the price of products, increasing transparency in commercial transactions. In addition, Decision 700/2012 regulated the organisation and functioning of the National Authority for Consumer Protection, which plays a crucial role in protecting consumers’ interests and monitoring compliance by all economic operators.
How to get the right information to consumers
According to Ordinance 21/1992, shops are obliged to put on the market only products or services which correspond to the characteristics prescribed or declared, and consumers have the right to be fully and correctly informed about them. Therefore, information about products or services and their prices must be prominently displayed on the product or label, on the sales packaging and in the technical book, as well as on the contract or in the instructions for use.
“Interpreting the above legal provisions in an integrated way, it becomes clear that all companies selling products or services have an obligation to provide consumers with complete and accurate information, ensuring that they can make informed decisions. This means that products and services must comply with the promises made regarding quality, description, technical specifications and, in particular, safety in use. It is essential for all consumers to be aware of this information in order to make safe and responsible choices, especially in the context of Black Friday, when there is a strong tendency to make multiple purchases at reduced prices”, said Silviu Constantin, Senior Associate Lawyer Accace Romania.
What types of discount sales exist in Romania
The Romanian legal framework classifies sales at a reduced price into a series of clearly defined categories. These include liquidation and promotional sales, sales in stores or factory warehouses and sales of products for occasional consumer needs. The regulations also provide for the sale of products that have not been sold within 3 months of supply, accelerated sales of products at risk of rapid deterioration, as well as the sale of products at prices in line with those charged by other traders in the same sector and the sale of products whose restocking prices have decreased. These categories offer consumers multiple options for purchasing products at favourable prices and in compliance with legal requirements.
How stock liquidations work
Liquidation sales are an opportunity for consumers to benefit from discounted products, especially when it comes to seasonal stocks. This type of sale involves price reductions promoted as “liquidation” and aims to speed up the sale of seasonal stock in retail stores. Seasonal stocks cover a wide range of products, from clothing and footwear to cosmetics and more.
An important aspect of liquidation sales is that they can only take place twice a year and are determined by the trader during the periods: 15 January to 15 April inclusive for autumn-winter products and 1 August to 31 October inclusive for spring-summer products. They last for a maximum of 45 days each, provided that the products are paid to suppliers at least 30 days before the start of the sale. In addition, supporting documents must be kept showing that the stock of products offered for sale has been built up at least 15 days before the start of the sale and paid for in time.
How promotional sales work by time, price and advertising
Under the law, promotional sales can take place at any time of the year and relate to products available or renewed and services sold or provided on a regular basis. Thus, goods and services must be available for sale throughout the advertised promotional sale period and the trader will inform consumers that the offer is only valid within the limits of available stock.
To ensure transparency and fairness of these sales, traders must provide a numerical comparison between the discounted price and the reference price, which is the lowest price charged at the same point of sale in the last 30 days. Thus, any advertisement for a price reduction, regardless of the form, method of advertising and reason for the reduction, must be addressed to all consumers and must show the actual reduction by indicating it in percentage terms and displaying the new price next to the previous price.