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New obligation for waste producing companies: the compulsory environmental insurance

The new provisions on compulsory environmental insurance entered into force on 1 January 2024 through the modification of the Waste and a new Government Decree. According to the Waste Act, those economic operators are obliged to have  environmental insurance to be able to cover unforeseen environmental damage caused by their activities (i) whose activities generate waste in quantities specified in the Government Decree, (ii) which carry out an activity subject to a waste management permit or registration under Waste Act, excluding the operator of a landfill site; or (iii) which import, export or transport waste into the territory of Hungary for the purposes specified in the relevant EU regulation on shipments of waste.

The Government Decree specifies the quantities of waste the producer of which is obliged to have environmental insurance. A waste-producing economic operator shall take out environmental insurance for an amount of at least HUF 10 million per insured event and per period if the annual amount of waste generated and held on any of its sites exceeds (a) 200 kg of hazardous waste, (b) 2 000 kg of non-hazardous waste, or (c) 5 000 kg of non-hazardous construction and demolition waste. This new obligation shall be applied to all business entities that generate at least the above levels of waste.