Excise considers new green tax measures
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Excise considers new green tax measures

Carbon levy planned for certain sectors

An EV is being charged at a charging outlet in Bangkok. (Photo: Pornprom Satrabhaya)
An EV is being charged at a charging outlet in Bangkok. (Photo: Pornprom Satrabhaya)

The Excise Department plans to implement four tax measures for the environment and society this year, says director-general Ekniti Nitithanprapas.

The four measures comprise supporting the use of battery electric vehicles (BEVs), including batteries used in other industries such as solar cells; proposing a carbon tax on the energy, transport and industrial sectors; supporting the use of pure ethanol in the production of bioplastics; and supporting the use of certain cars to assist the elderly or disabled.

The proposals will be forwarded to the Finance Ministry for further consideration, Mr Ekniti said.

He said subsidy measures for batteries will be offered for systems to recycle used batteries, aiming to promote environmental protection.

In the first 10 months of 2023, new BEV registrations tallied 59,835 units, up by 675% year-on-year.

The government aims to have 600,000 to 700,000 BEVs produced in Thailand by 2030, roughly 30% of total vehicle output.

As a result, 600,000 to 700,000 BEV batteries will need to be disposed of after they expire, requiring a plan.

The department plans to develop a tracking system for BEV batteries.

The department collects an excise tax on batteries of 8%, but a recycling plan could cut the rate to 1%, 3% or 5%, depending on energy efficiency, said Mr Ekniti.

The department is studying best practices from other countries, with one option a deposit refund scheme for batteries.

Consumers pay a recycling deposit when purchasing a lead-acid battery, with a rebate offered when the consumer hands over the expired battery to the BEV manufacturer for recycling.

Another approach the department is considering is delegating an intermediary or company with expertise in recycling batteries to conduct the recycling instead of EV manufacturers, he said.

The department also wants to impose a carbon tax to help Thailand meet its environmental goals, said Mr Ekniti.

The levy would encourage more companies to use cleaner or renewable energy and reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by up to 30%, he said.

Exporting countries will need to reduce CO2 emissions to Europe by 2026 when it imposes a carbon tax on five goods imported to the bloc: iron and steel, aluminium, cement, fertiliser and electricity.

Carbon tax collection is normally based on upstream goods in the production process, such as fuel.

Mr Ekniti said in the first phase of the carbon tax, the department will not create an additional burden on people, meaning the excise tax on fuel would remain unchanged at 6.50 baht per litre for benzene and 6.44 baht per litre for diesel.

However, a portion of the tax rate would be for the carbon tax.

In addition, the department is planning a bioethanol tax exemption to support the production of environmentally friendly bioplastics.

The levy would not only reduce CO2 emissions, but also support sustainability objectives, particularly increasing incomes for farmers and ethanol producers, he said.

The country's ageing demographics has the department mulling a special excise rate for car designs with equipment to help the elderly and disabled, said Mr Ekniti.

At the COP26 meeting, Thailand announced it plans to reduce its greenhouse gases (GHG) by 40% by 2030, with the ultimate target of reaching net-zero GHG by 2050.

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