USAID MISRA is looking for a Local Legal Expert in the Maritime sector (for drafting the Naval Transport Code)

USAID MISRA is looking for a Local Legal Expert in the Maritime sector (for drafting the Naval Transport Code)


Position:                                 Local Legal Expert in the Maritime sector (for drafting the Naval Transport Code)

Location:                                Chisinau, Moldova

Period of Performance:        August 2024 - January 2025

Total Level of Effort:             up to 60 days

Work Plan Activity:             Task 2.4.6. Development of a new Naval Transport Code / Sub-task Drafts of a new Naval Transport Code and of related supporting documents are finalized                


Project Background

The USAID Moldova Institutional and Structural Reforms Activity (MISRA) is a five-year project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by Nathan Associates Inc. MISRA’s objective is to stimulate a sustainable and inclusive recovery from the regional crisis and improve the institutional, business and trade enabling environment by supporting Moldova’s public institutions and the private sector to accelerate the implementation of trade liberalization mechanisms, adopt structural and investment climate reforms, accelerate financial sector reforms, improve economic governance in the public sector, and enhance strategic communications between the private and public actors.

MISRA builds on prior and ongoing USAID and US Government activities in the business enabling environment and trade facilitation to strengthen Moldova’s economic growth and resilience and, by doing so, increase transparency and accountability.

 Activity Overview

The USAID Moldova Institutional and Structural Reforms Activity (MISRA) seeks to support Moldova’s economic recovery, advance the Government of Moldova’s economic Action Plan, strengthen public economic governance institutions, improve the trade and investment enabling environment, and accelerate financial sector reforms and inclusiveness.

The Ministry of Infrastructure and Regional Development (MIRD) is the central specialized body, which promotes state policy in the field of infrastructure and regional development and operates in accordance with the Constitution and Laws of the Republic of Moldova, Parliamentary Decisions, Acts of the President of the Republic of Moldova, Government Decisions and Orders, as well as other normative acts. The MIRD performs the functions in the following domains of transport: railways, civil aviation, road transport and waterborne.

The Naval Agency of the Republic of Moldova, as the maritime administration, is the administrative authority under the MIRD, tasked with implementing state policies in the field of waterborne transport and overseeing compliance by individuals and legal entities with the regulatory framework in this area to ensure the safety of navigation on inland waterways and in port areas, as well as the quality and harmlessness of waterborne transport services and navigation in general.

Currently, the waterborne transport sector in the Republic of Moldova is governed by several main legal acts, such as:

- Law No. 599 of 1999, implementing the Code of Commercial Maritime Navigation

- Law No. 176 of 2013, on Inland Waterways Transport
- Governmental Decision No. 706 of 2018, establishing the Naval Agency
- Governmental Decision No. 1035 of 2023, laying down the rules for registration of waterborne vessels
- Governmental Decision No. 414 of 2020, implementing the obligations of Flag State
- Governmental Decision No. 411 of 2023, on safety of maritime navigation
- Governmental Decision No. 23 of 2024, enhancing port security and security on board of vessels
- Governmental Decision No. 143 of 2016, on the inland transport of dangerous goods
- Governmental Decision No. 155 of 2023, on acceptance of recognized organizations for control and inspections of vessels

- Governmental Decision No. 723 of 2023, laying down technical requirements for inland waterway vessels
- Governmental Decision No. 1078 9f 2023, establishing the Information System (European) Maritime Single Window.

In parallel, the Republic of Moldova adhered to the following main international conventions in the field of waterborne transport:

- International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea

- International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships

- International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping of Seafarers

- International Load Line Convention

- International Convention on the Measurement of Tonnage of Ships

- Convention on International Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea
- Maritime Labor Convention

- Convention on the Danube Navigation Regime

Recently, the MIRD requested technical assistance from USAID MISRA to support the drafting of a new Naval Transport Code. This support entails transposing EU directives and regulations, as well as international conventions to which the Republic of Moldova is a signatory. The assistance has been requested due to the outdated nature of the national maritime transport legislation, specifically the Code of Commercial Maritime Navigation (1999) and the Law on Inland Waterways Transport (2013), which no longer adequately address current needs and standards.

One of the prerequisites for EU accession is the harmonization and adaptation of EU legislation into the national legal and regulatory framework. Therefore, updating and aligning the waterborne transport legislation with EU standards is essential for fulfilling this requirement and advancing Moldova's path towards EU membership. Additionally, enhancing Moldova's capacities and implementing a modern legal framework is crucial to prevent the country's exclusion from the Blacklist of the Paris MoU on Port State Control. This organization governs harmonized principles concerning safety of life at sea, prevention of pollution, and living and working conditions aboard vessels. Adhering to these standards is paramount to maintain maritime safety, environmental protection, and ensure compliance with international regulations.

Given the weak administrative capacities at both MIRD and NARM, and in response to MIRD’s request, USAID MISRA will provide technical assistance in revising the laws and regulations of the Republic of Moldova to comply with the commitments under the EU-Moldova Association Agreement and international conventions. Therefore, the program seeks to recruit two maritime consultants (international and local) to initiate the drafting of the new Code to ensure alignment with modern standards and international obligations.

The local expert will support the international expert to initially assess the legal framework governing the waterborne transport in the Republic of Moldova. The local expert will support the international expert with their performed tasks, including to ensure effective interactions and communications with local stakeholders.

Responsibilities and Tasks

 The local expert, under the lead of international expert, will implement the following activities and supporting tasks in coordination with MIRD and NARM:

  • Adjust the newly drafted Naval Code (covering maritime and inland waterways aspects)
  • Prepare the Information Note and the respective Table of Concordance, in coordination with international expert
  • Prepare the Regulatory Impact Analysis
  • In coordination with the international expert will participate in working meetings with appropriate government representatives, including MIRD and NARM.
  • Support the international expert during the presentation of the deliverables to the beneficiaries and USAID MISRA

The local expert will work on the following deliverables with regular reporting to the international expert and USAID MISRA on the progress of the work.


  • The adjusted draft of the Naval Code, in compliance with EU and international commitments
  • Information Note and Table of concordance
  • Regulatory Impact Analysis

Supervisory Responsibilities and Reporting

The local expert will report and coordinate their activities with the international expert and MISRA Deputy Chief of Party and Transport and Logistics Specialist.

Skills and Qualifications

 University degree in law, maritime transport or another field related to the assignment is preferable.

  • Experience in conducting legal expertise and/or drafting
  • Experience in working within the national transport institutions and/or public sector is desired, but not a priority
  • Knowledge of local maritime sector
  • Solid understanding of international conventions governing maritime transport
  • Solid understanding of EU legislation governing maritime and inland waterways transport
  • Experience in drafting legal acts
  • Understanding of the legal promotion/approval process is desired
  • Experience working within donor financed projects/programs is desired, but not a priority
  • Writing and speaking skills in Romanian and English

How to Apply

 We welcome your CV and cover letter at Please apply by July 15, 2024 with “Local Legal Expert in the Maritime sector (for drafting the Naval Transport Code)” in the subject line. This short-term position will remain open until filled.