Introduction of the Einwegkunststofffondsgesetz (plastic tax)
As increasing awareness of environmental and conservation issues continues on an upward trajectory, countries are reflecting this consciousness into their own regulatory and legislative frameworks. Following the path of the United Kingdom, Spain and Poland, who have either already implemented or are in the process of implementing plastic tax initiatives, Germany is the latest country to enact a similar measure. On 15 May 2023, the German government published Einwegkunststofffondsgesetz (otherwise referred to as the Single-Use Plastic Fund Act). As the name suggests, the Act aims to curtail the use of single-use plastic, by imposing a levy on producers, sellers and importers of single-use plastic. The tax is expected to go live on 1 January 2024, although the first plastic tax declaration is expected in May 2025. This means companies must start collating data on single-use plastic usage from 1 January 2024. Though superficially united in terms of their aims- to reduce the use of single-use plastic- plastic taxes in different countries operate very differently on a practical level. Plastic taxes may or may not form part of the taxable basis; they may or may not need to be included on an invoice; they can be negotiated between the buyer and seller or must be charged to the buyer, depending on specific country specifications. Today, Kofax can accommodate the UK and Spanish Plastic Tax. We are currently analysing further details in respect of the plastic tax in Germany and will consider our obligations in respect of it.