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According to a recent amendment to the Hungarian Act on Sport in March 2019, an international sport association – recognized by the International Olympic Committee – will be classified and regulated as a subtype of sport associations in Hungary.

The Hungarian Public Procurement Act was modified as of 18 April 2019, in order to comply with the provisions of the Directive 2014/55/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of on electronic invoicing in public procurement.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has declared in a recent case that when checking VAT transactions, the tax authority cannot ignore examining the full budgetary impact. Thus it is not acceptable for the authorities to deny the right of VAT deduction to a taxpayer without allowing the other taxpayer to accordingly reclaim the VAT that it paid. Furthermore, the court also found it unacceptable for the tax authority to base a fine only on the amount of the VAT deducted unlawfully without examining the tax shortfall actually caused. The ruling can be considered as another important step towards the creation of a fair VAT system.

On 1 April 2019 the Hungarian Parliament adopted a new act on the amendments necessary for the implementation of the European Union’s data protection reform (“Data Protection Reform Act”). The new act has a comprehensive nature, as it aims to finalise the implantation of the data protection reform in the affected (more than 80) sectoral laws.

In March 2019 the Hungarian Parliament voted to introduce a new form of asset management foundation, which will serve as a real alternative to the fiduciary asset management (trust) system (“bizalmi vagyonkezelés” in Hungarian).

Andras Levai is the Head of Legal-CE Ethics and Compliance at Tesco Central Europe. Levai, who is based in Hungary, has been with Tesco since June 2009, when he joined as Senior Legal Counsel. In 2013, he was appointed to the role of Group Internal Auditor for Hungary and Turkey and he became the Head of Legal for Hungary in 2014. He was appointed to his current role in 2016. Prior to Tesco, he worked at the Hidasi & Partners Law Firm.

Andras Mohacsi is the Head of Competition Law and Sanctions at British American Tobacco, where he is responsible for designing, rolling out, and coordinating the implementation of the company’s global competition law and sanctions compliance programs, as well as overseeing the management of any related proceedings against any group company. He first joined BAT in Hungary in 1998. Before that, he worked as Head of Legal of Daewoo Bank Hungary.

Starting or continuing a mining project has always been subject to various licensing requirements. However, an amendment to spatial planning laws that became effective on March 15, 2019 increases the regulatory challenges faced by investors by introducing a completely new condition for obtaining the local municipality’s blessing, even for operations that are already underway. Therefore, the aftermath of the most recent regulatory changes should not be underestimated, as the number of mining sites exceeds 800 in Hungary.

Competition/Antitrust expert Sam Baldwin is a British national in Budapest’s Szecskay Attorneys at Law. Before joining Szecskay he spent eight years as an attorney in Copenhagen with the Gorrissen Federspiel law firm. He has significant experience advocating before national competition authorities and the European Commission and is successful at fending off accusations of wrong-doing on behalf of clients. He has represented companies in national court proceedings as well as at the General Court and European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

In January 2019 CEE Legal Matters reported that Deloitte Legal had advised K&H Bank on long-term non-recourse project financing provided to Photon Energy Group for Photon Energy’s 11.5 MWp proprietary PV power plant portfolio in Hungary. Pontes Budapest advised Photon Energy on the deal. We reached out to both firms for more information.

The number of electric vehicles in Hungary is rising. In response to this, the National Building Regulation of Hungary (OTEK) has established new requirements for the provision of recharging points, with a January 1, 2019 deadline. Although these new rules have had some visible results, there is significant delay in establishing full compliance. Those who fail to meet the requirement may anticipate the imposition of penalties.

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