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Moldova (2023)

National legislation contain no explicit reference to resettlement issues, however, legal provisions provide for development of safeguarding instrument addressing impacts of expropriation for public interest. The legal framework states that expropriation is a legal tool through which a property and rights of private property can be transferred into public property in order to carry out works for national or local interest without fair compensation. 

Order of the Government of Moldova of June 15, 2006 No. 660 ‘About approval of the Regulations on the procedure of preliminary research for declaration of public usefulness of object of expropriation’ is the main legislation governing the expropriation procedure. 

Main legal provisions related to land acquisition and resettlement are:

  • Constitution of the Republic of Moldova (July 29, 1994)

  • Civil Code No. 1107-XV of June 6, 2002

  • Land Code No. 828-XII of December 25, 1991

  • Family Code No. 1316 of October 26, 2000

  • Law of the Republic of Moldova of July 8, 1999. No. 488-XIV ‘ About expropriation for the socially useful purposes’ (as amended on 09.06.2022)

  • Law on normative price and order of purchase and sale of land No 1308-XIII of July 25, 1997

  • Law on public administration No. 436-XVI of December 28, 2006

  • Law on small farmers’ Households No. 1353 of 3 November 2000

  • Law on Renting in Agriculture no 198 of 15 May 2003

The Land Code is probably the most important relevant legislation that establishes the categories of land based on their use and mandates the necessary protection for the different categories. The Land Code was ratified in 1991. 

The law on expropriation for socially useful purposes No 488 of July 8, 1999 provides the procedure for expropriation of private property. 

Expropriation for public benefit projects set out the following principles:

  • It is applicable only if the project is declared as being of public interest and the competent/responsible authority issues the official decision in this respect. 

  • The valuation of the property is undertaken by the expropriator based on market value and normative value. Cash compensation is provided based on the higher amount prior to expropriation. Any transaction cost is paid by the Expropriator. 

  • In kind compensation or land for land compensation is acceptable under the expropriation law

  • The law does not have any specific provisions for non-titled landowners or informal land users. Article 5 sets out the types of public utilities projects that have to be declared as projects of national or local interest. This declaration is provided based on preliminary studies, if all legal conditions to expropriate are met. In case of expropriation for public utilities projects, the land owners is entitled to compensation. in case an agreement on the market price of the land is not reached, the price is established by the court based on an expertise conducted by independent expert valuators. 


Law no. 1308, July 25, 1997 sets out the normative price for land and sale/purchase procedure. Article 11 sets out that land designated as agricultural or forest land is allowed to be expropriated for public interest. Article 12 stipulates that any losses resulting from withdrawn agricultural and forest land should be compensated. Article 15 defines the justification and purposes for expropriation for public utilities projects. Article 17 sets out the rules for compensation stating that the market prices are not allowed to be less than normative price specified in the Annex. In case of disputes between the administration authority and the landowner, the court will establish the price based on expertise by independent expert valuators. 

Government Decree no 1170, October 25, 2016 on approval of provisions for procedure on the assignment, land use change and land exchange establishes the procedure for preparation, submissions and processing the application documents that define the institutional responsibilities and timeframes. For state owned institutions and enterprises, public land shall be made available in order to use it in their business activities. The chance of land use shall respect the procedure established by Government Decree No 1451, December 24, 2007. The approval for the change of land use from agricultural and forest lands is within one month after transferring the funds to the state budget, in amount equivalent to the losses caused by the land withdrawal from agricultural use. 

Government Decree no 958/2003 guides temporary methodology of evaluation of land regardless of the type and ownership. 

Government Decree no 514/2002 on the regulation regarding the protection of electrical network defined the following main provisions relevant for the OHL projects:

  • protection zones need to be established with minimum acceptable distances established between OHLs and buildings, construction, land and water areas 

  • delimitation of corridor clear of vegetation and trees in massive woodlands and plantations to be defined

  • OHL protection corridor in case of 400kV shall be 30m on both sides of the line

  • for construction and operations of OHL, the land will be assigned according to the legislation 

  • The land located within the protection corridor, not taken from land owners, can be used for agricultural works and other works in strict compliance with the regulation

  • The planned works for maintenance of OHL crossing agricultural land will be performed with the consent of the landowners and usually in a period when the land is not occupied by crops or when it is possible to ensure the integrity of agricultural cultures and avoid interruption of agricultural activities. 


Law on Petition no 190-XIII of July 19, 1994, Law on Administrative Litigation no 793-XIV February 10, 2000 and Civil Procedure Code no 225-XV of May 30, 2003. These laws provide the framework for grievance management on resettlement and land acquisition. There is a provision for appeal against the expropriation within 45 days of notification. These appeals should be settled within 30 days by a committee including three specialists and three landowners. Parties must receive notification within five days of the adoption of the committee’s decision which would serve as a basis for compensation. If the terms of the expropriation are not agreed, expropriation for public use can only occur on the basis of a judicial decision and preliminary compensation for the lost assets. In this instance the court appoints relevant valuation experts to determine the compensation levels and then compensation needs to be made available within 30 days of the court decision. Petitioners who oppose the decision have the right to appeal to the administrative court within 30 days. The right to appeal in court is granted to any person who feels that their rights were violated or challenged. 


The main gaps with IFI requirements include:

  1. Socio-economic survey/study: Local legislation does not provide for socio-economic impact assessment or studies to be undertaken prior to resettlement or expropriation. This includes the lack of census, asset inventory and any other study or survey. 

  2. Compensation at replacement cost: The compensation is based on market and sales value and price without accounting for administrative costs and taxes. 

  3. Assistance to informal land owners and land users: Local expropriation law does not have provisions for this. 

  4. Cut off date: Since a census is not required, there is no real requirement to establish a cut-off date. Once the declaration of expropriation is issued, the expropriation procedure can start within 10 days. 

  5. Stakeholder engagement: No specific requirement for continuous engagement with affected people or consultations on the resettlement process. 

  6. No provisions for vulnerable groups. 

  7. Local legislation does not provide for provisions on resettlement planning. 

  8. Grievance management is based on the legal mechanisms and no particular requirement exist for an accessible informal mechanism. 

  9. No provisions to monitor implementation and outcomes of the resettlement process. 

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