Importing businesses are being warned that they may need to put preparations in place for world's first carbon border tax which comes into effect in its initial phase this weekend.

The Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism - CBAM - will apply additional import charges that take account of embedded carbon emission levels when certain goods are imported into the EU from a third country.

The new levy will apply to products which are deemed to have heavy carbon emissions including iron, steel aluminium, fertiliser and cement.

As such, it will affect mainly the construction and farming industries.

"There are two phases. The first, starting on Sunday, will require companies that import to report to the EPA and Revenue with regards to amount of carbon emissions in their products," Carol Lynch, Tax Partner & Head of Customs and International Trade Services explained.

"The second phase will apply a tax to those emissions."

The report will have to be submitted on January 1st in relation to the three month period starting from this Sunday, October 1

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Carol Lynch said most companies were not prepared for the new regime and that many were not even aware of it.

"If you're not compliant, then you will be charged. The proposal is to charge €50 per tonne of unrecorded carbon. That can mount pretty quickly."

Ms Lynch advised importing companies to look at what they are importing and see if they are covered by the regulation.

"You can do that by checking the tariff classification on the imports and checking if they are on the regulation," she explained.

Companies should then get in touch with their suppliers urgently and get the data needed for the report which is quite detailed.