Moldova Market Entry

Moldova Market Entry

Subchapters:

  • Market entry
  • Forms and conditions of operation on the market
  • Marketing and Communications
  • Issues of intellectual property protection
  • Public procurement market
  • Payment terms, payment ethics and resolution of commercial disputes
  • Visas, fees, specific conditions of travel to the territory
  • Employment of citizens from the Czech Republic
  • Fairs and events

Market entry

Czech goods that have already penetrated the Moldovan market (passenger cars, energy equipment, some chemical products, but also some food products, tableware, sports equipment, etc.) have a good reputation on the market. Greater promotion of Czech products nevertheless requires a more active presence on the domestic market. In general, however, the purchasing power of the population remains rather low. Check smber for agriculture and fishing facts of Moldova.

Distribution and sales channels differ depending on the type of commodity or service being sold. The system of wholesalers is gradually developing, the distribution of goods in larger cities is carried out in a network of retail stores (small food and consumer goods) or directly to final customers (engineering equipment, production materials, all larger units). A relatively large part of the population still prefers to buy goods at markets.

There is room for larger Czech supplies in participation in investments, especially in infrastructure projects or in development programs – biofuel, bioenergy, small and medium-sized water management facilities, heating, irrigation systems, supplies for agriculture and the food industry, modernization of road and transport infrastructure, etc. All larger and more expensive infrastructure projects are financed by international donors (EBRD, EIB, EU, World Bank), who publish the relevant information on their websites.

The trade regime between the Czech Republic and MD is regulated within the framework of relations with the EU, the so-called AA/DCFTA, which was ratified and entered into force in July 2016 (the AA/DCFTA itself was signed in September 2014). In this context, Moldova has taken and continues to take measures to greatly simplify trade with EU countries. Among other things, this includes the possibility of electronic processing of documents for export and import. More detailed information can be obtained on the website of the Moldovan customs office www.customs.gov.md.

The Customs Administration of Moldova created and manages the Foreign Trade Information Center, which is a national information tool for economic entities involved in international trade and for other institutions. The foreign trade information point provides information on customs regulations, regimes and customs destinations, declarations of goods, their classification and origin, admissible documents, rules for crossing the borders of goods and means of transport, etc. For questions about the customs regime, you can contact the Call Center Customs services at phone number: +373 22 788 888, email: [email protected]

The basic document of the customs regime in Moldova is the Customs Law ( Закон о таможенном тарифе N 1380 – XIII от 20.11. 1997 ). Annex 1 of the Customs Act consists of the customs tariff. Moldova has been a member of the WTO since July 26, 2001.

The official specialized source of all procedures and documents required for import, export and transit is the Trade Information Portal of Moldova. The portal is intended for the national and international business community www.trade.gov.md.

In accordance with the AA, the Republic of Moldova has committed to take the necessary measures to gradually ensure compliance with the EU in terms of technical regulations, standards, metrology, accreditation, conformity assessment, appropriate systems and market surveillance systems, with the aim of ensuring the removal of technical barriers to trade between the parties. In the years 2017-2019, a number of changes were made to the text of the AA/DCFTA annexes, in 2018 the annexes on the approximation of customs regulations and the rules applicable to financial services were updated. Furthermore, appendices on geographical indications of agricultural and food products in the EU and on geographical indications of wines, aromatized wines and spirits in the EU. In 2019, the standards applicable to telecommunications services and the rules applicable to international maritime transport were amended. As part of the implementation of the DCFTA, quotas for the export of selected agricultural production are set for the MD. When importing agricultural produce from the EU, the MD has the option of applying a transitional period and protecting its market (tariffs). The full use of the opportunities offered by the AA/DCFTA between Moldova and the EU depends on the optimization of import and export procedures for animal products. Restrictions are no longer applied to the export/import of industrial products from/to the EU based on previous autonomous trade preferences.

Forms and conditions of operation on the market

Act No. 220-XVI of 9 October 2007 regulates the main connections with the establishment and registration of legal entities and self-employed persons. Registration of companies with foreign capital is carried out through the Agency for Public Services, Directorate for State Registration. The formal requirements and the list of necessary documents can be found at the following link: www.asp.gov.md.

According to generally available information, the company registration process should be much easier for Moldovan citizens than it was in the past. For companies with foreign capital, it is necessary to provide additional documents, i.e. in addition to the application and confirmation of payment of the registration fee, also a confirmation/extract from the commercial register of the country of origin and an extract from the criminal record. All documents must be submitted in the “state” language (ie Romanian) and authorized in accordance with the laws of the country. An economic agent (legal entity or individual entrepreneur) should be registered as a subject of external economic activity with the Customs Service.

Other useful information for economic activity in the Republic of Moldova can be found at www.gov.md (websites of ministries and other state institutions), www.legis.md (laws), www.moldova.md (official website of Moldova), www. businessportal.md, www.chamber.md (chamber of commerce), www.fisc.md (tax system). The portal of public services offers a wide range of services in electronic format in various areas www.servicii.gov.md.

Companies with foreign ownership are offered a number of investment incentives. Additional benefits are provided to companies that decide to operate in one of the free economic or industrial zones or IT parks. Information on investment conditions can be provided by the Moldovan Investment Promotion Agency www.invest.gov.md.

The law allows investment in all sectors of the economy, while some activities require a business license. The National Investment Promotion and Export Promotion Strategy identifies seven priority sectors for investment and export promotion: agriculture and food, automotive, business services such as business process outsourcing (BPO), clothing and footwear, electronics, information and communication technology (ICT) and machines. ZÚ has no information on the functioning of Czech-Moldovan joint ventures. In the past, joint ventures were offered from the Moldovan side in some areas, such as in the agricultural sector and related processing industry, information and communication technologies, construction and infrastructure.

Marketing and communication

The background for promotional, marketing and advertising activities in Moldova is made up of several companies, a list of which can be obtained by contacting the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Moldova. We recommend preparing information materials for the local territory in Romanian and/or Russian (they are usually prepared in both language versions). In connection with increasing exports to the EU, it is increasingly possible to communicate in English.

There are restrictions on alcohol advertising, such as a ban on broadcasting between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. on TV channels, as well as other restrictions on content and placement in print media. Advertising of tobacco products is prohibited. Advertising of medicines, medical supplies and equipment is only possible with the permission of a specialized public administration body in the field of health care. Restrictions also apply to the advertising of weapons, armaments and military equipment, as well as to the operation of casinos and gaming machines.

Communication channels do not differ from those used in the Czech Republic (TW, Instagram, FB, radio, web, printed newspapers and billboards).

Issues of intellectual property protection

Moldova has been a member of the WTO since July 26, 2001. Moldova is a member of WIPO, a member of 25 WIPO international agreements, and a signatory to the TRIPS Agreement of July 2001. In accordance with these agreements, domestic legislation has been adapted and all necessary supervisory posts have been established, including the Government State Agency on Intellectual Property (AGEPI) www.agepi.md. In order to protect copyright in Moldova, it is necessary to submit an application for registration of the subject of copyright or rights related to it. The application is submitted to AGEP, it is possible to apply online https://e-servicii.agepi.gov.md/ro/user/register.

Moldova’s commitments to ensure the protection of intellectual property, including enforcement mechanisms, are also part of the AA/DCFTA.

In 2017, a Memorandum of Understanding on bilateral cooperation between the State Agency for Intellectual Property (AGEPI) and the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) was signed to expand cooperation in the field of intellectual property.

In practice, however, the protection of intellectual property is quite problematic and the control system is not implemented. In Moldova, the sale of cheap pirated copies of almost all kinds of goods is very widespread, mainly in markets.

Public procurement market

The purchase of goods and services in Moldova is centrally managed by the State Procurement Agency, which publishes relevant information on its website www.tender.gov.md. However, the agency only processes orders that are paid for from the state budget. An overview of public and private tenders for the purchase of goods and services is available on the website www.achizitii.md. If the purchase of goods and services is made by a local entity and its value exceeds MDL 200,000 excluding VAT, publication on this website is mandatory. Registration is required to use the site, detailed information on the rules for using the site is available in Romanian and Russian here www.support.achizitii.md.

Projects financed by international institutions (EBRD, EIB, World Bank) are usually implemented separately in accordance with the requirements of a specific institution. It is therefore recommended to regularly monitor the websites of these organizations.

Payment terms, payment ethics and resolution of commercial disputes

The terms of payment and the due date of the invoices are basically not significantly different from ours, when starting a relationship it is customary to pay in advance and after a certain period of time you switch to another payment method. It is recommended to prevent disputes with the most precise contract and ensuring appropriate payment terms. The International Commercial Arbitration Court operates under the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Moldova, where it is possible to resolve disputes www.arbitraj.chmaber.md.

International partners have long considered significant corruption, which also affects local justice, to be the biggest problem of MD. Justice reform and the general improvement of the business environment, including greater transparency on the part of state authorities, remain at the center of attention of international partners. There are cases when courts have favored Moldovan entities when resolving disputes with foreign entities. Moldova has not yet figured in any WTO-registered dispute.

Visas, fees, specific conditions for traveling to the territory

The regime of entry and stay in the territory of Moldova is regulated by Law No. 200/2010 on the regime of foreigners in the Republic of Moldova. Moldova abolished the visa requirement for citizens of the Czech Republic with effect from 1 January 2007. This measure allows citizens of the Czech Republic to enter and stay in the territory of Moldova without a visa for a maximum period of 90 days within 6 months from the date of first entry. A valid travel document is required, the validity of which must exceed the planned end of stay in Moldova by at least 3 months. Since July 2015, it is also possible to travel to Moldova for short-term stays for the purpose of tourism with an ID card that must have biometric data or be in ID1/ID2 format and contain a machine-readable zone. In the case of transit through a third country, it is necessary to check before the trip whether it is necessary to use a passport in the given case. For other routes, especially for the purpose of employment or for stays of more than 90 days, we recommend contacting the Embassy of the Republic of Moldova in the Czech Republic. See also about conditions for travel of citizens of the Czech Republic to Moldovawww.mzv.cz/chisinau.

Since April 2006, Moldova has been automatically registering the location and stay of foreigners in the state register directly at the border crossings, which replaces the former obligation of the foreigner to register upon arrival at the place of residence. Foreigners who arrive in Moldova through the external border in the region of so-called Transnistria are not registered by the Moldovan migration authorities in the register of foreigners, and are therefore obliged to register within 72 hours of entering the territory of Moldova at the branches of the Office for Migration and Asylum (under the Ministry interior of Moldova).

When entering Moldova with your own vehicle, you must pay a road tax (vignette) at the customs office for the entire duration of your stay, which is recommended to be extended if necessary (again at any customs office). A driver who does not pay the mentioned fee upon entering Moldova will be asked to pay a fine upon exiting the country, or upon inspection in the territory. For this reason, we recommend that drivers inform themselves directly at the border crossing and pay the fee on the spot. For trips to Moldova in a motor vehicle that is not registered in the name of the operator, in accordance with Moldovan laws, it is necessary to have an officially certified power of attorney with a permit to operate the vehicle. The power of attorney should ideally be written in Romanian or Russian. It is also possible to rent a car directly in Moldova, there are several companies in Chisinau,

An amendment to the Road Traffic Act (RCR) entered into force on 1 July 2017, which was prepared to increase road safety and update legislation in relation to EU law. The amendment brought a lower speed limit, higher fines and the obligation to have dipped headlights on in winter. The maximum permitted speed in municipalities is 50 km/h, outside the municipality it is 90 km/h. The maximum speed outside the village on the road, which is intended only for cars, buses and motorcycles, is 110 km/h.

In the case of an air connection, the easiest way from the airport to Chisinau is by taxi, which is cheap by Czech standards and costs approximately 7 EUR. Public transport in Chisinau operates via trolleybuses, buses and minibuses, there is no subway in Chisinau. Accommodation in Chisinau is possible in many hotels of different levels, it can be a problem to find suitable accommodation in smaller cities of Moldova. Payment by card is possible almost everywhere in Chisinau. In Moldova, the lack and quality of water is a big problem, drinking tap water is not recommended, not even in Chisinau.

Cash in the amount of up to EUR 10,000 or the equivalent in another currency per person can be imported into Moldova without a written declaration. Higher amounts must be notified in writing. Upon departure, cash can be exported without a written declaration in a maximum amount of up to EUR 10,000 or the equivalent in another currency per person. Exports based on written notification are limited to EUR 50,000 or the equivalent in another currency per person. Amounts exceeding EUR 50,000 can only be transferred cashless via banks and other financial institutions. Individuals are exempt from paying customs duties on goods whose customs value does not exceed 300 euros (EUR) in the case of land transport, or 430 EUR in the case of air and sea transport, and which are not intended for commercial purposes. individuals,

As of March 16, 2022, restrictions limiting travel and entry into the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic have been lifted. Entry to Moldova is possible without a PCR test, vaccination certificate or confirmation of a previous illness, current information is available here.

In connection with the war in Ukraine, the airspace of Moldova was closed. As of March 21, 2022, part of the airspace was opened for regular flights to Romania. Information regarding the partial resumption of regular flights can also be found on the Chisinau Airport website.

Employment of citizens from the Czech Republic

Work permits for foreign citizens and stateless persons valid for a maximum of 90 days are issued by the National Employment Agency of the Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure of Moldova. Foreigners who want to work in Moldova for more than 90 days must obtain a permit from the Migration and Asylum Office of the Ministry of the Interior of Moldova. The conditions of stay in the territory of the MD for the purpose of employment are clearly stated on the website of the Moldovan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration. More detailed information should also be provided by the Embassy of the Republic of Moldova in Prague.

In 2021, the government set itself the goal of simplifying the procedure for employing foreigners in Moldova, for this purpose several changes to the law were adopted. The most important changes to the current legislation consist in simplifying the procedure by which employers demonstrate the accommodation of a foreigner and removing the requirement to pay at least the average wage.

The average monthly wage in Moldova increased to 9,900 MDL/approx. EUR 492 at the end of 2021, the minimum wage is 3,500 MDL/approx. EUR 174 per month. According to Article 12 of Act No. 847/2002, the minimum wage is reviewed annually by the government.

Contributions to the social security budget are mandatory. Starting January 1, 2022, employers must pay social security contributions of 24% of employees’ gross wages and other remuneration to the social security fund, except for exemptions according to various categories, where contributions are set between 24% and 39%. The legislation establishes an annual fixed social security contribution for other categories of taxpayers in the amount approved for each year. Moldova has a social security agreement with the Czech Republic.

Starting January 1, 2021, the mandatory health insurance contribution, calculated as a percentage of wages and other remuneration, is set at 9% and is fully paid by the employee. The legislation also sets the annual fixed amount of the health insurance contribution paid by other categories of taxpayers at the amount approved for each year.

For foreign nationals and stateless persons employed on the basis of employment agreements in Moldova, health insurance contributions are calculated in the same way as for Moldovan citizens. If there is no local employment contract, foreign nationals can opt for optional health insurance from a private provider.

When traveling to the territory, it is recommended to take out travel health insurance and at the same time be prepared to pay for treatment in cash. Common payment cards are accepted in most private healthcare facilities and pharmacies. There are several private medical facilities in the capital Chisinau, such as the Medpark hospital www.medpark.md, the German diagnostic center Siemens, Galaxia, Terramed, Novamed and others.

Fairs and events

The most important trade fairs are organized at the MOLDEXPO premises in Chisinau. Among the largest are the international agricultural and food fair MOLDAGRO, MOLDAGROTECH. Other important fairs are in the field of construction – MOLDCONSTRUCT and in the field of water management, consumer goods, food industry – FOOD-DRINKS, FOOD TECHNOLOGY, PACKAGING.DEPO. Other interesting fairs include the tourism, creativity and innovation fair, the Moldovan products fair, etc. It should be noted that the nature of the fairs has changed over the past few years from purely Moldovan to more international. They are often attended by companies from CIS countries (Belarus, Ukraine, Russian Federation, Azerbaijan, etc.), as well as Turkey and selected EU countries, especially Romania. The participation of foreign partners, however, depends on the activity of the country in the given field. However, the size and importance of exhibitions and fairs organized in MD cannot be compared with similar established events in Europe or elsewhere in the world. The current list of fairs and exhibitions for the current year (20 – 30 exhibitions), including terms and fees for participation, is published on the website of the Chisinau Exhibition Center – MOLDEXPO -www.moldexpo.md.

However, the exhibition activity is currently suspended. The MOLDEXPO exhibition center served as a medical facility during the COVID-19 pandemic, and in 2022 it serves as a center for housing refugees from Ukraine.

Moldova Market Entry