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FEPORT welcomes G7 agreement on minimum taxation of multinationals and calls on OEDC countries to include cargo handling in the scope of BEPS Pillar 2

During their General Assembly meeting held remotely today June 10th, 2021, FEPORT members discussed the recent G7 finance ministers’ historic agreement to apply a global minimum corporate tax rate of 15% to all multinational corporations.

The issue is of immediate concern to port terminal companies as the international shipping industry is pushing for an exemption from the new tax reform deal. FEPORT is preoccupied by the too broad definition of shipping that could lead to an exemption of shipping companies’ own cargo handling activities and beyond. If this were to happen then this would further distort competition in the port services sector to the advantage of shipping companies and undermine the very purpose of the new OECD proposals.

FEPORT therefore calls on OECD member countries to retain any and all kind of cargo and passenger handling activities in the scope of BEPS Pillar 2 to ensure fair competition in the port industry.

“We want all cargo and passenger handling activities services to be in”, says FEPORT President Gunther Bonz. “If this were unfortunately not to happen then the only alternative would be to exempt all these activities as well as freight forwarders and hauliers from BEPS 2. That would defeat the purpose of this historic agreement, and this is not what we want”, adds FEPORT President.

“In view of the G20 meeting in Venice, we call on OECD countries to include all kind of cargo and passenger handling activities in the scope of BEPS Pillar 2 to ensure fair competition”, concludes Mr. Bonz.

All cargo handling operations should indeed be taxed in the same way and therefore be concerned by the minimum tax as agreed upon during the G7 agreement. FEPORT members consider that the recovery will be possible if all industries contribute to the effort. The last two years have been difficult for all and require solidarity from all sectors to overcome the effects of the COVID-19 crisis.

FEPORT members have also discussed on how to convert the upcoming rules on taxonomy into opportunities for companies to streamline all processes and approach certification schemes in a more holistic way. It is indeed important to keep in mind that European private port companies are already very advanced in terms of certification of their different activities with respect to environment, safety, quality, security, cyber risks etc. The main objective is now to combine those certifications thanks to taxonomy.

It is therefore crucial for corporations which will have to report back about their activities in compliance with the objectives of taxonomy to know more about the criteria that they will have to fulfill in their reporting.

Finally, FEPORT members welcomed the EU Commission’s proposal regarding foreign subsidies and hope that its scope will include all industries of the waterborne sector. This is the condition for the instrument to be efficient.
Source: FEPORT

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