Six Dutch ports, Groningen Seaports, Havenbedrijf Amsterdam, Havenbedrijf Rotterdam, Havenschap Moerdijk, Port of Den Helder and Zeeland Seaports, are going to appeal against the decision of the European Commission which states that Dutch sea ports must pay corporation tax from January 1, 2017.
“We are not against paying corporation tax, but then it should apply to all European sea ports. This is a matter of principle for us. The foreign ports with which we have to compete do not pay corporation tax and, in addition, are even supported in various ways by their governments,” Paul Smits, Financial Director of the Port of Rotterdam Authority, said.
“Within Europe, it should be a question of ‘what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander’. The payment of corporation tax will come at the expense of our investments in the port complex. The purpose of this cannot be to increase unfair competition,” Smits added.
The European Commission has required the Netherlands to abolish an exemption from corporate tax for its six seaports so as to align the regime with EU state aid rules.