Operation of Fairs and Markets

A fair shall mean a building, a building complex or a territory, where, in general, several persons carry out seasonal retail activity or occasional retail activities in connection with specific events or calendar days. A market, on the other hand, is a building, a building complex or a territory, where several persons carry out retail activities daily or occasionally on a weekly basis. It is essential to make a difference between the facility manager and operator of a fair or a market:

The facility manager is the owner, tenant or any other user of a territory or real estate used as a fair or a market, who provides the market area for those carrying out commercial activities at the fair or market; furthermore, the facility manager is responsible for the commercial service activities provided for those carrying out commercial activities at the fair or market. The operator, on the other hand, is the facility manager, or a person appointed by the facility manager, to manage or operate the fair or market, or to perform other duties related to operation. The operator is entitled to act on behalf of the facility manager.

The operation of fairs and markets is classified in the Standard Classification of Economic Activities (TEÁOR’08) as sector 68.02 Renting and operating of own or leased real estate, sub-category 68.20 Renting and operating of own or leased real estate.

Fairs and markets may be organized and held on territories which are appropriate for organizing fairs and markets according to the general zoning plans, or on territories for which a land use licence has been issued for the organization of fairs.

Depending on the type of the fair or market, the products sold and the activities pursued there, the territory must comply with the requirements set out in the relevant laws and must be provided with waste containers suitable for the separated collection of waste accumulating in the course of the activities performed there.

During the opening hours of the fair or market, the operator must always keep at hand on the premises of the fair or market the papers or documents, or copies of such papers and documents, for the verification of his or her entitlement to operation.

The operator determines the procedures for the operation of the fair or market and informs the sellers and customers on such procedures in a notice displayed in a well-visible place. Furthermore, the operator’s name, address, seat and e-mail address (if any) shall also be indicated in the notice. In case of fairs and markets, the notice shall also contain the order of reservations and booths, in accordance with the professional standards.

The operator determines the opening hours of the fair or market between 05:00 a.m. and 08:00 p.m. Opening hours after 08:00 p.m. may be licensed by the clerk of the local municipality upon consultation with the competent police station. The operator is obliged to inform the customers on the opening hours of the fair or market.

In case of fairs and markets, the operator must provide the shops, booths and other establishments developed for purposes other than selling with serial numbers in a well-visible way for the customers. In case of a permanent fair or market, at the entrance of the fair or market, the operator shall install a board containing a site map or layout of the fair or market, indicating the current arrangement of the commercial units and booths with the relevant serial numbers.

The operator must keep an up-to-date register of the persons engaged in selling at the fair or market in compliance with the Act on the protection of personal data and the disclosure of data of public interest, and shall be obliged to present it or make it available to the authority upon request of the authority exercising supervision over the territory of the market.

The operator is obliged to stay on the territory of the fair or market during the opening hours of the fair or market and to keep the fair or market under control, or to take the necessary measures for the appropriate operation as set out in the decisions made by the authorities. Furthermore, the operator is obliged to proceed as prescribed by the authorities and to co-operate during authority inspections.

The operator is obliged to investigate any written complaints filed in respect of his activity and inform the customer on his measures and the justification for his measures by regular mail or e-mail within thirty days after receipt of the complaint. In the reply, the customer must be informed on his or her right to apply to the clerk of the municipality if he or she does not approve the reply.

Fairs and markets may only be established and operated in consideration of the general zoning plan of a settlement, on sites where no harmful environmental pollution endangers the individuals, foods or food raw materials. The fair and market sites must be established at dust- and mud-free places that can be cleaned easily. The territories of daily food markets and large food markets must be paved with an easily cleanable cover. The floor of market halls must be provided with a firm, anti-slip cover without gaps, which can be properly cleaned and disinfected, and a drainage system satisfying the standard construction requirements must also be installed for draining the wastewater generated by the cleaning process. The territory of markets must be fenced.

The supply of fairs and markets with a sufficient volume of water with drinking water quality must be ensured. Water take-off points must be created in an appropriate arrangement in order that even the most distant parts of the fair or market can be reached for cleaning. The water take-off points developed for cleaning must be provided with connectors with an air inlet valve and a hose end. Water take-off points must also be created for animal watering.

It is required to build an appropriate number of flush toilets and urinals with the proper design, separated by genders, on the territory of the fair or market if there are no public toilets in the required numbers within 50 metres. Unpacked foods of animal origin may only be sold at places equipped with separated toilets for the sellers.

The territories of fairs, markets and market halls must be kept clean continuously during the opening hours, and after the closure a general cleaning must be carried out. In case of a territory with public utilities, the emerging wastewater must be drained through the public drainage system. If there is no public drainage system, the generated wastewater must be collected in a closed sewage water container.

At fairs, markets and in market halls, waste and refuse collecting containers which can be easily washed and disinfected, provided a with tight-fitting cover, must be set up for the collection of waste and refuse in appropriate numbers, in compliance with the rules of public health, animal hygiene and waste management. A cleaning and disinfection area with water supply and a drainage system must be designated for the cleaning and disinfection of waste containers on the spot. The drainage system must contain a sand trap.

The facility manager or operator shall regularly protect the establishment from rodents and insect pests representing sanitary risks. Preventive destruction by a specialist twice a year shall be compulsory even if no rodents or insect pests have been observed.

The car park for the sellers’ vehicles must be developed outside the fair or market.

Should selling from a vehicle or a mobile shop be permitted on the fair or market, a separated territory shall be designated for this purpose. In this case, drinking water, drainage and proper waste collection must be ensured for occasional mobile shops and vendors at the fair or market.

Procedures related to the commencement and pursuit of service activities

The clerk competent at the seat of the micro-region, in Budapest the clerk of the district in which the fair or market operates, shall act as the responsible authority with regard to the operation of fairs and markets. Fairs and markets may only be operated, by way of permanent local presence, subject to a license for fair or market operation issued by the clerk.

An application for a fair or market operation licence can be submitted verbally or in writing in person, or in writing by regular mail to the clerk (mayor’s office) of the micro-region or district of Budapest in which the fair or market operates. At this point, for technical reasons, it is impossible to file an application electronically.

The following information and documents must be attached to the application for a fair or market operation license:

  1. the territory designated for the fair or market, its floor area and scaled layout drawing with the shops, booths and other establishments, the parts of the area developed for non-selling functions, indicating their purpose and number, and, furthermore, the routes for customer movement, goods transport and loading;
  2. a document certifying the title of territory usage (own or leased property) except for the title deed, furthermore, the document of approval issued by the beneficiary in case of usufruct, or by the co-owner in case of co-ownership;
  3. the operating procedures of the fair or market;
  4. in case of the use or distribution of foodstuffs, sale of agricultural produce, fodder, livestock, veterinary product and pesticides, a declaration by the applicant that the Food Chain Security and Animal Health Directorate or the Administration for Plant and Soil Protection of the County (Metropolitan) Government Office has issued a license to him or her for the permanent free use of the premises;
  5. a water and energy supply plan for the fair or market, with details of the water take-off and electric connection points, as well as the declarations of the public utility companies (water, electricity, gas and district heating service providers);
  6. plans for draining points in respect of sewage and rain water accumulating on the territory of the fair or market, or if there is no public drainage system, a plan for the installation of equipment replacing public utilities, with the declaration of the competent public utility companies and authorities;
  7. description of the method of territory development for ensuring that the area is free from dust and mud;
  8. rules and regulations prescribed by the organizer or facility manager of the fair or market for the collection and placement of accumulated waste and refuse, handling, placement, method and frequency of removal of confiscated foodstuffs, and the cleaning and disinfection of the fair or market area.

To verify entitlement to the use of the territory, the clerk shall obtain ex officio a title deed from the competent land registry office or from the computer-based real estate registration system.

Specialized authorities shall also act in procedures for fair or market operational licences. The service provider who wants to operate the fair or market does not need to apply to such authorities, because it is the authority proceeding in the licensing procedure that is responsible for this. However, the client shall pay the duties payable for the specialized authority’s procedure, together with the duties payable for the licensing procedure, that before filing the application, and certify payment of such duties when the application is filed.

The clerk shall evaluate the application within 15 days from receipt. The clerk may extend this deadline once by 30 days. The specialized authorities have 15 days to express their opinion; this period is not included in the above time limit.

If the application and the fair or market comply with the provisions of law, the clerk shall issue the license.

A general procedural duty of 2,200 HUF shall be paid to the clerk for the procedure. The general procedural duty of 2,200 HUF shall also be paid to each specialized authority for the specialized authority procedures. The duty shall be paid by means of a revenue stamp attached to the application form when submitting the application.

In the course of the licensing procedure, or upon expiry of the administration deadline in case of consent by silence, the clerk shall register the fair or market and its operator and facility manager in the register ex officio.

The clerk shall make available the data of the register kept by him or her on the Internet.

The facility manager of the fair or market, shall be obliged to notify the clerk in writing without delay of any change in his or her data indicated in the application form submitted for license and registered, if after the receipt of the license any changes occur in those data, obviously with the exception of measures by the supervisory authorities or cancellation from the register. The clerk shall register the change in the data as per the notification. No duties or fees are payable for the fulfilment of this obligation.

Service activities carried out within the framework of cross-border service provision

As the operation of a market necessitates a regular, actual, permanent and long-lasting business activity, which is carried out through an establishment, premises, office, shop or other place, or fixed equipment or devices, operation of a market may only be carried out by way of permanent local presence, and this activity, by definition, cannot be carried out as a cross-border service activity.

Fairs, however, may be organized as cross-border service activities without permanent local presence, in a temporary or occasional manner. In this case, as no other regulations apply either at the level of statutory provisions or government decrees, cross-border fairs can be operated by any service provider settled in another EEA Member State and legally carrying out service activities there, furthermore no license, notification on the commencement of the service activity, certificate, authority certificate or card is required for the operation.

This means that if a service provider is entitled to hold a fair, or to provide any other similar service in any EEA Member State, this service provider may theoretically hold an occasional or single fair in Hungary without any licence. Note, however, that the absence of the licensing obligation does not exempt the operator of the occasional or single fair from complying with the provisions of the Hungarian substantive law. Accordingly, infringement of the Hungarian substantive law shall involve measures of the Hungarian authorities, who will proceed against this service provider in the same way as against operators licensed in Hungary. Nevertheless, the clerk in charge of the supervision of such service has no right to proceed against such service provider alone with reference to the absence of licence.


Cross-border service provision

If you wish to launch this service in the form of cross-border service provision, please click here to read the general conditions of cross-border service provision in Hungary.


Legal regulations applicable to the service activities and the procedures

  1. Act CLXIV of 2005 on trade
  2. Government Decree 55/2009 (III. 13.) on fairs, markets and shopping centres
  3. Decree 59/1999 (XI. 26.) EüM on public health regulations for selling at fairs and markets and in market halls
  4. Act LXXVI of 2009 on the general rules for public administration authority procedures and service
  5. Act CXL of 2004 on the General Rules of Administrative Proceedings and Services