Company interviews suggest tax may not target the right flame retardants and has resulted in little substitution. Thirteen suppliers, importers and retailers of white goods and/or electronics were interviewed. Consistency of answers indicated that the number of interviews was sufficient. Conclusions are that the tax has had only a small effect in FR substitution, because the Swedish market is too small to influence global product manufacturers (EU-level regulation is considered more effective, with REACH cited) and because the tax applies by product weight not flame retardant content. A third of the respondents did not know if substitution has been made. Several respondents indicate that they have no control of products they sell or a lack of documentation on flame retardant content which prevents possible tax reductions. Companies noted that the tax is complex and generates administrative costs, and expressed concerns that testing is not feasible so that declarations cannot be verified. The study authors also conclude that the tax might not accurately reflect the real risks related to different types of flame retardants, with companies regretting that even with environmentally-friendly flame retardants some tax still has to be collected and paid.
“Taxation of Hazardous Chemicals as a Substitution Measure. An interview study on companies affected by the Swedish tax on chemicals in certain electronics”, I. Andersson, S. Larsson, Chalmers University of Technology, report n° E2020:058 https://odr.chalmers.se/handle/20.500.12380/300859
See also pinfa Newsletter n°106 and video here http://www.beard.de/2019-04_pinfa10/2019-09-17_Swedish_Electronics_Tax.MOV