HUNGARY BACKGROUND CHECK

Our background screeners provide the comprehensive services on verifications which are effective in supporting the big organization to control the risks of getting the corruption due to frauds in Records, information, and documents. The distortion of prime records has been one of the major aims of perpetrators whereby they can serve the purpose of manipulating the original information by transforming into unreal information. Our background verifications in Hungary are must to be taken to protect the right information from mishandling. Background screeners are recalled by the firms for getting right measure to protect themselves from such kind of practices where such advices are needed.

The all time aim of our background verification services in Hungary is handle the complicated issues of misrepresentation of documents, records and testimonials which are handled by defaulters in taking the good use of situation to take the benefits of the same. Our services are useful under all these situation to control the rise of such practices , in present our services are imparted Hungary along with the other states like Budapest, Debrecen, Miskolc, Szeged, Pecs, Gyor, Nyiregyhaza, Kecskemet, Szekesfehervar, Szombathely, Szolnok, Tatabanya, Kaposvar, Bekescsaba and Zalaegerszeg. For any query, kindly come across our website info@backcheckgroup.com for resolving the issues.

General Information

GDP USD133.42bn (World ranking 59, World Bank 2013)
Population 10 million (World ranking 88, World Bank 2013)
Form of state Parliamentary Republic
Head of government Viktor Orban (Fidesz Party)
Next elections 2017, presidential

 

CURRENT LOCAL TIME

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PRODUCTS IN HUNGARY

Data Protection

Hungary

Contribution Details

Zoltán Kozma

Counsel

Law

The EU Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC is currently implemented in Hungary by Act No. CXII of 2011 on Informational Self Determination and Freedom of Information which came into force on 1 January 2012 (“Act”). Enforcement is through the National Authority for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (“Authority”).

Definition of Personal Data

Personal data shall mean any data relating to the data subject – in particular name, identification number or one or more factors specific to his physical, physiological, mental, economic, cultural or social identity – and any reference that can be drawn from such data in respect of the data subject. In the course of data processing, such data shall be treated as personal data as long

as the connection between the data and the data subject remains restorable. The data shall be considered subject to restoration, if the data controller bears the technical measures necessary for such restoration. Unless the data controller is directly able, by its technical capabilities, to trace the data back to the data subject, data shall not be considered as “personal data”. This so called “relative” nature of personal data, which in practice narrows the meaning of personal data, is only present in a few jurisdictions.

Definition of Sensitive Personal Data

Sensitive personal data shall mean:

■     personal data revealing racial, national or ethnic origin, political opinions and any affiliation with political parties, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership or sex life; and

■     personal data concerning health, addictions, or criminal personal data.

National Data Protection Authority

National Authority for Data Protection and Freedom of information

Address: H-1125 budapest, Szilágyi Erzsábet fasor 22/c.

Registration

If a data controller intends to conduct data processing, it is obliged to file a request with the Authority. Data processing must be registered by the Authority before it can occur. The Authority will charge a fee for registration. The fee that will be charged is currently unknown, but is expected to fall within the range of EUR 20-30.

Should the Authority fail to respond to a request for registration within 8 days of the filing of such a request, data processing may be commenced.

No register is held and thus no request can be filed for processing personal data relating to data subjects employment, membership, or customer relationship with the data controller. Financial institutions, community service providers and electronic communication service providers are excluded from this exemption, i.e. they will be obliged to register even if they process the above data.

The notification should include the following information:

■     the purpose of processing;

■     the types of data and the grounds for processing;

■     the categories of data subjects;

■     the source;

■     the categories of data transferred, the recipients and the grounds for transfer;

■     the name and registered office of the data controller and the data processor, the place where records are stored and/or where processing is carried out, and the data processor’s activities in connection with data processing operations;

■     the name and contact information for the internal data protection officer (if any); or

■     the applied technology for data processing.

Data Protection officers

The following data controllers and data processors shall appoint or commission an internal data protection officer (“DPO”) (holding a law degree, a degree in economics or computer sciences or an equivalent degree in higher education) who is to report directly to the head of the organisation:

■     authorities that control or process personal data in respect of nationwide registers, or

authorities that control or process employment or criminal records;

■     financial institutions; and

■     telecommunications service providers and public utility companies.

As a new institution effective from 1 January 2012, the head of the Authority will convene a conference of the DPOs at least once a year to discuss data protection related matters.

Collection and Processing

Personal data may be collected and processed if;

■     the data subject has given his or her consent, or

■     this is required by an Act or by a decree of the local municipality based on the authorization conferred by an Act concerning the specific data as defined therein.

Personal data can also be processed if it is impossible to obtain the consent of the data subject or

it would cause disproportionate costs and the processing is necessary;

■     for compliance with a legal obligation to which the controller is subject; or

■     for the purposes of the legitimate interests of a third party, or the controller itself, where the assertion of such interests is proportionate with the interference in data protection rights.

Sensitive data may be processed if;

■     the data subject has given his or her explicit consent in writing, or

■     it is necessary to enforce an obligation prescribed by an international treaty, or for the enforcement of a constitutional right set forth in the Fundamental Law of Hungary, or prescribed by an Act for national security or law enforcement purposes regarding personal data revealing racial, national or ethnic origin, political opinions and any affiliation with political parties, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership or sex life; or

■     the data is required by an Act for the purpose of public order in the case of personal data concerning health, addictions, or criminal personal.

Personal data may be processed only for specified and explicit purposes, where it is necessary

for exercising certain rights or fulfilling certain obligations. This purpose must be satisfied in all stages of operations of data processing.

The personal data processed must be essential for the purpose for which it was collected, it must be suitable to achieve that purpose, and it may be processed to the extent and the duration necessary to achieve that purpose.

Transfer

Transferring personal data of data subjects within the EEA shall be considered as data transfer within Hungary. Transferring personal data to data processors within the EEA is possible without the consent of the data subjects. Under the Act a data processor is the person that is engaged in the processing of personal data on behalf of the controller, and the data processor

is carrying out “the technical operations in connection with the data management.” In practice an entity will be a data processor for the purposes of the Act where it acts on the basis of

the instructions (on behalf ) of the data controller and follows the predetermined rules and

Methodology set by the data controller.

The Act makes it possible to transfer personal data to third countries (ie to countries outside of the EEA) if the conditions (legal bases) of the data processing are satisfied (see above) and adequate level of protection is afforded in such third countries.

Security

Data controllers, and within their sphere of activity, data processors must ensure personal data protection and must implement technical and organizational measures, as well as adequate procedural rules to enforce the provisions of the Act and other regulations concerning confidentiality and security of data processing.

Personal data must be protected against unauthorized access, alteration, transfer, disclosure, deletion, accidental deletion or damage as well as against being unable to access the data due to the change in the applied technology.

If multiple possibilities for data processing solutions exist, the solution to be chosen should provide a higher level of security for personal data, unless this would result in a disproportionate burden for the data controller.

Breach notification

There is no mandatory requirement in the Act to report data security breaches or losses to the

Commissioner or to data subjects.

As an exception rule, however, electronic communication service providers must immediately report data security breaches to the National Media and Info communications Authority under

Act No. 100 of 2003 on Electronic Communications.

Enforcement

As mentioned above the new Act introduced the so-called National Authority for Data Protection and Freedom of Information, an administrative body replacing the Commissioner. The leader of the Authority is the President, nominated by the Prime Minister and appointed by the President of the Republic, for a total term of 9 years. The Authority will have broader powers than the Commissioner before it.

The new Authority takes over the role of the Commissioner, but with greater powers. It will have the power necessary to ensure and enforce compliance with data protection laws. The newly created procedures of the Authority will be more differentiated and thorough and might consist of several phases, in accordance with the provisions of the new Act. These procedures will provide more effective tools for the Authority to protect the rights of the data subjects in connection with the processing of their personal data by data controllers.

The Authority will have several instruments to enforce compliance, the most important being:

■     ordering the correction of inadequate personal data;

■     ordering the block deletion or termination of illegally controlled personal data;

■     prohibiting the illegal controlling or processing of personal data;

■     prohibiting the transfer of personal data to foreign countries;

■     ordering the notification of the affected party, if the data controller illegally refused to do

so;

■     imposing a fine ranging from HUF 100,000 (cca. EUR 350) to 10,000,000 (cca. EUR 35,000).

Electronic Marketing

The Act will apply to most electronic marketing activities, as there is likely to be processing and use of personal data involved (e.g. an email address is likely to be “personal data” for the purposes of the Act).

Also, pursuant to Act 48 of 2008 on the Basic Requirements and Certain Restrictions of Commercial Advertising Activities, unless otherwise provided by specific other legislation, advertisements may be conveyed to natural persons by way of direct contact (hereinafter referred to as “direct marketing”), such as through electronic mail or equivalent individual communications only upon the express prior consent of the person to whom the advertisement is addressed. The request for the consent may not contain any advertisement, other than the name and description of the company.

The statement of consent may be made in any way or form, on condition that it contains the

name of the person providing it, and – if the advertisement to which the consent pertains may

be disseminated only to persons of a specific age – his place and date of birth, furthermore, any other personal data authorised for processing by the person providing the statement, including an indication that it was given freely and in possession of the necessary legal information.

The statement of consent may be withdrawn freely any time, free of charge and without any explanation. In this case all personal data of the person who has provided the statement must be promptly erased from the records and all advertisements must be stopped.

Pursuant to Act 100 of 2003 on Electronic Communications (“EC Act”), applying automated calling system free of any human intervention, or any other automated device for initiating communication in respect of a subscriber for the purposes of direct marketing, providing information, public-opinion polling and market research shall be subject to the prior consent of the subscriber.

Online Privacy (Including Cookies and Location Data)

The EC Act deals with the collection of location and traffic data by public electronic

communications services providers (“CSPs”) and use of cookies (and similar technologies).

Traffic Data – With certain special exceptions set out in the EC Act (e.g. invoicing, collecting subscriber fees, law enforcement, national security and defense), traffic data relating to subscribers and users processed and stored by CSPs while providing such services must be erased or made anonymous when it is no longer needed.

CSPs may use certain traffic data as referred to in the EC Act for the provision of value added services or for marketing purposes subject to the subscriber’s or user’s prior consent, to the extent necessary for the provision of such services or for marketing purposes. CSPs shall provide the possibility for users or subscribers to withdraw their consent at any time.

Location Data – CSPs shall be authorized to process location data only upon the prior consent of the subscribers or users to whom the data are related, and only to the extent and for the duration as it is necessary for the provision of value added services.

Users and subscribers shall have the right to withdraw their consent at any time.

CSPs shall be required to comply with any request for location information in connection with specific subscribers or users, if made by the investigating authority, the public prosecutor, the court or the national security service pursuant to the authorization conferred in specific other legislation, to the extent required to discharge their respective duties.

Cookie Compliance – Pursuant to the EC Act, on the electronic communication terminal equipment of a subscriber or user, information may be stored, or accessed, only upon the user’s or subscriber’s prior consent granted in possession of clear and comprehensive information, which information inter alia includes the purpose of processing.

The competent Hungarian Authorities have not issued any guidance in respect of the interpretation of “consent” and the manner how this consent should be obtained in practice. General practice is that consent can be obtained via browser settings; however, as mentioned so far this has not been confirmed by the opinion or the guidance of the Authorities yet.

Section 258/E

(1) The person who – purporting that he influences a foreign official person – requests or accepts a favour for himself or for somebody else, commits a felony, and shall be punishable with imprisonment of up to three years.

(Passed on 1978, amended in September 1989)

Section 250

(1) Any public official who requests an unlawful advantage in connection with his actions in an official capacity, or accepts such advantage or a promise thereof, or agrees with the party requesting or accepting the advantage, is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment between one to five years.

(2) The punishment shall be imprisonment between two to eight years if the crime is committed

a) by a public official in a high office, or by one entrusted to take measures in important affairs,

b) by another public official in an important matter of great importance.

(3) The perpetrator shall be punished by imprisonment between two to eight years, or between five to ten years in accordance with the distinction contained in Subsections (1) and (2), if he breaches his official duty in exchange for unlawful advantage, exceeds his competence or otherwise abuses his official position, or if he commits the act in criminal conspiracy or in a pattern of criminal profiteering.

Section 251

(1) Any employee or member of a budgetary agency, economic organization or non-governmental organization who requests an unlawful advantage in connection with his actions in an official capacity, accepts such advantage or a promise in exchange for violating his responsibilities or agrees with the party requesting or accepting the advantage is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to two years’ imprisonment.

(2) Any person who breaches his official duty in exchange for unlawful advantage is guilty of felony punishable by imprisonment between one to five years, or between two to eight years if the breach involves a matter of greater importance or if committed in criminal conspiracy or in a pattern of criminal profiteering.

Section 252

(1) Any employee or member who is authorized to act in the name and on behalf of a budgetary agency, economic organization or non-governmental organization, who requests an unlawful advantage in connection with his actions in an official capacity, or accepts such advantage or a promise thereof, or agrees with the party requesting or accepting the advantage, is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment between one to five years.

(2) Any person who breaches his official duty in exchange for unlawful advantage may be punished by imprisonment between two to eight years.

(3) The punishment shall be imprisonment between five to ten years

a) if the breach involves a matter of greater importance,

b) if committed in criminal conspiracy or in a pattern of criminal profiteering.

Section 253

(1) Any person who gives or promises unlawful advantage to a public official or to another person on account of such official’s actions in an official capacity is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment not to exceed three years.

(2) The person committing bribery shall be punished for a felony by imprisonment between one to five years, if he gives or promises the advantage to a public official to induce him to breach his official duty, exceed his competence or otherwise abuse his official position.

(3) The director of a business association, or a member or employee with authority to exercise control or supervision shall be punished according to Subsection (1), if the member or employee of the business association commits the criminal act defined in Subsections (1) and (2) for the benefit of the business association, and the criminal act could have been prevented had he properly fulfilled his control or supervisory obligations.

(4) The director of a business association, or a member or employee with authority to exercise control or supervision shall be punished for misdemeanor by imprisonment not to exceed two years, work in community service or a fine, if the criminal act defined in Subsection (3) is committed involuntarily.

Section 254

(1) Any person who gives or promises unlawful advantage to an employee or member of a budgetary agency, economic organization or non-governmental organization, or to another person on account of such employee or member, to induce him to breach his duties is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment not to exceed two years.

(2) The punishment shall be imprisonment not to exceed three years if the unlawful advantage is given or promised to an employee or member who is authorized to act in the name and on behalf of a budgetary agency, economic organization or non-governmental organization.

Section 255

(1) Any person who gives unlawful advantage to another person, or to a third person on account of such person, to induce him to refrain from exercising his lawful rights in a court or other judicial proceeding, or to induce him to neglect his duties is guilty of felony and may be punished by imprisonment not to exceed three years.

(2) Any person who accepts unlawful advantage so as to refrain from exercising his lawful rights in a court or other judicial proceeding, or to neglect his duties shall be punished according to Subsection (1).

Section 255/A

(1) The perpetrator of a criminal act defined in Subsections (1) and (2) of Section 250, Subsection (1) of Section 251, Subsection (1) of Section 252, and Subsection (2) of Section 255 shall be exonerated from punishment if he confesses the act to the authorities first hand, surrenders the obtained unlawful financial advantage in any form to the authorities, and reveals the circumstances of the criminal act.

(2) The perpetrator of a criminal act defined in Section 253, Section 254, and Subsection (1) of Section 255 shall be exonerated from punishment if he confesses the act to the authorities first hand and reveals the circumstances of the criminal act.

Failure to Report Bribery

Section 255/B

(1) Any public official who has learned from credible sources of an act of bribery (Sections 250-255 of the Criminal Code) yet undetected, and he fails to report it to the authorities at the earliest possible time is guilty of misdemeanor and may be punished by imprisonment not to exceed two years, work in community service or a fine.

(2) The close relative of the perpetrator cannot be punished pursuant to Subsection (1).

Trafficking in Influence

Section 256

(1) Any person who – purporting to influence a public official – requests or accepts an unlawful advantage for himself or on behalf of another person is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment between one to five years.

(2) The punishment shall be imprisonment between two to eight years if the perpetrator

a) purports to or pretends that he is bribing a public official,

b) pretends to be a public official,

c) commits the crime in a pattern of criminal profiteering.

(3) Any person who commits the crime defined in Subsection (1)

a) in connection with an employee or member of an economic organization or non-governmental organization is guilty of misdemeanor and may be punished by imprisonment not to exceed two years,

b) in connection with an employee or member who is authorized to act in the name and on behalf of an economic organization or non-governmental organization is guilty of felony and may be punished by imprisonment not to exceed three years,.

(4) Any person who commits the crime defined in Subsection (3) in a pattern of criminal profiteering is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment not to exceed three years, or between one to five years, as consistent with the categories specified therein.

Persecution of a Conveyor of an Announcement of Public Concern

Section 257

Any person who takes any detrimental action against a person who has made an announcement of public concern is guilty of a misdemeanor and may be punished by imprisonment not to exceed two years, work in community service or a fine.

Section 258/B

(1) The person who gives or promises a favour to a foreign official person or with regard to him to another person, which may influence the functioning of the official person to the detriment of the public interest, commits a misdemeanour, and shall be punishable with imprisonment of up to two years.

(2) The briber shall be punishable for a felony with imprisonment of up to three years, if he gives or promises the favour so that the foreign official person violate his official duty exceed his competence or otherwise abuse his official position.

(3) The perpetrator of the crime defined in subsection (1) shall not be punishable, if he gave or promised the favour upon the initiative of the official person because he could fear unlawful disadvantage in case of his reluctance.

Section 258/C

(1) The person who gives or promises a favour to an employee or member of a foreign economic organisation, or with regard to him to somebody else so that he violate his duty, commits a misdemeanour, and shall be punishable with imprisonment of up to one year, labour in the public interest, or fine.

(2) The punishment shall be imprisonment of up to two years, if the favour is given or promised to an employee or member of a foreign economic organisation, who is

entitled to take measures independently.

Section 258/D

(1) The person who is deemed as foreign official person according to subpoints c)-e) of point 1. of Section 258/F requests a favour in connection with his functioning, or accepts the favour or a promise thereof, or agrees with the party requesting or

accepting the favour, commits a felony, and shall be punishable with imprisonment of

up to three years.

(2) The perpetrator shall be punishable with imprisonment from one year to five years, if he violates his official duty for the favour, exceeds his competence or otherwise abuses his official position, or if he commits the act as part of a criminal conspiracy or in a business-like manner.

Police Background Check Procedures

Who can apply?

•  Residents, non-resident, citizens and non-citizensin person or by post.
•  Overseas applicants through nearest Hungarian embassy/consulate.
•  Prospective employers cannot submit a request nor can the applicant go through a third party.
•  The applicant can however request the certificate to be sent to the employer ́s address.

Where?

There are 3 routes:

1.Criminal Records Department (CRD)/ Hatósági Erkölcsi Bizonyítvány in Budapest
2.Ministry of Interior/ Belügyminisztérium
3.through the nearest Hungarian embassy/consulate
These authorities do not accept requests in person, by e-mail, fax or telephone. Registered mail only.

What are the costs / turnaround times?

•  Fee of HUF 3100 (approx. GBP£ 10.28) for applications inside Hungary
•  Payable by postal order, tax stamp or online
•  Additional Fast track disclosure fee is HUF 1400 (approx. GBP£ 14.59)
•  Fee of £37 to £50 for applications made via the embassy, depending on translation requirement
•  Payable by postal order to “Embassy of Hungary”. Cash and cheque not accepted.
•  Applications filed at the CRD are issued within 5 working days on receipt
•  Embassy based applications up to 10 days.
•  Fastrack disclosure is available in Hungary: CRD will issue OC within 3 working days. See CRD details below

Contact Details

Applicationsvia CRD or Ministry of the Interior:
1094 Balázs Béla utca 35.
Budapest
Tel: 0036 1 455-6700
Fax: 0036 1 455-6875
Email:nyilvantarto.hivatal@mail.ahiv.hu
Website:http://www.nyilvantarto.hu/kekkh/kozos/index.php
Hungarian Embassy details:
35 Eaton Place
London
SW1X 8BY
Tel: 0044 20 7201 3440
Fax: 0044 20 7823 1348
Website:http://www.mfa.gov.hu/kulkepviselet/UK/en/mainpage.htm
Online form can be downloaded at:http://www.nyilvantarto.hu/en/certificate_good_conduct

Hungary – Know Your Customer (KYC) Rules

Hungary is not considered a major financial center; however, its European Union (EU) membership and its pivotal location in Central Europe – as a link between the former Soviet Union and Western Europe – as well as its cash-based economy and well-developed financial services industry make it attractive to foreign criminal organizations. Money laundering cases mostly stem from financial and economic crimes, such as fraud, embezzlement, tax evasion, and tax and social security fraud, although narcotics trafficking, prostitution, trafficking in persons and organized crime activities also contribute.

Other prevalent economic and financial crimes include real estate fraud and the copying/theft of bankcards. There is a black market for smuggled goods in Hungary, primarily related to customs, excise, and value-added tax evasion. No international terrorist groups are known to operate in Hungary.

KNOW-YOUR-CUSTOMER (KYC) RULES:

Enhanced due diligence procedures for PEPs:

A PEP is an abbreviation for Politically Exposed Person, a term that describes a person who has been entrusted with a prominent public function, or an individual who is closely related to such a person. The terms PEP, Politically Exposed Person and Senior Foreign Political Figure are often used interchangeably

    • Foreign PEP: YES
    • Domestic PEP: NO

Hungary – KYC covered entities

The following is a list of Know Your Customer entities covered by Hungarian Law:

    • Banks
    • Investment service providers, employer pension services, and commodity exchange services
    • Insurance intermediary and mutual insurance fund services
    • Sellers and issuers of domestic and international postal money orders
    • Real estate agents and brokers
    • Auditors
    • Accountants
    • Tax consultants and advisors
    • Casinos or other gambling services
    • Precious metal and high value goods traders
    • Lawyers
    • Notaries

Hungary – Suspicious Transaction Reporting (STR) Requirements:

Number of STRs received and time frame: 3,144 from January to July 2011

Number of CTRs received and time frame: Not applicable

The following is a list of STR covered entities covered by Hungarian Law:

  • Banks
  • Investment service providers, employer pension services, and commodity exchange services
  • Insurance intermediary and mutual insurance fund services
  • Sellers and issuers of domestic and international postal money orders
  • Real estate agents and brokers
  • Auditors
  • Accountants
  • Tax consultants and advisors
  • Casinos or other gambling services
  • Precious metal and high value goods traders
  • Lawyers
  • Notaries

MONEY LAUNDERING CRIMINAL PROSECUTIONS/CONVICTIONS:

Prosecutions: Nine from January to May 2011
Convictions: Five from January to May 2011

ENFORCEMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION ISSUES AND COMMENTS:

In September 2011, in a government resolution, Hungary adopted an action plan to address noted deficiencies in its anti-money laundering/counter-terrorist financing (AML/CFT) regime. The action plan establishes a road map for the relevant authorities responsible for AML/CFT issues. As of November 2011, Hungarian authorities had started implementing tasks as determined by the action plan.

Risk

Sovereign risk

Hungary’s BB rating is long-standing. The country remains able to tap global capital markets, but public debt is high, and the government’s commitment to sustainable fiscal consolidation questionable. The imminent start of a monetary tightening cycle in the US creates further risks of higher borrowing costs and forint weakening.

Banking sector risk

Banks’ capital and balance sheets have been hit hard by punitive sector-specific taxes and government relief schemes for household foreign-currency debt. However, the need to encourage bank lending to sustain growth is prompting a shift to a less punitive government stance towards the sector.

Political risk

Despite increased domestic political dissent, and worsened relations with some other EU states and the US, the nationalist Fidesz-Hungarian Civic Union (Fidesz) government re-elected in 2014 is likely to serve its four-year term, with no more direct elections due before 2018. The Russia/Ukraine crisis has worsened the regional environment.

Economic structure risk

High public and external debt ratios pull the rating down. Domestic demand is playing a growing role in driving growth, but Hungary remains highly exposed to the euro zone through the export and financing channels. Export diversification remains limited.

Travel Risk

Security

The decision to travel is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your personal safety abroad. The purpose of this Travel Advice is to provide up-to-date information to enable you to make well-informed decisions.

Crime

Petty crime (pickpocketing, bag snatching) occurs, particularly at markets, on public transport, in railway stations, in shopping centres and in other areas frequented by tourists.

Theft of passports also occurs. Safeguard personal belongings on overnight trains and lock your compartment door from the inside.

Car thefts and highway robberies also occur. Drivers should be cautious when stopping at gas stations and highway parking areas, especially after dark.

Another reported practice involves individuals staging roadside emergencies (for example, a smoking engine or flat tire) to persuade drivers to pull over. Thieves then remove personal belongings from the distracted driver’s car.

Demonstrations

Demonstrations occur periodically in larger urban centres and have the potential to suddenly turn violent. Avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings, follow the advice of local authorities and monitor local media.

Extremist groups have used national holidays, such as August 20 (St. Stephen’s Day), March 15 (date of the 1848 Hungarian Revolution) and October 23 (Republic Day) to stage demonstrations during commemorative events.

Road safety

Highways are generally in good condition. Rural roads may be narrow, badly lit and poorly maintained.

Traffic congestion and parking in large cities can be a problem.

Public Transportation

The bus and the metro are a reliable means of transportation. Fare payment on public transit is mandatory. Violators are subject to fines or arrest and prosecution.

Only use officially marked taxis. Whenever possible, call a taxi through a dispatcher rather than hailing one on the street. Ensure that the meter is on and charging the appropriate rate, which should be displayed in the taxi. If you think you have been wrongly charged, take note of the taxi information, ask for a receipt and contact the taxi company to report the incident.

See Transportation Safety in order to verify if national airlines meet safety standards.

Scams

Some restaurants and clubs do not list prices, particularly in the business district of central Pest. Ask to see a menu with prices clearly listed. Avoid discussions regarding overcharging, as they could lead to violence.

Some scams involve surcharges on final bills for drinks or meals. Travellers unable to pay the bill have been accompanied by the establishment’s security guard to a cash machine and forced to withdraw funds while being threatened. Do not ask taxi drivers to recommend bars or clubs, as they are sometimes accomplices in these scams.

Male travellers have been approached by young women in public areas with invitations to socialize. Some have fallen victim to criminal activity and been presented with very large bills for drinks and entertainment.

See Overseas Fraud for more information on scams abroad.

General safety information

Exercise normal security precautions. Ensure that your personal belongings, passports and other travel documents are secure at all times, especially on public transportation. Avoid showing signs of affluence and carrying large sums of cash.

Carry adequate identification, such as your passport, at all times. Photocopies are not accepted. Keep a photocopy of your passport in case of loss or seizure.

Emergency services

Dial 112 for emergency assistance. The Hungarian Tourinform office offers tourism information and assistance 24 hours a day in English and German. They can be reached at +36 1 438 8080 and collect at +800 36 000 000.

Annual Cases

Budget Autonomy Yes
Annual Budget of the Agency There is no separate budget
Per Capital Expenditure
Expeniture as % of the GDP
Are employees protected by law from recrimination or other negative consequences when reporting corruption (i.e. whistle-blowing)? Yes
Does your country have freedom of information legislation? Yes
Does your country have conflict of interest legislation? Yes
Does your country have a financial disclosure system to help prevent conflicts of interest? Yes
Who appoints the head of your agency? Minister of Interior
Who has the authority to remove the head of the ACA? Minister of Interior
Is there any term limit for the head of the ACA? No
Does your agency measure performance? Yes
Full access to Government Yes

Summary

Calendar GMT Reference Actual Previous Consensus Forecast
2015-02-13 08:00 AM Q4 3.4% 3.2% 2.35%
2015-03-06 08:00 AM Q4 3.4% 3.3% (R) 3.4% 3.4%
2015-05-13 08:00 AM Q1 3.4% 3.4% 3.1% 3.4%
2015-06-05 08:00 AM Q1 3.4% 3.4% 3.4%
2015-08-14 08:00 AM Q2 4.25%
2015-09-04 08:00 AM Q2
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