Thailand: Carbon tax steps gradually taking shape

The Excise Department wants to complete its study of carbon tax collection measures this year, says director-general Ekniti Nitithanprapas.

He said most nations opt for one of two methods when imposing a carbon tax: a levy on carbon dioxide-emitting products, or on factory production processes that emit a high level of carbon dioxide.

Mr Ekniti said the EU levies a tax on the production process pertaining to both local and imported products.

He said the most appropriate method for Thailand is a levy on carbon dioxide-emitting products. Mr Ekniti said during the initial stage, the tax would be applied to products subject to the regular excise tax at present, such as fuel.

In terms of a tax on production processes, he said it would take more time to complete the study. Collecting a tax via this method would require collaboration with many other parties and experts, said Mr Ekniti.

He said Singapore is the only Asean nation to apply a carbon tax on factory production processes, charging S$5 (128 baht) per metric tonne of carbon dioxide emitted. Singapore’s Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment collects the tax because it is the agency responsible for measuring emissions.

Mr Ekniti said the Excise Department already set up a committee to invite related parties to discuss its plan to introduce the carbon tax. The department also wants to provide tax incentives for environmentally friendly products, he said.

The department is working with related agencies to reduce the tax on locally produced electric vehicle (EV) batteries from the current level of 8%, in line with the country’s policy of promoting EV usage. It would require EV battery manufacturers to have battery recycling plans in place in order to qualify for the tax reduction. If the tax on batteries is reduced, the price of EVs would also decline.

“The plan to reduce the EV battery tax will become clearer this year,” Mr Ekniti said.

Source: https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/2474689/carbon-tax-steps-gradually-taking-shape