• Professional News
  • 11 September 2014

New EU rules on taxation of ports in the pipeline

The EU may be introducing new rules designed to ensure fair competition between the ports in the EU. This is the outcome of analyses conducted of tax exemptions granted to Dutch ports.

At the present time, the state aid rules in the EU port area are unclear and have quite a few grey areas. And in some cases, this may lead to unfair competition.

Against this background, the European Commission has recently conducted an analysis of Dutch ports.

The object was to ensure that publicly owned ports in the Netherlands are not given more favourable tax treatment than privately owned ports according to the new Dutch tax rules in the area.

Potential state aid proceedings
Last year, the Netherlands amended the tax rules in the port area and exempted large publicly owned ports in, for instance, Rotterdam and Amsterdam from tax.

The Commission therefore investigated whether the tax exemptions breach the state aid rules.

These investigations identified a need to conduct additional and more extensive analyses in Europe before the European Commission can reach a conclusion.

The results of these analyses are to lead to new, clearer EU rules in the port area. The consequence will presumably be that publicly owned ports will no longer be able to benefit from more advantageous tax rules.

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