HomeBlogNewsUnderstanding Italy’s Upcoming Plastic Tax: A Comprehensive Guide for Businesses

Understanding Italy’s Upcoming Plastic Tax: A Comprehensive Guide for Businesses

Italy is setting a new environmental benchmark with the introduction of the plastic tax, aimed at reducing single-use plastic products. Effective from July 1, 2024, this initiative is part of Italy’s commitment to sustainability and adherence to the European Union’s strategy on plastics.

Executive Summary

Initially introduced in the 2020 Budget Law, the plastic tax has been postponed to July 2024. It targets reducing single-use plastic items, promoting circular economy principles, and aligns with EU strategies for environmental sustainability.

Who’s Affected

The tax impacts manufacturers, importers, and users of single-use plastic items within Italy, including those from EU and non-EU countries, depending on the source of the plastic goods.

Taxable Products

The “Plastic Tax” applies to the consumption of single use products, known as “MACSI”, with certain exceptions. Typically, these are “disposable” packaging made with the use, even partial, of plastic materials consisting of organic polymers of synthetic origin and intended to contain, protect or deliver goods or food products. Semi-finished products and preforms, made entirely or partially with plastic materials and used in the production of MACSI, are considered MACSI as well.

For example;

  • Food containers,
  • Tetrapak containers
  • Water bottles,
  • Case,
  • Protective envelopes,
  • Plastic film,
  • Cream containers etc,

Tax Compliance and Obligations

Businesses involved must register, maintain records, and file quarterly returns. The tax, set at €0.45 per kg of virgin plastic, necessitates meticulous accounting to ensure compliance and avoid penalties. To file the plastic tax in Italy after July 1, 2024, businesses must register, make accounting entries, and file quarterly tax returns through Italian Customs and Revenue Agencies. The rules will be detailed in the Official Gazette by the end of the year.

Penalties for Non-Compliance

Penalties range from €250 to €2,500 for late filings and two to five times the unpaid tax for evasion, emphasizing the importance of timely and accurate compliance.

Preparing for Implementation

With the enforcement date approaching, businesses should adjust pricing, supply chains, and internal processes to accommodate the new tax, ensuring transparency and compliance. The plastic tax in Italy, effective from July 1, 2024, will cover transactions from that date onwards within the 2024 fiscal year, not the entire year. This means compliance obligations start in July, impacting the latter half of the fiscal year.

The Italian plastic tax represents a significant shift towards environmental responsibility. Businesses should proactively prepare to meet the new requirements, supporting Italy’s goals for reduced plastic consumption and a healthier planet.

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