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Copyright Levies


Jun 2014

Levies for Reprography in Austria: Renewal of a very complex system

On 06, Jun 2014 | In Copyright Levies, News | By Alisa Maier



Copyright Levies for reprographic devices like copiers, scanners and printers in Austria already being very high, have been increased further on. As every year, the tariffs are adjusted right now, valid as of 1 July 2014.  The highest tariff in Austria is at the moment nearly 1.300 € per device for a Laser Multifunctional Printer and/or Laser Copier. This tariff is about 15-times more the levy in Germany for the same device; many other direct product comparisons are even more distinctly, with up to 50-times more the levy for Scanners. So far, the yearly adjustment also continuously included an error: For some products the discounted tariff was even higher than the non-discounted tariff. After six years of follow-up by 1cc GmbH, this error has finally been eliminated. Unfortunately, that was solved by a simple rule: In such a case, the next tariff higher is to be applied now.

In addition, the Austrian levy system for reprographic devices is obsolete because of its complexity: There are for any kind of reprographic devices more than 80 separate tariffs, depending on the product specifications, the contract situation of the company, the tariff caps according to the product prices, the exact date of sales, etc. The appropriate tariffing for every single device depended on up to ten characteristics! This evokes already in the everyday reporting frequent discussions with the authorities, and  goes along with tax rates, deadlines and special applications, like exports, to be considered. It may be seen as the peak of complexity that the validity periods of the tariffs depends on the contractual situation of the company with collecting society Literar Mechana: the yearly indexation of tariffs take place for contracting parties from July to July, for all other companies according to the calendar year.

Thus, it requires a lot of knowledge and well organized processes to classify the products correctly and to report the sales figures in Austria, i.e. on the one hand the correct categorization of the products and equipment, and the correct application of tariffs on the other hand. These evaluations might be very elaborate, especially when detailed obligations, including tariffs, contracts, forms and further information are not instantly available. Upon request, 1cc GmbH will show you in detail the full complexity of the Austrian system.