While the Romanian currency, leu (RON), has been stable since the beginning of the year, with an average rate of 4.45 RON/euro, the Romanian Government has invented a RON/euro rate above the real one in order to draw more money from excises. For the whole year of 2014, the currency rate set for the calculation of all excises has been set by an emergency ordinance at 4.738 RON/euro. Thus, prices for all excisable products (fuel, electricity, alcohol, tobacco, coffee, luxury products) are based on a rate which is 6.4% higher than the real one.
The government invented the 4.738 RON/euro rate in order to draw more money to the 2014 state budget. However, in the first six months of the year, revenues from excises were below the target (97.4%).
The situation arose following a move by the Romanian government last fall to look for solutions to improve budget revenues. One solution was the introduction of a "pole tax", another was an extra excise - added to the existing one - of 7 eurocent/liter of fuel.
And another was the calculus change in the case of excises. An emergency ordinance last year introduced a new procedure, so that a situation be avoided where less money from excises would go to the state buget in 2013 than in 2012, given that the official reference exchange rate for excise calculation was lower last year than the year before. The new procedure said that the excise value was set by multiplying the reference rate with the inflation index.