Parlamentul României

Law on the land resources no. 18/1991 *)

Text publicat în M.Of. al României.

În vigoare de la 05 ianuarie 1998

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*) The Law No. 18 of February 18, 1991 was published in the Official Gazette of Romania, Part. I, No. 37 of February 20, 1991 and it has been modified by Law No. 29 of March 21, 1991, published in the Official Gazette of Romania, Part I, No. 59 of March 22, 1991, by Government Ordinance No. 23 of August 21, 1992, published in the Official Gazette of Romania, Part I, No. 213 of August 28, 1992 (approved by Law No. 114 of November 18, 1992, published in the Official Gazette of Romania, Part I, No. 311 of November 30, 1992), by Government Ordinance No. 46 of August 12, 1994, published in the Official Gazette of Romania, Part I, No. 241 of August 1994 (approved by Law No. 132 of December 22, 1994, published in the Official Gazette of Romania, Part I, No. 359 of December 23, 1994), by Government Ordinance No. 20 of August 4, 1995, published in the Official Gazette of Romania, Part I, No. 184 of August 15, 1995 (approved by Law No. 104 of November 16, 1995, published in the Official Gazette of România, Part I, No. 270 of November 21, 1995), by Government Ordinance of Urgency No. 5 of August 31, 1996, published in the Official Gazette of Romania, Part I, No. 207 of September 2, 1996 (approved by Law No. 47 of April 4, 1997, published in the Official Gazette of Romania, Part I, No. 58 of April 8, 1997) and by Government Ordinance No. 57 of August 28, 1997, published in the Official Gazette of Romania, Part I, No. 225 of August 30, 1997.

Republished, also, in the Official Gazette of Romania, Part I, No. 1, of January 5, 1998, on the grounds of art. VII in Law No. 169 of October 27, 1997, published in the Official Gazette of Romania, Part I, No. 299 of November 4, 1997, giving the texts a new numbering. We mention that Law No. 169/1997 also contains certain own articles, numbered from II to V, that have not been incorporated in the republished text of Law No. 18/1991 and which are reproduced in the pages 428-430.

General provisions

Art. 1. - Land of any kind, regardless of its destination, of the title on whose basis it is held, or of the public or private sector to which it belongs, shall constitute the land resources of Romania.

Art. 2. - Depending on its destination, land shall be:

a) land for agricultural purposes, namely: productive agricultural - land arable land, vineyards, orchards, viticultural nurseries, fruit-growing nurseries, hop and mulberry plantations, pastures, hay fields, hot houses, solaria, hotbeds and the like -, land with forest vegetation if it does not belong to forest planning, afforested pastures, land occupied by agricultural and zootechnic constructions and installations, fish protection works and those of land reclamation, technological and agricultural operation roads, depositing grounds and platforms serving the needs of agricultural production, as well as unproductive grounds which can be fitted out and used for the agricultural production;

b) land of forest purposes, namely: afforested land or land serving the needs of forest culture, production, or administration, land for the purpose of afforestation and unproductive land - rocky regions, steep lands, blocks, cliffs, ravines, torrents - if they are included in forest planning;

c) land permanently under water, namely: minor river beds, lake basins at maximum retention levels, bottom of interior maritime waters and of the territorial sea;

d) land within the built-up area, appertaining to urban and rural localities on which there are located constructions and other arrangements of the localities, agricultural and forest land inclusive;

e) land used for special purposes, such as land used for road, railway, naval, and air transports, with the corresponding constructions and installations, hydrotechnical and thermic constructions and installations and those for the transport of electricity, natural gas and for telecommunications, land for mining and oil exploitations, pits and waste dumps of any king, land for defence needs, beaches, reservations, natural monuments, archaeological and historical sites and piles, and suchlike.

Art. 3. - In the sense of the present law, by land holders there shall be understood the titulars of the property right, of other real rights on the land, or those who, according to civil law, have the quality of precarious holders or possessors.

Art. 4. -

(1) Land may form the object of private property right or of other real rights, having natural or legal persons as titulars, or it may belong to public domain or private domain.

(2) Public domain may be of national interest, in which case the property on it, under public law regime, belongs to the State, or it may be of local interest, in which case the property, under public law regime, too, belongs to communes, towns, municipalities, or counties.

(3) The administration of the domain of national public interest shall be made by the bodies provided by law, and the administration of the public domain of local interest shall be made by mayoralties or by prefectures, as the case may be.

(4) Land from public domain shall be that appropriated to a public utility.

Art. 5. -

(1) To public domain shall belong the land on which there are located constructions of public interest, markets, ways of communications, street networks and public parks, ports and airports, land for forest management, river and stream beds, basins of public interest lakes, the bottom of interior maritime waters and of the territorial sea, the Black Sea coast, beaches inclusive, land for natural reservations and national parks, archaeological and historical monuments, sites and piles, natural monuments, land for defence needs or other uses which, according to the law, belong to public domain or which, by their very nature, are of public use or interest.

(2) The land that is part of the public domain is inalienable, not attachable and imprescriptible. It cannot be introduced in the civil circuit unless if, according to law, it is released from the public domain.

Art. 6. - The state private domain and, respectively, that of the communes, towns, municipalities and counties is made of the land acquired by these through modalities stipulated by law, as well as of the land released, according to law, from the public domain. It is subjected to the provisions of ordinary law, if law does not stipulate it otherwise.

Art. 7. - The land resources and, correspondingly, the property right and other real rights shall be registered into the documents of land records and real-estate publicity provided by law.

Establishment of private property right on land

Art. 8. -

(1) The establishment of private property right on the land which is in the agricultural production cooperatives' property shall be made under the terms of the present law, by reconstituting the property right or by constituting this right.

(2) By the provisions of the law shall benefit the agricultural production cooperatives' members who brought land in them or from whom land was taken over in any way by them, as well as, in terms of the civil law, their heirs, agricultural production cooperatives' members who brought no land in them, and other precisely specified people.

(3) The establishment of property right shall be made, at request, by issuing a property title within the limit of a minimum area of 0.5 ha for each entitled person, according to the present law, and of a maximum of 10 ha per family, in arable equivalent.

(4) By family there shall be understood the spouses and unmarried children, if they manage the homestead together with their parents.

Art. 9. -

(1) The persons that were reconstituted the property right within the limit of 10 ha of land per family, in arable equivalent, may request the reconstitution of the property right also for the difference between that area and the one that they have brought in the agricultural production cooperative or that has been taken over in any form by it, up to the limit of area stipulated in art. 3 let. h) in Law No. 187/1945 for the carrying out of the land reform, per family, irrespective whether the reconstitution is to be made in several localities or from different authors.

(2) The persons to whom the property right was reconstituted according to law, within the limit of 10 ha area of land per family and who it was applied the reduction quota, according to art. 14 para (3) of the law, may formulate an application for the areas of land that constituted that quota. The applications shall be formulated in case the reduction quota exceeded the percentage of 5%.

(3) The application is submitted to the mayoralty of the locality or, as the case may be, to the mayoralties of the localities in the radius of which the land for which the property right is to be reconstituted is located, personally or by post, with acknowledgement of receipt, within 90 days from the date of the present law*) coming into force, under the sanction of loss.


*) Law No. 169/1997 came into force on November 4, 1997.

(4) The application shall include:

a) the name and surname of the applicant person and its domicile;

b) the capacity of titular or heir of the right to property for which this right has been or is to be reconstituted, according to the present law;

c) the area of land that has been reconstituted and the difference applied for.

(5) Enclosed to the application there shall be:

a) xerox copy from the property title that has been issued or, as the case may be, from the official report or from the putting in possession card;

b) xerox copies from the documents proving the property right for the areas of land requested in addition;

c) a statement in which there shall be mentioned, on own responsibility, the total area of land granted in ownership, by reconstitution or by constitution, per family, according to the present law, even if that has been in several localities or from several authors.

(6) The mayor shall set up a special register, initialed, numbered and sealed, in which the applications submitted by the entitled persons shall be entered chronologically and shall issue, at request, a bill containing the registration number.

(7) For the applications submitted by post, on the acknowledgement of receipt the registration number of the application and the date shall be mentioned.

(8) The mayor or the secretary of the local council is obliged to accept the application and register it, irrespective whether or not this includes all the mentions stipulated in para (4) and is not accompanied by all the documents stipulated in para (5). In such case, the mayor or the secretary is obliged to communicate to the applicant that, within the time limit of 90 days he should submit all the necessary documents mentioned in para (5), under the sanction of its loss of the term.

(9) The non-observance of the obligations stipulated in para (6) by the mayor or secretary shall bring about both the administrative and the disciplinary responsibility, according to law, and the payment of cominatory damages or, as the case may be, and of damages.

(10) After the expiry of the 90 days term stipulated in para (3), the mayor is obliged, within 30 days, to draw up the list regarding the categories of persons, the requested agricultural land and the balance sheet of the land resources per locality - commune, town, municipality -, in view of reconstituting the property right, according to law. Within this term, the mayor shall transmit these to the prefect, under signature.

(11) Within 15 days from receipt, the prefect shall draw up the list regarding the applicant persons and the balance sheet of the land resources per county, which he shall transmit, within the same term, to the Department for Local Public Administration.

(12) After drawing up the balance sheet of the land resources at country level, the areas of agricultural land that shall be reconstituted shall be established by law.

Art. 10. -

(1) The natural and the legal persons that was reconstituted the property right over the agricultural land, according to the present law, as well as the legal persons that have in their property or administration agricultural land or hold in any way such land, have the obligation to give the secretary of the local council a statement in which there shall be mentioned the agricultural land area granted or, respectively, actually held, in one or several localities, while for the natural persons, also from several authors.

(2) The natural persons shall make the statement on their own responsibility, while the legal persons, through their representatives.

Art. 11. -

(1) The area brought in the agricultural production cooperative is the one resulting from ownership documents, landed book, cadastre, applications for joining the cooperative, land registry on the date of joining the cooperative, cooperative's records or, in their absence, from any other proofs, including statements of witnesses.

(2) The provisions of the previous paragraph shall correspondingly apply also with regard to areas taken over by agricultural production cooperatives either on the basis of some special laws, or without any title, or in any other way.

(3) The establishment of property right shall be made at request, on the basis of the situation of the land held by the agricultural production cooperative on January 1, 1990, registered in the record system of the general land cadastre or of the agricultural register, corrected with the alienations legally effected by cooperative up to the date when the law has come into force.

(4) The application for the establishment of property right shall be forwarded and registered at the mayoralty within 30 days after the coming into force of the present law.

Art. 12. -

(1) In order to establish the property right by its reconstitution or constitution, to effectively assign the land to the entitled persons, and to issue property titles, in each commune, town, or municipality, a commission led by the mayor shall be set up by an order of the prefect*).


*) According to the art. 113 para (1) under Law No. 69/1991, republished, the prefect issues orders.

(2) The communal, town, or municipal commissions shall operate under the guidance of a county commission, appointed by an order of the prefect and led by the prefect.

(3) The commissions' setting-up procedure and manner of operation, as well as the model and mode of assignment of the new property titles shall be established by a Government's decision*) within 15 days after the date of publication of the present law. The commissions shall be composed of citizens designated by the community from all the entitled categories, specialists and civil servants. In the communes consisting of several villages, the citizens shall be designated proportionally to the numerical share of each village's inhabitants.


*) See the Government Decision No. 131/1991, republished in the Official Gazette of Romania, Part I, No. 7 of 19 January 1993.

Art. 13. -

(1) The heir capacity shall be established on the basis of the heir certificate or the final judicial decision, or, in their absence, of any other evidence from which it results the accepting of inheritance.

(2) Heirs who cannot prove this capacity because the land was not in the civil circuit shall be considered reinstated de jure within the acceptance term with regard to their due share from the land that belonged to their author. They shall be considered as having accepted the inheritance by the application they make to the commission.

(3) The property title shall be issued with regard to the land area determined on the name of all the heirs, who are to proceed according to the ordinary law.

Art. 14. -

(1) Land belonging to agricultural production cooperatives situated outside the built-up area of the localities shall become the cooperative members' or their heirs' property, as the case may be, in accordance with the land areas which were brought or taken in any way into the cooperative's property.

(2) As a rule, the effective assignment of the land shall be made, on hillsides, on the former locations, and in plain zones, on fields established by the commission, and not necessarily on the former locations of the property, within the present cooperatives' perimeters.

(3) In case that, between the agricultural production cooperative's land area, as resulted by summing up the land areas brought by its members or taken over by the cooperative in any other way, and the present land area there shall have occurred modifications both with regard to the total land area and by utilization classes, the establishment of the cooperative members' or of their heirs' property shall be made by reducing a proportional share resulted from the subtraction of the areas legally used for other purposes from the initial total area, and proportionally to the existing agricultural utilization classes. Area holders with properties of less than 1 ha shall not be affected.

(4) Areas occupied by fruit-growing and vine-growing plantations, hot houses, ponds, fish protection works, nurseries, administrative, agricultural and zootechnic constructions, as well as those required for the fodder base appertaining to the zootechnic production capacities existing in the agricultural production cooperatives may, on the basis of the owners' option, represent a contribution to the setting up of some private-type association forms, with or without legal personality.

Art. 15. -

(1) Cooperative members who abandoned the cooperative, did not work in it, or do not live in the respective locality, as the case may be, as well as their heirs may receive land from the outside of the built-up area brought or taken in any way into the cooperative's property.

(2) The provisions of the previous paragraph shall also apply to persons whose land passed into the agricultural production cooperative's property, with or without title, without having acquired the capacity of cooperative members, as well as to their heirs, as the case may be.

(3) By the provisions of paragraph (2) shall also benefit the persons holding the titles of Knight of the Order of "Michael the Brave" and "Michael the Brave with Swords" and their heirs, who opted for and to whom arable land was allotted at the date of appropriation, except those who alienated it.

(4) The provisions of Article 14, paragraphs (2) and (3) shall be correspondingly applied.

(5) Land areas of 10,000 m2 in arable equivalent shall be allotted in property, at request, to persons having totally or partly lost their working capacity and to the heirs of those deceased as a result of their participation in the fight for the victory of the December 1989 Revolution. For the land allotted, these beneficiaries shall be exempt from taxes or duties.

Art. 16. -

(1) In cases in which, within the perimeter of some agricultural production cooperatives, there were also amalgamated agricultural lands belonging to private owners, who did not receive other land in compensation, at their request or at that of their heirs, they shall be reinstated in property and the areas shall be restored in an equivalent share, within certain fields established by the commission.

(2) The provisions of article 14 paragraphs (2) and (3) shall be correspondingly applied.

Art. 17. -

(1) In localities with Romanian citizens belonging to the German minority or inhabited by persons who were deported or displaced, dispossessed of land by statutory instruments after 1944, land areas from the reserve at commissions' disposal shall be assigned in property, at request, with priority to them or their heirs, or the procedure shall be pursuant to Article 37.

(2) On assignment, the land area they had in property shall be taken into consideration, without exceeding 10 ha per family, in arable equivalent.

Art. 18. -

(1) Land from the outside of the built-up area brought or taken in any other way into the agricultural production cooperative's property from its members or other persons deceased without having any heirs, as well as unclaimed land shall remain at commission's disposal.

(2) All land belonging to the agricultural production cooperative that was not assigned according to Articles 14-17 as well as State-owned land from the outside of the built-up area exploited by the cooperative shall also remain at commission's disposal, to be assigned to other entitled persons, according to the provisions of the present law.

(3) The unassigned land, remaining at commission's disposal, shall pass in the private domain of the commune, town or municipality, to be put at the disposal of those that wish to set up or develop agricultural exploitations, by leasing, licensing or sale, under the terms of the law.

Art. 19. -

(1) Active cooperative members who did not bring land into the cooperative, or who brought land with an area of less than 5,000 m2, as well as those who, without having the quality of cooperative members, worked in any way as employees during the last 3 years in the cooperative or in cooperative associations, may be assigned in property plots from the land provided under Article 18, if they are established or are going to establish themselves in the locality and do not hold land in property in other localities. The area assigned in property shall be determined by taking into account the land areas, the number of applicants, and the area assigned to those who brought land into the agricultural production cooperative.

(2) The provisions under paragraph (1) shall also apply to the persons who were deported and do not benefit by the provisions under articles 14-16.

(3) Up to 5,000 m2 in arable equivalent per family may be assigned, at request, for agricultural utilization to the specialist personnel from communal public services, as long as they work in the locality, if they or members of the family to which they belong have no land in property in the respective locality. The property right on this land belongs to the commune, town, or municipality, as the case may be.

(4) The granting for use cannot be made in the cases in which in the respective locality the reductions stipulated in art. 14 para (3) have been carried out.

(5) On leaving the locality, the persons mentioned under paragraph (3) are entitled to indemnifications for investments made, with the owner's preceding consent, and if they are useful on the assigned area.

Art. 20. - In case that in some agricultural production cooperatives there is no land left available to be assigned in the minimal area provided under article 8, as well as for the persons provided under articles 17 and 19 paragraphs (1) and (2), the commission shall decide a reduction in proportional share of the area that is allotted, so as to assign land in property to these categories, too.

Art. 21. -

(1) In localities with surplus of agricultural land area and with workforce deficit in agriculture, from the land provided under article 18 up to 10 ha in arable equivalent may be assigned in property to all families which apply for it in writing and assume the obligation to work this area.

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