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Sweden Introduces Tax on Certain Chemicals in Electronics Law, 2016:1067

Photo: Microwave oven
Photo: Microwave oven

Sweden has introduced a new law (2016:1067) levying tax on certain chemicals in electronics.

In order to reduce exposure to hazardous substances contained in electronics to the general public, the Swedish Ministry of Finance is going to enact a law [1] to tax certain chemicals in electrical and electronic products. The taxed products have been listed below. This new law will enter into force on April 1, 2017 and, in the case of liability, is applicable from July 1, 2017. Additionally, the scope of the new law will be gradually widened to include a broader range of consumer products and hazardous substances [2].

Tax shall be paid for goods assignable to the following EE products.

1. (a) Combined refrigerator-freezers, fitted with separate external doors; (b) Compression-type and other household type refrigerator; (c) Freezers of the chest type, not exceeding 800L capacity; (d) Freezers of the upright type, not exceeding 900L capacity.

2. Dishwashing machines of the household type.

3. Machines, each of a dry linen capacity not exceeding 10kg including: (a) Fully automatic machines, (b) Other machines with built-in centrifugal drier (c) Other household or laundry-type washing machine.

4. Drying machines, each of a dry linen capacity not exceeding 10kg.

5. (a) Portable automatic data-processing machines, weighing not more than 10kg, consisting of at least a central processing unit, a keyboard and a display; (b) Other automatic data-processing machines comprising in the same housing at least a central processing unit and an input and output unit, whether or not combined; (c) Other automatic data-processing machines presented in the form of systems.

6. Vacuum cleaners with self-contained electric motor of a power not exceeding 1500W and having a dust bag or other receptacle capacity not exceeding 20L.

7. (a) Microwave ovens; (b) Other ovens, cookers, cooking plates, boiling rings, grillers and roasters.

8. (a) Line telephone sets with cordless handsets, (b) Telephones for cellular networks or for other wireless networks (c) Other telephone sets; (d) Machines for the reception, conversion and transmission or regeneration of voice, images or other data, including switching and routing apparatus in the category of other apparatus for the transmission or reception of voice, images or other data, including apparatus for communication in a wired or wireless network, excluding base stations.

9. (a) Turntable (record-decks) sound recording or sound reproducing apparatus; (b) Telephone answering machines; (c) Other apparatus using magnetic, optical or semiconductor media, etc. (excluding operated by coins, banknotes, bank cards, token or by other means of payment).

10. Video recording or reproducing apparatus, whether or not incorporating a video tuner including (a) magnetic tape-type and (b) other types.

11. (a) Radio-broadcast receivers capable of operating without an external source of power; Other reception apparatus (excluding radio-broadcast receivers not capable of operating without an external source of power) (b) combined with sound recording or reproducing apparatus (c) not combined with sound recording or reproducing apparatus but combined with a clock (d) other

12. (a) Cathode-ray tube monitor; (b) Other monitors including capable of directly connecting to and designed for use with an automatic data processing machines; Reception apparatus for television, whether or not incorporating radio-broadcast receivers or sound or video recording or reproducing apparatus including (c) not designed to incorporate a video display or screen, (d) other color, and (e) other monochrome.

13. Video game consoles and machines, other than those of games operated by coins, banknotes, bank cards, tokens or by any other means of payment.

For a taxable good referred to in categories 1–4, 6 or 7, the tax shall be SEK 8 per kilogram of the net weight of the taxable good. However, the amount of tax paid shall not exceed SEK 320 per taxable good.

For a taxable good referred to in categories 5 or 8–13, the tax shall be SEK 120 per kilogram of the net weight of the taxable good. However, the amount of tax paid shall not exceed SEK 320 per taxable good.
When calculating tax in accordance with above-mentioned paragraphs, the net weight of the good shall be rounded down to the nearest full gram [3].

Two options for tax reduction exist, based on the contents of concerned substances in the affected products:

  • The right to reduce by 50% the tax on taxable goods in cases where they do not contain any additives, bromine or chlorine compounds in a proportion higher than 0.1 weight percent of the homogeneous material:
Substance content in homogeneous materialAdditives in flame retardants (mass-%)Added reactive flame retardants (mass-%)
 BromineChlorinePhosphorusBromineChlorinePhosphorus
Populated circuit board< 0.1< 0.1
Plastic part (>25 gram)< 0.1< 0.1
  • The right to reduce by 90% the tax on taxable goods in cases where they do not contain:
Substance content in homogeneous materialAdditives in flame retardants (mass-%)Added reactive flame retardants (mass-%)
 BromineChlorinePhosphorusBromineChlorinePhosphorus
Populated circuit board< 0.1< 0.1< 0.1< 0.1< 0.1
Plastic part (>25 gram)< 0.1< 0.1< 0.1< 0.1< 0.1

In the application of this Act, the bromine, chlorine and phosphorus compounds stated in the Annex [4] to this Act shall be regarded as being incorporated via physical mixing or chemical reactions in accordance with what is stated in the Annex [5], unless the taxpayer or the tax authority demonstrates that they are incorporated in another way.

Exemption from commencement of tax liability shall be applied to items sold directly from a foreign seller to a consumer in Sweden, and is items from an area outside Swedish territory or an authorized stockist.

Swedish Customs shall decide on tax for a person who is liable for tax during import. Such tax shall be paid to Swedish Customs. For tax which is payable to Swedish Customs, the Customs Act (2016:253) shall apply.

Further guidance is provided in a Factsheet by Svensk Elektronik of February 2, 2017 [6].

Complementary to EU Regulation

A Swedish chemicals tax will not obstruct or rule out an eventual future regulation at EU level, but rather may be viewed as a complementary means of reducing the incidence of hazardous substances containing products in people's homes and subsequent discard as electric/electronic waste.

The global footprint of SGS will support you in product compliance with global RoHS (EU, China, Korea, US, etc.), REACH/SVHC, textiles or hard-goods, or other toy regulations and many more consumer product related requirements like packaging materials or battery requirements. Regardless if you are in need of chemical testing or services in the fields of inspection, certification, compliance assurance, outsourcing, training or auditing SGS is dedicated to satisfy your needs. Providing service to help your products to be fit for the market requirements of the future – whatever the legal frameworks might be.

Email SGS Hong Kong Ltd. at mktg@sgs.com for enquiry or visit www.sgsgroup.com/hk.

Content provided by SGS Hong Kong Limited
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