Legislative measures regarding the sale of agricultural land located outside the cities

The Law no 17/2014 establishes new regulations concerning the acquisition of agricultural land situated outside the cities, in order to provide notably the administrative preliminary procedure of the purchase regarding this category of lands, as well as the exercise of the preemption right.

It is important to mention the fact that this normative act provisions are not applicable for the lands located in the cities limits (“intravilan”) or for the purchases between the third grade relatives.

Thus, the holders of the preemption right are the followings, in the order of priority:

  • Co-owners,
  • The leaseholders,
  • The neighbors,
  • The Romanian State represented by the States Domains Agency.

Before initiating the proceedings for the land purchase, the owners of these lands are required to submit before the City Halls in whose jurisdiction the land is located, an application through it shall be displayed their offer to sell their lands. This offer for purchase shall be displayed at City Hall and on their site for 30 days, and, depending on the land area offered to be sold, the purchase offer shall be displayed also on site of the local or central structures of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for 15 days.
In these conditions, it shall entitle the holder of the preemption right an enhanced warranty to achieve and to exercise their right, which, in this period of 30 days, can manifest their intention to purchase the land under the same conditions stated in displayed the offer for sale.
On the assumption that the holders of the preemption right do not manifest their interest in acquiring the agricultural land concerned, the seller could alienate the land to a third party respecting the purchase conditions presented in the offer displayed in the above mentioned conditions. Also, the seller is obliged to inform in writing the City Hall concerning the finalization of the agricultural land purchase proceedings.

Another obligation which is incumbent for the sellers regards the obtaining of the Ministry of Defense approval, in case the land offer for sale is a rural land located:

  • on a depth of 30 km from the state border and the Black Sea inner,
  • on a maximum distance of 2,400 m from the special objectives.

It is also necessary to obtain the Ministry of Culture approval for the sale of agricultural land located outside city limits in the following situations:

  • the land is located in the archaeological sites;
  • the land is in an area of archaeological heritage;
  • the land is in an area of archaeological potential by chance.

The purchase of the agricultural land located outside the city ignoring the preemption right and the preliminary administrative procedure shall be the absolute nullity of the purchase proceedings, as well as a fine amounting from RON 50,000 to RON 100,000.
The provisions of the Law no 17/2014 shall not be apply in the case of Pre-Contracts or Options Pacts authenticated before the entry into force date of the normative, in which case those proceedings shall be completed under the previous legislation at the time the effects of those acts.

Published in the Official Journal of Romania no. 178 from 12.03.2014
The Act will enter into force at 11th of April 2014
Issuer: Romanian Parliament