DLA Piper Hungary’s busiest practice lately has been its Litigation and Regulatory team, headed by Partner Andras Nemescsoi. COVID-19-generated legal uncertainty and a set of opportunities arising from a relaxation on state-aid rules fuel the workload.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the physical distancing measures force many employers to introduce telework (working from home) on a large scale. In order to respond the current challenges, in September 2020 the Hungarian Government set the objective to reform the regulations on teleworking. The purpose of the new rules is to allow more employers to introduce telework and also to make the regulation more flexible.
On 1 September 2020, a new government decree entered into force on travel restrictions during the pandemic period. Based on the new rules, Hungarian citizens arriving from abroad may get through a health inspection and in case of suspicion of contamination, the Hungarian citizen must be placed in quarantine. In case the suspicion of contamination has not been established by the health inspection, the Hungarian citizen also must be placed in official home quarantine or in quarantine determined by the pandemic authority for 14 days. In certain circumstances, the Hungarian citizen may be exempted from this quarantine obligation, if he/she arrives from the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic or the Republic of Poland.
Who hasn’t queued at the in-store customer service desk to have their warranty stamped? Who hasn’t spent hours figuring out which brand service centre to take a faulty product to? And there are many more, similar nuisances we could add. However, changes in the warranty regulations are set to put an end to these from next year. But what’s good for consumers represents a major additional burden for vendors.
"I have a Slovak address card, so I don’t have to pay taxes in Hungary…" "I just have to make sure not to spend more than 183 days at home". "I’m a digital nomad, I don’t pay taxes anywhere." Many similar misconceptions circulate in Hungary regarding the rules of tax residence. However, tax regulations are “much smarter” than that and those who follow false illusions may even be exposed to criminal liability.
In March, 2020, the Hungarian Energy and Public Utility Regulatory Authority (HEPURA) published the official results of the first tender procedure of the Hungarian Renewable Energy Support System (METAR), in which bidders were encouraged to apply for state subsidies in (i) power plants between 0.3 MW and 1 MW capacity (the “Small Category”) and (ii) power plants between 1 MW and 20 MW capacity (the “Large Category”).
As of 1 January 2021, retailers are required to allow the so-called electronic payments, which means that customers will be able to pay for the products and services by credit or debit cards, mobile phones or instant payments instead of cash. This change would not only be more comfortable for customers, but also it may be an effective solution against black market.