Norway’s Salmon Price Council to be in place ‘before Christmas’

Trygve Slagsvold Vedum

The Norwegian Government is pressing ahead with its plan to appoint a Council to set the price norms that will be used as a basis for the new salmon tax.

The new tax, which is expected to net up to £400m a year for the Norwegian exchequer, is being fiercely opposed by the country’s aquaculture sector.

Finance Minister Trygve Vedum said that the Council will be appointed before the Christmas break.

The prices assessed by the Council, on the basis of market information, will be used to calculate the amount of tax levied from fish farmers. They will be binding, in terms of their effect on tax liability, both for the companies and for the tax authorities.

The government believes the system will be simpler for the companies and reduce the need for control by the tax authorities – and with it possible disputes. It is also intended to be simpler for the smallest producers.

The industry’s main complaint is that companies will be taxed on deemed income, not the income they are actually earning.

The Council will be able to set binding prices for use in the calculation of income subject to the ground rent tax, but only from 1 July next year the government said. The industry will help determine prices in the meantime.

The government said the Council’s task will be to determine market values “at the edge of the cage” for salmon, trout and rainbow trout, so that the producers can use these prices as a basis when calculating their gross rent income.

Vedum said: “We have received good input and I am confident that we will get a competent price council in place. Just like the Petroleum Price Council [which calculates taxable price income for Norway’s oil companies], I believe that the Price Council for aquaculture will be a good arrangement both for the companies and for the community.”

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