The Regulatory Committee has continued its aim to fulfil its legal supporting function assisting fellow committees and the AmCham Board, and operating as a workshop for many of the most highly skilled practicing attorneys in Hungary and the representatives of AmCham member companies.
The Committee continues to consist of various working groups corresponding to the relevant fields of law, each led by a highly reputed expert:
- Constitutional, Administrative & Tax Law – Dr. Péter Nagy
- IP, IT, Telecom, Data Protection – Dr. István Réczicza
- Civil, Commercial Law – Dr. János Tóth
- Customs, Trade Compliance – Dr. Tamás Lőcsei
- Corporate Law – Dr. Zoltán Csehi
- Public Procurement Regulation – Dr. Balázs Fazekas
- Labor Law – Dr. András László
- Energy – Dr. Zoltán Faludi
- Banking and Financial Markets – Dr. Erika Papp
- Competition / Unfair Trade Practices / Consumer Protection – Dr. Tihamér Tóth
- Anti-Illicit Trade – Dr. Gusztáv Bacher
- Property Law, Environmental Regulations – Dr. Györgyi Viszmeg
Ministry of Justice: Regular Consultation Continued
The Strategic Partnership Agreement – first signed in 2011, then re-confimed in 2014 – ensures that AmCham has a well-established, formal cooperation framework with the Ministry of Justice and can engage in regular and direct consultation on its legislative proposals with Government experts. As a result, AmCham had a solid base to contribute and make an impact on the Hungarian legislation.
On January 18, 2016, AmCham, represented by its President Ferenc Pongrácz, CEO Írisz Lippai-Nagy, Regulatory Committee Chairman Gábor Orosz, and several committee Working Group Leads, had a high-level meeting with Minister Trócsányi and Deputy State Secretary Zoltán Nemessányi, where Minister Trócsányi thanked the AmCham Regulatory Committee for its outstanding professional input that has been regularly provided within the framework of the Strategic Cooperation Agreement. He also shared his cabinet’s priorities with AmCham for the upcoming year. and confirmed that the Ministry views AmCham as a strategic ally in articulating the standpoint of businesses in Hungary and stressed that they look forward to continuing the well-established, close cooperation with the Chamber.
On February 9, an extraordinary committee meeting was held with Deputy State Secretary Zoltán Nemessányi to discuss the Ministry of Justice’s legislative agenda and priorities for 2017, and the possibilities for cooperation. The Deputy State Secretary thanked the Regulatory Committee for its outstanding professional input and confirmed that the ministry views AmCham as a strategic ally in articulating the standpoint of businesses in Hungary. He also indicated that the ministry looks forward to continuing the well-established, close cooperation with the chamber in the public consultation part of the legislative work.
Most Remarkable Projects and Achievements in 2017
- In February, upon the request of the Ministry of Justice, the committee sent its feedback on the planned new legislation of Private International Law.
- In February, AmCham sent its comments to the draft legislative sample documents that are to be used by civil organizations at court proceedings. The AmCham position was prepared together with the Governance & Transparency Committee.
- In March, the committee in cooperation with the Hungarian Association of Competition Law sent comments on the draft legislation of General Administrative Regulations, and also on the draft legislation connected to secret data collection related to the new Act on Criminal Proceedings.
- In April, it sent its comments on draft modification of selected pieces of legislation related to strengthening the competitiveness of the Hungarian legislation.
- In May, it sent its comments on the planned modification of the Act XLIX of 1991 on Bankruptcy and Liquidation.
- In June, the Regulatory Committee sent its comments to the Ministry of Justice on draft modification of 21/2006. (V.18.) Decree of the Ministry on company registration procedure and 6/2017. (VI.1.) on provision of headquarters.
- In September, the Regulatory Committee together with the Competitive Workforce Policy Task Force have developed and sent its feedback to the Ministry for National Economy on the planned modification of the law regulating labor safety (Act XCIII of 1993 on Labor Safety), which impacts the regulatory framework of remote work. The Ministry thanked the committee for the input and accepted several of the recommendations.
- In October, in cooperation with the Hungarian Association of Competition Law, the committee sent its feedback to the Ministry of Justice on the planned modification of the Act LVII of 1996 on the Prohibition of Unfair and Restrictive Market Practices.
- Also in October, the committee sent its suggestions to the Ministry on the draft new Act on the protection of business secrecy and undisclosed know-how.
Harmonization of Hungarian law with the GDPR
In early Summer 2017, the committee started discussions on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that will be implemented by May 25, 2018, and issues around the harmonization process. In order to better understand priority issues of member companies in relation to the implementation process of GDPR, the committee launched a short, online survey among the membership. More than 60 companies participated in the survey. The findings of the survey were later shared with the Ministry of Justice and the Hungarian National Authority for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (NAIH) in order to help decision-makers see the topics where companies would welcome more information and guidelines.
In August, the Regulatory Committee developed a package of recommendations on the planned modification of Act CXII of 2011 on Informational Self-Determination and Freedom of Information (“Privacy Act”) to harmonize Hungarian law with the GDPR. AmCham has sent its position to the Ministry of Justice in early September, advocating for more structured, transparent legislation to make law-interpretation as clear as possible for economic players, and to ensure a more competitive regulatory environment. In September, AmCham was invited to an expert-level meeting with representatives of the Ministry of Justice to discuss the AmCham position in details.
In early October, the committee met with Attila Péterfalvi, president of NAIH and presented the AmCham position on the harmonization of the Hungarian law to GDPR. It shared a summary of the expected responsibilities and requirements of a data protection officer (DPO), a position that will be required by the GDPR, as seen and recommended by committee experts. President Péterfalvi thanked AmCham for its cooperation and invited the committee to give further input and continue consultations.
Following expert level consultations, a working group has been established by the Ministry of Justice to provide a forum for inter-ministerial consultations and to help develop further legislative pieces in different areas of law within the implementation process of GDPR in Hungary. The Regulatory Committee has been invited and will delegate members to this working group. With the professional support of the committee.
AmCham organized a half day conference at the end of November for its members, with the participation of the president of NAIH and László Péter Salgó, Deputy State Secretary of the Ministry of Justice to provide a platform for discussions on priority issues related to GDPR.
For further information on the GDPR conference, please visit: https://www.amcham.hu/gdpr-high-season-for-preparation
Continued Engagement Of Committee Members
We have experienced a remarkable participation level from our committee members in the course of 2017. These members dedicate their time and resources to a number of projects during the year and contribute to exceptionally high quality internal legal discussions over proposals, while also duly representing AmCham in the Ministry consultations listed above.
Most Remarkable Projects and Achievements in 2017
Member companies’ practical experiences in transatlantic data transfer
In March, AmCham has sent input to the Hungarian National Authority for Data Protection and Freedom of Information („NAIH”) on member companies’ practical experiences in transatlantic data transfer in order to support NAIH’s work, while there are great efforts made within the EU and the US to create a new, solid legislative basis for transatlantic data transfer, as soon as possible. In its position, the Chamber stressed the need for a timely solution and the importance of rapid implementation of the new scheme called EU-US Privacy Shield..
On June 6, a delegation of the Regulatory Committee met President of NAIH Attila Péterfalvi and his colleagues to discuss cooperation between the two organizations. The Regulatory Committee closely follows updates in this area and AmCham is dedicated to continue cooperation with NAIH to represent members’ interests.
Draft bill modifying the credit Collateral Register scheme
In April, the Regulatory Committee responded to the Ministry of Justice‘s request for recommendations on the draft bill modifying the credit Collateral Register scheme. In its response, AmCham welcomed the innovation that the new Collateral Register will officially certify the genuine existence of facts recorded in it and the requirement that entries may only be registered, amended or deleted subject to a legal statement, final and binding court order or official resolution. However, the Regulatory Committee opined that the rules of document review provided in the bill are too formal and do not ensure that the main goal set in the general reasoning of the bill is achieved.
New Civil Procedure Code
As requested by the Ministry of Justice, the Regulatory Committee has sent its recommendations on the draft bill on the New Civil Procedure Code (the “New CPC”) to the Ministry in June. The Regulatory Committee has been participating in the legislative reform process preparing the New CPC since early 2015 and had worked out proposals with regards to two specific areas: class action and the direction in substance of the course of proceedings, which was submitted to the Ministry of Justice in October 2015.
Modification of unfair and restrictive market practices legislation
Upon the request of the Ministry of Justice, AmCham has sent its position on the draft modification of the Act LVII of 1996 on Prohibition of Unfair and Restrictive Market Practices in September.The Regulatory Committee discussed key elements of the new legislation with Ministry experts, including Deputy State Secretary Zoltán Nemessányi at a meeting held in October .
Planned revision of legislation pertaining to in-house counsel regulation
The Ministry of Justice began the revision of legislation pertaining to in-house legal counsel this year. The Regulatory Committee has been engaged in active dialogue with representatives of member companies on this issue, and also has reviewed the guiding basic principles specific to planned revision, within the framework of public consultation. The Regulatory Committee will continue to closely follow legislative developments in this area.
Continued engagement of the Committee members
We have experienced a remarkable participation level from our Committee members in the course of 2016. These Committee Members dedicate their time and resources to a number of projects during the year and contribute to exceptionally high quality internal legal discussions over different proposals, all while duly representing AmCham in the Ministry consultations listed above.
The Regulatory Committee as a framework, provides legal professionals with a critical opportunity to discuss and advance common policy issues while exhibiting a strong track record of quality and productivity. As such, our main goal remains to provide well-researched and theoretically grounded, practical materials to reflect the members’ interests appropriately. The Committee also plays an important role by providing support to fellow Committees in legislative related issues, on their request.