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Hungary

Environmental rules

Updated 01/2013

Legal requirements

After joining the EU, Hungary redrafted nearly all of its environmental protection legislation. The Ministry of Rural Development, more closely the State Secretariat for Environment Affairs has been responsible for environment protection from July 2010.

Environmental control

The following pages provide information about environmental control and basic recordkeeping:

Land development

As a result of its incorporation into the European Union's land development system, Hungary applies the basic European principles and legal system and has access to European Union resources.

Waste management

The Waste Management Act lays down obligations for records to be kept and data to be provided by all producers, owners and managers of waste that come under its scope. The methods, content and deadlines for fulfilling the obligations are regulated in more detail by the Decree on Record-Keeping and Data Provision Obligations Relating to Waste.

Chemicals

In Hungarian law, chemicals are regulated by Act XXV of 2000 on Chemical Safety, which is supplemented by regulations for individual sectors. Significant changes have recently been made by the REACH Regulation, which regulates the registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals and applies directly to Member States of the EU, and by the Regulation containing new rules for the classification, labelling and packaging (CLP) of chemical substances.

Water

The legal basis for national programmes created in the areas of improving the quality of drinking water and draining and treating waste water has been formed by amending the Water Management Act.

Climate and air

The framework for the protection of clean air is defined by the Government Decree on the Clean Air Protection Regulations. Owing to the cross-border impact, the protection of air quality requires cooperation with international organisations that include countries both inside and outside the European Union.

Noise protection

The following Decree provides for Environment Noise and Vibration Prevention:

Nuclear protection

The agreement adopted in 1979 by the International Atomic Energy Agency relates to nuclear protection.

Inspections

The supervisory body of the National Inspectorate for Environment, Nature and Water is the Ministry of Rural Development. The organisation has the power as the environmental, nature and water authority as defined in law.

The State Public Health and Medical Officer's Service has primary responsibility for monitoring the manufacture and distribution of chemical substances.

Businesses are free to go beyond the minimum environmental legal requirements at their own initiative.

Administrative procedures

Declaratory procedures

Land development

The National Area Development and Area Planning Information System (TeIR) ensures operation of the system for publishing mandatory data.

A building that has been built with planning permission may be taken into use if it is suitable for proper, safe use and has an occupancy licence. If there is no occupancy licence, the building may not be used.

Waste management

Since July 2010, the Ministry of Rural Development has been responsible for environmental protection, however, the subject-specific materials can for the time being be found on the website of the former Ministry for the Environment and Water. Information relating to waste reporting may be found on the former Ministry for the Environment and Water website:

In the case of chemicals, companies must register under the REACH Regulation.

Reports under the provisions of the Act on the Chemical Safety of Hazardous Substances and Mixtures are received by the National Institute of Chemical Safety. The Institute also acts as the poison control authority.

Activities carried out using hazardous chemicals and mixtures must be reported to the centre of the State Public Health and Medical Officer's Service (ÁNTSZ) and to the National Institute of Chemical Safety.

Trading with other hazardous chemicals is subject to a separate permit.

A statement on the environment protection product fee must be made to the government's tax authority from 1 January 2013.

Water

The Damage Clearance subsystem of the Environmental Register System of Groundwater and Geological Medium (FAVI) contains the necessary forms for taking sources of pollution, polluted areas damage clearance into consideration nationally.

Climate and air

The operation and development of the Hungarian Air Quality Network allows data to be collected relating to good levels of air pollution.

Nuclear protection

In Hungary, the Act on Disaster Prevention regulates the organisations that participate in avoiding nuclear accidents, as well as their tasks.

Permits and licences

Facilities in Hungary that have an impact on the environment can only operate if they hold an integrated environmental permit, as per the EU directive on integrated pollution prevention and control.

Before starting activities that may have a significant impact on the environment, an environmental impact study must be conducted.

Land development

The authorisation of land development falls under the local public administration procedures, so the local government of the town in question, and the construction, environment and land development department or construction and environment department of the town hall must always be consulted.

Waste management

Registration of chemicals must be submitted to the European Chemicals Agency in the form and manner laid down by the REACH Regulation. According to the REACH Regulation, substances for which a licence is required must also have applications submitted to the European Chemicals Agency for individual user licences.

The State Public Health and Medical Officer's Service (ÁNTSZ) and the National Institute of Chemical Safety performs the Member State supervisory procedures for biocidal active agents in Hungary.

There is no submission deadline in the case of waste exports, however, it is recommended to submit a reporting formto the National Inspectorate for Environment, Nature and Water min.60 days before commencement of the acitvities.

The administration time from the date of submission of the application is approximately 45-60 days.

For the import or transit of waste, the licence application (report form, accompanying documentation and annexes) must be submitted to the competent authority for the (receiving) country for which the consignment is destined.

Climate and air

Since 1 January 2005, the largest industrial consumers in Hungary may only emit carbon dioxide as a result of their activities if they are in possession of an emissions licence. Licensing is possible via the Basic Environmental Records (KAR).

Noise protection

The licensing plan must define the measures and requirements that must be complied with when preparing the export plan, for example in relation to individual noise emission requirements for sources of noise, the anticipated technical measures necessary to reduce noise, or sources of industrial or leisure noise.

Inspections

Land development

The authorisation of land development falls under the local public administration procedures, so the construction, environment and land development department or construction and environment department of the local government of the town in question, or of the town hall, will always perform monitoring.

Waste management

Monitoring of the import, export and transit of waste consignments entering and leaving the European Communities through Hungary is primarily carried out by the National Inspectorate for Environment, Nature and Water (OKTV), the police, the customs authority, and, in the case of road and rail transportation, the traffic authority and rail authority, while in the case of transportation of hazardous waste by road the monitoring is carried out by the National Directorate General for Disaster Management and its regional bodies in collaboration.

Chemicals

The State Public Health and Medical Officer's Service has primary responsibility for monitoring the manufacture and distribution of chemical substances.

The Hungarian Labour Inspectorate monitors health and safety aspects of the manufacture and use of chemicals. After material is turned into waste, monitoring falls under the duties of the Environmental Inspectorates.

Water

The regulations provided by the Water Framework Directive are a new approach to water conservation.

Climate and air

The Hungarian Air Quality Network monitors air pollution data and continuously reviews air pollution limits.

Noise protection

Information on the monitoring of provisions relating to the generation of construction noise and vibrations may be found in the following Decree:

Resources

The Ministry of Rural Development has been responsible for environment protection since June 2010.

The database of the environmental protection industry information system has contact information for all environmental authorities.

Environmental protection information for businesses:

Information can be found on the website of the National Inspectorate for Environment, Nature and Water:

Programmes

The Environment and Energy Operational Programme supports the implementation of 'sustainable use of the environment' in the New Hungary Development Plan.

The New Széchenyi Plan pays particular attention to green economic development and the challenges of the 21st century, such as how a country can handle the problems arising from a usage structure based on fossil (non-renewable) forms of energy, by means of energy savings, energy efficiency, energy security and renewable sources of energy.

The aim of the National Environmental Damage Clearance Programme is to locate pollution and damage in soil and groundwater, then reduce or eliminate it.

The main aim of the KEXPORT programme is to promote export activities by Hungarian enterprises engaged in innovative products and services.

Help & advice

Help & advice

E-mail a business organisation near you

The EU runs a network (Enterprise Europe Network) of local business organisations in most European countries that may be able to help you.

Choose your country and town and enter your enquiry below.

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