World leader in farmed salmon Mowi will sue the Norwegian state after the adoption of a tax that applies to large producers in the sector, it announced on Wednesday. On a proposal from the government, the Norwegian Parliament adopted on May 31 a “resource rent tax” aimed at making aquaculture groups pay for the occupation of public spaces – the fjords – by their offshore farms.
Retroactive to January 1 and corresponding to 25% of profits, this tax is added to that on companies (at a rate of 22% in Norway) and does not apply to the smallest producers. "We are of course very disappointed by Parliament's decision which has already proved costly for the creation of value in the sector since 40 billion crowns (3.5 billion euros, editor's note) of investments have been frozen", said Mowi chief executive Ivan Vindheim.
“However, we have not given up on reversing the course of things. We intend to assert our interests through legal means,” he said in a statement on the occasion of the presentation of quarterly results. With the Verdens Gang (VG) newspaper, Ivan Vindheim specified that his group was going to attack the State before the Oslo court on the grounds that this new tax is discriminatory against large producers and contrary to European rules.
Driven by the high price of salmon, the Norwegian aquaculture sector has long shown strong profitability, but many development projects have been suspended pending clarification of taxation. Since the beginning of the year, Mowi has earned a net profit of 157.1 million euros against 556.6 million euros in the first half of last year.