As of February 1, 2014, once the new Criminal Procedure Code comes into force, the article 37 of the Competition Law no.21/1996, as republished and further amended, has been amended.
Further to the amendment, the dawn-raids will be performed by the competition authority at the head-quarters and in other commercial spaces of the undertakings only based on a warrant issued by the Bucharest Court of Appeal.
We remind that since the Competition Law was enacted in 1996 and up to the present such dawn-raids could be peformed at the headquarters of the undertakings only based on an administrative order of the President of the Competition Council.
For personal spaces – domiciles etc – the judicial warrant was already required since the Competition law came into force.
The existence of a judicial warrant will require the Romanian Competition Council increased attention in using the dawn-raids tool.
In the same time, the existence of the authorization of a judge will bring more force to the controls at the headquarters of the undertakings.
The legislative change requires the corresponding adaptation of the competition compliance programs of the undertakings.