Norway’s salmon tax decision gets delayed again

Storting finance committee delays recommendations on the aquaculture resource rent tax another week.
Salmon fish farm. Hordaland, Norway. Photo: Adobe Stock.
Salmon fish farm. Hordaland, Norway. Photo: Adobe Stock.

More delays and uncertainty for Norway's aquaculture industry this week, as another postponement for decision-making on Norway's "salmon tax" was announced on Friday at the Storting, Norway's parliament.

The Storting's finance committee was due to complete its recommendations on the controversial ground rent tax on aquaculture by Tuesday 16 May. However, negotiations between the various political parties are taking longer than expected.

The deadline for the committee's decision has now been delayed another week to 23 May, as reported in Norwegian finance newspaper E24.

Final deadline for recommendations at Parliament is 31 May

Representative Geir Pollestad is the case manager for the salmon tax decision processes. In a Norwegian language statement, Pollestad claimed the committee "will still be well within the Storting's deadlines", but that the group "need more time to finish" their deliberations.

The final deadline for the committee's recommendation is set for 31 May 2023. In the meantime, the industry continues to hold its breath.

"Rapid decision-making" needed, says Nesse; "anti-business", says Vindheim.

Industry figureheads from both farming and aquaculture technology sectors have been vocal in their critiques of the salmon tax. Most recently, Akva Group CEO Knut Nesse added his voice to the debate during the presentation of his company's quarterly results last Thursday.

Reading a prepared statement, Nesse said that Akva "does not believe that the proposal for a new resource tax will contribute to the desired political development of the industry, and we are strongly against the government's proposal."

He said Akva asks that "the resource tax must be designed so that investments in hatcheries and post-smolt are still economically attractive," and requested "a rapid decision-making process to reduce uncertainty for the supplier industry."

In an interview with WeAreAquaculture on Thursday last week, Mowi CEO Ivan Vindheim continued his outspoken critique of the salmon tax, saying "Norway's tax on salmon farmers is completely unprecedented and totally out of proportion and not sustainable."

Vindheim said Norway's government were seen as "anti-business", and added he hoped the elections in 2025 would bring about change.

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