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For our Checking In feature, we reach out to partners and heads of practice across CEE to learn how specific practice areas are faring in their jurisdictions. This time around we asked Data Protection experts: Overall, how compliant would you say economic agents are with relevant local regulations on data protection, and what are the main gaps that have yet to be addressed?

According to a Government Decree passed on 9 February 2021, lessees do not have to pay rent for a property owned by the Hungarian State or the local municipality (or by companies which are controlled by these) for the specified five-month period (February - June 2021). The decree specifies a list of 25 types of activities which are to be alleviated from paying rent, which includes:

In February 2021 the State Secretary of Labour of the Ministry for Innovation and Technology announced a new measure to fight black employment. The amendment of the Act on the Service and Support to Subserve the Employment, and on the Supervisory of Employment (Act) is already in effect since 1 March 2021.

The rules of obligatory invoice data supply were modified as of 4 January 2021 in a way that the data of such invoices, modifying or annulling invoices, which are subject to the invoicing requirements of the Hungarian VAT Act, must be supplied to the tax authority. As a result, the invoices issued for domestic or foreign natural persons, legal persons or organisations not subject to VAT as well as for not domestic persons subject to VAT are affected by the obligation of invoice data supply from 4 January 2021.

Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) established that for bad debt relief limitation period must begin to run not from the date of performance of the payment obligation initially provided for, but from the date on which the debt became definitively irrecoverable.

Hungarian National Tax and Customs Authority regularly publishes the list of major tax defaulters for failing to fulfil their tax obligations in Hungary. The list also contains private data of the defaulters, including, inter alia, information on tax arrears and debts and their home address. In a recent case (L.B. v. Hungary – 36345/16), European Court of Human Rights concluded no violation and confirmed the approach of Hungarian tax authority as justified.

At the beginning of February 2021, a new decree of the Hungarian Minister of Finance (“Decree”) was published on the detailed rules of the execution of the Money Laundering Act for certain non-financial service providers and the development and the minimum requirements of the operation of the filtering system. The decree enters into force on 19 March 2021.

In the last decade, the amount of minimum wage and the guaranteed minimum wage has been rising year by year. However, the process of determining the minimum wage in 2021 was different from previous years in two ways: firstly, the agreement on the wage, after 7 negotiation sessions, was not reached by the end of December 2020, therefore, after reaching agreement at the end of January 2021, the new minimum wage figures are in effect from 1 February 2021, and secondly, the increase was lower as seen before in the last years.

The supervisory activity of the National Media and Infocommuncations Authority (“NMIA”) and the operation of communication service providers will be highly affected by the implemented provisions of the European Electronic Communications Code that prescribes the applicable new European framework of electronic communications.

According to a press release of the Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) issued on 16 December 2020, GVH is launching a market analysis to investigate how customer datasets of e-commerce companies are created and also the role of such assets in the competition between online stores. The investigation will further cover the extent of the customers’ awareness of such data collection and its influence on their decisions.

In December 2020, KELER Kozponti Ertektar Zrt. (KELER Central Securities Depository Ltd.) (KELER), the central depository of Hungary, was granted an authorisation under the Central Securities Depositories Regulation (CSDR Regulation) and can now offer its clients services supporting an efficient and secure securities market as a central securities depository operating under unified European regulations.

At the end of December 2020, several new regulations have been accepted to facilitate constructions due to the state of emergency. As one of the most important news, the Hungarian Government has extended the application of simple notification to the construction activities of a residential building including maximum six flats, but having a total net floor space of maximum 1,000 sqm.

Protecting workplaces and businesses is still of foremost importance amidst fighting the second wave of COVID-19. In order to so, Hungary, like most of other developed countries, adopted wage subsidies to encourage employers not to lay off their workers.

According to the changes of the act of the local business tax adopted on 26 November 2020, taxpayers have to submit their tax return to the tax authority, which means that what was an option until the end of the 2020 year, has become an obligation. As of 1 January 2021, the tax authority supervises and verifies the tax returns and also indicates immediately the calculation errors to the taxpayers, which can be corrected by correction or self-audit.

On 12 November 2020 the European Commission published the new standard contractual clauses (SCCs) on data transfer (model clauses), which would replace clauses C2C and C2P under Commission decisions issued under the European Data Protection Directive. The bill subjects international transfers to significantly stricter administrative conditions in the light of the Schrems II decision. The draft act is open for feedback for 4 weeks. Feedback will be taken into account for finalising the initiative.

KCG Partners at a Glance

KCG Partners is a Hungarian business law firm providing a comprehensive range of legal services to international and local clients seeking local knowledge and global perspective. The firm comprises business-minded lawyers with sector-specific expertise, creating value for clients by applying a problem-solving approach and delivering innovative solutions.

The firm has a wealth of knowledge in corporate law, M&A, projects and construction, energy, real estate, tax, employment, litigation, privacy and forensics, securitization, estate planning and capital markets.

To address clients’ regional and international concerns, the firm maintains active working relationships with other outstanding independent law firms in Central and Eastern Europe, whilst senior counsel Mr. Blaise Pásztory brings over 40 years’ of US capital market and fund management experience.

KCG Partners Law Firm is the result of the teamwork of passionate and talented lawyers guided by the same principles and sharing the same values: 

  • Our most valuable asset is our people. They are the engine of our business and the key to our success.
  • We push boundaries by looking for innovative solutions that can empower our clients to achieve greater results.
  • We place our experience, commitment and professionalism to your service.
  • We are driven by our vision to shape and lead the Hungarian legal market and become a first choice law firm in our practice areas.

Firm's website: http://www.kcgpartners.com