The Swedish Chemical Tax on electronical products and white goods is proposed to be expanded
The Swedish Chemical Tax on electronical products
A new government bill proposes that the Chemical Tax on electronical products and white goods shall be expanded to include B2C transactions from foreign companies as from October 1, 2020.
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Under the current regulations the Chemical Tax is due for any business that manufactures in-scope goods in Sweden or brings in-scope goods into Sweden from elsewhere in the EU, or from outside the EU via import. There is an option to register as a warehouser (Sw. lagerhållare), which may shift the responsibility for Chemical Tax accounting to a party further down the supply chain.
However, in-scope goods delivered from a foreign country directly to a private individual in Sweden, is currently exempted from the tax.
Please find more information on our Chemical Tax portal:
The expansion of the Swedish law on chemical taxes on electronical products and white goods
The proposed change in the Chemical Tax Act will remove the aforementioned exemption and in-scope goods sold directly to Swedish customers (B2C) might hence be taxed. The goal with the expansion is to even out the distortion of competition between Swedish and foreign companies.
The expansion will first of all affect foreign companies that sells in-scope goods to Swedish consumers.
Within the EU, the tax is due only when the company’s sale of in-scope goods exceeds SEK 100,000 during the present or previous year.
Secondly, intermediate companies might be affected if
- they are professionally involved with assisting in distance selling procedures,
- the seller of the product is not seen as a taxable company and
- the total value of in-scope goods handled via the intermediate company’s exceeds 100,000 SEK during present or previous year.
Typical intermediate companies are the ones offering purchases directly from a foreign company via an app or a webpage. Price comparison webpages, or search engines, which do not offer any actual sales without changing the webpage should not be seen as intermediate companies and neither are parties who only act as intermediates regarding the actual payment between sellers and buyers.
There is a proposed option for companies to register as a registered EU-merchant (Sw. registrerad EU-handlare) in order to report the tax on a monthly basis rather than 5 days after day of delivery of in-scope goods.
The Chemical Tax was widely criticized when first implemented and some companies moved its storage abroad in order to use the exemption. Many of the bodies consulted on the proposed expansion have agreed that if the Chemical tax is here to stay, it needs to treat foreign companies equally to Swedish companies. Critical voices in the report though still raise the need to evaluate the present tax, and some mean that this sort of green taxes rather should be handled on an EU-level.
In our view the Swedish Government appear committed to expand the scope of the Chemical Tax to avoid further distortion of competition between Swedish and foreign suppliers. With a newly released Swedish Government Official Report on another possible Chemical Tax on clothes and shoes, read more in TaxNews, it is our view that it is unlikely that the Chemical Tax will disappear in the near future.
In summary, we recommend foreign companies that sell electronical products or white goods to Swedish customers to start preparing for the expansion of the tax. KPMG has broad experience of the chemical tax and can assist with impact assessments, define in-scope goods, compliance, warehouse registrations, how to utilize the associated tax reduction to reduce costs and more. You are welcome to contact us if you have questions.
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