Taxation of Hazardous Chemicals as a Substitution Measure An interview study on companies affected by the Swedish

Examensarbete för masterexamen

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Bibliographical item details
Type: Examensarbete för masterexamen
Title: Taxation of Hazardous Chemicals as a Substitution Measure An interview study on companies affected by the Swedish
Authors: Andersson, Ida
Larsson, Sofia
Abstract: Flame retardants have been widely applied in products due to their fire protective properties. Commonly used flame retardants contain; bromine, chlorine or phosphorus, and several of these have proven to cause hazardous health and environmental effects and have been found in indoor environments. As one measure taken to reduce the occurrence of hazardous flame retardants containing either bromine, chlorine or phosphorus, the Swedish Government implemented an excise tax on chemicals in certain electronics in 2017. The tax targets commonly used white goods and other electronics. Since the implementation, the tax has been criticized for not reaching its purpose. The study has investigated what effects Swedish companies perceive that the tax has generated. Based on 13 interviews, the authors have found that substitution of hazardous flame retardants have occurred, but only to a small extent. The main reason behind the substitution is the Swedish tax on chemicals in certain electronics. The tax is further expressed as a driver for substitution of hazardous flame retardants, together with EU directives. That only some substitution has been achieved might be explained by several factors. Firstly, the tax rate might not accurately reflect the damage costs caused by hazardous flame retardants, and therefore not create enough incentives to substitute. Other reasons seem to derive from the identified challenges companies face in relation to substitution; that the Swedish market is too small to be able to influence the global production, substitution cost and that some companies do not have their own production. Most companies have been able to do more tax deductions over time, although, the application of the highest level of tax deductions is still limited. The underlying reason for why not more deductions is made is lack of documentation. The tax has moreover added administration for most companies, however to a varying extent. Over time, the administrative cost has been constant, except from the initial phase. Main opinions about the tax is that the environmental aim is good, but the question regarding hazardous flame retardants ought to be addressed on a higher level than national to achieve substantial impact.
Keywords: Tax on Chemicals;Chemical Substitution;Flame retardants;Electronic products
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Chalmers tekniska högskola / Institutionen för teknikens ekonomi och organisation
Series/Report no.: E2020:058
Collection:Examensarbeten för masterexamen // Master Theses

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