Products imported from and exported to the UK became subject to customs duties as the UK withdrew from the European Union on 1 February 2020 and also left the EU customs union on 1 January 2021.
Hungarian National Tax and Customs Authority regularly publishes the list of major tax defaulters for failing to fulfil their tax obligations in Hungary. The list also contains private data of the defaulters, including, inter alia, information on tax arrears and debts and their home address. In a recent case (L.B. v. Hungary – 36345/16), European Court of Human Rights concluded no violation and confirmed the approach of Hungarian tax authority as justified.
At the beginning of February 2021, a new decree of the Hungarian Minister of Finance (“Decree”) was published on the detailed rules of the execution of the Money Laundering Act for certain non-financial service providers and the development and the minimum requirements of the operation of the filtering system. The decree enters into force on 19 March 2021.
In the last decade, the amount of minimum wage and the guaranteed minimum wage has been rising year by year. However, the process of determining the minimum wage in 2021 was different from previous years in two ways: firstly, the agreement on the wage, after 7 negotiation sessions, was not reached by the end of December 2020, therefore, after reaching agreement at the end of January 2021, the new minimum wage figures are in effect from 1 February 2021, and secondly, the increase was lower as seen before in the last years.
The supervisory activity of the National Media and Infocommuncations Authority (“NMIA”) and the operation of communication service providers will be highly affected by the implemented provisions of the European Electronic Communications Code that prescribes the applicable new European framework of electronic communications.
According to a press release of the Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) issued on 16 December 2020, GVH is launching a market analysis to investigate how customer datasets of e-commerce companies are created and also the role of such assets in the competition between online stores. The investigation will further cover the extent of the customers’ awareness of such data collection and its influence on their decisions.
In December 2020, KELER Kozponti Ertektar Zrt. (KELER Central Securities Depository Ltd.) (KELER), the central depository of Hungary, was granted an authorisation under the Central Securities Depositories Regulation (CSDR Regulation) and can now offer its clients services supporting an efficient and secure securities market as a central securities depository operating under unified European regulations.
At the end of December 2020, several new regulations have been accepted to facilitate constructions due to the state of emergency. As one of the most important news, the Hungarian Government has extended the application of simple notification to the construction activities of a residential building including maximum six flats, but having a total net floor space of maximum 1,000 sqm.
According to the changes of the act of the local business tax adopted on 26 November 2020, taxpayers have to submit their tax return to the tax authority, which means that what was an option until the end of the 2020 year, has become an obligation. As of 1 January 2021, the tax authority supervises and verifies the tax returns and also indicates immediately the calculation errors to the taxpayers, which can be corrected by correction or self-audit.
On 12 November 2020 the European Commission published the new standard contractual clauses (SCCs) on data transfer (model clauses), which would replace clauses C2C and C2P under Commission decisions issued under the European Data Protection Directive. The bill subjects international transfers to significantly stricter administrative conditions in the light of the Schrems II decision. The draft act is open for feedback for 4 weeks. Feedback will be taken into account for finalising the initiative.
On 1 December 2020 the Hungarian Parliament decided that as of 1 January 2021, one of the most effective bodies in the fight against discrimination, the Equal Treatment Authority (ETA) will be abolished. Its duties, including the legal protection against racial, gender and other discrimination, will be taken over by the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights. The proceedings ongoing on 1 January 2021 will be suspended until 31 January 2021. Likewise, ongoing administrative lawsuits appealing against decisions of ETA on 1 January 2021 will be suspended until 31 January 2021.