2016 Environmental Protection Tax Law of the P.R.C.

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Title: Environmental Protection Tax Law of the People's Republic of China
Promulgating Entities:Standing Committee of the National People's Congress
Reference number: Order of the President No. 66 of the 12th Congress
Promulgation Date: 2016-12-25
Expiration date: 
Source of text: http://www.npc.gov.cn/npc/xinwen/2016-12/25/content_2004993.htm


中华人民共和国环境保护税法

The Environmental Protection Tax Law has been passed by the 25th Session of the Standing Committee of the 12th National People's Congress on December 25, 2016, and is hereby released to take effect on January 1, 2018.

Xi Jinping, President of the People's Republic of China

December 25, 2016

Environmental Protection Tax Law of the People's Republic of China

(Passed by the 25th Session of the Standing Committee of the 12th National People's Congress on December 25, 2016)

Chapter I: General Provisions

Article 1: This Law is enacted so as to protect and improve the environment, reduce the discharge of pollutants, and promote ecological progress.

Article 2: Within the territory of the People's Republic of China and other waters under the jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China, enterprises, public institutions, and other production operators who directly discharge taxable pollutants into the environment are taxpayers of the environmental protection tax, and shall pay environmental protection taxes in accordance with the provisions of this Law.

Article 3: "Taxable pollutants", as used in this Law, refers to atmospheric pollutants, water pollutants, solid wastes and noise specified in the Table of Environmental Tax Items and Rates and the Taxable Pollutants and Equivalent Values Table appended to this Law.

Article 4: Each of the following cases does not amount to direct discharge of pollutants into the environment, and is exempt from the environmental protection taxes for relevant pollutants:

(1) Where enterprises, public institutions, and other production operators discharge taxable pollutants in centralized sewage treatment or centralized domestic waste treatment sites that have been established in accordance with law;

(2) Where enterprises, public institutions, and other production operators store or dispose of solid wastes in facilities or sites that comply with national and local environmental protection standards.

Article 5: Where urban or rural centralized sewage treatment, or centralized domestic waste treatment sites, that have been established in accordance with law discharge taxable pollutants into the environment, exceeding the nationally and locally provided emission standards, they shall pay environmental protection taxes.

Where enterprises, public institutions, and other production operators store or dispose of solid wastes in ways that do not comply with national and local environmental protection standards, they shall pay environmental protection taxes.

Article 6: The items and rates of the environmental tax are to be executed according to the "Environmental Tax Items and Rates Table" appended to this Law.

The determination and adjustment of the specific tax rates of taxable atmospheric and water pollutants are to be proposed by the people's governments of provinces, autonomous regions, and directly governed municipalities within the ranges of tax rates as provided in the "Environmental Tax Items and Rates Table" appended to this Law, after taking into full account the carrying capacity of the environment, the current status of pollution emission, and the goals and requirements of economic, social, and ecological development in their respective jurisdictions; and to be reported to the standing committees of the people's congresses at the same level for decision; and to be filed to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress and the State Council for record keeping.

Chapter II: Taxation Basis and Tax Rate Payable

Article 7: The taxation bases of taxable pollutants are determined according to the following methods:

(1) [Those of] taxable atmospheric pollutants are determined by the pollution equivalent quantity converted from the amount of pollutant emission;

(2) [Those of] taxable water pollutants are determined by the pollution equivalent quantity converted from the amount of pollutant emission;

(3) [Those of] taxable solid waste are determined by the amount of solid waste discharge;

(4) [Those of] taxable noise are determined by the number of decibels exceeding the standards stipulated by the State.

Article 8: The pollution equivalent quantity of atmospheric and water pollutants are calculated by dividing the emission amount of each pollutant by the specific pollution equivalent value of said pollutant. The specific pollution equivalent value of each taxable atmospheric and water pollutant is determined in accordance with the "Taxable Pollutants and Equivalent Values Table" appended to this Law.

Article 9: The taxable atmospheric pollutants discharged from each outlet, or where there is no outlet, are to be ranked in decreasing order of pollution equivalent quantity, and environmental taxes are to be levied on the top three pollutants.

The water pollutants from each discharge outlet are to be divided into Category I water pollutants and other water pollutants in accordance with the Taxable Pollutants and Equivalent Values Table appended to this Law; to be ranked in decreasing order of their pollutant equivalent quantities; and environmental taxes are to be levied on the first five items for Category I water pollutants and on the first three items for other categories of water pollutants.

The people's governments of provinces, autonomous regions, and directly governed municipalities may, based on the special need for pollutant discharge reduction in their respective jurisdictions, increase the number of items of taxable pollutants from the same discharge outlet on which environmental protection taxes are levied, report to the standing committees of the people's congresses at the same level for decision, and file to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress and the State Council for record keeping.

Article 10: The discharge amount of taxable atmospheric pollutants, water pollutants, and solid waste, and the number of decibels of noise are calculated according to the following methods and order:

(1) Where taxpayers install and use automatic pollutant monitoring equipment that comply with national provisions and monitoring standards, [the aforementioned items] are calculated according to the automatic monitoring data of the pollutant sources;

(2) Where taxpayers have not installed or used automatic pollutant monitoring equipment, [the aforementioned items] are calculated according to the monitoring data that are issued by monitoring institutions and that comply with relevant national provisions and monitoring standards;

(3) Where the conditions for monitoring are lacking due to the wide variety of pollutants discharged or for other reasons, [the aforementioned items] are calculated according to the pollution discharge coefficients or the material balance methods stipulated by the competent department for environmental protection under the State Council;

(4) Where [the aforementioned items] cannot be calculated in accordance with the methods stipulated by items 1 to 3 of this Article, they are calculated according to the sampling measurement methods stipulated by the competent departments for environmental protection of the people's governments of provinces, autonomous regions, and directly governed municipalities.

Article 11: The rates payable of environmental taxes are calculated according to the following methods:

(1) The rates payable on taxable atmospheric pollutants are equal to the pollution equivalent quantity multiplied by the specific rates applied;

(2) The rates payable on taxable water pollutants are equal to the pollution equivalent quantity multiplied by the specific rates applied;

(3) The rates payable on taxable solid waste equal to the discharge amount of solid waste multiplied by the specific rates applied;

(4) The rates payable on taxable noise are the specific applicable rates that correspond to the number of decibels exceeding the standards stipulated by the State.

Chapter III: Tax Reductions and Exemptions

Article 12: The following situations are temporarily exempted from the environmental protection tax:

(1) Where agricultural production (excluding large scale animal farming) discharges taxable pollutants;

(2) Where mobile pollution sources such as motor vehicles, railway locomotives, off-road mobile machinery, ships, and aircraft discharge taxable pollutants;

(3) Where urban and suburban sewage or domestic waste centralized treatment sites that have been established in accordance with law discharge corresponding taxable pollutants, not exceeding nationally and locally stipulated emission standards;

(4) Where taxpayers utilize solid waste in a multipurpose manner, complying with national and local environmental protection standards;

(5) Other circumstances where the State Council approves tax exemptions.

The State Council is to file the provisions on tax exemptions under aforementioned item 5 to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress for record keeping.

Article 13: Where taxpayers discharge taxable atmospheric pollutants or water pollutants at a concentration less than 30 percent of nationally or locally stipulated pollutant discharge standards, environment taxes are levied at the reduced rate of 75 percent. Where taxpayers discharge taxable atmospheric pollutants or water pollutants at a concentration less than 50 percent of nationally or locally stipulated pollutant discharge standards, environment taxes are levied at the reduced rate of 50 percent.

Chapter IV: Taxation Management

Article 14: Environmental taxes are collected and managed by taxation authorities in accordance with the "Taxation Collection and Management Law of the People's Republic of China" and relevant provisions of this Law.

In accordance with the provisions of this Law, and of relevant laws and regulations on environmental protection, the competent departments for environmental protection are responsible for managing the monitoring of pollutants.

Local people's governments at or above the county level shall establish working mechanisms of coordinating and distributing responsibilities among taxation authorities, the competent departments for environmental protection, and other relevant units, strengthen the management of environmental protection tax collection, and ensure that tax payments are turned into the Treasury in time and in full.

Article 15: The competent departments for environmental protection and taxation authorities shall establish platforms for sharing tax-related information and mechanisms for collaboration.

The competent departments for environmental protection shall, at regular intervals, transfer information on pollutant discharging institutions related to environmental protection such as their pollutant discharge licenses, pollutant discharge data, and situations of violating environmental laws and being subject to administrative penalties to taxation authorities.

Taxation authorities shall transfer, at regular intervals, taxpayers' information related to environmental protection taxes such as their tax declarations, paid taxes, tax reductions, owed taxes, and risk concerns to the competent departments for environmental protection.

Article 16: The obligation to pay taxes begins on the day the taxpayer discharges taxable pollutants.

Article 17: Taxpayers should declare and pay environmental protection taxes to the taxation authorities for the areas where taxable pollutants have been discharged.

Article 18: Environmental protection taxes are calculated on a monthly basis, to be declared and paid on a quarterly basis. Where they cannot be periodically calculated and paid, single incident declaration and payment may be made.

When making declarations and payments, taxpayers shall submit to the taxation authorities the types and amount of the taxable pollutants discharged, the concentration of atmospheric and water pollutants, and other tax information that the taxation authorities require the taxpayers to submit based on actual necessities.

Article 19: Where taxpayers declare and pay taxes on a quarterly basis, they shall make tax declarations and pay taxes to the taxation authorities within 15 days after the end of the quarter. Where taxpayers make single-incident declarations and payments, they shall make tax declarations and pay taxes to the taxation authorities within 15 days after tax obligations arise.

Taxpayers shall make tax payment declarations truthfully and in accordance with law, and are responsible for the veracity and completeness of the declarations.

Article 20: Taxation authorities shall compare the data of taxpayers' tax declarations with the relevant data transferred by the competent departments for environmental protection.

Where taxation authorities discover anomalies in the data of a taxpayer's tax declarations, or that a taxpayer has failed to make tax declarations within the prescribed time limit, they can request the competent departments for environmental protection for review; the competent departments for environmental protection shall issue review opinions to the taxation authorities within 15 days after receiving the taxation authorities' data. The taxation authorities shall adjust the taxpayer's tax amount payable in accordance with the data as reviewed by the competent departments for environmental protection.

Article 21: Where the amount of pollutant discharge is calculated in accordance with Article 10, Item 4 of this Law, the taxation authorities are to work jointly with competent departments for environmental protection to determine the type and amount of pollutant discharge, and the tax rate payable.

Article 22: For taxpayers who engage in oceanographic projects and who discharge taxable atmospheric pollutants, water pollutants, or solid waste into waters under the jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China, the specific measures on the declaration and payment of environmental protection taxes are formulated by the competent department for taxation under the State Council in consultation with the competent department for ocean under the State Council.

Article 23: Where taxpayers, taxation authorities and competent departments for environmental protection, and their employees violate the provisions of this Law, legal responsibilities are to be pursued in accordance with the provisions of the Taxation Collection and Management Law of the People's Republic of China, the Environmental Protection Law of the People's Republic of China, and other relevant laws and regulations.

Article 24: The people's governments at all levels shall encourage taxpayers to increase their input in the promotion of environmental protection, and provide financial and policy support to the taxpayers for investments in automatic pollutant monitoring equipment.

Chapter V: Supplementary Provisions

Article 25: The language below has the following meanings in this law:

(1) "Pollution equivalent" refers the comprehensive index or unit of measurement for measuring the pollution of the environment by different pollutants, on the basis of the degree of harm caused to the environment by those pollutants or by the pollution discharge activities, and the technological economics of their treatment. Different pollutants that have the same pollution equivalent in the same medium have approximately the same polluting strength.

(2) "Pollutant discharge coefficient" refers to the statistical average of the amount of pollutant that should be discharged for manufacturing per unit product, under normal technical, economical, and management conditions.

(3) "Material balance" refers to a method for measuring and calculating the raw materials used, products manufactured, and waste produced during the production process, on the basis of the principle of mass conservation of matter.

Article 26: Enterprises, public institutions, and other production operators, who directly discharge taxable pollutants into the environment, should, in addition to paying environmental protection tax in accordance with this Law, bear responsibility in accordance with law for damages caused.

Article 27: As of the date when this Law takes effect, environmental protect taxes are levied in accordance with the provisions of this Law, and pollution emission fees are no longer collected.

Article 28: This Law goes into effect on January 1, 2018.

Taxable item Tax unit Tax rate Notes
Atmospheric pollutants per pollution equivalent between 1.2 and 12 Yuan
Water pollutants per pollution equivalent between 1.4 and 14 Yuan
Solid waste Coal gangue per ton 5 Yuan
Tailings per ton 15 Yuan
Hazardous waste per ton 1000 Yuan
Smelting slag, coal ash, cinder, and other solid wastes (including semi-solid and liquid wastes) per ton 25 Yuan
Noise Industrial noise 1-3 dB above standard 350 Yuan per month 1. Where there are multiple spots with noise level above standard along the border of one institution, the tax rate payable is calculated based on the noise level at the highest spot; where there are two or more spots with noise level above standard along a border of 100 meters or more, the tax rate payable is calculated as for two institutions.
2. Where one institution has different operating locations, the tax rate payable shall be calculated separately, and collected together.
3. Where the environmental noise level is above standard both at day-time and night-time, the tax rate payable is calculated separately for day-time and night-time, and collected in total.
4. Where a sound source is above standard on less than 15 days within a month, the tax rate payable is calculated with a reduction by half.
5. At night-time, where there are frequent outbursts or occasional outbursts of noise above standard at the border of industrial areas, the tax rate payable is calculated based on either the equivalent continuous sound level, or the peak sound level, whichever is higher above standard.
4-6 dB above standard 700 Yuan per month
7-9 dB above standard 1400 Yuan per month
10-12 dB above standard 2800 Yuan per month
13-15 dB above standard 5600 Yuan per month
16 dB or more above standard 11200 Yuan per month

Appendix 2: Taxable Pollutants and Equivalent Values Table

I. Pollution Equivalent Values for Category I Water Pollutants

Pollutants Pollution equivalent values (kg)
1. Total mercury 0.0005
2. Total cadmium 0.005
3. Total chromium 0.04
4. Hexavalent chromium 0.02
5. Total arsenic 0.02
6. Total lead 0.025
7. Total nickel 0.025
8. Benzo-(a)-pyrene 0.0000003
9. Total beryllium 0.01
10. Total silver 0.02

II. Pollution Equivalent Values for Category II Water Pollutants

Pollutants Pollution equivalent values (kg) Notes
11. Suspended solids (SS) 4
12. Biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5) 0.5 Taxes are levied on only one of the chemical oxygen demand, biochemical oxygen demand, or total organic carbon from one discharge outlet.
13. Chemical oxygen demand (CODcr) 1
14. Total organic carbon (TOC) 0.49
15. Petrolium and derivatives 0.1
16. Animal and vegetable oils 0.16
17. Volatile phenols 0.08
18. Total cyanides 0.05
19. Sulfides 0.125
20. Ammonia nitrogen 0.8
21. Fluorides 0.5
22. Formaldehyde 0.125
23. Aniline 0.2
24. Nitrobenzene 0.2
25. Anionic surfactant (LAS) 0.2
26. Total copper 0.1
27. Total zinc 0.2
28. Total manganese 0.2
29. Color developer (CD-2) 0.2
30. Total phosphorus 0.25
31. Elemental phosphorous (in P) 0.05
32. Organophosphorus pesticide (in P) 0.05
33. Dimethoate 0.05
34. Parathion-methyl 0.05
35. Malathion 0.05
36. Parathion 0.05
37. Pentachlorophenol and sodium pentachlorophenate (in pentachlorophenol) 0.25
38. chloroform 0.04
39. Adsorbable organic halides (AOX) (in Cl) 0.25
40. Carbon tetrachloride 0.04
41. Trichloroethylene 0.04
42. Tetrachloroethylene 0.04
43. benzene 0.02
44. Methylbenzene 0.02
45. Ethylbenzene 0.02
46. ortho-Xylene 0.02
47. para-Xylene 0.02
48. meta-Xylene 0.02
49. chlorobenzene 0.02
50. orthodichlorobenzene 0.02
51. p-dichlorobenzene 0.02
52. p-nitrochlorobenzene 0.02
53. 2,4-dinitrochlorobenzene 0.02
54. Phenol 0.02
55. m-cresol 0.02
56. 2,4-dichlorophenol 0.02
57. 2,4,6-trichlorophenol 0.02
58. Dibutyl phthalate 0.02
59. Dioctyl phthalate 0.02
60. Acrylonitrile 0.125
61. Total selenium 0.02

III. Pollution Equivalent Values for pHValue, Color, Number of Coliform Groups, and Residual Chlorine Pollutants

Pollutants Pollution equivalent values Notes
1. pH value 1. 0-1, 13-14 0.06 tons of sewage A pH value of 5-6 refers to greater than or equal to 5 and less than 6; a pH value of 9-10 refers to greater than 9 and less than or equal to 10, and so forth.
2. 1-2, 12-13 0.125 tons of sewage
3. 2-3, 11-12 0.25 tons of sewage
4. 3-4, 10-11 0.5 tons of sewage
5. 4-5, 9-10 1 ton of sewage
6. 5-6 5 tons of sewage
2. Color 5 tons of water · unit
3. Number of Coliform groups (above standard) 3.3 tons of sewage Taxes are levied on either the number of coliform groups or the amount of residual chlorine.
4. Amount of residual chlorine (hospital wastewater disinfected with chlorine) 3.3 tons of sewage

IV. Pollution Equivalent Values for Water Pollutants of Livestock Husbandry, Small Businesses, and the Tertiary Industry
(This chart only applies to the calculation of pollution equivalent quantities for the water pollutants discharged by small polluters such as livestock husbandry industry, small businesses, and the tertiary industry, for which actual monitoring or material balance cannot be performed.)

Type Pollution equivalent values Notes
Livestock farms 1. Cattle 0.1 head Taxes are only levied on livestock breeding farms with stock of more than 50 heads of cattle, 500 pigs, or 5000 chicken, ducks, or other poultry.
2. Pigs 1 head
3. Chicken, ducks and other poultry 30 birds
4. Small businesses 1.8 tons of sewage
5. Food and beverage, entertainment, and service industries 0.5 tons of sewage
6. Hospitals Disinfected 0.14 beds Where there are more than 20 beds in a hospital, this table is used to calculate the pollution equivalent values.
2.8 tons of sewage
Not disinfected 0.07 beds
1.4 tons of sewage

V. Pollutant Equivalent Values for Atmospheric Pollutants

Pollutants Pollution equivalent values (kg)
1. Sulfur dioxide 0.95
2. Nitrogen oxides 0.95
3. Carbon monoxide 16.7
4. Chlorine gas 0.34
5. Hydrogen chloride 10.75
6. Fluorides 0.87
7. Hydrogen cyanide 0.005
8. Sulfuric acid mist 0.6
9. Chromic acid mist 0.0007
10. Mercury and its compounds 0.0001
11. General dust 4
12. Asbestos dust 0.53
13. Glass wool dust 2.13
14. Carbon black dust 0.59
15. Lead and its compounds 0.02
16. Cadmium and its compounds 0.03
17. Beryllium and its compounds 0.0004
18. Nickel and its compounds 0.13
19. Tin and its compounds 0.27
20. Soot 2.18
21. benzene 0.05
22. toluene 0.18
23. p-xylene 0.27
24. Benzo-(a)-pyrene 0.000002
25. formaldehyde 0.09
26. acetaldehyde 0.45
27. Acrolein 0.06
28. Methanol 0.67
29. phenol 0.35
30. asphalt smoke 0.19
31. Anline 0.21
32. chlorobenzene 0.72
33. nitrobenzene 0.17
34. acrylonitrile 0.22
35.chlorethylene 0.55
36. Phosgene 0.04
37. hydrogen sulfide 0.29
38. Ammonium 9.09
39. trimethylamine 0.32
40. methyl mercaptan 0.04
41. methyl sulfide 0.28
42. dimethyl disulfide 0.28
43. styrene 25
44. carbon disulfide 20

 


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7 Comments

    • Now 当量数 and 当量值 are both being translated as “equivalent value(s)”, which doesn’t work, because they’re obviously two different things. Most clearly, Art. 8 states that 当量数 = 排放量 / 当量值, or in other words, 排放量 = 当量数 * 当量值.

      I suggest, once again, using “equivalent quantity” for 当量数 and “equivalent value” for 当量值. And in order to distinguish 量 in 排放量 from 数 in 当量数, 排放量 could be translated as “discharge volume”.

      And yes, we should use either “discharge” or “emission” uniformly for 排放.

      • I’m fine with either discharge or emission. If you have a preference feel free to pick one and make edits.

  1. For reference: differences between and the draft (published 2016-09-03) and the final version of the Law (main text only, not including attachments):
    http://pastebin.com/zWmfzfjz

    This diff is computer-generated and shouldn’t miss anything. A computer-generated diff of the attachments is difficult because they were provided as text in the draft, but as images in the final version (both on the official NPC website). Human comparison indicates that the only substantive change in the attachments are the first two rows of table 1, replacing fixed rates for atmospheric and water pollutants (1.2 and 1.4 CNY per unit respectively) to variable rates at max. 10 times the original amount (corresponding to changes of Art. 6).

  2. The exception to the exception in Art. 12 (1) says “不包括规模化养殖”, and I understand 养殖 to be referring to animal husbandry (including fishery) only, but not plantation and forestry, for which 种植 would be used instead. Does anyone disagree?

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