The European Commission decided on Wednesday to launch legal procedures against Romania in the case of a first registration tax for imported second hand cars. The first step was to issue a letter, demanding Romania and Malta to modify their car taxation legislation. The "official notification" is the first step of the legal action against Romania.

The Bucharest Government has two months to adapt its legislation, or the next step will be in the European Court of Justice.

The European Commission informed the Romanian Government at the beginning of 2006 that its first registration tax for cars comes against European regulations but, even after two months of consultations, Romanian officials refused to change the taxation system.

Environment Minister Sulfina Barbu considers that the tax is a fair measure introduced by the Govt., adding that the amount of money should still be affordable for the populace.

The three problems of the tax, as identified by European officials, are: it's discriminatory, doesn't fully bridge the pollution degree with the age of the car and only covers a limited period in a car's life cycle.