[Transitional economies] In Central and East European (CEE) countries, emission charge rates are typically low, but attempts are being made to raise them as part of the harmonization process with the EEC/EU. There is also significant variability between CEE countries; for example in Poland the charges for sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) are several times that of the other countries in the region.
Presumptive charges are indirect taxes levied on polluting inputs and outputs, designed to reduce the scale of polluting activities. Since they tax activities associated with emissions rather than emissions themselves, they can typically be combined with other instruments that make the activity cleaner per unit of output, such emission standards. The principle is that one can tax a bad - such as pollution - by taxing a good or product - such as fuel - when the monitoring of emissions is prohibitively expensive.