The European Court of Justice's judgment in Schrems II case published on 16 July, 2020 founded the Privacy Shield Decision invalid. The judgement also stated that the Commission Decision on Standard Contractual Clauses for the transfer of personal data to processors established in third countries remain valid.
The Hungarian Parliament passed a new act on 14 July 2020 to regulate the short-term housing market (Airbnb services). The new legislation delegates a regulating tool to the local municipalities, so that they can decide on the conditions (especially the maximum renting period), under which a flat can be rented for short term. The new law only gives a regulatory framework for the local municipalities and the Hungarian Government; specific rules are yet unknown as they have to be made from 1 August 2020. According to press releases, some of the mayors are planning to maximize the number of days for Airbnb and other similar services and would prescribe that at least half of these “allowed” days should fall between June and August.
On 24 June 2020 the European Council amended Directive 2011/16/EU, in order to defer certain deadlines for filing and exchanging information under the Directive on Administrative Cooperation (“DAC”). The postponement is justified by the difficulties Member States and businesses are facing with during the pandemic.
The Hungarian Parliament passed a legislation on the ban of single-use plastic in Hungary on 7 July 2020 as part of the Climate and Nature Protection Action Plan. The legislation was meant to be accepted earlier this year, however then the proposal was withdrew because of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to an earlier press release from the Ministry for Innovation and Technology, the “Hungarian Government is committed to defend the created world”.
Fixed-Rate Tax of Low Tax-Bracket Enterprises (acronym in Hungarian: KATA) has become widely popular since its introduction in 2013 due to its beneficial tax rate and simple administration. By the end of 2019, 377 thousand entrepreneurs opted for this taxation mode, however, according to the Ministry of Finance, 40% of those switched previous employment status to KATA taxation. Since KATA was introduced to support micro enterprises and not to be an alternative to employment, the Ministry of Finance is set to act against this trend.
The Hungarian Parliament is discussing a proposal on the amendment of the Act on Electronic Communications in order to implement the regulations of EU Directive 2018/1972. This latter Directive was adopted by the European Union in December 2018 to set up the European Electronic Communications Code. Member Sates shall implement its regulations until 21 December 2020 after a 2-year long preparation period.
In order to execute the Hungarian Economy Protection Action Plan, some provisions of the Hungarian Bankruptcy Act and the Company Registry Act must be applied differently based on a government decree adopted in the end of May 2020 (Government Decree). As a result, during the state of emergency, a creditor may submit an application for the opening of a liquidation proceeding only if the deadline determined by the creditor in the payment notification and the subsequent 75 days expired without any result. In addition, the amount of the claim must exceed HUF 400,000.
The Hungarian Parliament accepted a bill on 16 June 2020, which would enable the creation of special industrial zones. “The designated special industrial zones will be contributing to the restarting of the economy, creation of new jobs, and also the preservation of the existing jobs” stands in the press release. According to the legislation, the main goal of the regulation is to facilitate a fairer distribution of tax income realized from greater investments as these zones would be no longer under the control of the local council.
The Hungarian Government promulgated a decree (229/2020) entered into force on 1 June 2020, amending the decrees on certain procedural measures in force during an emergency (74/2020.) and on certain penitentiary rules in connection with the declaration of a state of emergency (90/2020.). The amendment regulates civil court proceedings for a transitional period, since on 26 May 2020 two bills related to the termination of the state of emergency were submitted to the Parliament, which define rules of court proceedings for a longer period in the future. As a result, the rules of this decree will only be used until the two bills mentioned above are accepted by the Parliament.
The coronavirus pandemic has been affecting both domestic and international trade and commerce around the world. States have reacted with robust mitigation measures, including closing borders, implementing a range of travel bans and engaging a myriad of internal domestic health and wellbeing procedures. These measures are causing unprecedented disruption to the trade, transport, labor market, production and supply chains.
“To be honest, I think the government handled the crisis as well as possible," says Levente Csengery, Partner at KCG Partners. “The COVID-19 regulations do exactly what they’re supposed to – protect public health and keep us all alive, and they’re working.“ At the time of writing, Hungary has had 3535 confirmed cases (and 460 deaths) from the new coronavirus.