According to the press release issued on 6 December 2019, the Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) imposed a fine of HUF 1.2 billion (EUR 3.6 million) on Facebook for misleading users by claiming its services were free.
A new amendment package was approved in the middle of December 2019. The package includes many novelties affecting the validity and issuance of driver’s licenses, the documents of newborns, document modifications due to marriage, procedures related to death and identity checks conducted by the police.
Affiliated enterprises have to report their related undertakings in a Country-by-Country (furthermore “CbC”) report until 31 December 2019 for the financial year of 2018. The information therein is used for high level transfer pricing examination and risk assessment. If a company fails to comply with the deadline mentioned above, it may expect a default penalty up to HUF 20 million (~ EUR 60,420) from the Hungarian Tax Authority.
On 12 November 2019 Gergely Gulyás, Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office proposed an omnibus law in order to further streamline and expedite the operation of the metropolitan and county governmental offices. These offices serve, in many cases, as an authority of second instance where, at first instance, the city notary was the competent authority, so the Hungarian administrative system has shared competences in this respect.
A new amendment to the Hungarian Anti-Money Laundering Act seeks to extend its scope to custodian wallet providers and virtual currency exchange platforms, in order to reduce the risks associated to cryptocurrencies. The proposal is currently before the Hungarian Parliament, and aims at fulfilling Hungary’s obligations deriving from the 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive (“Directive”).
On 23 October 2019 the European Commission published a report on the third annual review on the functioning of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield. The report states that the U.S. continues to ensure an adequate level of protection for personal data transferred under the Privacy Shield from the EU to participating companies in the U.S. Today approx. 5,000 companies are participating in this EU-U.S. data protection framework.
Under a non-compete agreement, the employer may restrict the ex-employee’s business activity for a period of maximum 2 years following the termination of employment and in exchange, the employer shall pay adequate compensation to the employee - the amount of which may not be less than 1/3 of the base wage due for the same period. The Hungarian Supreme Court (Curia) published in September 2019 a report on the judicial practice relating to non-compete agreements, which highlights the following findings:
On 24 September 2019 the commencement of the electronical land registry (E-Land registry) project was announced aiming at the development of real estate and land issues. As a result of the E-Land registry, a safer, more transparent and faster system will be established, which would also enable automatic decision-making processes. This step follows the electronization of the administrative processes resulting in the decrease of the lead time and costs of the land registry procedures and the increase of the legal certainty.
In September 2019, the Hungarian Supreme Court (Curia) stated in its decision that even in case of a warning strike, the employer must be notified on the strike at a time that allows the exercise of its right to prevent damages caused by the stop of operations, and also to perform its obligation to protect life and property and to perform any organisational work related to these rights and obligations.
Every single business that trades with the UK, both in goods and services, will be affected by a “no-deal Brexit” scenario, i.e. the withdrawal of the UK from the EU without an agreement. On 4 September 2019 the Commission published a “Brexit preparedness checklist”, to provide information and to help enterprises conducting business in the EU and/or in the UK to double-check their state of preparedness.
On 10 September 2019 the newest edition of Incoterms rules, Incoterms 2020 was released by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). The Incoterms rules serve as significant commercial provisions for the international sale of goods, including commonly accepted definitions and rules relating to the delivery of goods between trading partners. Since the first publication of Incoterms rules in 1936, ICC has revised regularly these rules to follow the changes in the worldwide trade system.
From 1 January 2020 a new European Union Directive (nicknamed „Quick Fixes”) will enter into force. Among several changes, rules that regulate the customer VAT numbers has been reformed. Under the new reform, obtaining a valid VAT number that the customer provides to the supplier will be regarded as a material requirement for applying the 0% VAT rate. If the supplier fails to include the customer’s VAT number on the invoice, it should not be possible to apply the 0% VAT rate. In addition, filing of a cumulative declaration is also required to invoke the 0% VAT rate. The Directive puts higher administrative burden on undertakings, since it expects a constant inspection mechanism for the validity of the customer’s VAT number at the time of sale.
As a result of an amendment to the Hungarian Condominium Act, a new register for condominium officers will be set up as of 1 January 2020. The aim of the registry is to keep the data of the officers (common representatives and chairman of the administrative committee) in a national, public and electronic registry, to ensure the transparency of the operation of the condominium and the efficiency of the legal supervision of the city notary over the condominiums, and to facilitate the appropriate communication in the course of authority proceedings affecting the rights and obligations of the condominium and the community.