Plastic Tax: Lithuania

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published on 14 October 2022

 

1. Implementation of plastic/environmental tax

Local status of the implementation of plastic tax

The Law on Environmental Pollution Tax of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter – Pollution Law and Pollution Tax respectively) entered into force on 1 January 2000. 
 
On 22 January 2002, a new regulation of the Pollution Law came into force, introducing the taxation of plastic packaging. However, from 1 January 2022, different tax rates have been set for recyclable and non-recyclable types of packaging.
 
At the moment, there is no draft legislation in the process of being prepared to tax the end-user who purchases plastic packaging/lightweight bags. 
 
In addition, the "Next Generation EU" decision adopted by the European Council on 21 July 2020 is already applicable in Lithuania. More specifically, the “New Own Resources” section, which introduces a new tax calculated on the basis of the weight of non-recycled plastic packaging waste, with a collection rate of EUR 0.80 per kilogram. This new tax is not collected directly from end-users or manufacturers/importers. The tax is reimbursed by the Lithuanian state budget.
 
Since 2016, Lithuania has also been running a deposit system for plastic bottles (and other types of containers). A deposit of EUR 0.10 is added to each plastic bottle when it is purchased, i.e. it is not included in the price of the product. This amount is then refunded and the container is recycled when it is returned to the special deposit collection points. 
 
However, only the Pollution Tax will be described in more detail below, as it is directly transferred to manufacturers and importers.
 
The current version entered into force on 1 January 2021.
 

Current situation

A variety of media and other initiatives are trying to encourage people to avoid using a lot of plastic as well as to avoid using plastic bags in shops. Some grocery chains have moved away from single-use plastic bags.
 

Legal basis 

Yes, the Pollution Tax is levied on a range of products that pollute the environment. 
 

Plastic tax or levy?

It is a tax.
 

2. Plastic/Environmental Tax scope and rates

Person liable to pay the tax

A manufacturer or importer supplying filled packaging to or within Lithuanian market are liable to pay the tax at the first time of first supply.
 
The tax should be paid by the manufacturer or importer. However, the manufacturer or importer may be exempt from the paying the pollution tax on:
  • The quantity of the single-use packaging does not exceed 0,5 tons of the total amount of filled packaging supplied to the Lithuanian market during tax period;
  • The quantity of filled packaging that is in proportion to the part of the performed recovery task and/or recycling waste;
  • The quantity of the reusable packaging, provided that the whole task of collection and reuse is performed. 
 

Tax base

The applicable Pollution Tax rates and tax base for 2022 are as follows:

​Type of packaging
​Tariff for reusable packaging and recyclable disposable packaging, EUR/ton
​Tariff for non-recyclable disposable packaging, EUR/ton
​Plastic packaging
​618
​875
​PET (polyethylene terephthalate) packaging
618
875
​Combined packaging
​900
​1,200
 
Please be informed that the Pollution Tax is not only for plastic packaging, so there are more packaging types than those listed above.
 

Product scope 

Plastic packaging, PET (polyethylene terephthalate) packaging, combined packaging, glass packaging, metal (including aluminum) packaging, paper and cardboard packaging, wooden packaging, other packaging.
 

Time of taxation

Where the manufacturer or importer does not meet the conditions for the exemption.
 
The environmental pollution tax shall be paid and declared to the State Tax Inspectorate no
later than the end of the tax period, by 15 February of the calendar year following that tax
period. The tax obligation shall be deemed to have been discharged only after the declaration
(FR0524 form) has been submitted and the tax due has been paid.
 

Impacts and consequences (for entrepreneur and/or private individuals)

A decrease in the use of plastics and the option for alternative forms of packaging. Also, to encourage recycling of packaging.
 

Sanctions for violations

Penalties for various violations are laid down in Article 248 of the Code of Administrative Offenses. Different types of violation can result in a warning or a fine from EUR 120 to EUR 850.
 

EU Plastic Tax

No actions on that in Lithuania currently.

Contact

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Nora Vitkuniene

Associate Partner

+370 5 2123 590
+370 5 2791 514

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