A senior Chinese official has said the lead battery consumption tax levied at the beginning of this year should be delayed or even exempted.
National People’s Congress (NPC) representative Liu Baosheng, who is also the chairman of Chinese lead-acid battery manufacturer Fengfan, said an exemption of the 4% consumption tax would help to relieve downward pressure on the battery industry.
Liu also suggested that companies which adhered to the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) system, a financial incentive that encourages manufacturers to stick to sound environmental strategies, should be rewarded with tax subsidies.
The consumption tax was first mooted in 2013, when the rate of 5% was suggested. It was met with concerns that Chinese battery makers would lose out to cheaper Southeast Asian manufacturers.
However in January this year a 4% rate was levied on lead-acid batteries, with all chemistries including nickel metal hydride, lithium-ion and vanadium redox flow exempted.
In January, both imports and exports of lead-acid batteries saw a month-on-month decline but a year-on-year growth.
According to the Shanghai Metals Market (SMM), lead-acid imports were down by 33.75% compared with December but were up by 8.29% from January 2015.
Exports fell by 0.89% from December, but rose by 13.27% over the previous January.