13170 Romania - Agreement Regarding the Status of United States Forces in Romania
TREATIES AND OTHER INTERNATIONAL ACTS SERIES 13170
Status of Forces
Agreement Between the
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Signed at Washington October 30, 2001
NOTE BY THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Pursuant to Public Law 89—497, approved July 8, 1966
(80 Stat. 271; 1 U.S.C. 113)—
“. . .the Treaties and Other International Acts Series issued
under the authority of the Secretary of State shall be competent
evidence . . . of the treaties, international agreements other than
treaties, and proclamations by the President of such treaties and
international agreements other than treaties, as the case may be,
therein contained, in all the courts of law and equity and of maritime
jurisdiction, and in all the tribunals and public offices of the
United States, and of the several States, without any further proof
or authentication thereof.”
Defense: Status of Forces
Agreement signed at Washington October 30, 2001;
Entered into force June 10, 2002.
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
REGARDING THE STATUS OF
UNITED STATES FORCES IN ROMANIA
Entry and Exit II
Criminal Jurisdiction III
Determination of Criminal IV
Custody and Access V
Confinement and Visitation VI
Official Tax Exemptions X
Personal Tax Exemptions XI
Official Importation and Exemption XI I
Personal Importation and Exemption XI II
Motor Vehicles XIV
Drivers Licenses XV
Customs Procedures XVI
Military Service Activities XVII
Military Post Offices XVIII
Currency and Exchange XIX
Contracting Procedures XX
Status of Contractors XXI
Implementation and Settlement of XXIII
Entry into Force and Duration XXIV
The United States of America and Romania, hereinafter referred to as "Parties",
Considering that, by arrangements between the Parties, elements of the United States
forces, their civilian component and members of their families may be present in
Considering that the purpose of the presence of such United States forces in Romania
is in furtherance of the efforts of the Parties to promote peace and security in areas of
Considering the provisions of Article I and Article IV of the "Agreement among the
States Parties to the North Atlantic Treaty and the other States Participating in the
Partnership for Peace regarding the Status of their Forces done at Brussels on June 19,
1995", (PFP SOFA) and the second paragraph of the Preamble to the "Agreement
between the parties to the North Atlantic Treaty regarding the Status of their Forces,
signed at London on June 19, 1951" (NATO SOFA) provide for separate arrangements
supplementary to those agreements;
Desiring therefore to supplement the PFP SOFA, to which both countries are parties,
and which incorporates by reference the NATO SOFA,
Have agreed as follows:
1. For the purpose of this Agreement, the term "civilian component" as defined in Article
I, paragraph 1 (b) of the NATO SOFA includes non-Romanian employees of a non-
commercial organization who are nationals of or ordinarily resident in the United States
and who, solely for the purpose of contributing to the welfare, morale or education of the
United States forces, are accompanying those forces in Romania. It shall also include
United States nationals or persons ordinarily resident in the United States who are
employed by United States contractors exclusively serving the United States forces in
Romania. Such personnel shall not be considered as having the status of members of
the civilian component for the purpose of Article VIII of the NATO SOFA. The term
"civilian component" also includes dependents when employed by the United States
forces or the organizations referred to above and in Article XVII.
2. For the purposes of this Agreement, the term "dependent" as defined in Article I,
paragraph 1 (c) of the NATO SOFA includes immediate members of the family of a
member of the force or of the civilian component who is financially, legally, or for
reasons of health dependent upon, and is supported by, such member, who shares the
quarters occupied by such member and who is present in Romania with the consent of
the authorities of the force.
3. For the purposes of this agreement, the term "duty" shall include customs duties and
all other duties and taxes payable on importation or exportation, as the case may be. It
shall not include charges for services requested and received.
ENTRY AND EXIT
1. Unless otherwise mutually agreed, Romania waives its authority under Article III,
paragraph 2 (b) of the NATO SOFA to require countersignature of movement orders.
2. Romania shall not require passports or visas for entry into and departures from
Romania for members of the force holding a valid movement order that can be clearly
ascribed to its bearer, and visas shall not be required for members of the civilian
component and dependents. Romanian authorities shall make any annotations required
by Romanian law in the passports of such persons.
3. Members of the force, or civilian component and their dependents shall be exempt
from registration and control as aliens.
1. Romania recognizes the particular importance of disciplinary control by the United
States military authorities over members of the force and the effect, which such control
has upon operational readiness. Accordingly, in furtherance of its commitment to
mutual defense, Romania exercises its sovereign discretion to waive its primary right to
exercise criminal jurisdiction as provided by paragraph 3 (c) of Article VII of the NATO
2. Subject to any particular arrangements which may be made for misdemeanors
punishable by fine or confinement of less than one year, the United States forces shall
notify the competent Romanian authorities of individual cases falling under the
provisions of paragraph 1 of this Article.
3. Where competent Romanian authorities hold the view that a serious case is of
particular importance and major interests of Romania make imperative the exercise of
Romanian jurisdiction, they may recall the waiver granted under Paragraph 1 of this
Article by a statement in writing to the competent U.S. military authorities within a period
of thirty days after receipt of the notification envisaged in paragraph 2 of this Article.
4. Members of the force or civilian component and their dependents shall not be tried in
absentia without their consent.
DETERMINATION OF CRIMINAL JURISDICTION
1. Whenever, in the course of criminal or civil proceedings against a member of the
force or of the civilian component, it becomes necessary to determine whether an
alleged criminal offense or potential civil liability has arisen out of any act or omission
done in the performance of official duty, such determination shall be made by the
highest appropriate military authority of the United States in Romania who may submit
to the Romanian court or authority dealing with the case a certificate thereon. The
certificate will be considered to be sufficient evidence of the fact.
2. Upon notification to the competent Romanian authorities by United States authorities
that a question exists as to which authority will exercise jurisdiction with respect to an
offense, the Romanian authority dealing with the case shall suspend the proceedings
until determination by the Parties on the jurisdictional issue has been reached.
3. Whenever a member of the force or civilian component or a dependent is prosecuted
by Romanian authorities, only the civilian courts of ordinary jurisdiction will have
competence to try the individual.
CUSTODY AND ACCESS
1. The provisions of Romanian law pertaining to pretrial detention or requiring
confinement of the accused shall be discharged until the conclusion of all judicial
proceedings by a duly executed certificate of the United States military authorities
assuring the appearance of the member of the force before the competent Romanian
judicial authorities in any proceedings that may require the presence of such person. In
the event Romanian Judicial proceedings are not completed within one year the United
States military authorities shall be relieved of any obligations under this paragraph. In
such cases the provisions of Article III, paragraph 4 of this Agreement shall not apply.
2. When a member of the force has been convicted by a Romanian court and
unsuspended sentence to confinement is adjudged, the United States military
authorities shall maintain custody over the accused until the conclusion of all appellate
3. Any period of time spent in restraint exercised by Romanian Authorities or custody
exercised by United States military authorities shall be credited against any sentence to
confinement eventually adjudged.
4. When a member of the force, or civilian component, or a dependent is arrested,
detained, or confined by Romanian authorities representatives of the United States shall
have immediate access to that individual whenever requested.
CONFINEMENT AND VISITATION
Confinement imposed by a Romanian court upon members of the force, or civilian
component, or dependents, shall be served in Romanian penal institutions designated
for such purposes by the Parties. Romanian authorities will permit the authorities of the
United States and families to visit such persons at any time and to provide them with
assistance necessary for their health, welfare and morale, such as clothing, food,
bedding, medical and dental care. The Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced
Persons, done at Strasbourg March 21, 1983, shall apply to the above persons who are
convicted by Romanian courts.
1. United States military authorities shall be responsible for maintenance of discipline
over members of the force.
2. In furtherance of the maintenance of discipline of United States forces, United States
military authorities may establish military police units on the facilities where United
States forces are located. United States military authorities may also authorize the use
of such units in communities situated in the immediate vicinity of the military facilities
where United States forces are located, in coordination with local authorities, under
procedures to be agreed upon by the Romanian and United States military authorities.
1. In accordance with Article VII, paragraph 11, of the NATO SOFA, Romania shall take
such measures as are necessary to ensure the adequate security and protection of the
United States forces, members of the force, the civilian component, and dependents
within Romania. In furtherance of this responsibility Romanian authorities shall
cooperate closely with United States authorities to ensure that adequate security is
provided and there is unhindered ingress to and egress from the facilities or areas
where United States forces are located.
2. If the safety of the United States forces, members of the force, or the civilian
component, or dependents is endangered, United States military authorities may take
appropriate measures to maintain or restore order and discipline in the facilities or areas
where United States forces are located.
3. Without prejudice to the provisions of paragraph 2 of this Article, the United States
military authorities shall exercise extreme caution in authorizing the use of force when
dealing with such security issues, especially when cooperation and/or support from
relevant Romanian authorities is not available immediately, given the imminent danger
against the safety of US personnel requiring immediate action.
1. Members of the force and of the civilian component shall not be subject to any
proceedings for civil claims arising out of acts or omissions attributable to such persons
done in the performance of their official duties. Such claims may be presented to the
appropriate Romanian authorities and processed according to the provisions contained
in Article VIII of the NATO SOFA.
2. Solely for the purpose of this Article, and Article VIII of the NATO SOFA, the term
"civilian component" also includes Romanian nationals and other civilians who are
United States employees acting in the performance of official duty assigned by the
United States forces but shall not include employees of the contractors and non-
3. Members of the force, or civilian component or dependents shall not suffer default
judgments or actions prejudicial to their interests when official duties or duly authorized
absence temporarily prevents their attendance at non-criminal proceedings to which
they are parties.
OFFICIAL TAX EXEMPTIONS
1. The United States forces and its contractors, identified in Article XXI, shall not be
subject to direct or indirect taxation in respect of matters falling exclusively within the
scope of their official or contract activities or in respect of property devoted to such
activities. Deliveries made and services rendered by the force or such contractors to
members of the force or civilian component and dependents also shall be regarded as
such activities. With respect to the value added tax (VAT), exemptions shall apply to
articles and services acquired by the United States forces, or by its contractors when
acting for or on behalf of U.S. forces. United States contractors in Romania solely for
the purpose of supporting the United States forces shall not be subject to any form of
income or profits tax by the Government of Romania or its political subdivisions.
2. Vehicles, vessels and aircraft owned or operated by or for the United States forces
shall not be subject to the payment of landing or port fees, pilotage charges, navigation,
overflight, or parking charges or light or harbor dues, or any other charges in connection
with carrying out missions related to its operations or with the use of state owned or
operated facilities in Romania; however, the United States shall pay reasonable charges
for services requested and received.
3. The provisions of Romanian laws and regulations pertaining to the withholding of
payment of income taxes and social security contribution shall not be applicable to
United States citizens and non-Romanian employees of the United States forces or
United States contractors exclusively serving the force in Romania.
PERSONAL TAX EXEMPTIONS
1. With respect to Articles X and XI of the NATO SOFA, and in accordance with Article
X of this Agreement, members of the force, or of the civilian component shall not be
liable to pay any tax or similar charges, including the value added tax, in Romania on
the ownership, possessions, use, transfer amongst themselves, or transfer, in
connection with death, of their tangible movable property imported into Romania or
acquired there for their own personal use. Motor vehicles owned by a member of the
force, or civilian component or a dependent shall be exempt from Romanian circulation
taxes, registration or license fees, and similar charges.
2. The exemption from taxes on income provided by Article X of the NATO SOFA shall
also apply to income received by members of the force or civilian component or
dependents from employment with the organizations referred to in Article I, paragraph 1,
and Article XVII of this Agreement, and to income derived from sources outside
OFFICIAL IMPORTATION AND EXPORTATION
1. With reference to Article XI of the NATO SOFA, the importation of equipment,
supplies, provisions, and other goods into Romania by the United States forces or by
United States contractors for or on behalf of U.S. forces shall be exempt from all duties.
The United States forces shall be liable for the payment of charges for services
performed by the Romanian Government or any political subdivision thereof only when
such services have been requested and received.
2. Equipment, supplies, provisions and other goods shall be exempt from any tax or
other charge, which would otherwise be assessed upon such property after its
importation or acquisition by the United States forces.
3. The exportation from Romania by the United States forces of the equipment,
supplies, provisions, and other goods referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article shall be
exempt from all types of Romanian duties. In particular cases, such property may be
disposed of in Romania under terms and conditions, including payment of taxes,
imposed by authorities of Romania.
4. The exemptions provided in paragraphs 1,2, and 3 of this Article shall also apply to
services, equipment, supplies, provisions, and other property imported or acquired in
the Romanian domestic market by or on behalf of the United States forces for use by a
contractor executing a contract for such forces. The United States forces shall
cooperate fully with the appropriate Romanian authorities to prevent abuse of these
5. Deposit of the certificate provided for in Article XI, paragraph 4 of the NATO SOFA
shall be accepted in lieu of a customs inspections by Romanian authorities of the items
imported or exported by or for the United States forces under this Article.
PERSONAL IMPORTATION AND EXPORTATION
1. The members of the force or civilian component and their dependents may import
their personal effects, furniture, private motor vehicles and other goods intended for
their personal or domestic use or consumption free of duty during their assignment in
2. The property referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article and other goods acquired free
of taxes and duties may not be sold or otherwise transferred to persons in Romania not
entitled to import such property duty free, unless such transfer is agreed upon by the
appropriate Romanian authorities. This provision shall not apply to gifts to charity.
Members of the force, or civilian component and their dependents may freely transfer
such property amongst themselves and to or from the force, and such transfers shall be
free of tax or duty. The U.S. forces shall be responsible for maintaining records, which
will be accepted as proof by Romanian authorities of these transfers of tax or duty free
merchandise. Romanian authorities shall accept copies of duly filed police reports as
proof that duty free property of members of the force or civilian component or
dependents has been stolen, which shall relieve the individuals of any liability for
payment of the tax or duty.
3. Members of the force or civilian component and their dependents may re-export, free
of exit duties or charges, any goods imported by them into Romania or acquired by
them during their period of duty in Romania.
1. The Romanian authorities will honor the registration and licensing by United States
military and civilian authorities of motor vehicles and trailers of the force, or members of
the force, or the civilian component or dependents. Upon the request of United States
military authorities, the Romanian authorities shall issue license plates, without charge,
which are indistinguishable from those issued to the Romanian population at large.
2. The United States military authorities shall provide for the safety of motor vehicles
and trailers registered and licensed by them or used by the Force in Romania, and shall
cooperate with the Romanian authorities to safeguard the environment.
1. A license or other permit issued to a member of the force or of the civilian component
by United States military authorities empowering the holder to operate vehicles, vessels,
or aircraft of the force is valid for the operation of such vehicles, vessels or aircraft in
2. Authorities of Romania will honor driving licenses issued by United States military
and civilian authorities for the operation of private motor vehicles by members of the
force or civilian component and their dependents if these authorities have determined
that, in addition to fitness to operate a motor vehicle, applicants possess adequate
knowledge of Romanian traffic regulations. In such cases international drivers' licenses
shall not be required.
3. (a) United States military authorities shall withdraw driving licenses valid in Romania,
in accordance with paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Article, if there is reasonable doubt
concerning the holders' reliability or fitness to operate a motor vehicle. They shall give
sympathetic consideration to requests made by Romanian authorities for the withdrawal
of such driving licenses. United States military authorities shall notify Romanian
authorities of all withdrawals made in accordance with this sub-paragraph and of all
cases where, after such withdrawal, a driving license has been re-issued.
(b) In cases where Romanian courts exercise jurisdiction pursuant to Article VII
of the NATO SOFA and Article IV of this Agreement, provisions of Romanian criminal
law relating to the withdrawal of permission to drive remain applicable with respect to
driving licenses referred to in paragraph 2 of this Article.
1. Romania shall take all appropriate measures to ensure the smooth and rapid clearing
of imports and exports of the force, members of the force, the civilian component and
dependents by Romanian customs authorities.
2. Customs inspections under this Agreement will be carried out in the facilities in
accordance with procedures mutually agreed between the appropriate Romanian
authorities and the United States forces. Any inspection by Romanian customs
authorities of incoming or outgoing personal property of members of the force or civilian
component or dependents shall be conducted when the property is delivered to or
picked up from the individual's residence.
3. United States military authorities shall establish the necessary customs controls at
facilities where United States forces are located to prevent abuses of the rights granted
under the NATO SOFA and this Agreement. United States military authorities and
Romanian authorities shall cooperate in the investigation of any alleged offenses
involving customs violations.
MILITARY SERVICE ACTIVITIES
1. United States military authorities may establish, maintain and operate military service
exchanges, commissaries, other sales outlets, open messes, social and education
centers, and recreational service areas in Romania for use by members of the force or
civilian component and their dependents.
2. The organizations and activities referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article are integral
parts of the United States forces and shall be accorded the same fiscal and customs
exemptions granted to the force, including those provided in Articles X and XII of this
3. United States military authorities shall adopt appropriate measures to prevent the
sale of goods and property imported or acquired in Romania by the organizations
referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article to persons who are not authorized to patronize
MILITARY POST OFFICES
1. The United States may establish, maintain and operate military post offices for use by
the force, members of the force, the civilian component, retirees of the United States
Armed Forces, and dependents.
2. Mail posted at such military post offices may bear stamps of the United States.
3. Official mail of the force shall be exempt from search or seizure by Romanian
CURRENCY AND EXCHANGE
1. United States forces shall have the right to import, export and use United States
currency or instruments expressed in the currency of the United States in any amount.
2. United States military authorities may distribute to or exchange for members of the
force or civilian component and their dependents currency of, and instruments
denominated in the currency of:
(a) the United States;
(b) Romania; and
(c) any other country, to the extent required for the
purpose authorized travel, including travel on leave.
3. A member of the force or civilian component and a dependent may:
(a) import United States currency and instruments
denominated in currency of the United States; and
(b) export any currency other than that of Romania, and
instruments denominated in any such currency, provided
that such member or dependent has either imported such
currency or instruments, or received such currency or
instruments from the United States military
4. United States military authorities shall, in cooperation with the authorities of Romania,
take appropriate measures in order to prevent any abuse of the rights granted under
this Article and to safeguard the system of foreign exchange Regulations of Romania
insofar as they apply to personnel covered by this Agreement.
1. In accordance with United States laws and regulations, the United States forces may
award contracts for the acquisition of articles and services, including construction, in
Romania. The United States forces may procure from any source.
2. United States forces may carry out construction works with their own personnel.
3. Individuals whose presence at a facility is required for the performance of a contract
shall be granted entrance into Romania within seven (7) working days of a request by
United States authorities. Such entrance may be denied or withdrawn for reasons of
security or due to the individual's misconduct. If the appropriate Romanian authorities
deny or withdraw such entrance they shall state the reasons for their decisions in writing
to the appropriate United States military authorities.
4. Romania shall accord to the force treatment in the matter of procurement of goods,
services and utilities not less favorable than is accorded to Romanian Armed Forces.
STATUS OF CONTRACTORS
United States citizens, firms, and third country nationals, firms, and corporations
exclusively serving the United States forces shall be exempt from the laws and
regulations of Romania, or any subdivision thereof, with respect to the terms and
conditions of their employment and licensing and registration of businesses and
corporations. Such contractors also shall be exempt from all income and corporate profit
taxes arising from the delivery to the United States forces of goods or services, or from
construction of facilities.
The U. S. forces shall be allowed to operate telecommunications services, including
broadcast services. This shall include the right to utilize such means and services as are
required to ensure a full ability to communicate and the right to use, free of charge, such
frequencies all of the electro-magnetic spectrum as agreed upon for the purpose of this
Agreement. In implementing this right, the U.S. forces, in the interest of avoiding mutually
disruptive interference, as well as to assist Romania in fulfillment of its international
obligations, shall make every reasonable effort to coordinate the use of frequencies with the
relevant Romanian authorities.
IMPLEMENTATION AND SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES
1. The Parties shall, by mutual agreement, develop such arrangements as are
necessary to carry out activities and operations under this Agreement, including the
modalities of entry into, stationing in, transit through and exit from the territory of
Romania of the United States forces, the civilian component and dependents.
2. Any disputes arising from the interpretation or implementation of this Agreement
shall be settled by consultations between the Parties, without recourse to any external
ENTRY INTO FORCE AND DURATION
This Agreement shall enter into force on the date of the last notification by which the
Parties indicate that their internal legal requirements have been fulfilled. This
Agreement shall remain in force for an indefinite period.
Either Party may terminate this Agreement upon written notification to the other Party,
termination to be effective six months from the date of receipt of such notification.
This Agreement may be amended, at any time, by written agreement of the Parties. The
amendments shall enter into force according to the procedures set forth in the first
paragraph of this Article.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the undersigned, being duly authorized by their respective
governments, have signed this Agreement.
DONE at Washington, this 30th day of October, 2001, in duplicate, in the English and
Romanian languages, both texts being equally authentic. In case of disputes, the
English version of this Agreement will prevail.
FOR THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: FOR ROMANIA: