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Mar 19, 2020

Coronavirus Update: Decrees concerning economic measures published in Hungarian Gazette

The decrees concerning the immediate measures adopted to alleviate the economic impacts of the coronavirus epidemic have been published in Magyar Közlöny [Hungarian Gazette].

In accordance with the prime minister’s Wednesday announcements, until the end of this year the government is suspending the principal and interest payment liabilities on loans taken out by all private individuals and businesses before Wednesday, and in sectors struggling with grave difficulties, including tourism, catering and passenger transportation, they are cancelling the contribution payment liabilities of employers until June 30.

According to the decree published in Magyar Közlöny, the present provisions apply to loans already disbursed on the basis of contracts existing at twenty-four hundred hours on March 18. The payment moratorium will last until December 31, 2020, and its term can be extended by the government.

The deadlines for the fulfilment of contractual payment obligations and the terms of contracts will be extended by the duration of the payment moratorium. Any contract expiring during the term of the state of danger will be extended to December 31, 2020.

Pursuant to the decree, unless the parties provide otherwise, during the term of the state of emergency, debtors’ principal, interest and fee payment liabilities arising from credit and loan contracts or financial lease contracts offered by lenders on a business basis will change in such a way that debtors will be given respite for the fulfilment of their principal, interest and fee payment obligations arising from such contracts. The payment moratorium is without prejudice to the debtor’s right to make payments as per the original terms of the contract.

The decree taking effect on Thursday also lays down that, in the case of non-secured consumer loans taken out on the basis of contracts concluded after its entry into force, the annual percentage rate cannot exceed the central bank base rate plus five percentage points.

In the tourism, catering, entertainment, gaming, film, performing arts, events and sports services sectors, rental contracts relating to premises serving non-housing purposes cannot be terminated by ordinary notice until June 30, 2020. The government may extend the ban on termination in a decree. Rentals cannot be raised during the term of the state of emergency, even if it is otherwise allowed by the contract.

In the case of businesses operating in these sectors, for the months of March, April, May and June 2020, employers will be exempt from the payment of contributions on wages. From among the contributions payable on wages, there will only be a health insurance contribution payment obligation in kind, with the proviso that its monthly rate cannot exceed the monthly amount of the health care services contribution, HUF 7,710.

During the period extending from March 1 to June 30, 2020, those obliged to pay tourism development contributions will not be required to pay any tourism development contribution.

A call center set up for advice on the coronavirus can be reached on +36-80-277-455 and +36-80-277-456 or by email under koronavirus@bm.gov.hu