The Swedish Government has announced proposals to impose a tax on clothing and footwear that contain Substances of Very High Concern (SVHCs) under the EU’s REACH regulations.
Under the proposals, there will be a default taxation on all clothing and footwear that is produced in, or imported into, Sweden. The default will be SEK 40 (EUR 3.7) per kilogram of the product’s weight. If the product does not contain specific harmful chemicals, there may a deduction of up to 95%.
Additional tax proposals include:
• SEK 19 per kilogram for products containing rubber materials, polyvinyl chloride, or polyurethane
• SEK 19 per kilogram for all-weather products
In addition to raising tax collection levels, this proposal is aimed at reducing the amount of SVHCS in clothing and footwear that are harmful to the environment and human health. The proposal focusses on substances that are known to be carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic for reproduction (CMR), substances with sensitising properties, substances with characteristics of persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT), substances that are very persistent and very bioaccumulative (vPvB), and endocrine disrupting substances. The proposal is also considering the phasing out of antimicrobial substances (biocides), as it is believed these are accelerating antibiotic resistance.
Because they are covered by separate EU chemical regulations, the following products are exempt from the proposal:
• Personal protective equipment (PPE)
Also exempt are:
• Chemicals found in electric or electronic components in clothing and footwear
• Chemicals in non-textile components – e.g. metal or plastic fasteners and no-textile decorations
The proposed tax will apply to manufacturers and importers of products from another EU country. In some circumstances, it may also apply to distance sale intermediary companies – if the total value of intermediate sales of taxable products to Sweden is more than SEK 100,000 during the present or previous tax year.
According to the proposal, the new tax will be enforced from April 1, 2021, with the tax liability arising after June 2021.
SGS Softlines Services
SGS has a worldwide network of over 40 state-of-the-art laboratories specializing in testing of apparel, footwear and home textiles. Their committed team is drawn from multi-disciplinary backgrounds, allowing them to carry out a comprehensive range of physical, chemical and functional testing services for components, materials and finished products. SGS helps companies ensure quality, performance and compliance with international, industrial and regulatory standards worldwide. Learn more about SGS’s Softlines Services.
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