The Hungarian Minister of Finance announced on 7 August 2018 that the maximum number of third-country nationals who might be employed in Hungary with work permit shall be 55,000. Last year the limitation was 59,000, which means that the maximum number of third-country nationals has been reduced with 4,000. The decision may be surprising, since according to the statistics severe labour shortage is experienced in key sectors and there is a need for the employment of third-country nationals.
The legal practice analyser group of the Curia (i.e. the Hungarian supreme court) published a summarizing opinion on the judicial practice of the possession protection cases initiated before Hungarian notaries. Under the provisions of the Civil Code, the owner shall refrain from any conduct that would unnecessarily disturb others, especially his neighbours, or that would jeopardize the exercise of their rights. The possessor is entitled to request the termination of the disturbance from the notary public within one year.
The discounted 5% VAT rate introduced in 2016 will be abolished as of 1 January 2020, meaning that the 27% VAT rate will be applicable from that date, which can have significant effect on the market. In order to avoid a possible market chaos, the Hungarian Real Estate Development Roundtable Association (IFK) proposed introducing flexible, gradual VAT and stamp duty regulations that may result in increasing tax burden in the next 3-4 years. The new system could ensure that the supply and the sales of the new real estates are not reduced drastically from 2020.
17th October, 2018, Courtyard of Brody Studios, Vörösmarty utca 38, Budapest 1064
The European Commission („EC”) has launched an infringement proceeding against Hungary in July 2018. According to the EC, the Hungarian law excludes certain cost types from the electricity and internal gas network charges, which are in infringement of the prescribed cost recovery plan set out in the Directive of Electricity and Internal Gas. In addition, the EC also stated that Hungary had accepted certain amendments in its electricity legislature that restricts the right of market operators to ask for a complete judicial review on the decision of network charges of the national regulatory body.
The Hungarian Parliament has recently adopted legislation with the aim of harmonising the national data protection rules with the rules of the GDPR, and supplementing the national rules in areas not regulated by the GDPR. The Parliament adopted Act XXXVIII of 2018 ("Amendment") in an extraordinary session and the new regulations entered into force on 26 July 2018.
The Hungarian banking transaction tax drives market players and private individuals to use cash rather than electronic payment methods. Eighty per cent of all payment transactions were in cash last year. But extensive use of cash negatively impacts the economy in several ways, such as the high cost of maintaining a large cash volume, easier tax evasion and expansion of grey and black markets.
“The beginning of 2018 brought a comprehensive transformation of legal procedures in Hungary,” reports Andras Daniel Laszlo, Partner at Laszlo Fekete & Bagamery. “Procedural rules changed, from the most basic public administrative procedures, like renewing an ID or applying for a building permit, through commercial litigation and arbitration procedure, including also tax, and, as of July 1, criminal matters.”
Based on the transparency requirements of the GDPR, companies must now provide more detailed information on data processing. The usual form of relaying this information to the public is through a privacy notice. Now that May 25, 2018 is fast approaching and companies are working towards GDPR compliance, such privacy notices must be finalized.