This time the Hungarian state managed to introduce something more pragmatic than a new tax to generate quick income: on January 1 the Electronic Sales System (EÉR), which serves to sell the remains of bankrupt businesses, was launched. Need a sewing workshop in Püspökladány? The first bids are just in.
According to Zoltán Kunfalvi, the government official responsible for the state insolvency register, EÉR will help to make the job of the insolvency administrator more transparent and controllable. Kunfalvi said government auctions will now be carried out exclusively through EÉR.
“The system is safe and reliable,” he said, because it records all the steps of an auction. In addition, the user-friendly surface allowed browsing the offerings and comparing the prices.
The system operated by the Ministry of National Development is available for everyone at eer.gov.hu, which theoretically means more participating bidders and ultimately higher income for the state. This should be favourable for the liquidators because they will be able to satisfy more creditors, and it will be good for those employees who are owed pay. The higher transparency should prevent people or organisations who want to bid from co-operating with the debtor or liquidator in an incorrect way.
It costs a one-off HUF 7,000 to register on EÉR, the liquidators pay in addition HUF 5,000 a month and a starting price between HUF 1,000 and 20,000 for each auction launched. The additional income for the state is generated – just like on eBay – from a percentage taken from the final sales price, which is 1% in the case of EÉR (10% at eBay). This will be needed: almost HUF 65 million in public money has been invested in the system.
News portal Index has noted that the difference between the new system and the previous electronic sales system of the National Tax and Customs Administration (NAV) is the registration, because at NAV a simple access over Ügyfélkapu (the customer portal of the central administration) was sufficient. Only those people may now participate in bidding who declare that they are not in a relationship with the bankrupt company. The ministry should know well, though, that such a declaration is not a real guarantee.
Still, Kunfalvi said EÉR may help to increase income from public auctions by up to 20%, depending on the number of companies going bankrupt, of course.
The properties being auctioned at the moment are really interesting: who ever dreamt of owning a sewing workshop in Püspökladány, an industrial building in Pécs, a petrol station in Homokszentgyörgy or a wine bar in Dorog?