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On 20 March 2015 the Hungarian Competition Authority ("HCA") imposed a staggering fine on Auchan for abusing its significant market power. The HUF 1.06bln (approx. EUR 3m) fine is the highest ever imposed by the authority for the infringement of the Trade Act (Act CLXIV of 2005 on Trade). Although the decision is from 2015, the Hungarian courts put an end to the judicial review only now. The Supreme Court of Hungary has upheld the HCA's decision in its entirety.

This article is an excerpt of Producing in CEE, Dentons’ guide to tax and financial incentives for film, television and digital media production.

The Hungarian Government, in order to join the world in data asset management and to set data economy in action in Hungary, has established the National Data Asset Agency, which commenced its activities on 1 October 2020.

Pharmacy Law no. 266/2008 (the “Pharmacy Law”) was recently amended by Law no. 243/2020 approving the Government Ordinance no. 4/2018 amending and supplementing the Pharmacy Law no. 266/2008 which was published in the Official Gazette of Romania no. 1042 (“Law no. 243/2020”). The new amendments entered into force on November 9, 2020.

Law no. 223/2020 on simplifying and eliminating the bureaucracy involved in transfer of shares and payment of share capital by amending Romanian Companies Law No. 31/1990 (“Companies Law”) was published in Issue no. 1018 of the Official Gazette of Romania dated 2 November 2020 and entered into force on 5 November 2020.

In its recent judgment C-311/18 (Schrems II) the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) undermined, to a certain extent, the principles established in previous years for the transfer of personal data outside the EEA, in particular to the US. Many exporters, i.e. controllers and processors transferring data to third countries, were surprised by the verdict and left in confusion. Fortunately, the European Data Protection Board (EDP) came to the aid and adopted recommendations on measures that supplement transfer tools to ensure compliance with the EU level of protection of personal data.

Since this spring, the Czech Republic has been struggling with the coronavirus SARS CoV-2. The response to the pandemic in the field of labour law was the creation of the so-called Antivirus programme, which aimed to mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic by providing a state-backed financial contribution to salary costs. This should prevent mass redundancies and keep unemployment levels under control. Schemes A to C of the Antivirus programme were created on an ad hoc basis as an immediate response to the negative effects of the pandemic.

In 2014 Hungary introduced the advertisement tax as a direct business tax that must be paid by media content and service providers and publishers of advertisements. The tax base is the net sales revenue originating from the taxable activities in the tax year, i.e. the turnover and not the profit, and a progressive tax rate was established originally with six tax rates between 0% and 40%. After several amendments, since 1 July 2017 the tax rates were 0% up to HUF 100 million and 7.5% for the portion exceeding this amount. From 1 July 2019 the advertisement has been temporarily suspended and the tax rate was decreased to 0%.

The economic situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the need for regulations that protect jobs and can respond effectively to the challenges of the economic environment and the labor market of this unprecedented time. It is essential for labor market actors to maintain and promote jobs that provide legal employment and to create such jobs as widely as possible, therefore, the Hungarian Government issued a bill about employment services, subsidies and employment supervision to the Parliament for legislation.

Law no. 12/1990 on the protection of the population against illicit production, trade or services (“Law 12/1990”) was adopted during Romania’s transition from a socialist economy to a market economy. Thus, the Romanian State was then still involved in the forming of retail prices, as the pattern of forming these prices in accordance with a market economy was not yet well established. However, 30 years have passed and Romania has developed to a full-sized market economy, where prices are formed based on demand and supply.

Varga Mihály, Minister of Finance submitted the autumn tax changes package to the Hungarian Parliament, including the proposed changes for VAT in 2021. The draft contains detailed implementing rules for the EU e-commerce package and related administrative requirements, as well as several additional changes to the Hungarian VAT Act, as follows:

Due to considerable variations in the prices of medicine within the EU, parallel trade –  cross-border resale of trademark-protected pharmaceutical products by a third party without the authorisation of the IP rights holder – is common in the pharmaceuticals market.

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