CO2 tax: Changes for the year 2022

For Swiss car dealers, the changes to the CO2 Ordinance that the Federal Council decided on 24 November 2021 for the year 2022 are of importance. The aim of the adjustments is to further improve climate protection.

Car importers who exceed their applicable CO2 target values already have to pay a CO2 penalty. From 2022, however, there will be atightening of the fleet targets, in particular through
– Abolition of the “phasing-in” regulation for passenger cars and
– Deletion of the special targets for small and niche producers.

Furthermore, the new CO2 regulation updates some assessment bases important for the calculation of CO2 targets and CO2 sanctions for the year 2022.

In order to avoid CO2 sanctions, car importers and Swiss car manufacturers must quickly adapt to the new stricter regulations.
We provide you with an overview of the changes to the CO2 Ordinance that will apply from the beginning of 2022 – insofar as these adjustments affect the CO2 emissions of new vehicles.

Changes to the CO2 Regulation 2022: tabular overview

Tighter CO2 tax regulations for new vehicles

– Article 27: Relief through “phasing-in” in 2022: only for light commercial vehicles, no longer for passenger cars
– Article 28: End of special treatment: no more special targets for niche and small producers

Further substantive amendments and clarifications

– Article 24: recognised data sources: Bases for the calculation of the target and the average CO2 emissions of a new car fleet
– Article 25: explicit definition of data basis: authoritative test procedure WLTP
– Articles 30 and 35: Order of due sanctionsby the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE): immediately upon determination of a target exceedance, not only upon default of the CO2 tax debtor
(the previous Articles 33 and 34 are thereby rendered superfluous and are therefore deleted)
– Appendix 4: Setting the 2020 average unladen weights for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles (as the basis for calculating the individual target)
– Annex 5: Determination of the penalty amount for the reference year 2022 (for each gram of target exceeded per kilometre)

Textual redesigns and editorial changes only

– Articles 17, 17a, 17abis: Scope: restructuring of the former Article 17 with the insertion of new Articles 17a and 17abis; content unchanged
– Article 22a: Possibility of transferring a vehicle to a major importer: take over of the content of the former Article 23(4).
– Article 23: documents to be submitted to FEDRO: text modified, content unchanged
– Article 31(4): Refunds of quarterly advance payments (large importers): the contents of former Article 30(4) have been taken over.

CO2 tax for new vehicles: details of changes to the content of the CO2 regulation

Tighter CO2 tax regulations for new vehicles

Article 27(2) and (3): “Phasing-in” in 2022 no longer for passenger cars

Previous regulation:
Article 27(2) previously provided for a “phasing-in” scheme for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles. According to this, in 2022, only those vehicles in a vehicle fleet that belong to the 95 percent with the lowest emissions should be taken into account for the calculation of the average CO2 emissions of a vehicle fleet.

New regulation:
According to the new provision of Article 27(2), the previously envisaged phasing-in regulation for 2022 only applies to light commercial vehicles. For passenger car fleets, therefore, the relief through “phasing-in” in the determination of average CO2 emissions will cease to apply as early as 2022.

The reworded introductory sentence of Article 27(3) now differentiates – with regard to the calculation of average CO2 emissions – between commercial vehicle and passenger car new car fleets.

Article 28: no more specific targets for niche and small producers

Previous regulation:
The provisions of former Article 28(2) and (3) enabled Exceptions to the general target and the issuing of an individual target. Small producers and niche manufacturers could apply to the EU Commission for the setting of specific CO2 targets on the legal basis of Article 28(2).

New regulation:
In the new CO2 Regulation, paragraphs 2 and 3 of Article 28 have been deleted. Thepossibility of individual targets(especially for niche and small producers) will thus be excluded from 2022 onwards. In future, therefore, all vehicles will be treated equally – the targets will in future be set independently of the manufacturer, depending only on the vehicle weight.

Further substantive amendments and clarifications

Article 24: recognised data sources for the calculation of targets and average CO2 emissions of a new car fleet

Previous regulation:
Articles 24 and 25 of the previous CO2 Regulation specified precisely:
– the ranking of data sources from which CO2 emissions and unladen weight of a vehicle could be obtained.

New regulation:
According to the new regulation in Article 24, only official data sources equivalent to the European Certificate of Conformity (COC) will be recognised from 2022.

This regulation makes it possible – foreseen for the future – to make the vehicle registration procedure more flexible. In particular, type approvals and data sheets are to be gradually replaced by electronic COC data.

Article 25: Definition of WLTP as the applicable test procedure

Previous regulation:
The new Article 25(1) succinctly sets out the WLTP method as the basis for determining the CO2 emissions of a vehicle. Further explanations (as still in the previous Article 25) are no longer made in the CO2 Ordinance – as reference is made to the EU test procedure, which is binding for Switzerland anyway according to Annex 2 to the VTS.

If no CO2 values determined in accordance with the WLTP procedure are available,the CO2 emissions shall be calculated in accordance with Annex 4 to the CO2 Regulation (Article 25(2) new).

If such a calculation (according to Annex 4) is not possible, flat-rate values shall be applied: for passenger cars 350 g CO2/km, for light commercial vehicles 400 g CO2/km (Article 25 paragraph 3 new).
The new provision in Article 25(3) increases the flat-rate value for passenger cars (300 g CO2/km) previously contained in Article 25(4) (old) by 50 g CO2/km.

The new provision in Article 25(3) increases the flat-rate value for passenger cars (300 g CO2/km) previously contained in Article 25(4) (old) by 50 g CO2/km.

Previous regulation:
Under the previous regulation, the Swiss Federal Office of Energy sets a CO2 penalty if an individual target is exceeded
(according to Article 30 paragraph 3 (old) for large importers and Article 35 paragraph 2 (old) for small importers).

A payment order by the SFOE (for large importers) or by the Federal Roads Office (FEDRO, for small importers).
however, according to the previous legal situation, this was not done until then,
if an importer has not paid a sanction invoice or final invoice despite a reminder (see Article 33 (old) and Article 35(4) (old)).

New regulation:
The new CO2 regulation provides,
that the SFOE (in the case of large importers) or FEDRO (in the case of small importers)
a sanction is imposed as soon as an individual target has been exceeded. A prior reminder by the SFOE or FEDRO and a delay in payment by the importer are no longer required.
(see Article 30(1) (new, for large importers) and Article 35(1) (new, for small importers))

In addition, an importer will in future owe interest on arrears if he fails to pay a penalty on time. The amount of interest on arrears is determined by the Federal Department of Finance.
(Article 30(3) (new) and Article 35(2) (new)).

The current Article 33 (disposal of sanctions after reminder) is repealed.

Annex 4a: Determination of the average unladen weights 2020

The average unladen weight of vehicles has a significant influence on the determination of individual CO2 targets.

Previous regulation:
The average unladen weight for passenger cars placed on the market for the first time has risen steadily in recent years (2015: 1,532 kg, 2019: 1,636 kg).
The average unladen weight for light commercial vehicles in 2019 was 2,067 kg.

New regulation:
For the calendar year 2020, the new CO2 regulation specifies the following average unladen weights:
Passenger cars: 1,674 kglichte Nutzfahrzeuge: 2,089 kg

Annex 5: Determination of the penalty amount (per gram/kilometre) for the reference year 2022

The penalty amounts to be paid for exceeding the individual target are per gram of CO2/km (from 0.1 gram) …

Previous regulation:

… for the reference year 2021 103.50 francs and …

New regulation:

… for the reference year 2022 104.00 francs.

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