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Hungary

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1) REFERENCES

Commission Opinion [COM(97) 2001 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(98) 700 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(1999) 505 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2000) 705 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [SEC(2001) 1748 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2002) 700 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2003) 675 final - SEC(2003) 1205 - Not published in the Official Journal]
Treaty of Accession to the European Union [Official Journal L 236 of 23.09.2003]

2) SUMMARY

In its Opinion of July 1997, the Commission noted that Hungary was making a real effort to transpose the Community directives in the field of consumer policy. It also felt that Hungary, provided it continued its efforts, should be able to adopt all the Community acquis in this area in the medium term. Work should focus on completing, updating and unifying the legislation and on putting in place the structures needed to ensure effective enforcement of the Community acquis.

The November 1998 Report noted that considerable progress had been made in this field and predicted that transposition would continue over the coming years.

The October 1999 Report confirmed the above assessment and stressed the progress made in aligning national legislation with Community rules. However, the institutions still needed to be strengthened.

The October 2002 Report noted that negotiations had provisionally been closed as regards this chapter and Hungary had not requested transitional provisions.

The October 2003 Report indicates that Hungry complies with the majority of the Community acquis on safety-related measures (e.g. market surveillance, which however, needs some improvement), as well as on non-safety related measures and the consumer associations.
The Treaty of Accession was signed on 16 April 2003 and accession took place on 1 May 2004.

COMMUNITY ACQUIS

The Community acquis covers the protection of consumers' economic interests (notably in the fields of misleading advertising, indication of prices, consumer credit, unfair contract terms, distance selling, package travel, and timeshares), general product safety, cosmetics safety, the labelling of textile products and toy safety.

The European Association Agreement provides for aligning the legislation with Community law and for cooperation measures to bring Hungarian consumer protection law fully into line with the Community rules. The measures set out in the first phase of the White Paper on the Central and Eastern European Countries and the Internal Market (1995) focus on the improvement of product safety, notably in respect of cosmetics, textiles and toys, and on the protection of consumers' economic interests, mainly in the field of misleading advertising, consumer credit, unfair contract terms, and indication of prices. The second-phase measures concern package travel and timeshares. New, recently adopted Community legislation (distance selling, comparative advertising and indication of prices) must also be transposed.

EVALUATION

Safety-related measures

Hungry must still transpose and apply the acquis on general product safety. As part of this process, the financial and human resources of the administrative structures (management structures and the information system) responsible for implementing this part of the acquis should be strengthened.

Since 2002, the Hungarian Ministry of Economic Affairs has set up a Market Surveillance Council.

The Council is a consultative and coordination forum which works with the market surveillance authorities and contributes to the development of market surveillance strategies. Participants include representatives from the ministries involved in market surveillance, the Hungarian customs and finance service, the national consumer protection association, the EC delegation, and the general inspectorate for consumer protection. In 2002 the central market surveillance and information system also started to operate.

Consumer protection (non-safety-related measures)

A number of measures in the area of consumer protection must still be transposed, in particular:

  • the acquis on injunctions
  • distance contracts
  • certain aspects of the sale of consumer goods and associated guarantees

As regards implementation, efforts must be continued to apply the acquis on the indication of prices and package travel.

Finally, the role of consumer associations has to be promoted and developed in order to actively involve them in shaping and implementing consumer policy.

This summary is for information only and is not designed to interpret or replace the reference document.

Last updated: 21.01.2004
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