Romania: Reguli Noi Privind Termenele De Plata Si Clauzele Abuzive. Impact Semnificativ Asupra Contractelor Comerciale Si Asupra Contractelor De Achizitie Publica (In Romanian)

La 5 aprilie 2013 a intrat in vigoare Legea nr. 72/2013, privind masurile pentru combaterea intarzierii in executarea obligatiilor de plata a unor sume de bani rezultand din contracte incheiate intre profesionisti si intre acestia si autoritati contractante ("Legea"), ce a fost publicata in Monitorul Oficial, Partea I nr. 182 din 2 aprilie 2013.

Legea transpune Directiva 2011/7/UE a Parlamentului European si a Consiliului, privind combaterea intarzierii in efectuarea platilor in tranzactiile comerciale.

Scopul principal al legii este sa promoveze competitivitatea in mediul de afaceri si sa consolideze piata interna a Uniunii Europene, prin crearea unor mecanisme eficiente pentru combaterea intarzierilor la plata, sens in care aduce anumite limitari libertatii contractuale. Principalele limitari se refera la termenele de plata, termenul de emitere sau primire a facturii, dobanzi si daune – interese. Se introduce, de asemenea, un regim mai sever al obligatiilor autoritatilor contractante in scopul determinarii institutiilor statului sa execute, in termen cat mai scurt, obligatiile de plata a pretului bunurilor sau serviciilor.

Legea vine sa completeze cadrul legislativ existent, respectiv prevederile Noului Cod Civil, Ordonantei de Guvern nr. 13/2011 privind dobanda legala remuneratorie si penalizatoare pentru obligatii banesti, precum si pentru reglementarea unor masuri financiar-fiscale in domeniul bancar, aprobata prin Legea nr. 43/2012 ("OG 13/2011") si ale Codului de Procedura Civila.

In cele de mai jos, gasiti prezentate principalele reglementari introduse de Legea 72/2013:

1. Domeniul de aplicare a Legii

Legea se aplica creantelor certe, lichide si exigibile, constand in obligatii de plata ale unor sume de bani, care rezulta din contracte incheiate:

  • intre profesionisti sau
  • intre profesionisti si autoritati contractante

care au ca obiect furnizarea de bunuri sau prestarea de servicii, inclusiv proiectarea si executia de lucrari publice, de cladiri si lucrari de constructii civile.

Legea defineste notiunile de profesionist si autoritate contractanta care intra in domeniul sau de aplicare, astfel:

  • prin profesionist - se intelege orice persoana fizica sau juridica ce exploateaza o intreprindere in sens lucrativ, iar
  • prin autoritate contractanta - se intelege orice autoritate publica a statului roman, care actioneaza la nivel central, regional sau local; orice organism de drept public, cu personalitate juridica, infiintat pentru a satisface nevoi de interes general, fara scop lucrativ si care este controlat (prin finantare, coordonare sau administrare) de o autoritate publica; sau o asociere formata de una sau mai multe autoritati contractante.

Prin urmare, Legea se aplica contractelor de achizitie publica si contractelor de concesiune incheiate in temeiul Ordonantei de Urgenta nr. 34/2006.

Legea nu se aplica insa (a) pentru contractele incheiate de profesionisti cu consumatorii si nici (b) pentru creantele inscrise in masa credala in cadrul procedurii de insolventa, ori creantele ce fac obiectul unui mandat ad-hoc, concordat preventiv sau a unei intelegeri rezultate ca urmare a unor negocieri extrajudiciare de restructurare a datoriilor.

2. Stabilirea unor termene maximale de plata

Legea stabileste anumite limitari privind termenele de plata atat intre profesionisti, cat si intre acestia si autoritatile contractante, astfel:

  • in raporturile dintre profesionisti - termenul de plata va fi de maxim 60 de zile calendaristice.

Se permite insa partilor, cu titlu de exceptie, dreptul de a prevedea contractual un termen mai mare de 60 de zile, cu conditia ca o astfel de clauza sa nu fie abuziva (a se vedea punctul 7 de mai jos).

  • in raporturile dintre profesionisti si autoritatile contractante, termenul de plata este de 30 de zile calendaristice, calculate astfel:

(i) de la data primirii facturii, sau

(ii) de la data receptiei bunurilor, respectiv data prestarii serviciilor - daca data primirii facturii este incerta sau anterioara receptiei bunurilor sau prestarii serviciilor, sau

(iii) de la receptie sau verificare, daca prin lege sau contract se stabileste o procedura de receptie sau de verificare pentru certificarea conformitatii, si autoritatea contractanta a primit factura la data receptiei sau verificarii ori anterior (a se vedea mai jos termenul maxim reglementat pentru procedura de receptie si verificare).

In cazul institutiilor publice din domeniul sanatatii si entitatilor publice care furnizeaza servicii medicale de sanatate, termenul de plata este de maxim 60 de zile calendaristice, calculat conform conform celor de mai sus.

Termenele de 30 de zile si respectiv de 60 de zile mentionate, sunt termene de plata legale maximale stabilite in sarcina autoritatilor contractante.

Termenele plata stabilite in concret in contractele incheiate intre profesionisti si autoritatile contractante trebuie sa respecte aceste termene legale maximale.

In mod exceptional, se permite partilor sa agreeze contractual un termen de plata de maxim 60 de zile calendaristice daca sunt indeplinite cumulativ urmatoarele conditii:

(i) termenul este stabilit expres in contract si in documentatia achizitiei,

(ii) termenul este obiectiv justificat tinand cont de natura sau caracteristicile specifice ale contractului, iar

(iii) clauza nu este abuziva (a se vedea punctul 7 de mai jos)

3. Stabilirea unei durate maximale pentru procedura de receptie si verificare

Legea introduce un termen si pentru procedura de receptie sau de verificare. Astfel, aceasta procedura nu trebuie sa depaseasca, ca regula, 30 de zile calendaristice de la data primirii bunurilor sau serviciilor. Prin exceptie, durata unei asemenea proceduri poate fi mai lunga doar:

  • in cazuri justificate in mod obiectiv de natura sau caracteristicile contractului,
  • daca sunt prevazute in contract si in documentatia achizitiei atat termenul de receptie, cat si motivele obiective si
  • daca nu este o clauza abuziva (detalii privind clauza abuziva sunt mentionate mai jos).

4. Interzicerea clauzelor privind data/ termenul de emitere/primire a facturii

Legea stabileste expres ca partile (atat profesionisti cat si autoritati contractante) nu pot conveni cu privire la data emiterii/primirii facturii. Orice clauza prin care se stipuleaza un termen de emitere/ primire a facturii este lovita de nulitate absoluta.

5. Dobanda legala penalizatoare

Dobanda legala penalizatoare se aplica in cazul in care partile nu au stabilit nivelul dobanzii pentru plata cu intarziere si se determina conform art. 3 din OG 13/2011.

In raporturile dintre autoritatile contractante si profesionisti, creanta de plata produce dobanzi penalizatoare daca sunt indeplinite urmatoarele conditii:

  • creditorul, inclusiv subcontractantii sai, si-au indeplinit obligatiile contractuale;
  • creditorul nu a primit suma datorata la scadenta, cu exceptia cazului in care debitorului nu ii este imputabila intarzierea.

In raporturile dintre autoritatile contractante si profesionisti, dobanda penalizatoare curge de la termenul stipulat in contract sau, in lipsa unei asemenea clauze, de la expirarea termenelor legale de plata (de 30 de zile calendaristice de la data primirii facturii / receptiei bunurilor serviciilor, conform celor descrise la paragraful 2 de mai sus).

6. Institutia daunelor interese suplimentare minimale

In vederea descurajarii debitorilor, legea prevede posibilitatea creditorului de a pretinde:

  • cheltuielile pentru recuperarea creantei si
  • in plus, daune interese minimale in suma fixa de 40 Euro, in lei. Acesta suma devine scadenta de la data la care curge dobanda penalizatoare si este suplimentara cheltuielilor aferente unei proceduri de executare silita.

Prin introducerea acestor daune interese minimale, Directiva 2011/7/UE a vizat limitarea costurilor administrative si interne legale de recuperare, stabilind totodata ca aceasta suma trebuie sa poate fi cumulata cu dobanda pentru intarzierea efectuarii platilor si nu trebuie sa limiteze dreptul creditorului de a primi despagubiri pentru orice prejudiciu suplimentar suferit.

7. Clauzele contractuale si practicile abuzive

Este considerata abuziva o practica sau o clauza prin care se stabileste in mod vadit inechitabil, in raport cu creditorul:

  • termenul de plata,
  • nivelul dobanzii pentru plata intarziata sau
  • nivelul daunelor – interese suplimentare.

Calificarea se face de catre instanta sau de catre lege.

Pentru determinarea caracterului abuziv al unei clauze sau practici, instanta tine cont de toate circumstantei si in special de urmatoarele:

(i) abaterile grave de la practicile statornicite intre parti sau de la uzantele conforme ordinii publice sau bunelor moravuri;

(ii) nerespectarea principiului bunei-credinte si a principiilor de diligenta in executarea obligatiilor;

(iii) natura bunurilor sau serviciilor;

(iv) neprevederea motivelor obiective de derogare de la termenele de plata sau de la rata dobanzii, conform legii;

(v) pozitia dominanta a cocontractantului in raport cu o intreprindere mica sau mijlocie.

Clauze contractuale abuzive, conform legii si pentru care nu este necesara analizarea circumstantelor, sunt cele care:

(i) exclud posibilitatea aplicarii de dobanzi penalizatoare sau stabilesc dobanzi penalizatoare inferioare dobanzii legale penalizatoare;

(ii) fixeaza o obligatie de punere in intarziere pentru a opera curgerea dobanzilor;

(iii) prevad un termen mai mare de la care creanta produce dobanzi decat cel prevazut in lege;

(iv) fixeaza, in contractele dintre profesionisti si autoritati contractante, un termen de plata mai mare decat cel prevazut de lege;

(v) elimina posibilitatea platii de daune – interese suplimentare;

(vi) tabilesc un termen pentru emiterea/primirea facturii.

Clauzele abuzive sunt sanctionate cu nulitatea absoluta.

8. Dispozitii procedurale. Ordonanta de plata

In caz de intarziere la plata, creditorul poate obtine un titlu executoriu prin procedura ordonantei de plata, conform art. 1013 – 1024 din Codul de procedura civila.

Procedura ordonantei de plata se aplica in aceleasi conditii tuturor creditorilor stabiliti in Uniunea Europeana.

9. Modificarea unor acte normative

OG 13/2011 se modifica in sensul ca in raporturile dintre profesionisti si intre acestia si autoritatile contractante, dobanda legala penalizatoare se stabileste la nivelul ratei dobanzii de referinta plus 8 puncte procentuale

Se abroga expres Art. 1017 alin (2) pct 1 si 2 din Codul de procedura civila care reglementa momentul de la care creanta produce dobanzi.

Dispozitiile Legii, cu exceptia art. 15 (Sanctiuni), sunt aplicabile obligatiilor de plata rezultand din contracte incheiate dupa data intrarii in vigoare a legii. Prin urmare, pare ca legea excepteaza de la principiul neretroactivitatii clauzele abuzive existente.

10. Concluzii

Prin limitarile pe care Legea le aduce libertatii contractuale, se incearca crearea unei culturi a efectuarii prompte a platilor si reducerea practicilor contractuale inechitabile.

Daca pana in prezent, numeroase plati erau efectuate cu intarziere, cu impact semnificativ asupra rentabilitatii si competitivitatii operatorilor economici privati, este de asteptat ca noua reglementare va aduce o schimbare pozitiva in derularea contractelor, in special a celor de achizitie publica, echilibrand balanta intre puterea publica exercitata de autoritatile contractante si mediul privat ofertant.

Atragem atentia ca in conditiile in care, prevederile referitoare la nulitatea absoluta a clauzelor abuzive si raspunderea patrimoniala aferenta par a nu fi exceptate de la neretroactivitatea Legii, consideram ca este recomandabila si oportuna revizuirea tuturor contractelor in derulare in vederea eliminarii sau adaptarii eventualelor clauze problematice.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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