New rates and other changes are being made to the Environmental Protection Product Charge.

The changes will mainly take effect from 1 January 2012, with other changes coming into force earlier on 1 September 2011.

The charge will still apply to the same products:  

  • batteries
  • packaging (including supplementary packaging and packaging-related devices)
  • other oil-based products
  • electrical appliances and electronic equipment (except for some individual components)
  • tyres
  • commercial printing paper

From 1 January 2012, the charge for most products will be lower. For example, the rate for tyres will decrease to HUF 32 per kilogram and for mobile phones to HUF 100 per kilogram. Others will rise, such as commercial printing paper, which will increase to HUF 52 per kilogram.

Some changes are intended to reduce administrative costs, such as simplified invoicing requirements.  In addition, the charge will no longer apply to small quantities of packaging because a new de minimis rule is being introduced; and small-scale packaging distributors will only have to report annually, and pay a reduced lump sum.

The waste collection and recovery system will also change. A new authority, the National Waste Management Agency, will replace the current coordinating organisations and will be responsible for the waste management from 1 January 2012.

This means it will no longer be possible to obtain an exemption from the charge by entering into a waste collection agreement with one of the coordinating organisations.

Instead, any person liable to pay the charge for collecting, using or recycling packaging, tyres, batteries, electrical and electronic devices may opt for individual waste treatment, a new arrangement which allows them to pay the charge at reduced rates: the higher the percentage involved in recycling, the lower the charge payable. However, this will usually be less cost-effective for most people than simply paying the charge without individual waste treatment.

The National Tax and Customs Authority will continue to control the product charge declarations, payments and refunds.

Legislation:  Act LXXXV of 2011 on Environmental Protection Product Charges of the Republic of Hungary

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The original publication date for this article was 14/07/2011.