Exporting guide to Hungary

Overview

Hungary is a high-growth business hub in the heart of Europe. It has a population of almost 10 million and a motivated workforce. As well as a favourable geographical location, Hungary offers a modern, liberalised business environment with a strong legal system.

Ease of doing business

Hungary's economy has been extensively liberalised through privatisation, foreign direct investment and the introduction of comprehensive commercial laws. Hungary’s business culture is similar to the UK’s and English is widely spoken, so UK companies find it easy to work with local partners.

Strategic focus

Hungary is the perfect place for British companies seeking to expand their operations in central and eastern Europe. Many companies have selected the country to be their regional centre or global back office.

Educated workforce

Hungary’s well-educated and professionally trained workforce is one of the country’s main economic advantages for UK exporters who need to staff locally.

Aerial view of a busy highway

Hungary: at a glance

Currency

Forint

Business language

Hungarian, English

You may need a translator

GDP per capita

$18,968

Actual figure (IMF, 2021). The UK is $47,203 (IMF, 2021, projected figure).

Economic growth

7.1%

(IMF, 2021)

Time zone

GMT +1

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Opportunities for exporters

There are a opportunities for UK companies across a broad range of industries. Our trade advisers in Hungary have identified particular opportunities for UK businesses in the following sectors.

Check for trade barriers

Trade barriers, such as tariffs or taxes, can raise costs, cause delays, or even stop you from exporting. Check for any issues that may impact your business when exporting.

See current trade barriers

See resolved trade barriers

Check duties and customs

Find information on how to export goods from the UK. View the duties, rules, restrictions, and the documents you need for your products.

See current duties and customs procedures

Doing business in Hungary

Preparing to export

Hungary’s legal system is largely in line with EU requirements. If you are considering a large-scale transaction you should consult one of the international law firms based in Hungary.


VAT

If you’re registered for VAT, it may be possible to zero-rate the goods you export to Hungary, provided certain conditions are met.

All enterprises supplying goods or services in Hungary must register for and charge VAT. Small businesses can choose to be VAT exempt under certain conditions.

The standard VAT rate is 27%, but rates of 18%, 5% or 0% apply to certain goods and services.

Corporate tax

You’ll find information on Hungarian tax for enterprises on the National Tax and Customs Administration of Hungary (NTCA) website.

Standards and technical regulations

Products and packaging should meet EU standards.

The Hungarian Trade Licensing Office (website in Hungarian, English translation available) is the main regulator. They set the standards that apply to foreign products coming into the country. There are special rules around registering and certifying certain products.

Labelling

Labelling should be in Hungarian. You should check with the relevant registration or certification authority about whether labelling needs to comply with Hungarian legislation on advertising and health and safety.

Services regulations

Information on rules for selling services and business travel to Hungary is available on gov.uk

Trade barriers

Check for any reported barriers to trading with Hungary.

Report any trade barriers that are affecting your business so we can help fix them.

Operating in Hungary

Hungary's increasingly westernised business culture has improved ease of doing business. However, UK companies could encounter difficulties like legal barriers to public procurement.


Intellectual property

As a first step, we advise you to speak to an intellectual property (IP) lawyer if you think you need patent protection when exporting.

The Hungarian Intellectual Property Office is responsible for IP.

Business behaviour

The use of English is rapidly increasing. However, you may sometimes encounter language barriers, especially when working with smaller companies and outside Budapest.

Business cards are used extensively. Hungarians often place their surnames first on business cards, printed in Hungarian. You should consider getting business cards printed in Hungarian, with surname first.

Next steps

DIT can advise you on doing business abroad, and help put you in touch with other people who can help such as lawyers and distributors.