Hungarian companies have been full participants of the EU's internal market since the accession in 2004, and thus they benefit from the free movement of goods. Hungarian legislation has also successfully removed the legal obstacles of the free movement of goods.
Consumer interests require the State to use legal regulation to ensure respect for economic competition and that the requirements relating to products for commercial distribution are fulfilled.
The Act on the Food Chain and its Official Supervision defines the rules necessary for the supply of safe food to people and official supervision of the food chain. The Act covers all players in the food chain.
The National Food Chain Safety Office (NFCSO) provides experts and the general public with up-to-date information reflecting the latest scientific results in the field of food safety.
The general rules laid down in the Act on Pursuing Commercial Activities also refer to the sale of non-food products.
From the legislator's viewpoint, reporting processes – with the prior commenting on the draft national legislations in the areas not harmonised by Community law – are aimed at ensuring the free movement of goods within the internal market of the European Union and in the trade between the Member States of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Hungary is obliged to harmonise technical draft legislation relating to industrial products with the European Union, so that any legislation that restricts the free movement of goods can be filtered out. This harmonisation task is performed by the Notification Centre.
The Hungarian Trade Licensing Office acts as the authorisation, registration, monitoring and supervisory authority in relation to commercial businesses. As the national authority of the EU, the Hungarian Trade Licensing Office acts as the authority for implementing the European Union's Common Trade Policy in Hungary.
Excise goods: petroleum oil, alcoholic products, beer, wine, champagne and sparkling wine, intermediate alcoholic products, tobacco products.
Trade licensing requirements
The Act on Commerce regulates the principles and conditions of the pursuit of commercial activity, by retaining the freedom to pursue a commercial activity and emphasising the development of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.
Applications for operating licences must be submitted to the notary of the competent local government of the town where the business is registered. In general, the pursuit of commercial activities must also be reported to him.
Appealing against trade barriers
The notification procedures are handled in Hungary by the Notification Centre of the Ministry for National Economy.
The notification procedures provide additional security for the free movement of goods in the internal market. These include for instance notification on the physical barriers to the trading of goods and certain market monitoring measures.
Permits and licences
For products manufactured and distributed in Hungary, as a rule, no authorisation procedure is required. Preliminary authorisation may be necessary in other cases.
Trade in certain goods and their transportation on the territory of the Republic of Hungary may be restricted. These restrictions may include the requirement of a licence to import, export or transit goods, or the suspension or prohibition of the same for a definite or indefinite period.
International VAT number
Under the Taxation Rules Act, taxpayers that trade within the European Union must have a Community tax number. The State tax authority issues and records Community tax numbers.
Unless otherwise provided for, taxpayers are obliged to issue an invoice to the buyer or customer for the sale of goods or provision of services.
Submission of statistical data
Trade within the internal market of the European Union is recorded using the Intrastat statistical monitoring system. Intrastat data providers are Hungarian companies that import products from EU Member States or export products to them.
Suspending tariffs or obtaining new tariff quotas
Companies may initiate a reduction in import duties for materials and components imported for use in their products, in the event that the goods in question were not manufactured, or not in sufficient quantity, in the European Union. In Hungary, applications for suspension of Customs duty or tariff quotas must be submitted to the Ministry for National Economy (MNE).
Shipping certain goods
There are separate regulations relating to the transportation of dangerous goods. The ADR is the European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road.
The authorisation of vehicles built to transport dangerous goods falls is the jurisdiction of the National Transport Authority.
Hazardous waste may only be transported and collected with an operating licence from the National Inspectorate for Environment, Nature and Water.
International transport document
The shipping of a product to another Member State may be verified by means of the shipping documents or in another credible manner. The seller is responsible for being able to prove credibly, for example by means of an international carriage note (CMR), that the product has been received in another Member State.
For goods transported by groupage, it is necessary to draw up a manifest if there is a carriage note. If the goods are transported by the seller himself, he must have an international licence for the carriage of goods by road in addition to the CMR note.
If the seller transports the goods in his own car (company car), he must have proof from the buyer that he took delivery of the goods from the seller in the destination country, in addition to the car log book or waybill.
A Community licence valid in EU Member States may be requested from the National Transport Authority.
Hungary applies the rules relating to the international shipping of goods with a TIR carnet. In addition to the TIR Agreement, the Transit Agreement is also becoming increasingly important in the field of shipping. Under the Transit Agreement, transported goods are exempt from the obligation to provide a Customs guarantee.
In Hungary, it is possible to settle disputes by means of well-known types of alternative settlement, arbitration or mediation.
Court of arbitration
Proceedings at a court of arbitration (arbitration) may be concluded in a contract if at least one of the parties is a person engaged professionally in a commercial activity, and the legal dispute relates to such activity, or if the parties are free to order the subject of the proceedings. A Permanent Court of Arbitration organised by the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry may also act as the court of arbitration in international cases.
In a mediation procedure (mediation), the parties may, by mutual agreement, have civil disputes arising in relation to personal and property rights in which their right of ownership is not restricted by law.
The list of mediators is published on the Ministry of Public Administration and Justice website.
The procedures of the conciliation panel are primarily for settling consumer disputes. This panel essentially performs three activities: namely conciliation, mediation and arbitration, within one organisation.
If the procedures above are unsuccessful, court proceedings may be initiated in order to settle the conflict.
KA-VOSZ Zrt was created in collaboration with the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the National Association of Entrepreneurs. This company instigated the creation of the Széchenyi Card, a low-interest loan for Hungarian micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.