Environmental Product Fee
Environmental product fees were introduced in order to prevent negative environmental effects from wastes of certain products and to reach EU requirements on waste management through creating budget for collection and treatment of wastes from these products.
Section 1 (3) of Act No. LXXXV of 2011 on Environmental Product Fee currently in force defines the products subjected to the product fee, which are among others packaging material, batteries, tires, and electrical and electronic equipment. The environmental product fee has been levied on products that, due to their large quantities, cause a serious waste management problem or which are hazardous for the environment. Thus, the purpose of the regulation of the environmental product fee is, on the one hand, to create resources for the recycling of waste generated from the products and, on the other hand, to change consumer habits related to certain products.
The regulation is ultimately aimed at reducing the impact on the environment. This regulation names nine types of products subject to the product fee, after which the product fee must be paid to the tax authorities in Hungary by way of taxes. The fee is to be paid by producers and importers. The level of environmental product fee reflects the environmental harmfulness of end-of-life products and is based on product weight. Through this way product fee can make those products more expensive, that cause more and more harmful waste after use. This can push consumer demand from less to more environmental friendly products.
At the same time product fee incomes are financial base of collective fulfillment of EU extended producers responsibility. Since 2012, the performance of national waste management tasks related to the product fee regulation has been carried out through state, centralized coordination. Manufacturers and importers of products subject to the product fee – in case of choosing collective performance – transfer their waste recovery obligation to the state by paying the product fee. The performance of waste management tasks taken over by the state in this way is coordinated by the producer responsibility organization of the state.