The Serbian government has adopted a decree on criteria for determining activities impacting the environment based on pollutant emissions. The decree envisages calculating the environmental protection fee based on pollutant emissions instead of as a percentage of revenues.
The environmental protection fee, also known as the eco tax, for legal entities and entrepreneurs is determined based on:
- SO2, NO2 and particulate matter emissions from the combustion of solid, liquid, and gaseous fuels for the production of energy, hot water and steam, and for heating;
- quantities of produced and disposed hazardous waste.
The fee is calculated based on pollutant emissions instead of as a percentage of revenues
If the environmental protection fee payer fails to submit data needed for the calculation, the fee shall be set at up to 0.4% of revenues from operations with an environmental impact in the previous fiscal year, according to the text of the decree.
PKS initiated the adoption of the decree
The Serbian Chamber of Commerce (PKS) said that it had initiated the adoption of the decree together with industrial producers, adding that the decree will help cut business expenses in the country by around RSD 2 billion (about EUR 17 million) annually.
High environmental protection fees, which local governments had charged in their municipalities in line with the law on fees for using public resources, have so far been cited as one of key problems faced by companies in Serbia. Environmental protection fees had been set at up to 0.4% of annual revenues, which represented a huge business expense, the PKS said.
To resolve the problem, the PKS members affected turned to the PKS with the aim of finding a new model to calculate adequate fee amounts. The internal team formed at the PKS’ initiative proposed calculating the fees based solely on real pollutant emissions, in line with the “polluter pays” principle, to enable reducing the harmful environmental impact, according to the statement.
The initiative was eventually sent to the Ministry of Environmental Protection, the PKS said.