Beginning next July, a new price council will set salmon prices for fish that is subjected to Norway's controversial production tax, the Norwegian government announced.

Until that date, salmon producers themselves will be responsible for determining prices on which they pay the tax.

After much wrangling and pushback from the Norwegian salmon industry, the tax was set at 25 percent in May this year, having been whittled down from 40 percent when news of the tax was made public in September 2022.

The Norwegian government is expecting to collect NOK 5 billion (€431.8 million/$455.4 million) from the new salmon tax in 2023, according to IntraFish sister publication Dagens Naeringsliv (DN).

However, representatives of the salmon farming sector say the government is significantly underestimating the tax burden facing it.

The government had been looking for candidates for a price council to set a standard price for salmon. Finance Minister Trygve Slagsvold Vedum said it will be in place before Christmas.

The industry has mostly been critical of establishing a standard price council, arguing producers could be at risk of being taxed for income they do not have.

"However, I stand by the assessment that a price council best balances the considerations of simplification and the counter-effect of profit shifting," Slagsvold Vedum said.

The government announced in a press release that the legal basis for appointing the price council, which is known as Normprisradet, will come into force Nov. 24.

"Just like the Petroleum Price Council, I believe that the price council for aquaculture will be a good arrangement both for the companies and for the community," the minister added.

Until the council is in the process of setting prices from the summer of 2024, it will be the companies themselves who must determine the market price.

The Ministry of Finance is proposing a transitional arrangement for fixed price agreements that will lead to the companies being able to choose prices from the price council or to set prices themselves in 2024.

While ministry is now preparing final regulations in light of consultations, the tax will fall into two bands, one for spot prices and the one for fixed price contracts.

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