Posted on 10/05/2019
Swedish Eco-tax under discussion

The Swedish Government is consulting for a possible revision of the national Ecotax on electrical equipment, introduced in 2017 (Lag 2016:1067) and modified already in 2019. An important issue for government is that the tax is not bringing in significant revenue (less than 200 million €, below half the intended tax income, compared to high administrative costs). Furthermore, internet sales escape from such a national tax, and it is indicated that these already represent a quarter of the market and are growing. The electronics industry federation estimates that this will lead to a loss of 800 – 2 000 jobs in Swedish retail. Even KEMI, the Swedish chemical authority, states that the tax needs to be evaluated. Stakeholders (see pinfa Newsletter n°81) have criticised the ecotax, including environmental NGO ChemSec (pinfa Newsletter n°86) who consider that the tax is badly targeted because it covers not only halogenated but also some PIN flame retardants (see below). With other industry stakeholders, pinfa is preparing a position to the Swedish Government underlining that the ecotax at present fails to distinguish flame retardants according to their environmental and health profile, and taxes products with no flame retardants and poses many unclear questions for implementation because of complexity or inaccuracies in annexes. This position suggests that in addition to the current 50% tax reduction for products not containing halogenated flame retardants, a 100% tax exemption should apply where recognised safer flame retardants are used.