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應對歐盟 2026 年碳稅:台灣

Responding to the EU’s 2026 Carbon Tax: Taiwan

繼去年歐盟最近宣布徵收碳邊境稅後,世界各國已開始採取行動,盡量減少在 2026 年碳稅最終生效時需要繳納的稅款。除了歐盟對整個價值鏈碳足跡採取更嚴格、標準化和更透明的調查,如果進口貨物的國家有類似或批准的國內碳定價法規,歐盟還允許免除歐盟邊境碳稅徵稅。歐盟,以及這些國家與歐盟委員會之間的協議。值得一提的是,碳稅的退稅不能在出口過程中申請歐盟承認。

 

2020年,台灣在對歐盟出口商品中排名第12位,出口總額約為300億美元。目前,台灣與歐盟有約704個投資項目,主要涉及電子元件、金融和保險,以及批發和零售。歐盟碳稅的實施預計將對該國造成重大打擊,因為該國對歐盟的一些最大出口包括製造和建築材料以及機械和運輸設備,其中一些類別的商品包含可能成為第一輪碳稅的主體。

早在 2009 年,中華經濟研究院 (CIER) 就首次提出在台灣進行碳稅監管的可能性。該機構受政府特別委託監督該國的稅收法規,並建議對每噸二氧化碳排放量約 61.8 美元的公司徵稅。該提案獲得批准,財政部副部長張生浩進一步宣布實施將於 2011 年生效的碳稅。碳稅的收入隨後將用於資助低收入家庭和加強公共交通設施。然而,該計劃立即遭到首演指定吳登義的反對,因為他聲稱實施稅收只會在持續的經濟衰退中加劇公眾的痛苦。因此,提議的碳稅後來被取消。

然而,由於歐盟碳稅的邊界,以及考慮到它現在對國家在全球價值和供應鏈中的地位有何影響,台灣環境保護署(EPA)現在建議實施另一個碳稅制度作為平衡。碳稅將迎合年平均碳排放量超過 25,000 公噸的大型製造商,這些製造商佔該國總碳排放量的近 80%。就目前而言,中小企業(SME)尚未受到影響,但將進一步實施標準化的評級制度。該法規預計將於 2023 年作為歐盟的碳邊界調整機制 (CBAM) 生效,並努力實現該國 2050 年的淨零排放目標。

台灣環保署碳稅的定價範圍尚未公佈,但它被視為針對這種情況的最佳選擇。通過在國內徵收碳稅,台灣企業將得到歐盟的補償並免徵碳稅。同時,在國內徵稅意味著稅收收入可以留在國內,用於資助政府的基礎設施項目,而不是交給歐盟。通過直接向政府付款,公司還可以避免匯率波動和兌換費用,從而提供更穩定的定價機制。

考慮到歐盟碳稅對小國和發展中國家的影響,台灣需要重新考慮其在全球供應鏈中的地位以及如何改善它。到 2026 年現在還不到四年,而美國的 EPA 稅收計劃距離美國環保署的稅收計劃只有幾個季度的時間,美國的議程上將有很多關於國家碳稅監管以及需要採取和考慮的所有必要步驟的功課.在實施的最初幾年預計會出現一些分歧和反彈,但這也可以被視為台灣利用其在全球市場中的定位的機會,因為與其他國家相比,適當的國家碳稅制度可以提供更便宜的產品價格這些國家將成為台灣公司出口到歐盟的巨大競爭優勢。

Following the recent announcement of the carbon border tax by the EU last year, countries all over the world have started to take actions to minimize the amount of tax they would be required to pay when the carbon tax would finally be effective in 2026. Other than applying a stricter, standardized, and more transparent investigation for the entire value chain carbon footprints, the EU also allowed an exemption of the EU border carbon tax levy if the countries importing the goods have their domestic carbon-pricing regulations that are similar or approved by the EU, along with agreements between these countries and the European Commission. It was also important to mention that tax refund for the carbon tax can’t be applied during the export process for it to be recognized by the EU.

In 2020, Taiwan ranked as the twelfth exporter of goods to the EU, grossing roughly USD 30 billion. Currently, Taiwan has approximately 704 investment projects with the EU mainly in electric components, finance and insurance, also wholesale and retail. The application of the EU carbon tax is expected to create a big hit on the country as some of the nation’s biggest exports to the EU includes manufacturing and construction materials as well as machinery and transport equipment, which are some of the categories containing goods that would be the subject of the first round of the carbon tax.

Back in 2009, the Chunghua Institution for Economic Research (CIER) have first proposed the possibility of carbon tax regulation in Taiwan. The institution was specifically commissioned by the government to oversee the country’s taxes regulation and has recommended taxing companies approximately USD 61.8 per tonne of CO2 emissions produced. The proposal was approved and vice finance minister Chang Sheng-ho further announced the implementation of a carbon tax that would be effective in 2011. The revenue from the carbon tax would later be used to fund low-income families and to strengthen public transport facilities. However, the plan was immediately opposed by the Premiere designate Wu Den Yih as he claims that the implementation of the tax would only intensify the public anguish during the ongoing recession. Due to this, the proposed carbon tax was later canceled.

Yet, due to the EU carbon tax border and considering what it would do to the country’s position within the global value and supply chain now, Taiwan’s Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) has now suggested the implementation of another carbon tax system as a counterbalance. The carbon tax would cater to big manufacturers with annual carbon emissions averaging over 25,000 metric tons, which account for almost eighty percent of the country’s total carbon emission. As for now, small and medium enterprises (SME) would not yet be impacted, but a standardized rating system would further be implemented. The regulation is expected to be effective by 2023 as the EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) as well as an effort to achieve the country’s net-zero goal of 2050.

The pricing range for the Taiwan EPA’s carbon tax is yet to be disclosed, but it was seen as the best possible option for the situation. By charging the carbon tax domestically, companies in Taiwan would be compensated by the EU and exempted from the carbon tax levy. At the same time, having the tax collected within the nation means the revenue from the tax could be kept domestically and used to fund the government’s infrastructure projects instead of giving it to the EU. By paying directly to the government, companies could also avoid exchange rates fluctuations and exchange fees, giving a more stable pricing mechanism.

Considering the impacts of the EU’s carbon tax on small and developing countries, Taiwan needs to reconsider its position in the global supply chain and how to improve it. With 2026 is now less than four years, and the nation's EPA tax plan is just a few quarters away, the nation would have lots of homework on its agenda regarding the national carbon tax regulation and all the necessary steps it would need to take and consider. Some disagreements and backlash are expected during the first few years of implementation, but it can also be seen as an opportunity for Taiwan to leverage its positioning in the global market because a proper national carbon tax system that could provide cheaper products’ prices compared to other countries would become a massive competitive advantage for Taiwanese companies exporting to the EU.

References

 

Chen, H. (2021, July 4). Take advantage of Eu Carbon Tax. Taipei Times. Retrieved February 10, 2022, from https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/editorials/archives/2021/07/05/2003760298

European Commission. (2020). https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/isdb_results/factsheets/country/details_taiwan_en.pdf. Retrieved February 10, 2022, from https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/isdb_results/factsheets/country/details_taiwan_en

Figures, T., Gilbert, M., McAdoo, M., & Voigt, N. (2021, October 25). The EU's carbon border tax will redefine global value chains. BCG Global. Retrieved February 10, 2022, from https://www.bcg.com/publications/2021/eu-carbon-border-tax

Focus Taiwan - CNA English News. (2021, October 13). Taiwan plans to introduce carbon pricing mechanism by 2023. Focus Taiwan. Retrieved February 10, 2022, from https://focustaiwan.tw/politics/202110130014

Wikipedia. (2022, February 7). Carbon tax. Wikipedia. Retrieved February 10, 2022, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_tax

Xaveria Livienna is a freelance writer and researcher for the Taiwan Architecture and Building Center, currently pursuing an MBA degree in National Taiwan University of Science and Technology.  Her main interests revolve  around digital and content marketing, as well as CSR and sustainability.

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