Oil companies are calling for a review of the law on the sale of agricultural land

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The Romanian Association of Oil Exploration and Production Companies (ROPEPCA) considers that the law that modifies the conditions of sale and use of agricultural land could block new investments. According to ROPEPCA, if the law enters into force, only current farmers with agricultural activity in Romania will be able to buy agricultural land. The new normative act would make it impossible for a Romanian or a foreign citizen who has no business in agriculture to become a landowner and farmer.

Last week, the Constitutional Court rejected the complaint regarding the unconstitutionality of the adopted law. In these circumstances, ROPEPCA calls for a review of the law in Parliament, so as to remove the impediments to new investments in both agriculture and other sectors of activity.

The adopted law stipulates that, if those who have the right of preemption for the purchase of agricultural land put up for sale by the owner (relatives, tenants, neighbors, young farmers) do not exercise their right of preemption, then the land can only be bought by other farmers, Romanian or foreign, with activity in Romania. Thus, this law prohibits all citizens, Romanian and foreign, who are not farmers active in Romania in the last five years to buy agricultural land, shows ROPEPCA, according to Hotnews.ro.

In addition, once purchased, the land should be used only for agricultural activities. Thus, Romanian companies with another object of activity, but which need out-of-town land for their activity, such as oil companies, will not be able to purchase or rent it for oil operations, according to the adopted law.

The adopted law will completely change the way this right is exercised, making it impossible for the State to exploit the resources for the benefit of the consumer, but it will also deprive the private owner of disposing of the property and possible financial benefits, ROPEPCA also shows.

According to the association, not only oil companies are affected by this law. Any company that does not carry out agricultural activities and wants to invest in agricultural land is in the same situation, including logistics, telecommunications companies, etc.

Currently, ROPEPCA members hold most of the oil concession agreements for the development and onshore production perimeters in Romania, summing up for the years 2014-2018 investments of over 24 billion lei.

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