Norwegian salmon farmer SalMar has once again criticizing the country's new aquaculture tax, following its official adoption in Norway's Parliament on Wednesday.

With a narrow majority, Norwegian lawmakers passed an additional resource rent tax of 25% on aquaculture companies in Norway.

Although lower than the originally proposed 40 percent rate when the tax was announced last September, the salmon industry is still not happy.

The new tax is in addition to the regular corporate tax and means that the marginal tax rate on aquaculture companies will increase by more than 100 percent, from 22 percent to 47 percent.

The new tax will apply retroactively from Jan. 1.

Salmon Tax Agreement

The agreed salmon tax proposal is based on the model put forward by the government, with the following changes:

  • The effective tax rate is reduced from 35% to 25%.
  • The valuation discount in wealth tax is increased from 50% to 75%.
  • The host municipalities and counties are guaranteed a higher income from the Aquaculture Fund for 2023.
  • In addition, several request proposals are put forward to strengthen the environmental profile and contribute to technology development.

SalMar has consistently warned against the new tax, which it said is based on the incorrect assumption that aquaculture food production is a location-bound extraction industry that consistently generates extraordinary returns disproportionate to the risk involved.

"Today's tax decision will have a significant distorting effect," said SalMar in a statement.

Specifically, the high tax level and the unfavorable design of the new tax will withdraw a substantial portion of investment capital from the industry, the company said.

"This will come at the expense of investments, innovation, and employment in an industry where coastal communities have ensured that Norway has become a global leader."

The tax will affect the entire value chain, especially the land-based industry and suppliers.

"The lack of proper assessment and the remaining uncertainties in the decision making process only amplify the uncertainty," said SalMar.

SalMar said it will continue to actively collaborate with industry organizations to describe the actual situation and the challenges the industry is currently facing.

"Through close and fact-based dialogue with authorities and decision makers, we look forward to promptly restoring a tax system and tax level that is appropriate for Norwegian aquaculture," said the group.

"The aquaculture industry has clearly and openly been willing to contribute more in terms of taxation. However, it must be at a sustainable level with a model that is tailored to the industry."

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