The European Commission said the fiscal measure based on progressive turnover rate structures gave a selective advantage to companies with low turnover over competitors.
Following the Commission opening an investigation in July 2015, nothing was collected so no state aid was granted and there is no need for recovery.
Hungary was not able to demonstrate that a progressive structure was justified by the food chain inspection fee to cover cost of sanitary inspections.
In November 2015 the Hungarian Parliament abolished the progressive rates structure and re-introduced the 0.1% flat rate for all food chain operators from 27 December last year. More information can be found here (in Hungarian).
The Commission also found a tax on tobacco sales in breach of rules.
Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “Hungary is in the full right to finance the cost of its food inspection activities and to levy a tax on tobacco products to finance its health system.
“However, Hungary should make sure that all companies are treated alike so that the contributions are levied on non-discriminatory terms.”