F-gas tax becomes reality in Spain

By Alexandra Maratou, Oct 23, 2013, 12:21 2 minute reading

On 17 October 2013, Spain’s Congress approved the introduction of a tax on fluorinated greenhouse gases (f-gases). The tax, which will be phased in gradually from 2014 to reach eventually a level of €20/tCO2eq in 2016, will apply to gases with a global warming potential (GWP) greater than 150 and will not apply to the first refrigerant charge of new equipment.

Tax levels will be calculated on the basis of the GWP of fluorinated gases or their mixtures with a GWP > 150 by applying the coefficient of 0.020 to the GWP value of each fluorinated gas, up to a maximum of €100 per kilogram. The tax rate thus corresponds to €20 per tonne of CO2 equivalent (tCO2eq), comparable to the f-gas tax level in Denmark.

Gradual phase-in of tax & no impact on first charge of new equipment

The full tax level will only be applicable as of 2016, with lower levels foreseen for the transitional years 2014 (33% of level) and 2015 (66% of level).

Moreover, the tax will not apply to the first refrigerant charge of new equipment.

Incentivising f-gas recycling, reclamation and destruction

Lower tax levels are foreseen for the case of use of recycled and reclaimed f-gases.

Moreover, a tax refund or tax deduction from amounts due in subsequent periods is foreseen in case the taxpayer can prove the delivery of f-gases to certified facilities of f-gas destruction, recycling or reclamation.

More and more European countries consider HFC taxes & other fiscal measures

Spain is not the only European country considering HFC tax measures. France for example has been contemplating the possibility and has held public consultation on the topic. As highlighted by French government representative at ATMOsphere Europe 2013 conference (Brussels, 15-16 October 2013), the discussions over a possible HFC tax in France are on hold until final decision on the future EU F-Gas Regulation and could resume at later stage.

HFC tax initiatives under consideration or already introduced in other European countries such as in Slovenia were also discussed during a dedicated side event at ATMOsphere Europe 2013, where market development company shecco provided a snapshot of their forthcoming publication “GUIDE+ HFC taxes and fiscal incentives for Natural Refrigerants” (launch November 2013). The publication will cover HFC taxes, HFC deposit & refund schemes, and other fiscal incentives for natural refrigerants in key European countries, providing a comparative analysis of incentives and detailed information on tax levels and trends.

Background to Spanish f-gas tax

As part of Spain’s efforts to lay the foundations for the consolidation of public finances, a July 2013 Bill in Spain proposed several changes in tax regulations, including the introduction of a tax on fluorinated gases at 20€/tCO2eq.

Following recommendations by the European Union to increase the environmental tax burden, the f-gas tax was included in the proposal, as a means to correct environmental externalities, promote the building of a sustainable economy and alleviate the tax burden on employment. 


By Alexandra Maratou

Oct 23, 2013, 12:21

Related stories

Sign up to our Newsletter

Fill in the details below