The Romanian government issued an emergency ordnance regulating for the first time ride-sharing platforms such as Uber, Clever and Bolt.The regulation ends a state of limbo during which ride-sharing was a misdemeanor but in practice not enforced by the authorities.
This – as in many other countries – has led to protests by legally operating cab drivers who, unlike drivers who only had to download a ride-sharing app and register, are subject to regulations regarding both their conduct and the state of their vehicles. And – most importantly – pay taxes.
According to the new regulations, ride-sharing platforms have to pay RON 50,000 (EUR 10,000) per year, while drivers and cars subject to further regulations. Drivers must complete a course in public transportation, have no prior convictions, must not have caused a serious accident and not have ever used drugs. It is as yet unclear what the certification course will be and how the no prior drug use rule can be even enforced as the relevant regulation will be drafted in the coming 45 days.
Cars will have to be certified every six months and drivers will have to give a receipt to customers and pay taxes after their revenues. With this, Romanian joins the European countries that have some form of regulation for ride-sharing: Estonia, France, Italy and Portugal. Ride-sharing is in effect banned in Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany and London in Europe and in Australia’s Northern Territory.
A day after the government ordnance was passed, Uber issued a statement which welcomed the regulation and essentially did not raise any objections.