Wide range of circular products comes under scope of EPR

5 June 2023

The Hungarian Government has recently made significant changes to the municipal solid waste (MSW) management and extended producer responsibility (EPR) regime since the nationalisation of waste management in 2012 and 2013.

The main regulation to apply the changes is Government Decree 80/2023 on Detailed Rules for the Operation of the EPR system, which came into effect on 1 April 2023. It covers ‘circular products’ listed in Annex 1, such as packaging, single-use plastics, EEE, batteries, textiles, and various other products.

In practice, the government granted a 35-year concession to Mol Nyrt, a Hungarian oil and gas multinational, to coordinate MSW management and enforce EPR fees for producers starting from July 2023.

From July 2023, circular product producers must collectively fulfill their EPR obligations by joining the concession company and paying the new EPR Fee. Individual compliance is only allowed for WEEE, batteries, and motor vehicles through a contract with the concession company.

Based on the polluter pays principle, the EPR Fee covers the cost of waste management, including infrastructure and operation. Foreign producers must appoint an authorised representative with a Hungarian tax number to fulfill their EPR obligations. Producers or authorised representatives must register with the national waste management authority and submit quarterly reports regardless of the fulfilment method chosen.

The Environmental Product Fee Act (Act LXXXV of 2011) – which is at the centre of the current EPR mechanism – remains in place, despite stakeholders’ requests to abolish it given that it is no longer needed to finance waste management.

However, a recent amendment to the Act revises the formula for calculating the Product Fee payable: the EPR Fee payable to the concessionaire will be deducted from the Product Fee.

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