Hungary - Selling and buying
Reaching the consumers
Until recently, small, family-owned shops dominated Hungary’s retail sector especially in the less populated parts of the country. Thousands of these shops still continue to serve rural populations, posing logistical challenges for distributors and suppliers. However, medium-sized, financially well-established heavy-discount chains are making inroads in Hungary’s retail sector.
In urban areas, shopping malls have expanded rapidly, so much so that as of January 2012, a law came into effect. This law requires all retail developments of above 300 square meters to be personally approved prior to planning permission by the Minister for National Economy.
- the Auchan group,
- the German groups Tengelmann, Baumax and Metro.
The food distribution market also consists of a few big national groups: the leader being CBA.
The main players in the discount business are: Plus (with 156 retail outlets), Penny Market with 143 retail outlets and Lidl (en hongrois) with 22 retail outlets.
In the non-food distribution sector, foreign groups dominate especially in the ready to wear sector (C&A, Mango, etc)
Market access procedures
As part of the "SAFE" standards advocated by the World Customs Organization (WCO), the European Union has set up a new system of import controls, the "Import Control System" (ICS), which aims to secure the flow of goods at the time of their entry into the customs territory of the EU. This control system, part of the Community Program eCustomer, has been in effect since January 1, 2011. Since then, operators are required to pass an Entry Summary Declaration (ENS) to the customs of the country of entry, prior to the introduction of goods into the customs territory of the European Union.
Organizing goods transport
The current road network covers the North-South and South-North parts of the country. This still needs several modifications to be in accordance with the European standards.
The first toll motorway, connecting Budapest and Vienna, was inaugurated in January 1996. Train is the most used means used for goods transport. Just like road transportation, this sector was privatized. The privatization and concession of the public sector's activities in 1998 accelerated the modernization of the structures to match the European standards.