The European Commission has opened two separate in-depth investigations to further examine whether two recent Hungarian measures with steeply progressive rate structures are in line with EU state aid rules. The first measure concerns a food chain inspection fee and the second a tax on turnover from the production and trade of tobacco products. At this stage, the Commission has concerns in both cases that the progressivity of the rates based on turnover provides companies with a low turnover a selective advantage over their competitors, in breach of EU state aid rules.
The Commission has also issued injunctions, prohibiting Hungary from applying the progressive rates of the food chain inspection fee and the tobacco tax until the Commission has concluded its assessment. The opening of in-depth investigations gives interested third parties the opportunity to comment on the measures under assessment. It does not prejudge the outcome of the investigations.