In Hungary a legal obligation came into force on 1st January 2015 to report on any kind of transport of goods to, from or within the country. The new system, Electronic Road Transportation Control System (Elektronikus Közúti Áruforgalom-Ellenőrző Rendszer, EKAER) is destined help the tax authorities in tracking every product transported in Hungary. The purpose of the system is to make sure that no goods enter into circulation in the country without being reported in advance to the Hungarian Tax and Customs Authority (NAV). The introduction of the system is a key element of the regulations aimed at the 'whitening' of the economy and the fight against corruption.
The test phase of the new system ended on 28th February 2015 and since then NAV can impose penalties. Since 1st March 2015 the reporting of the value and mass of the goods transported has changed and a 10% “error margin” is now allowed. Another change is that the value of the goods needs to be reported only in case of transport of hazardous goods (transporting new vehicles is not in this category).
The taxpayer (which may be the addressee or the dispatcher depending on the type transport) has a reporting obligation for the purpose of obtaining the EKAER number in relation to commercial activities (acquisition of goods, other imports, supplies of goods, other exports, domestic supply of goods) involving road transportation performed by vehicles subject to a road toll (i.e. having a total weight of over 3.5 tons).
The addressee has to report the transport if goods are transported to Hungary from an EU Member State. If goods are transported from Hungary to another EU Member State and also in the case of domestic supplies of goods (internal movements within Hungary) the transport must be reported by the party dispatching the goods.
Unreported goods shall be deemed to be of unconfirmed origin, upon which a default penalty of up to 40% of the value of the unreported goods may be imposed. The National Tax and Customs Administration may seize goods to the value of the default penalty or use an official seal.
The tax authority is entitled to take over all of the data managed in the road toll system by direct access using a special IT application, therefore the EKAER system and the road toll system will be connected which makes the movement of the goods traceable by NAV. Otherwise, the road toll system establishes the liability of the carrier, while the EKAER system establishes the liability of the dispatcher or the addressee of the goods. Carriers themselves have practically no liability in relation to the EKAER system (only the dispatcher or the addressee of the goods) as the carrier has no reporting obligation themselves.
NAV may also demand a declaration from the addressee, the dispatcher and/or the carrier concerned including:
- the description and quantity of the transported goods,
- the description and registration number of the transport vehicle,
- the receipt of the goods and the address of unloading,
- the EKAER number and
- if the place of unloading is not the seat, site or branch office of the VAT registered person, the title of use of the property
If hazard factors justify, or if the VAT registered person concerned by the transport of goods denies making the above declaration, then NAV may apply an official seal to the transport vehicle in the form of a package seal or container seal carrying an official stamp which prevents access to the goods.
As a first step of the registration process in the EKAER system, the party having the reporting obligations needs to register in the “Client Gateway”, at https://ugyintezes.magyarorszag.hu/okmanyiroda/elektronikus which is in Hungarian only.
As a next step, registration needs to be done via the https://ekaer.nav.gov.hu/customers/reg_start website.
The EKAER number
Based on the reports received from the taxpayer, the EKAER system attributes a number to the goods transported so it is related to the goods and not to the carrier itself. Various goods on a vehicle with different custom tariff codes can be linked to one EKAER number. If goods are transported from one dispatcher to different addressees using the same vehicle, the number of EKAER numbers and the reports to be made will be determined by the number of addressees. The EKAER number is valid for 15 days and the time of delivery of the goods or the commencement of loading must be reported during this period.
The Regulation can be found in English here:
Below we publish a letter from BUSINESSEUROPE to the European Commission's DG TAXUD, regarding the Hungarian EKAER system. The letter, dated 16th April, also has an Annex with examples of the negative impact this new legislation has on businesses.