Since the promulgation of the Chamber Act in 1994, the 'chambers of economy' have been bodies of public law. Obligatory chamber membership was maintained until November 2000. By virtue of the new Chamber Act adopted in 1999, membership is now voluntary. The electorates of the chambers, which still function as public bodies, come from the whole community of entrepreneurs, but only voluntary chamber members may fill posts within the chambers. The effective amendment of the Chamber Act has expanded the public tasks of chambers as of January 2004. Public bodies that are similar to the 'chambers of economy' include, for example, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the trade chambers.
- It is the Chamber's mission to foster - on the basis of the Chamber Acts, other statutory provisions, and its Statutes and primarily relying on and with the involvement of its own members - the development and organisation of the economy, the safety of business transactions and fair market practices, the manifesting of the general and joint interests of those carrying out business activities, and to further the co-ordination of domestic and international chambers with regard to European integration.
- The public tasks of the 'chambers of economy' are listed in paragraphs 9-12 of Act CXXI of 1999 and by the statutes of the chambers of economy, of which - with some exceptions - most tasks are pursued on behalf of all business organisations, i.e. not only on behalf of the voluntary chamber members. The most important public tasks of the 'chambers of economy' - including nation-wide chambers - are:
Tasks associated with the development of the economy
- foster the development of business (and economic) infrastructure and, to this end, they earmark one part of their revenues as determined in their statutes;
- contribute to preparing comprehensive development and strategic decisions in the economy, and cooperate with the government agencies and local authorities as well as trade promotion organisations;
- provide information on Hungarian and foreign statutory provisions concerning the economy and on economic policy decisions and measures involving the activities of business organisations and foster the development of economic cooperation;
- contribute to elaborating and executing the regional development concepts and programmes;
- in cooperation with the nation-wide trade promotion organisations, they tackle their tasks identified in the Act and enforcement decree on vocational training; and conduct master training and master examinations;
- contribute to trade development and to business information and PR activities for foreigners both home and abroad, and organise fairs, exhibitions, conferences and other events;
- contribute to addressing information and training tasks stemming from Hungary's accession and then membership in the European Union, compile methodology guidelines for competitions, provide information on the opportunities and conditions of participating in competitions in the EU and on the EU statutory provisions affecting the various trades;
- collect and make available to the business organisations economic, technical, environmental and legal information;
- participate in preparing the decisions relating to the use of allocated state funds and budget forecasts serving the above mentioned purposes.
Tasks related to the safety of business transactions
- issue and authenticate certificates of origin, as well as other certificates and documents for goods, in addition to other documents required in commercial transactions;
- work out with the involvement of economic trade promotion organisations the ethical rules applying to fair market practices, which rules will cover all business organisations generally;
- issue a warning resolution to a business organisation member of the Chamber in case the ethical rules of the chambers are violated, and publish this warning. In case a conduct breaching the statutory provisions on the prohibition of unfair market practices is revealed, the chambers may initiate with the organisation responsible for fair competition the taking of necessary measures;
- may send out a notification and call attention to the problem, if a non-member is guilty of an ethical offence;
- may initiate a procedure with the Court of Registration for judicial supervision, or the withdrawal of the entrepreneur's license with the secretary of the local authority;
- run the conciliation bodies set up on the basis of the Consumer Protection Act;
- contribute to settling quality and transport damages related to the international economic relations of business organisations;
- run qualification and control systems;
Tasks related to promoting the general interests of the economy
- assists the elaboration of government and self-government statutory provisions and measures by providing proposals, comments and economic analyses. In the course of such activities, the Chamber defends the rights of entrepreneurs and the freedom of businesses to compete. It presses for the amendment or abrogation of statutory provisions and measures that hinder or restrict the operations of the market economy.
- Concerning statutory provisions and regulation concepts involving a broad range of business organisations, the Ministers appointed by the Prime Minister and the nation-wide 'chambers of economy' hold a trade consultation at least twice a year.