Database

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Establishment restrictions

HUNGARY


Chapter Intellectual Property Rights  |  Sub-chapter Copyright
Copyright inadequately enforced
It is reported that there are institutional obstacles that impede effective enforcement of copyright in Hungary. These include criminal evidentiary procedures that make proof of ownership especially burdensome and slow (requiring expert opinions for seized goods).
Coverage Horizontal
Establishment restrictions

HUNGARY

Since January 2004

Chapter Intellectual Property Rights  |  Sub-chapter Copyright
Directive 2001/29/EC (The Copyright Directive)

Copyright Act
In the European Union, there is no general principle for the use of copyright protected material comparable to the fair use/fair dealing principle in the US. Directive 2001/29/EC defines an optional, but exhaustive set of limitations from the author´s exclusive rights under the control of the “three-step test”. This is a clause in the Berne Convention that establishes three cumulative conditions to the limitations and exceptions of a copyright holder’s rights. The Directive has been transposed by Member States with significant freedom.

The Hungarian Copyright Act contains all required exclusive rights set in the Directive. Additionaly, it incorporates a rather wide approach to authors’ exclusive rights under an open, non-exhaustive list of economic rights.
Coverage Horizontal
Establishment restrictions

HUNGARY


Chapter Intellectual Property Rights  |  Sub-chapter Patents
Local attorney
In the patent application process, foreigners must assign a Hungarian attorney.
Coverage Foreign companies
Fiscal Restrictions

HUNGARY

Since 2012

Chapter Public Procurement  |  Sub-chapter Preferential purchase schemes covering digital products and services
Public Procurement Act
It is reported that inadequate transparency in public procurement continues to be a significant problem in Hungary. In January 2012, a new Public Procurement Act came into force with the government claiming that it would speed procurement and improve transparency.

The new procurement law is criticized by transparency watchdogs because state enterprises and ministries can conduct procurement without a public announcement for the purchase of goods or services up to HUF 25 million (USD 112,000) or for construction valued at less than HUF 150 million (USD 675,000).

Transparency watchdogs have also noted that larger contracts that would have required a public bid are now broken up into smaller contracts that fall under the thresholds. Hungarian companies, state-owned enterprises or companies close to the government still appear to have an advantage over other players in public tenders.
Coverage Horizontal
Source
  • USTR, 2014 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers: https://ustr.gov/sites/default/files/2014%20NTE%20Report%20on%20FTB.pdf
Fiscal Restrictions

HUNGARY

Since January 2015

Chapter Taxation & Subsidies  |  Sub-chapter Discriminatory tax regime on online services
Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No. 1042/2013 amending Implementing Regulation (EU) No. 282/2011, Mini One-Stop Shop (MOSS)
The European Regulation No. 1042/2013 amending the Council Implementing Regulation No. 282/2011, declares that from January 2015, all supplies of telecommunications, broadcasting and electronic services will be taxable at the place where the customer belongs. These include, inter alia:
- images or text, such as photos, screensavers, e-books and other digitised documents e.g. PDF files;
- music, films and games, including games of chance and gambling games, and of programmes on demand;
- online magazines website supply or web hosting services distance maintenance of programmes and equipment;
- supplies of software and software updates advertising space on a website.

Both EU and non-EU suppliers have to register for VAT purposes and comply with the relevant obligations of the Member State where the customer is established, has his/her permanent address or usually resides. This may be burdensome as there are 81 VAT rates across the 28 EU countries and the rates may vary between 3% (Luxembourg) to 27% (Hungary) across member states. Furthermore, member states impose varying thresholds at which companies must begin paying VAT, ranging from EUR 0 to EUR 60,000.

As an alternative to obtaining multiple VAT registrations in each Member State where a supplier has a customer, affected suppliers may be able to opt to account for VAT across the EU via a a web-portal in the Member State in which they are identified. Hence, the system, known as the Mini One-Stop Shop (MOSS) scheme, allows taxable persons to avoid registering in each Member State of consumption.
Coverage B2C suppliers of telecommunications, broadcasting and electronically supplied services
Fiscal Restrictions

HUNGARY

Reported in February 2015

Chapter Taxation & Subsidies  |  Sub-chapter Discriminatory tax regime on online services
Tax on mobile-usage
In 2012, the Hungarian government introduced a tax on per-minute mobile usage. The tax is payable by mobile service providers at a rate of HUF 2 (approx. 0.01 USD) for phone calls and per SMS/MMS sent. It is payable by natural persons, legal persons or other organizations providing telecommunication services in Hungary. There is, however, a cap on the tax imposed, which is HUF 700 (approx. 2.22 USD) monthly per call number for individuals and HUF 5,000 (approx. 15.88 USD) monthly for non-individuals. This tax replaced a 6.5% tax on revenues which was introduced in 2010.
Coverage Telecommunication sector
Fiscal Restrictions

HUNGARY

Reported in 2013

Chapter Taxation & Subsidies  |  Sub-chapter Discriminatory tax regime on digital goods and products
Directive 2001/29 (EU Copyright Directive

Copyright Act LXXVI. of 1999
The EU Copyright Directive allows “fair compensation” for copyright owners. As a result, several Member States have imposed national levy systems.

In Hungary, the private copy remuneration is due to the authors of works, the performers of performances and the producers of films and sound recordings that are broadcast in radio programmes and television organisations, included in the programmes of the entities communicating their own programmes to the public by cable and released for distribution on audiovisual or audio carriers.
The following levies apply:
- CD-R, CD-RW, data CD-R/RW, audio CD: EUR 0.21 per unit.
- Minidisc: EUR 0.21 per unit.
- MP3-player: up to 28.96 euros
- Memory card: up to 10.94 euros
- USB Stick: up to 8.04 euros
- Mobile phones: up to 23.17 euros
- Storage capacity integrated into electronic devices for storing audio and/ or audiovisual content (e.g. video recorders with integrated memory, DVD recorders/burners with integrated memory, televisions with integrated memory, set top boxes and satellite receivers with integrated memory): up to 23.17 euros.
Coverage Recording media or equipment
Trading restrictions

GREECE

Since 2011

Chapter Online sales and transactions  |  Sub-chapter Online sales
Law 4002/2011
Online gambling is allowed only if a company meets the following requirements:
- to be licensed;
- to be registered
- to pay taxes in Greece;
- to store all data relevant to the provision of online gambling services in a server located in Greece for a period of 10 years, extendable.

Moreover, the Greek Ministry of Finance stipulated to the European Commission that OPAP S.A. retains, up until 2020, the exclusive right in the online sports betting and the online games of chance.
Coverage Online gambling
Trading restrictions

GREECE

Since 2011

Chapter Online sales and transactions  |  Sub-chapter Domain name (DNS) registration requirements
Law 4002/2011
Online gambling sites must have a .gr domain.
Coverage Online gambling
Trading restrictions

GREECE

Reported in August 2013

Chapter Online sales and transactions  |  Sub-chapter Barriers to fulfillment
De minimis rule
The European de minimis threshold for import duties is harmonized. Goods with a value of up to 131 SDR / 150 EUR / 198 USD are exempted from customs duties. The VAT de minimis threshold is not harmonized within the EU and can vary between 10 and 22 EUR, i.e. Member States can decide on a value within this range to grant an exemption on VAT for imported goods.

According to Greece's de minimis rule, goods with a value of up to 19 SDR / 22 EUR / 29 USD are exempted from VAT.
Coverage Horizontal
Restrictions on data

GREECE

Reported in 2010

Chapter Content access  |  Sub-chapter Bandwidth, net neutrality
Throttling
The Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) found evidence of throttling of peer-to-peer file sharing and video streaming in Greece.
Coverage Peer-to-peer file-sharing, video streaming
Restrictions on data

GREECE

Since 2003

Chapter Intermediary liability  |  Sub-chapter Lack of safe harbor for intermediary liability
Directive 2000/31/EC (e-Commerce Directive)

Greek Presidential Decree 131/2003
The Directive 2000/31/EC (E-Commerce Directive) is the legal basis governing the liability of Internet Services Providers (ISPs) in the EU Member States and includes a conditional safe harbor. The Directive covers any type of infringement of third-party rights, including intellectual and industrial property rights and personality rights.

The limitations on liability in the Directive apply to clearly delimited activities (mere conduit, caching and hosting) carried out by internet intermediaries, rather than to categories of service providers or types of information. While it was not considered necessary to cover hyperlinks and search engines in the Directive, the Commission has encouraged Member States to further develop legal security for Internet intermediaries.

Since not all Member States have transposed the relevant articles consistently, the national case law is divergent and leads to legal insecurity on an EU level.

The Greek Presidential Decree 131/2003 implements almost verbatim the E-commerce Directive in Greece. The provisions in this Decree are considered to exempt the ISPs from every liability (civil, penal, administrative), even the severe liability of service providers according to article 8 of Law 2251/1994 on consumer protection. One considerable exemption to the no-liability rule is the field of data protection.
Coverage Internet intermediaries
Restrictions on data

GREECE

Since September 1997

Chapter Data policies  |  Sub-chapter Sanctions for non-compliance
Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data

Data Protection Act
According to the Directive 95/46/EC, the Member States shall adopt suitable measures to ensure the full implementation of the provisions of this Directive and shall in particular lay down the sanctions to be imposed in case of infringement of the provisions adopted pursuant to this Directive. The sanctions vary between member states.

In Greece, there may be administrative, criminal and civil sanctions. Fines range from EUR 880 to EUR 150,000, while criminal sanctions go from EUR 2,940 to EUR 14,680 as well as inprisonment up to 10 years.
Coverage Horizontal
Restrictions on data

GREECE

Since 2006
Since 2011

Chapter Data policies  |  Sub-chapter Data retention
Data Retention Directive 2006/24/EC

Judgment European Court of Justice in Joined Cases C-293/12 and C-594/12 Digital Rights Ireland and Seitlinger and Others

National law 3917/2011
Under the Directive on Data Retention, operators were required to retain certain categories of traffic and location data (excluding the content of those communications) for a period between six months and two years and to make them available, on request, to law enforcement authorities for the purposes of investigating, detecting and prosecuting serious crime and terrorism. On 8 April 2014, the Court of Justice of the European Union declared the Directive invalid. However, not all national laws which implemented the Directive have been overturned.

In Greece, the government is considering the possibility of invalidating the national law on data retention (National law 3917/2011), but so far the law is still in force. Data must be retained for a period of 12 months and it needs to be retained within the Hellenic territory.
Coverage Telecommunication sector
Restrictions on data

GREECE

Since 2011

Chapter Data policies  |  Sub-chapter Restrictions on cross-border data flows
National law 3917/2011
In Greece, the Law No. 3971/2011 goes further in the implementation of the Data Retention Directive (later annuled by the European Court of Justice) by requiring that retained data on ‘traffic and localisation’ stay ‘within the premises of the Hellenic territory.’ The Law is still in force.
Coverage Telecommunication sector