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Customs authority collects HUF 1,109 billion

Hungary's excise tax and customs authority VP collected net HUF 1,109.2 billion in central budget revenue in January-November, VP chief János Nagy said on Friday.

VP collected HUF 757 billion in excise tax in January-November, net HUF 27.1 billion in environmental tax and HUF 31.2 billion in vehicle registration tax, he said.

Hungary's black market for cigarettes has shrunk by about 8%, in part because of technical investments VP has made, among them a machine that X-rays trains arriving from Ukraine in Záhony, Nagy said.

VP will start a review of scrap metal businesses in 2010. The licensing process for such businesses will be made more strict, they will be required to keep an inventory of what they own and will not be allowed to sell scrap metal they buy for several days, allowing a chance for recovery if the metal was stolen, Nagy said. Until now, just one percent of stolen metal that is sold for scrap has been recovered, but VP will not be satisfied until the ratio climbs to 40-50%.

The launch of the review of scrap metal dealers will require at least 250 people, and 400 people would be necessary to achieve the goals, Nagy said. A hiring freeze has been in force at VP since July, but the authority has asked to fill positions of staff who work in critical areas and leave or retire. (MTI-ECONEWS)