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Sweden: Details about plastic bag tax

Sweden: Details about plastic bag tax

The effective date of a new tax on plastic bags is 1 March 2020, but the actual tax liability will be due beginning from 1 May 2020.


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The tax is due when a plastic bag is commercially produced or brought into Sweden from another country. The tax is to be reported to the Swedish tax agency except when the goods are imported from a non-EU country, in which case, Swedish Customs is the responsible authority. Companies that produce or bring in plastic bags to Sweden may also need to report amounts of plastic bags to the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency.

A plastic bag created to have a longer life span may be exempted from the tax. Also, there is an exemption when the number of plastic bags produced or brought to Sweden does not exceed 40 per occasion or when a private individual brings plastic bags into Sweden for personal use.

The tax rate is SEK 3 per standard plastic bag and SEK 0.3 per smaller plastic bag. A ”smaller plastic bag” is defined as a bag which has a thickness below 15 micrometers and a maximum volume of 7 liters (typically, thin plastic bags provided in grocery stores for fruits or vegetables).

From 1 March 2020 it is possible to register as a warehouser with the Swedish tax agency. By registering, a company can store plastic bags under an excise duty suspension. As a warehouser, a company may file the tax returns on a monthly basis rather than reporting each time bags are brought into Sweden. For warehousers, the tax is due when the plastic bags are sold to another that is not a warehouser, or when a warehouser moves the plastic bags to a store for sale purposes.

Read a March 2020 report prepared by the KPMG member firm in Sweden

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