China Proposes Tax Laws on Air, Land, and Sea Pollution

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Friday June 12, 2015

China's State Council has presented new draft regulations which would tax pollution generated in land, air, water, and noise, Hong Kong media reports

The new laws are reportedly part of the Beijing government's crackdown on pollution in the country over the next five years. 

The proposal purportedly attaches a price on pollution by amount generated, costing 1.4 yuan ($0.23) per 4kg of suspended solids for water pollutants, between 5-30 yuan ($0.80-$4.82) per tonne of solid waste and 1.2 yuan ($0.19) per unit of air pollutant.

For air pollution, sulphur dioxide may cost 1.2 yuan per 0.95kg generated. 

Previous amendments to environmental laws which took effect at the beginning of the year also reportedly sought to raise the financial and criminal punishments for for those who shirk on environmental protection.

"It's an issue whether the levy could be charged accurately based on the pollutants generated," said Ma Jun, director of Beijing-based Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs.

"It will take time to observe whether the levy will be as negotiable as pollution discharge fees." 

Part of the challenge would reportedly be ensuring that data collected remains accessible. 

"Transparency is very important," he said. 

"Not only will it allow taxation authorities to get up-to-date information over the amount of pollution a company has produced, it will allow the public to monitor how effectively the levy is being invested back into environmental protection."

Earlier this week, a Hong Kong environment official also commented that a low-sulfur zone located in the Pearl River Delta had a good chance of success given the present attitude towards pollution in China.