Pursuant to Government Decree No. 408/2020 (hereinafter: the “Government Decree”), business actors have two options for entering Hungary:
1. Travel between affiliated enterprises according to Article 9 of the Government Decree
If the entry is required for a business travel between related companies in accordance with the regulation of the Government Decree, then a prior application for entry is not needed and nor it is necessary to present negative SARS-CoV-2 PCR test results to avoid quarantine.
This unrestricted entry for business purposes is possible if the person coming from abroad
- enters the territory of Hungary from the territory of the states specified in the Decree of the Minister of Interior,
- she/he is an executive officer or employee of a domestic company which is a related company with a company incorporated in one of the states specified in the Decree of the Minister of Interior; or she/he is an executive officer or employee of a company registered in a state specified in the Decree of the Minister of Interior, which is a related company with a company registered in Hungary, and
- the fact of a business trip has been made presumable.
The originals of the documents proving the fulfilment of the conditions listed in points (i)-(iii) above must be presented upon request. These documents are the following: declaration of the executive officer (see below) required for making the business purpose of the travel presumable; the registry excerpt of the foreign company, the registry excerpt of the related Hungarian company and the labour contract – if the entering person is an employee).
Regarding the entry conditions, please note the following:
The detailed definition of an “affiliated undertaking” is set out in Act LXXXI of 1996 on Corporate and Corporate Income Tax. It is an important principle that when relying on business entry one of the affiliated companies must always be a Hungarian company (with a registered seat in Hungary).
The most important cases when one may talk of affiliated undertakings are:
- if one company has majority ownership or majority influence in the other, either through an intermediate company (e.g. a foreign company is the majority owner of a Hungarian company);
- if a third party has majority ownership or majority influence in both organizations, either through an intermediate company (e.g. a foreign company is the majority owner of another foreign company and the sole owner of a Hungarian company);
- a company is under the control of an entrepreneur as mentioned in point a)-b) and an establishment of the entrepreneur in another country (e.g. a Hungarian establishment of a foreign company and another foreign company owned by the foreign company);
- two entities which have the same management which can exercise decisive influence over business and financial policy.
We note that the exercise of influence may take place not only through (majority) ownership, but also through the exercise of certain privileged rights.
Currently, according to the decree of the Minister of Interior, entry is possible from any state in the world, and it is possible to refer to a related company registered in any state of the world in order to fulfil the condition of unrestricted entry for business purposes.
2. Business entry permitted on equity basis
If the case of entry for business purposes pursuant to Section 9 of the Government Decree is not applicable, an entry permit may be obtained after the submission of a prior application. However, even if the entry permit is granted, the entrant must go into quarantine in Hungary, or ask for the release of the quarantine based on negative SARS-CoV-2 PCR test results.
The case of business entry permitted on equity basis may be applied by a foreign national who cannot enter for business purposes on the basis of a related business relationship.
The Hungarian Police may grant an exemption from the general entry ban upon request if the applicant proves that there is a reasonable cause for the entry. According to our information from the Hungarian Police, a business travel may be an acceptable reason for exercising equity. The application must be submitted at the following link in English (https://ugyintezes.police.hu/en/meltanyossagi-kerelem) or in Hungarian (https://ugyintezes.police.hu/meltanyossagi-kerelem). It usually takes 48-36 hours to get the answer (permit or refusal) of the Hungarian Police, but please note that due to the increased workload, the administration time may increase.
However, the exemption of the Hungarian Police does not release the general obligation of the 14-day home quarantine after entry. Exemption from this must be requested separately and may be granted in the following cases:
- the applicant presents two negative SARS-CoV-2 PCR tests at least with a difference of 48 hours within the 5 days prior to entry, or
- certifies that she/he has already been infected with a coronavirus disease during the six months prior to entry.
Otherwise, the person entering must go into home quarantine and may carry out testing in Hungary to request the release of the quarantine.
In the case of entry from some “yellow countries”, the entrant is entitled to free movement already after the result of the first domestic SARS-CoV-2 PCR test, but the entrant is obliged to perform the second test in order to maintain the release of the quarantine.
This summary is intended to raise awareness and does not constitute legal advice.
If you have any questions or need further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.