Aggregates Levy – Northern Ireland
The Aggregates Levy is relevant to quarry operators and other extractors of rock, sand and gravel, including operators of dredgers, importers of aggregate and others who commercially exploit aggregate as well as other businesses involved in the construction industry and users of minerals for agricultural and industrial purposes.
A lower rate of tax was applicable in Northern Ireland up to 2010 under a scheme known as the Aggregate Levy Credit Scheme. Businesses using the scheme had benefited from an 80% relief in the amount paying an effective rate of £0.40 per tonne as opposed to the full rate of £2 per tonne. However, the scheme was suspended following a 2010 decision by the EU General Court. The European Commission opened a formal investigation into the State Aid compatibility of the Aggregates Levy Credit Scheme and eventually confirmed that the measure is in line with the EU state aid rules. A copy of the decision was published on 7 November 2014.
The Government is keen to reinstate the scheme but will come to a final view on whether this is possible once the outcome of the further Commission investigation into the UK-wide exemptions from the levy is known.